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Kid-picked books for your summer reading list

Posted on July 15, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Rachel Edmondson

We all know how important it is for kids to keep reading throughout the summer, but sometimes it can be hard to convince kids to pick up a book. I’ve found that kids are more motivated to read a book when it’s recommended to them by a friend. Think of it as positive peer pressure!

So if you are looking for a book for your kid, and they need a little encouragement, I have gone straight to the readers to find out what books they think other kids should be reading this summer. All of the readers who picked books are family friends, some live nearby and some live in other areas of the country.

(Just a quick note, I promise I did not prompt Parker to recommend The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes. I was excited when he emailed me his recommendation because Peter Brown is virtually coming to the library this summer! You can sign up for one of his two virtual events on August 6 on our calendar.)

And now, in their own words, here are book recommendations for kids written by kids.

What Should Danny Do? by Ganit Levy

Recommended by Ethan, age 4

In this book, you get to pick what Danny does in his day. Some choices are good and some are bad. Sometimes I like to pick all the good ones and sometimes I pick all the bad ones. There’s also a book called What Should Darla Do?

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Recommended by Ben, age 7

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist is one of my favorite books because it is so exciting to lose teeth! If you have a loose tooth, I think this book is a good one to read. I think kids will say, “I love this one!”

Daisy Dreamer and the Totally True Imaginary Friend, by Holly Anna

Recommended by Anna, age 7

It is about a girl named Daisy who has an imaginary friend named Posy who lives in a different world and takes Daisy to his world and has adventures with Daisy, and Daisy meets new friends with Posy.

Emerson and Princess Peep, by Valerie Tripp

Recommended by Esmé, age 8

This is a fun book about how the Wellie Wishers are raising chickens. Emerson learns that taking care of her chick is harder than she thought! I like it because Emerson is really funny and she’s a really good friend. I would want to be friends with her.

The Kingdom of Wrenly series, by Jordan Quinn

Recommended by Zoe, age 8

This is a series about a prince who has a best friend who is a peasant but wants to be a knight. In every book, they go on an adventure somewhere in the kingdom, meet new fantasy creatures, and help someone.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, by Andrew Peterson

Recommended by Elliette, age 9

Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby are siblings who are living an “ordinary” life, if you consider ordinary as living in a town guarded by the fearsome Fangs of Dang, running for your life from the dreaded Toothy Cows of Skree, or exploring the haunted Anklejelly Manor that is said to hold the hungry ghost of Brimney Stupe. They end up discovering a family secret that could help rescue the people of their land from the evil Gnag the Nameless, but you have to read the other books in the series to find out what happens next. This is my all-time favorite book because it’s full of adventure, danger, and daring escapes. It’s also really funny.

The Hardy Boys series, by Franklin W. Dixon

Recommended by Marcos, age 9

The Hardy Boys series is an exciting collection of stories about two detectives—Frank and Joe Hardy. They travel around the world getting stuck in adventures and work with chums like Chet, Phil, and Tony to capture the criminals.

Brian’s Winter, by Gary Paulsen

Recommended by Will, age 10

Brian’s Winter is a very good book. This book, and the whole series actually, is inspiring and full of challenge, victory, bravery, and surviving. Overall Brian’s Winter is a very wonderful book.

Keeper of the Lost Cities series, by Shannon Messenger

Recommended by Lydia, age 10

This series is the closest thing to Harry Potter that does not feel like a knock off. It is action packed, and when you start reading it, you can’t stop. It is a page turner of a book. You will love it!

Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan

Recommended by Selah, age 11

Esperanza Rising taught me what life was like back in Mexico and California in the year of 1924. It is sad at parts but a very inspirational and beautiful story. I read Esperanza Rising when I was nine years old and it was pretty easy to read. There were some more complicated words that I had to look up the meanings, and overall it was amazing!

The Green Ember, by S. D. Smith

Recommended by Eden, age 11

Heather and Picket Longtreader are rabbits that have a loving family and live simple lives. But one day a great trouble is cast upon their lives, and Heather and Picket must flee from their home to survive. During their escape, they meet their Uncle Wilfred and his adopted son, Smalls, who help them find safety at Cloud Mountain, where they find friends and hospitality, as well as dark secrets. This story has everything a good story should have: adventure, bravery, and suspense. I couldn’t put it down. This thrilling adventure continues in the next three books of the series.

The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielsen 

Recommended by Caleb, age 12

In order to keep the kingdom from falling into civil war, a nobleman recruits four orphans to impersonate the lost prince. The story focuses on one of the orphan boys, many layers of deceit, and the adventures of learning to become a prince.  

The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes, by Peter Brown

Recommended by, Parker, age 12

Every element in all your favorite books is in this series. This funny, goofy, touching, and adventurous series is amazing for all ages, from around age four to adults. I have recommended these books to many friends, and all of them have loved reading them. It is a very simple series, but one of the best I have ever read.

Rachel Edmondson

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