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Big List of Family Summer Read-Alouds

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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.

Choosing a book from shelf

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.


Get the FREE Big List of Family Summer Read-Alouds!

We have also created a printable PDF booklist with the Big List of Family Summer Read-Alouds found in this post. Just click the red button below and get the download!


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.

The Moffats

The Moffats

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.

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McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm

McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm

McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm: When Josh McBroom learns that the eighty acres of Iowa farmland he's purchased are all stacked up on top of each other at the bottom of a muddy little pond, he thinks he's been bamboozled.

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The Enormous Egg

The Enormous Egg

The Enormous Egg: When twelve-year-old Nate Twitchell takes care of an gigantic egg laid by one of his hens, he is shocked to find that it hatches into a triceratops.

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Henry Huggins

Henry Huggins

Henry Huggins: When Henry adopts Ribsy, a dog of no particular breed, humorous adventures follow.

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Stuart Little

Stuart Little

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.

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Ginger Pye

Ginger Pye

Ginger Pye: A heartwarming, yet quirky, story about a boy called Jerry whose much-loved puppy, Ginger Pye, goes missing.

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Half Magic

Half Magic

Half Magic: Humorous adventures of a family after they found a magic coin.

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Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the Milk: Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal

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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale Of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, And A Very Interesting Boy

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale Of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, And A Very Interesting Boy

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.

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The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden

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.

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Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons

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 ...

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Thimble Summer

Thimble Summer

Thimble Summer: A Wisconsin girl has an eventful summer following her discovery of a silver thimble that she believes to be magic.

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A Long Way from Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago: A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

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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 Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles: The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals

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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death.

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The Hobbit

The Hobbit

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.

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Amari and the Night Brothers

Amari and the Night Brothers

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.

 

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The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic: Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge, who longs for heroic adventures, overhears a secret that thrusts her into the middle of a dangerous mission that could destroy the island on which she lives.

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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

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.

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The Green Ember

The Green Ember

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)

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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

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.

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A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

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Summer of the Monkeys

Summer of the Monkeys

Summer of the Monkeys: Fourteen-year-old Jay tries to recover a group of wily monkeys escaped from a circus train in the hopes the reward will buy him the gun and pony he has so long wanted.

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Holes

Holes

Holes: As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

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My Side of the Mountain

My Side of the Mountain

Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.

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Nim’s Island

Nim’s Island

Nim's Island: Nim loves her island home and the animals she shares it with even while her scientist father is away doing research, but trouble is on the way and a new e-mail friend could be the only one who can help.

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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling. Found in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles aren't ordinary children.

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The Westing Game

The Westing Game

The Westing Game: The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society

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.

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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!


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2 Comments

  1. All of these books sound amazing! How have I only heard of a handful of them?!? Onto the wishlist they go, and I’m presently printing the guide to keep handy when out and about. Thanks Katie and Leslie!

    1. Learning Through Literature says:

      You are so welcome! It is our mission to highlight great books. Remember, you can always search our curated and categorized Book Finder for more great book ideas!

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