Summer 2020 Reading List: Children’s Books
Summer 2020 Reading List: Children’s Books
From picture books to middle-grade chapter books, roughly ages 2-8
We’ve been reading a lot of the same books over and over these last couple of months. So I was really excited to start thinking about what books I would add to a summer reading list, to freshen up our reading routine. With more libraries opening up with limited services, curbside hold pick ups, and even some libraries offering deliveries, I am looking forward to checking out more and more books! One of the places I go when I am seeking out new books to read is the Black Children’s Books and Author’s webpage. One of the things I love about this site is that each month it lists new releases that will be coming out that month. Some of the books in the list came from that site, and some of them are just books I have heard about recently that I can’t wait to check out!
My “to be read list” is a mile long, and I am constantly adding more books to it than I can get through, but there’s just such great stuff out there, and more coming out all the time!
Here’s what I am starting with for my “to be read list, for kids” I am sure I will be adding to this as we roll through summer.
From the author of the Bad Seed, and the Good Egg (both books my kids love), is a clever story with a helpful message. With the kids home, and bored, and spending A LOT of time together, there tends to also be more fighting and blaming than usual. It’s Not My Fault uses humor to teach accepting responsibility. And surely, my kids are going to be more apt to listen to this message from a silly, fun book, than me. I can not get this book in my hands (and my kids’ ears) fast enough!
We are a basketball loving family. Our team might be the Portland Trail Blazers, but I am rooting for Lebron James and his I Promise school and book! Bright illustrations, rhyming text, and inspiring goals for kids to learn about how the promises they make can have a great impact on their future, and the future of their community.
A middle grade chapter book, and a modern take on the Magic School Bus. Science, facts, adventure, friendship, feelings, acceptance, riddles, courage, jealousy, STEM. These chapter books roll together real life issues for kids, fun engaging adventure, and learning about science. AND that is not all, each chapter book also includes two science activities to do at home! There are a lot of great books on this list, but I think I am most excited about this one.
I am also really excited about this book! A graphic novel about two brothers who have spent most of their lives in a refugee camp in Kenya. Omar gets the opportunity to go to school — but going to school would mean leaving his nonverbal brother, the only family member he has left, every day. This book gives a glimpse into the everyday life of kids living in a refugee camp, the bond of brothers and family, humor and hope — all presented in an interesting, accessible graphic novel.
Award Winning author, Rene Watson, brings this fun middle grade chapter book series that has the makings of a modern day, diverse Ramona The Brave. We recently read Ramona and Pest, and Henry and Ribsey. My seven-year-old loved reading these stories, and I loved these stories as a kid. But, I am desperate for a book that contains silliness and humor, day to day adventures, strong female characters, and that ALSO is more relatable to current day with more diversity. I can’t wait to get started on this series!
Books that come with bonus material are a quarantine parent’s dream! And, this book checks that box. Coloring pages, word searches, animal facts, and art lessons with the illustrator all accompany this story that cleverly reveals everyone needs a friend! Written and illustrated by a debut father-daughter team.
I love children’s books that introduce new food items and give us a chance to expand our minds and our palates! This book has simple sentences that my seven-year-old will easily be able to read to his younger brother. It’s a story with humor, determination, family, and of course, FOOD!
When you can’t visit the ocean, this book might provide the next best thing. Written in short descriptive sentences, “my ocean is…” Once again, I love that this is a book that my kids can read independently together. This book can be used to talk about descriptive language, and provide examples for how to improve our own stories, journal entries, and quarantine/summer school work! Oh and there is also My Forest is Green!
Talk about a book that will keep your kids entertained for a while! Riddling through the pages, cracking clues, seek and find objects, and mazes, all the while referencing the classic Lewis Carroll tale.
Bob Ross and Peapod the Squirrel Robb Pearlman, illustrations by Bob Ross and Jason Kayser
We could all benefit from choosing to embrace “happy little accidents!” My son loves to draw and create, but he often gets down on himself when he can’t produce the image he has in his head, or he makes mistakes. What better teacher than Bob Ross to assure him that “accidents” in creativity don’t need to be a problem, but can be part of the masterpiece. I am hoping this book can provide a fun introduction to Bob Ross, and I can transition them to using their screen time to watch the soothing presence of Bob Ross. I think we could all use more of that in our life right now!
Rachel Wickstrom coordinates marketing at Hidden Shelf Publishing house. She’s an avid reader, master party-planner, craft enthusiast, a mom to two young boys with wildly long hair, and is married to a hospital chaplain. As an Oregon native, Rachel’s childhood memories are scented with juniper berries and the crisp mountain air of Central Oregon. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho where her days are scented with lukewarm coffee, and spilled snacks.
Summer Reading List 2023
A book to read on a long flight. A book to read while lying in the hammock. A book to read while relaxing on the beach. A book to read when you wish you were relaxing on the beach. A guilt-free option for entertaining your children. A new summer read for your book club. A book to complete your summer reading bingo sheet or the summer reading challenge at your library.
Whatever it is you are looking for we listed a few suggestions to get you started.
The Legend Keepers Series has won three awards due to its uniquely crafted narrative and important message– a blend of fantasy and fiction promoting an environmental message!
“I blended what we know about animals from research, and what we would like to know about animals but don’t — the stuff we imagine and wish we knew,” he said. “As a novelist, I have this freedom that I don’t have as a scientist writing nonfiction.”
Science has the wonderful capacity to open young minds to possibilities. It prompts them to ask questions about the world they live in, especially the “how” and “why” questions.
I also believe that literature can enhance classroom science education. Both nonfiction and fiction—including eco-fiction—convey engaging and evocative examples of science in action. Such storytelling helps both young and old to see what’s possible. Stories inspire us to imagine what could be. We need to be able to imagine, to dream of the future we want. Only then can we seek and achieve it. This is our shared responsibility to future generations, and to planet Earth.