Big List of Family Summer Read-Alouds
The school year is time for books that challenge and stretch, but summer reading is the time for fun! It’s easy to let the summer weeks fly by, but intentional family time will help you slow down and enjoy these restful months.
Whether you choose morning read-aloud time, bed-time story time, or sometime in between, taking time to delight in stories together this summer will help anchor your days. Yes, summer weeks can be busy with activities, camps, and travel. That’s part of the fun! However, there’s always time for sharing a story.
In addition to stacks of picture books you get from the library, we highly encourage you to dive into a chapter book with your kids over the summer. When days (and kids) feel scattered, one story that you’re reading together throughout the summer can be unifying.
And it doesn’t matter if several days go by before you get to another chapter. There will be days you simply can’t get to it, and that’s completely fine. Kids especially have an outstanding ability to jump right back into a story and remember where you left off.
Wondering which book to read? We’ve got some great suggestions!
Books young kids will enjoy. Books for older kids. Lighthearted family stories, and exciting adventures and mysteries. There’s something for every family!
Regarding age levels…if your kids cover a wide range, we recommend aiming for somewhere in the middle for a summer read-aloud. If it’s a great book (like all of these), everyone will enjoy it no matter what.
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Lighthearted Family Stories
Let’s start with some lighthearted read-aloud options. These are chapter books with simple family adventures, silly situations, and the like. They’re often uplifting as well as exciting. Some are sweet and heartwarming. You’ll find all of these elements in these choices.
Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house...sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.More info →
Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventure. You'll be rooting for him as he sets out to help a friend.More info →
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale Of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, And A Very Interesting Boy: While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.More info →
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden: Return to Harlem in this companion to the "wildly entertaining" Vanderbeekers of 141st Street as the biracial siblings struggle to grow a community garden after catastrophe strikes. Illustrated with charming black and white drawings.More info →
The first title in Arthur Ransome's classic series, originally published in 1930: for children, for grownups, for anyone captivated by the world of adventure and imagination. Swallows and Amazons introduces the lovable Walker family, the camp on Wild Cat island, the able-bodied catboat Swallow, and ...More info →
Exciting Adventure, Fantasy, & Mystery
Maybe your family is in the mood for action-packed adventure! Here are some chapter books filled with exciting escapades, mysteries to solve, survival stories, and whimsical fantasies.
The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure.More info →
Amari and the Night Brothers: Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. When she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton.
More info →
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.More info →
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world. (The Green Ember Series: Book 1)More info →
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes: Raised to be a thief, blind orphan Peter Nimble, age ten, steals from a mysterious stranger three pairs of magical eyes, that lead him to a hidden island where he must decide to become a hero or resume his life of crime.More info →
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling. Found in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles aren't ordinary children.More info →
This first book in the bestselling, award-winning Mysterious Benedict Society Series is not to be missed! "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities? "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them.More info →
Summer is the perfect time to relax and make memories as you share these fun read-alouds together. We hope your family enjoys Big List of Family Summer Read-Alouds as much as we do!