We are fast approaching the summer break where children will be off school for around 6 weeks. Throughout the year, children have been learning lots, but the 6 week break sees a lot of children losing ground when they stop learning for a long period of time and teachers notice a drop in literacy skills once they return to school in September. Fortunately, learning doesn’t have to just stop, and you can do things at home that will not only help with education but will provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment – reading books, comics and other suitable reading material! Summer reading is a great way to continue with education during the holidays – it can help with language skills, spelling, learning empathy, learning more about the world, literacy skills and so much more, plus it also fills time, gives the kids something to do (no more “I’m bored” or “I have nothing to do”), entertains and can give lots of enjoyment. And it can be done anywhere. The hardest part is finding the right reading material!
The long summer holidays are an excellent opportunity to develop a love for reading, to help gain a life-long appreciation of books and some great stories. Sitting on the beach, in the back garden or just in your bedroom with a good book will let your imagination loose with no limits to how far you can take it. And it doesn’t even have to cost a fortune, a visit to your local library is free to join and free to borrow books and they have a wide-range of books, fiction and non-fiction, for everybody to browse and spend lots of time finding the perfect read (if you don’t know where your library is you can find it here). As a child, I lost a lot of time in my local library trying to choose books – I was allowed 3 at time, libraries these days offer up to 15 at a time … and lots offer no fines for late returns. Lots of local libraries are also involved with the Summer Reading Challenge which is a great way for children to read and earn digital rewards.
Take time to read with your children, reading to them or with them helps and there are lots of literacy games to play (you can find lots of activities on wordsforlife.org.uk).
Keeping reading skills active doesn’t mean having to just having to read a book, it can be comics, newspapers, reading recipes whilst helping their grown-ups in the kitchen, reading game instructions, writing postcards whilst away on holiday etc., there are lots of ways to encourage reading.
I have read some excellent books this year that would make excellent exciting summer reading for children this year. You can see some of the titles I would personally recommend below:
For Younger Readers (Picture Books)
Don’t Fart in the Pool by Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence
Don’t Fart in the Pool is a simple, funny and entertaining book (if not somewhat gross) that children will love. Whilst this book isn’t on the most pleasant of subjects, it is a subject that I guarantee most children (and many adult readers) will have a good belly-chuckle over. An excellent way of getting children to pick up and read a book. It even does a great job of building up the tension before it EXPLODES into action. To read my review, click here.
Where Has All The Cake Gone? by Andrew Sanders
A hilarious story that children will laugh out loud when reading it. Albert has such a fantastical vivid imagination that you really do have to stop and think if there really are criminally-minded penguins roaming about kidnapping children, taking their abductees on international travel and attacking other animals before returning the child home and eating the family cake even when told not to. As tall tales go, Albert’s must be one of the biggest, but could it actually be true? To read my review, click here.
Princesses Break Free by Timothy Knapman
Princesses Break Free is a humorous adventure story with lots of energy, teaching young readers that girls don’t have to rely on others for help – they are perfectly capable themselves. An inspirational book that encourages motivation, self-awareness and not to let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because of gender of differences. To read my review, click here.
For Junior / Middle Grade Readers
The Emba Oak series by Jenny Moore
All the best stories and adventures start with a knock at the door…
…or the thwump of a dragon’s tail at the entrance to her cave, in the case of Emba Oak. But then nothing about Emba’s story is normal, from the scales on her arms and legs to the shocking discovery that she hatched out of a dragon’s egg. To read my reviews of these books, click here.
The Nile Adventures series by Saviour Pirotta
The Nile Adventures is an historical children’s adventure series that is set in Ancient Egypt. It follows brothers Renni and Mahu and their friends on their adventures through ancient pyramids and magic. To read my reviews of these books, click here.
The Wolf Song Series by Saviour Pirotta
Set in the Neolithic times, The Wolfsong Series follows the character of Wolf and his dog, Shadow, as they journey from their home in Skara Brae to the distant shores of Malta, meeting many interesting characters along the way. To read my reviews of these books, click here.
The Jesper Jinx series by Marko Kitti
Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname ‘Jinx’. To read my reviews of these books, click here.
Drumendus by Andrew Ashwin
Blast off to the planet Drumendus with twelve-year-old Ella Crinkle and her best friend Freddie, on a homemade spaceship invented by brilliant and eccentric Aunt Belinda, the most famous astronaut in history. Will Ella be able to face her fears and uncover the truth about her family’s past? What other secrets will she uncover on this unexpected, musical adventure to the extraordinary purple planet? To read my review of Drumendus: Mission to the Drum Planet, click here.
For Teenagers / Young Adults
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which follows sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman as he journeys from a sleepy Florida suburb to a remote island off the coast of Wales. There he stumbles upon the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s orphanage and discovers the shocking fate of the children who lived there long ago–and may live there still. To read my reviews of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series (I haven’t read the entire series yet), click here.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone – an army of boys welcomes him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. But following the arrival of a girl with a message, they must find a way out – or die. To read my reviews of The Maze Runner series, click here.
Witches Protection Program by Michael Okon
Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization.
The Witches Protection Program.
His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witches…and believe in himself.
Filled with adventure and suspense, Michael Okon creates a rousing, tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern-day New York City.
To read my review of The Witches Protection Program, click here.
The Island by C. L. Taylor
Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…
It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island. But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare. Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.
Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret. Who will make it off the island alive?
To read my review of The Island, click here.
Whatever you are doing this summer, try to help the children keep up with their reading, whether that is with books, comics, writing postcards etc. it will entertain them during the holidays, improve their literacy skills and benefit them when they go back to school and forever more.
On What’s Good to Read you can find my reviews of children’s books and books for teenagers / young adults, other than the ones mentioned above, including titles such as Don’t Fart in the Pool, The Adventures of Cargo the Army Truck, Monsterland, Being a Witch, and Other Things I Didn’t Ask For and lots more … do take a look.
If you have any recommendations for some good summer reading for children, please do leave a comment below.