Summer Brain Drain (summer learning loss) is a real problem. Kids lose up to 2-3 months of math and reading skills over the summer. Teachers spend 3-4 weeks just getting kids caught up at the beginning of each school year.
To avoid summer brain drain, teachers recommend kids read over the summer, however let your kids choose books that interest them or read books as a family. Below are our top picks for summer reading for children in grade school through middle school.
Fairy World: Enter the Magical and Mysterious Realm
Enter the mystic world of fairies in Fairy World: Enter the Magical and Mysterious Realm.
This is a gorgeous book with sophisticated computer-generated art that illustrates the legends of fairies found in ancient mythology, folktales, classical paintings, and timeless literature from around the world.
This is an easy reading book with gallery spreads featuring both texts and images. The text is revealed with extracts of letters, diaries, and notes that will engage the reader. The images are fantastic of fairy wings, locks of hair, enchanted flowers, and more.
This book is intended for older grade school and middle school children ages 10-16. My kids 9 and 11 both love this book, something rare for both a girl and a boy to agree on!
You can purchase Fairy World: Enter the Magical and Mysterious Realm on Amazon.com in hardcover ($13).
The Looney Experiment
Middle school is tough. Add to it being the class bully’s punching bag, being in love with a girl who doesn’t know you exist, and having your dad leave the family and you’ve got the life of Atticus in The Looney Experiment.
My 5th grade just finished this book and really enjoyed it – as much as a 5th grade boy can ‘enjoy’ a book. 🙂 Seriously, he has talked more about this book than any other. He’s very interested in Atticus and how he navigates middle school, maybe because my son starts middle school next year too.
In this book, Atticus has a super hyper imagination that sometimes gets in the way of life and other times redeems him.
This is a good read for kids ages 11-14.
You can purchase The Looney Experiment on Amazon.com in hardcover ($16 ) and kindle ($6) .
London Art Chase
London Art Chase is the first of the new Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series by Natalie Grant. Girls ages 8-12 years old will enjoy following along with the smart, sassy, and unique 10 year old twins and their little sister on family adventures.
The setting is London as the girls watch their mom, a famous singer perform. During their trip, they witness a possible art theft.
My 9 year old daughter really enjoys the Glimmer Girls series, it is fun, lively, mysterious, adventurous, and well-written.
Will the Glimmer Girls save the day?
You can purchase London Art Chase on Amazon.com in paperback ($7) and kindle ($6).
A Dolphin Wish
A Dolphin Wish is the second in the Glimmer Girls series.
Join the Glimmer girls on a 3-night stop in San Diego where the girls expect beautiful weather and taking in the sights. However, they quickly learn that some of the animals at “Watery World” aren’t staying in their habitats.
Join the Glimmer Girls as they search for clues to find out who is helping the animals escape and why!
My daughter just started this book and already enjoying it. The beach theme is perfect, especially after our recent California vacation.
You can purchase A Dolphin Wish on on Amazon.com in paperback ($8) and kindle ($6). For girls ages 8-12.
Gladiator School Series
Check out the Gladiator School series of action-packed books as Lucius and Quin journey to the gladiatorial games. Strange rumblings and tremors rock the town, warning of the “end of days” coming. What does this mean?
Start with Blood Oath: Book 1 and then onto Gladiator School Blood & Fire in the Gladiator School series. This series is excellent for kids, especially boys ages 9-12. My 10 year old son just finished Blood Oath and wrote a book report on it, he enjoyed the characters and the setting – something he’s never explored before.
You can purchase Blood Oath: Book 1 on Amazon.com in paperback ($ 7) and kindle ($5).
You can purchase Gladiator School Blood & Fire on Amazon.com in paperback ($7) and kindle ($6).
A Musician’s Recipes: Strung Twice
Your little musician can expand their creativity and love of music by taking recipes out of the kitchen with A Musician’s Recipes: Strung Twice.
This book is a collection of nursery rhymes and includes a ‘recipe’ that illustrates the songs with a recipe. The recipe illustrates the a plot and encourage your child to design their own story line.
This is a great book to enable your child to think ‘outside of the box’ with their imagination. “Sometimes one’s imagination can cook up some interesting concoctions.” – Melbourne
You can purchase A Musician’s Recipes: Strung Twice on Amazon.com for kindle ($5).
NIrV, Kids’ Quest Study Bible
Kids have questions, especially about the Bible. How did people live so long in Bible times? Why did God allow the flood? Is Jesus real? These are more than 500 additional questions are explored in this full text NIrV Kids’ Quest Study Bible.
Summer is the perfect time for kids to dive into the Bible as well as learn life long practice of daily time in God’s Word. The Kids’ Quest Study Bible makes it exciting for kids to dive in, with all their questions. It is a great resource for kids eager to learn more.
Zonervan has a variety of age-appropriate Bibles for kids of all ages with themes for girls and boys.
You can purchase NIrV, Kids’ Quest Study Bible on Amazon.com in hardcover($29).
Chalk on the Wild Side
Summer is the perfect time to engage your children in creative play and learning. Learn about all the bets art techniques for chalk art in Chalk on the Wild Side: More than 25 chalk art projects, recipes, and creative activities for adults and children to explore together.
This is sure to be a hit this summer with kids of all ages. It goes beyond drawing stick figures on the sidewalk! Check out how to make your own Homemade Sidewalk Chalk, Exploding Stomp Chalk, Chalk Bombs, Color-Changing Sizzle Paint, and more. Do I have your attention?! Because I know this book will have EVERY child’s attention this summer! My kids are dying to try the recipes in this book, but first, I’m going to make them read it all – for summer reading. 🙂
Read it, follow the directions, and have creative fun!
You can purchase Chalk on the Wild Side on Amazon.com in paperback ($17 ) and kindle ($16).
Making Books with Kids: 25 Paper Projects
Don’t just read books this summer, make them! Making Books with Kids: 25 Paper Projects to Fold, Sew, Paste, Pop, and Draw is an excellent way to engage kids with reading, writing, art, and storytelling.
This book offers 25 kid-friendly projects to design, illustrate, and decorate their own books with different binding techniques for unique books.
Younger kids will enjoy working with a parent to create books while older kids may enjoy working on it solo. Either way, the projects give detailed directions on how to make each version of books as well as variations on how to make it your own. This book spreads the love of reading and books to kids of all ages.
You can purchase Making Books with Kids on Amazon.com in flexibound ($20 ) and kindle ($17).
Look at Us Now: A Creative Family Journal
Writing is just as important as reading this summer for kids. The Look at Us Now: A Creative Family Journal is a unique way to capture family moments this summer forever.
This journal engages families with activities and questions that will make everyone in the family reflect on memories like “our best day ever” and “the most exciting thing going on for us right now is…”. Not only will this journal captures memories to be recalled years from now but it will also give your family a unique bonding time together this summer – something that no price tag can match.
This is a fun journal to be filled out now and again next year as your family grows up and new memories are made.
You can purchase Look at Us Now: A Creative Family Journal on Amazon.com in stationary ($13 ).
100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes
Cool down in the heat of summer with a little snow! Check out 100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes: A Magical Menagerie of Kirigami Templates to Copy, Fold, and Cut–Includes 8 Preprinted Color Templates.
This crafting book will teach kids animal-themed papercutting designs that will intrigue kids and adults of all ages. There are templates for all ages and skill levels to snip fantastic snowflakes.
This book includes 100 preprinted templates to fold, cut, and create beautiful paper animal snowflakes. Make a copy so you can do the templates over and over again.
You can purchase 100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes: A Magical Menagerie of Kirigami Templates to Copy, Fold, and Cut–Includes 8 Preprinted Color Templates on Amazon.com in flexibound ($16 ).
Finger Knitting Fun
Summer is the perfect time to learn a new skill. Kids can read through Finger Knitting Fun: 28 Cute, Clever, and Creative Projects for Kids to discover all they can learn and make on their own.
This is a quick and simple way for kids to learn to knit without crafting tools! All that is required is yarn and your hands. Kids will be amazed at what they can create like fashionable necklaces, wristbands, cuffs, sash, bangles, headbands, beanies, and more as well as fun household items like garland, pillows, pom pom decor, and even garland for their playground or tree house.
Knitting goes beyond scarves! Get your child’s mind working as they read, follow directions, and get creative.
You can purchase Finger Knitting Fun: 28 Cute, Clever, and Creative Projects for Kids on Amazon.com in flexibound ($14 ).
Happy Summer Reading!
The key to getting your children to read this summer is to give them exciting books to read. I hope this guide helps you pick out a few good books for your grade school – middle school age children. Oh, and if your child wants to read his book from a tree, in the pool, or while swinging, let them!