The arrival of summer means that school is out, and it’s safe to say that parents and children alike enjoy the break from the schedule. However, being on a break from mandatory school work doesn’t mean kids have to give up sharpening their minds with good and entertaining literature. Whether your child is a voracious reader or one who needs a little encouragement to pick up a book, this summer reading list has something to please everyone.
While a person of any age will enjoy the following stories, they were chosen with younger readers in mind. Note to parents: You know your child better than anyone, and while these books are generally acceptable for most children, parental discretion is always advised.
Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor and John Bunyan.
This book is an absolute must for all children, and this version has modified language from the original that makes it easier for younger readers to grasp, while keeping the adventure that older readers will enjoy. This is a fantastic book that can be read aloud to the whole family. The Christian Children’s Book Review explains Little Pilgrim’s Progress as an, “allegory, detailing the journey of Christian, and his friend Christiana, out of the City of Destruction and into the Celestial City. The book instills readers with a clear sense of hope and joy, as Christian and his friends remember they will be with the King in his beautiful city forever, no matter what trials they may face along the way.” Your whole family will be encouraged and uplifted with this delightful tale. Recommended for all ages.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
This classic is so good that it was made into a movie, but do yourself a service and read the book first. It is also a great selection to read aloud to the whole family, or to have an older sibling read to a younger. Common Sense Media says, “the four Pevensie siblings -- Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy -- discover that a wardrobe in an old country house is a portal to the magical land of Narnia. There, Edmund meets the evil White Witch and is lured into betraying his siblings, but the plot fails. Meanwhile, the lion Aslan, lord of Narnia, returns to the land, heralding the end of the Witch's long, joyless winter; the children, who continue to elude the Witch's grasp, meet with him. Before their adventure is done, they'll face fierce battle, devastating loss, and glorious triumph, all while learning lessons about faith, forgiveness, and more.” Note: some battle scenes may be scary for younger children. Recommended for ages 8+.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Readers of all ages will enjoy reading about the four March sisters living in post civil-war New England, and they will become immersed in the day-to-day struggles and victories of growing up in the nineteenth century. It is based on the author’s own life, and by the end of the book readers will feel as though they know the March family personally.
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green, Lotte Reiniger.
This is a collection of the Arthurian legends put together in a consecutive order so that young readers will be able to follow the story. Students will meet the brave knight Sir Lancelot, travel the kingdom of Camelot, and watch Arthur release the sword from the stone.
Of course there are many, many other wonderful stories to get lost in during the summer months. It can be hard to know which reviews to trust, so we recommend visiting Common Sense Media for a complete and honest breakdown of the content a book may contain.