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Best books for summer reading

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On the final day of summer break last year, my daughter devoured Caddie Woodlawn. Last week I wrote about the techniques I use to encourage my children to read. This week, I am sharing a list of our favorite books. Some of them are award-winners—but even better—all of them win the approval of my three unforgiving children. So pull out the hammock, spread out a blanket, or puff up a beanbag. These books are sure to draw you in! 0–2 years Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle Drummer Hoff, Barbara Emberly and Ed Emberly The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Bill Martin Jr. Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper Good Night, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann Quick as a Cricket, Audrey Wood Piggies, Audrey and Don Wood

On the final day of summer break last year, my daughter devoured Caddie Woodlawn.

Last week I wrote about the techniques I use to encourage my children to read. This week, I am sharing a list of our favorite books. Some of them are award-winners—but even better—all of them win the approval of my three unforgiving children. So pull out the hammock, spread out a blanket, or puff up a beanbag. These books are sure to draw you in!

0–2 years

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • Drummer Hoff, Barbara Emberly and Ed Emberly
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Bill Martin Jr.
  • Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
  • The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper
  • Good Night, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
  • Quick as a Cricket, Audrey Wood
  • Piggies, Audrey and Don Wood
 

3–5 years

  • I Heard Said the Bird, Polly Berrien Berends
  • Olivia, Ian Falconer
  • Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey
  • To Market, To Market, Anne Miranda
  • Mouse Mess, Linnea Asplin Riley
  • Caps for Sale, Esphyr Slobodkia
  • Bear Snores On, Karma Wilson
  • King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, Audrey and Don Wood
  • Napping House, Audrey and Don Wood
  • Harry the Dirty Dog, Gene Zion
 

5–7 years

  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Richard Atwater
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Virginia Lee Burton
  • Flat Stanley, Jeff Brown
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
  • The Biggest Bear, Lynd Ward
  • Amelia Bedelia series, Peggy Parish
  • Fancy Nancy series, Jane O’ Connor
  • Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, E.B. White
  • Junie B. Jones series, Barbara Park
  • The Magic School Bus, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
  • The Magic Treehouse series, Mary Pope Osborne
 

8–10 years

  • Mandy, Julie Andrews
  • The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks
  • Fudge series, Judy Blume
  • Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary
  • James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and The BFG, Roald Dahl
  • Stone Fox, John Reynolds Gardiner
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis
  • Encyclopedia Brown, Donald J. Sobol
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • Big Nate series, Lincoln Peirce
  • Trumpet of the Swan, E. B. White
  • The Little House series, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • 39 Clues series, various authors
 

10–12 years

  • Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryrie Brink
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Amulet series, Kazu Kibuishi
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney
  • Island, Dive, or Everest, Gordon Korman
  • Strawberry Girl, Lois Lenski
  • Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
  • Fablehaven series, Brandon Mull
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • Summer of the Monkeys, Wilson Rawls
  • Harry Potter series, JK Rowling
  • Heroes of Olympus series, Rick Riordan
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
  • Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
 

Young Adults

  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  • The Fault in our Stars, John Green
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
  • Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth
  • Holes, Louis Sachar
  • The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
 

And finally, some great summer reads for mom:

  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • Midwives, Chris Bohjalian
  • Room, Emma Donoqhue
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken
  • Cutting For Stone, Abraham Verghese
  • The Glass Castle, Jeanette Wells
  • Night, Elie Wiesel
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
 

I am almost finished with the stack of books on my nightstand, so I'm looking for suggestions. What are your favorite books? I would love to hear your recommendations.

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