Passport to Imagination: 2014 Summer Reading Guide for Kids

The kids may be out of school but the summer is a great time for kids to dive into some new books.

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Sure, reading may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of kids summer activities but a good book truly has the power and ability to awaken the imagination and take you to places you never thought possible. Books have a special sort of magic, and this magic is one that you should pass on and share with your children. Encourage them to get away from the television, computer, and take a break from running around for a while, to enjoy a great book instead.

Reading during the summer can help develop your child’s vocabulary, speech, and comprehension skills, without spending any extra time in the classroom! Starting kids reading from an early age will help foster a love of learning and reading that will impact them, and hopefully they will carry with them, for the rest of their lives.

Nowadays there are so many different ways to relish in reading. From downloading titles to an e-reader or going old school and visiting your local library, opportunities to read and find something interesting to devour are extremely accessible to the public.

Here is a list of some hand-picked favorites that we think your child, and maybe even you, will love to take the time out to read this summer.

Books for Ages 3-6

  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt: One day when Duncan goes to get his box of crayons he opens them to discover that  they have all gone rogue! In their wake they leave hilariously clever letters, with each color crayon describing their own personal grievances.
  • Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
  • Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
  • Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

Books for Ages 4-8

  • Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
  • Locomotive by Brian Floca
  • Journey by Aaron Becker: A young girl uses a red crayon to draw her way out of her mundane world and into a new, beautifully imagined adventure. This wordless book definitely calls upon the influence of the classic children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
  • The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman
  • Mr. Wuffles! By David Wiesner

Books for Ages 8-12

  • Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
  • Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: In this first-person narrative Ivan the captive Gorilla describes his day-to-day life living in the shopping mall. It isn’t until a new addition, Ruby a baby elephant recently captured from the wild, that the parts of Ivan that have laid dormant finally have the chance to reawaken.
  • Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Would you also like some teen and adult book recommendations for this summer? Check in next week for our teen summer reading guide and the week after that for our adult summer reading guide. Happy reading!

What are some children's book titles you would recommend?

[Source: ALA, NYTimes, NPR]