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Moms, Dads. This Summer Your Kids Could Fall Two Years Behind in School.



   Click for ReadKiddoRead's ultimate summer reading list.
GREAT ADVANCED READS (for tweens and teens, 11-up)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

All of Grandpa Portman's stories were true, Jacob finds, as he travels to a small island off of Wales to discover the abandoned ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the children were not just peculiar. They were downright dangerous—and perhaps even still alive.

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus series) by Rick Riordan

Three teens – Jason, his girlfriend Piper, and his best friend Leo – in a fantastic and fast-paced sequence of events, discover that they are demigods.  Now, they must learn how to use their unique talents and extraordinary powers to accomplish a mighty mission: save Hera before evil forces destroy Olympus.

Matched by Ally Condie

In Cassia's world everything is perfect; The Society provides her with everything, even a perfect Match. At the Matching Ceremony, Ky's face flickers on the screen for an instant, but it is an error and his face is quickly replaced with Xander's. The mistake has planted a seed of doubt for Cassia–a seed that grows as she learns more.

Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard series) by James Patterson

Fifteen-year-old Wisteria Allgood and her older brother, Whitney, are about to be hanged for the crime of having magical powers. In alternating voices, the two cheeky and resourceful sibs look back on their growing resistance to the New Order.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is sentenced to hot, desolate Camp Green Lake in Texas, a detention center for bad boys. Meanwhile, trouble abounds with various plots involving the famous 19th century outlaw Kissing Kate Barlow, poisonous yellow-spotted lizards, the tragic story of Sam the onion man, and a frantic search for buried treasure.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach, Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Marvin, a beetle spies an open bottle of ink on James's desk, dips his two front legs in, and begins drawing a meticulous nightscape for James. James takes credit for the remarkable drawing, which his dad thinks is as detailed as a painting by Albrecht Dürer, the German Renaissance artist.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

In this graphic novel, Anya's Ghost is a girl named Emily Riley, murdered ninety years before. At first Emily is the BFF Anya's longed for, but slowly, suspensefully, Anya's sinister purpose is revealed.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Eleven-year-old Delphine Gaither shepherds her two younger sisters from New York to visit their mother, Cecile, in Oakland, during the tumultuous Civil Rights Era. A real mother would cook them dinner; Cecile sends them to get take-out at Ming's, tells them they are not allowed in her kitchen, and sends them to The People's Center, run by the Black Panthers, for breakfast every day.

When You Reach Me By Rebecca Stead

Sixth grader Miranda reveals the story of her past year in her Manhattan neighborhood and school to an unidentified and mysterious someone who has sent her notes that have correctly predicted some of those events.

To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee

When Atticus Finch courageously takes on the defense of Tom Robinson, a young black man, it becomes clear that Tom cannot get a fair trial in spite of clear evidence of his innocence. Atticus' seven-year-old daughter Scout's idyllic story gives way to ugly realities in the racially divided town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the late 1930's.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Miles leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, Alabama, where he meets his roommate, Chip, and Chip's best friend Alaska, who every guy at school is in love with. The chapters are hinged on Alaska's tragic suicide.

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon By Catherine Thimmesh

In a large-format scrapbook of dramatic black and white and color photographs and white text set against a glossy black background, we read the gripping story firsthand from the (mostly) men who reveal the many challenges and problems they faced getting ready for the Apollo 11 flight and in the mission itself.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

Readers with a taste for the gross and grotesque will find How They Croaked, a consistently disgusting, gleefully ghoulish chronicle of the gruesome deaths of nineteen famous people, irresistible.

 

EXTRA CREDIT


The Book Thief by Markus Zusack

Liesel's experiences in Germany with World War II have left deep emotional scars. Her foster father teaches her to read, which becomes her means of escape. The question that no one seems to be able to answer, though, is how can humans be so beautiful and glorious… and so ugly and destructive?

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Three men groom the unlikely racehorse Seabiscuit towards victory in this story about the modernization of the United States in the late 1930′s.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This fantastical yet true story of ex-Olympic runner during World War II follows Louis Zamperini's quest for survival after crashing into the Pacific Ocean.

 

FAVORITE PAGETURNERS (for kids 8-12)

[Find reviews of these books and more in the Pageturners section of ReadKiddoRead.com]

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

"I used my name," the author writes in this wildly entertaining blend of biography and invention. No doubt readers will wonder what else is fact and what is fiction in this story about a transformative summer in 12-year-old Jackie Gantos's life.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald

Charlie Joe shares the tactics that have gotten him all the way to Middle School without EVER reading a whole book. Reluctant readers ready to learn his secrets will find instead that they have just finished (and enjoyed!) an entire book.

Big Nate in a Class by Himself (Big Nate series) by Lincoln Peirce

Sixth-grader Nate Wright's fortune cookie reads: "Today you will surpass all others," but the only thing he seems to be excelling at is getting detention.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger 

Tommy begins the first entry in his case file with this: "The big question: Is Origami Yoda real?… Does he really know things? Can he see the future?… Or is he just a hoax that fooled a whole bunch of us at McQuarrie Middle School?"

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School series) by James Patterson

Middle School doesn't begin well for Rafe Khatchadorian. So it's totally understandable when his best friend, Leonardo, suggests that Rafe set out to break every rule in the book—and he does just that.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kinney

Writing and drawing his stick-figure pictures in his new journal helps Greg deal with middle school, overbearing parents, and two brothers.

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

It's 1936, and with the Great Depression in full swing, times are tough, especially for Bud, a homeless African American child who fled his foster home in search of the legendary Herman Calloway. His resilient spirit and a knack for organizing his life into "Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things to Have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself" keep him moving.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret By Brian Selznick

This 500+ page story about an orphan trying to survive alone in a Paris train station is a magical combination of words and pictures.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Jeffrey Magee, orphaned at three years old, runs away from his aunt and uncle's house once he hits eleven. And literally runs—he runs for days and finally slows down when he gets to the town of Two Mills, Pennsylvania, a town split down the middle with whites living on one end and blacks on the other. Like the exploits of Paul Bunyan, tales of Maniac's legendary feats spread through both sides of town, and through his example, began to heal the rift between two races.

Wonder By R.J. Palacio

August Pullman, now 10, was born with a deformed face. Now his parents have decided that it's time for Auggie to meet the wider world, enrolling him in school. His father worries that sending his gentle son to school is like leading a lamb to slaughter.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series) by Christopher Paolini

Eragon comes across a mysterious polished blue stone, which soon hatches–and Eragon finds himself in charge of training a baby dragon he names Saphira. King Galbatorix, the feared and hated ruler of all Alagaësia, murders Eragon's uncle, and Eragon and Saphira flee, vowing vengeance.

Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles series) by Suzanne Collins 

"Be small human, be?" "All right, okay, I'm talking to a giant cockroach," Gregor tells himself, stunned. Gregor has landed far below Manhattan in the Underland, a place where people ride on giant bats, monstrous rats threaten their lives, and there's no way home.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone By J.K. Rowling

For ten miserable years, Harry has been raised by his dreadful aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. On Harry's tenth birthday, a giant named Hagrid bursts through the Dursley's door and tells him the truth: Harry's parents were great wizards, killed by an evil wizard named Voldemort. And now Harry's being summoned to attend the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as he has inherited his parents' marvelous powers.

The Westing Game By Ellen Raskin

Sixteen confused people with little in common arrive at Sunset Towers, a sleek apartment building overlooking Lake Michigan, to hear the will of Sam Westing, a wealthy paper magnate. And one of them killed Sam Westing.

A Wrinkle in Time By Madeline L'engle

Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their friend Calvin, travel through space by a wrinkle in time to find their lost scientist father.

Guinness: World Records 2012 by Guinness World Records

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2013 by National Geographic Kids

Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Special Edition 2012 By Ripley's Inc.

 

TERRIFIC TRANSITIONAL BOOKS (for ages 6-9)

[Find reviews of these books and more in the Transitional Reads section of ReadKiddoRead.com]

Pirate vs. Pirate: The Terrific Tale of a Big, Blustery Maritime Match by Mary Quattlebaum

Two pirate captains set sail, each one determined to prove that s/he is the best in the world. Riding the wave of pop-culture, these pirate characters are wholly original and irresistible.

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath (Bad Kitty series) by Nick Bruel

This companion book to picture books Bad Kitty and Poor Puppy is a zany little graphic novel. Bad Kitty needs a bath? Uh, oh. Don't you know CATS HATE BATHS?

Amelia Bedelia By Peggy Parish; illustrated by Fritz Siebel

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers can't be there for Amelia Bedelia's first day as their housekeeper, but leave her with a long list of things to do. She takes each task literally, from drawing the drapes on a sketchpad, to putting the lights out… out in the yard.

Grin and Bear It by Leo Landry

All Bear wants is to be a stand-up comedian.  But the poor guy's got stage-fright.  The solution to Bear's dilemma will please newly-independent readers almost as much as his jokes will.

The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick

Ten-year-old Victor is in awe when by chance he comes face to face with the famous escape artist Harry Houdini. He is given a box after Houdini's death, but Victor assumes the box is not Houdini's, and vows never to think about him again—until he learns the truth.

Scooter in the Outside by Anne Bowen, illustrated by Abby Carter

 One morning, Lucy forgets to close the door as she leaves for school, so Scooter decides to make his own foray into THE OUTSIDE.

The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron

 Julian is a great story-teller, but also great at telling fibs. He and his friend Huey's curiosity often gets them into trouble.

The Talented Clementine (Clementine series) by Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Marla Frazee

 Unlike her fourth grade friend Margaret, who has a whole alphabet of talents, Clementine can't think of anything she could do for the upcoming Talent-Palooza.

Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost

 A little, green-clad Magic Cartooning Elf gives an education in cartooning to a young princess who thinks she can't draw well enough to make an awesome comic.

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman

 In the 1930′s, two high school students, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, came up with the idea for the comic strip superhero we still celebrate today.

 

THE BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOKS (preschoolers-age 7)

[Find reviews of these books and more in the Illustrated Reads section of ReadKiddoRead.com]

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

The shark sneers, "I'M GOING TO CHOO-CHOO YOU UP AND SPIT YOU OUT," and the unintimidated train responds, "HA! I'M GOING TO FIN-ISH YOU, MACKEREL-BREATH." Who will win?

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

This frantic, insanely funny send-up of fairy tales presents nine little comic masterpieces, with a cast that includes "The Princess and the Bowling Ball," "The Other Frog Prince," "Little Red Running Shorts," and the malodorous title character, with a head made from a thick wheel of cheese, with bacon for a mouth and olives for eyes.   

Blackout by John Rocco

In this plugged-in world we live in, can you imagine the panic one family feels when the lights go out in the city one hot summer night?

Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Bear is scared to jump down from a tall chair until Dog coaches him to slide down his long back; Dog wants bear to play with him, but Bear is busy reading a book about a dog and a stuffed bear; and Dog decides to change his boring name to something spiffier, like Spot.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

"Hey, can I drive the bus," the gimlet-eyed blue pigeon asks them straight out. "NO!" your children will yell. The persistent Pigeon tries every angle possible, from whining to temper spells.

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Annabelle's colorful yarn seems to be never-ending; she knits and knits and knits until her entire town and all the people in it are adorned with her colorful creations, and yet she still has extra yarn.

No, David! by David Shannon

"Be quiet!," "That's enough, David!," and "Go to your room!" are just some of the admonitions that David's mom yells at him while the round-headed dynamo barrels around the house making mischief. In spite of his unruly ways, his mother assures him, "Yes, David, I love you."

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Can a hat peddler outwit a band of mischievous, thieving monkeys?

Doctor De Soto by William Steig

Doctor De Soto is a dentist, and he is a mouse. There is one rule in his office: he will treat any patient unless they are a dangerous animal. But how can he turn away this fox with a tooth infection, who is in so much pain?

 
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

Mayzie the bird convinces Horton the elephant to sit on her egg so she can take a short break. Little does Horton know, Mayzie has moved to Palm Beach.