Why is reading so important for kids? Books teach children about the world. Books broaden horizons. Books teach children how to tell stories and how to write. Books provide comfort and stretch minds. Today I am featuring picture books and chapter books that my four children have selected as great books to keep kids reading!
Books to Keep Kids Reading
All four of my children helped compile this list. Ten-year-old Emma is a HUGE bookworm. she reads several books a day. Eight-year-old Johnny likes books, but doesn’t pick reading as a default activity. Six-year-old Lily goes through phases of reading and phases of ignoring books. Three-year-old Anna has favorite books that she reads over and over. The books on this list have successfully engaged all of my kids!
Disclaimer: Some of the books on this list were sent to me by publishers with no promise of review. Others were already in our home library. All opinions are my own.
Where You Go… I Go is three-year-old Anna’s favorite book right now! I read it to her at bedtime every night. It is a wonderful mother-child picture book. I appreciate that the mother is very playful – something you don’t see much of in picture books.
Douglas, You Need Glasses! is most enjoyed by my six-year-old and eight-year-old. It is a great book to read with kids who are getting glasses, as well as to kids who do not need glasses to help them understand why friends and classmates are wearing glasses. Eight-year-old Johnny has this to say about this book: “I liked when Douglas talks to the fire hydrant. I liked when Douglas got new glasses.
A Dark, Dark Cave is a delightful book featuring a dad, kids, and some fabulous pretend play. If you ever give dad picture books for Father’s Day, this could be a fun pick.
Blue Boat is a delightful book for very young children. The illustrations are charming, and the text moves quickly for short attention spans.
Books for Reluctant Readers
Calvin and Hobbes is a classic I appreciate for getting my most reluctant reader addicted to reading.
Chapter Books for Early Readers
Sophie Mouse is an adorable character that is easy for children to empathize with. Six-year-old Lily likes this book, and we will probably pick up some of the other titles in this series.
Socks was my favorite early chapter book when I started reading. This classic continues to resonate with my own children.
My children adore the gentle adventure of the Kingdom of Wrenly books. They have loved the first four books in this series, and I am sure we will be reading more.
Chapter Books for Strong Readers
These strong reader books are recommended for upper elementary through middle school readers. You know your child and what they will understand and whether they will like these books with heavier themes.
I don’t think my daughter Emma would forgive me if I left the Harry Potter series out of this book. At the writing of this post, she has read the entire series 21 times. That number would probably be higher, but we have a “no more than 30 minutes of Harry Potter per day” rule in our house. She knows the birthdays of every character, and identifies strongly with Hermione Granger. Emma also recommends the Hogwarts Classics, although I can’t say that I see her reading those over and over. All of my children love perusing the pages of this illustrated version of the first book, and it probably won’t surprise you to know that we have the script of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on pre-order.
10-year-old Emma was thrilled to discover the Theodore Boone series this spring. She was particularly excited to introduce her bookworm friends to a series they didn’t know about! She wrote up some reviews for this post:
The book Kid Lawyer by John Grisham is about a boy named Theodore Boone who wants to be a lawyer just like his parents. Now there is a very exciting case happening in town, and Theo might have the answers to the case because he, and only he, knows a witness of the crime that Pete Duffy committed that killed his wife. But should Theo really get stuck in the middle of this crime? Should Theo really present the witness in court?
The second book in the Theodore Boone book series is The Abduction. It is about how Theo’s friend, April, got abducted. April’s parents are practically crazy, and April is left alone one night and gets abducted. Theo is trying to find out where she is. Where could April be? Who was she abducted by?
The third book in the Theodore Boone series is called The Accused. It is about Theo, who has never been accused of anything, is accused of stealing electronics. Theo knows he didn’t do it. But how will Theo prove this to the police? How will Theo find the person who actually did the crime? Who committed this crime and hates Theo enough to frame him, cut his bike tires, and break his office window?
The fourth book in the Theodore Boone series is called The Activist. It’s about how Theo becomes an activist against the new bypass being built in town. Theo is helping his friend, who’s grandparents’ home will soon be wrecked by the bypass, defeat politicians and truck drivers who want the bypass to work. Will Theo’s plan to defeat the bypass work or will his friend’s grandparents’ home be destroyed?
The fifth book in the Theodore Boone series is called The Scandal. It’s about how Theo is on a field trip to Washington, DC, when he sees Pete Duffy, the man who killed his wife to get money. Soon, a normal field trip turns into working with the FBI and catching Pete Duffy and put him in jail.
Looking for a little extra motivation for your kids to start reading? Check out these cute corner bookmarks from my friend Maggy at Red Ted Art.
What books can you recommend for my kids to read this summer? We are always looking for new books!