Looking for a few great books to add to your child’s summer reading list? Read on for 50 fantastic ideas (broken down by grade level) that will encourage them to read all season long!

Looking for a few great books to add to your child's summer reading list? Read on for 50 fantastic ideas (broken down by grade level) that will encourage them to read all season long!

A summer reading list for elementary school kids is a little different than those for other ages because this age group is pretty much all over the place when it comes to reading skills. So, instead of doing genre sections, I am breaking it up into grade levels. Check out my top picks for each grade!

Summer Reading List for Elementary School Kids

As you peruse this summer reading list, keep this in mind: your child’s reading level may not always be the same as their grade. For example, some kids in 1st grade can read at a 3rd grade level, while some in 4th grade may only be comfortable reading at a 3rd grade level.

Let your kids choose books that appeal to them, even if it’s not an exact fit for their age and grade. Summer reading should be fun, not feel like a chore. Kids have books thrust upon them that don’t interest them all school-year long. Let summer be about choice.

Also, I cut this off at 4th grade because to me, middle school starts in 5th grade. If you have a child ages 10-14ish, check out my summer reading list for middle grade kids.

One last thing: this post uses affiliate links for the books. If you make a purchase through these links, I get a tiny commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks!

Kindergarten Summer Reading List

  1. High Fiveir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=7bc6c25c94db96b393c80d7339c18f68& cb=1558282021807 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
  2. You’re Missing It!ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=e6a6b10dce380d5a9f6d29b1f5c42fb6& cb=1558282028428 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Brady Smith and Tiffani Thiessen
  3. Becauseir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=7a4a3261dc3a08b22f7c051580c6f49c& cb=1558282048468 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Mo Willems
  4. Circleir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=e3de2a4e2fd973cd3a84beb76ba3df2c& cb=1558282055613 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
  5. When You Are Braveir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=7061fce65fb8e674eab3e53121c39992& cb=1558282129380 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Pat Zietlow Miller
  6. When Charley Met Emmair?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=9a21172814e9e9c5f7abf13f1fe5a7ba& cb=1558282217607 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Amy Webb and Merrilee Liddiard
  7. The Girl Who Loves Unicornsir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=5a7ca222cddcd67264f2e53e09acdbb5& cb=1558282265076 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Danielle Depratt Koelbl and Taylor Koelbl
  8. Tomorrow Most Likelyir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4405b5b1240ec5cef7963adc0c165031& cb=1558282325603 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Dave Eggers
  9. The Little Green Girlir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=c7e0babbc26bc0704d084e8f65451d9a& cb=1558282448997 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Lisa Anchin
  10. Captain Marvel: What Makes a Heroir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=71272d59138de6222cae9d4f87ffad58& cb=1558878696572 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Pamela Bobowicz

TOP PICK: When Charley Met Emma

When Charley Met Emma: Top Pick from the Kindergarten Summer Reading List for Kidsir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=kia&linkId=4962637ce461fb16680e90cff3d2a80b& cb=1558879154593 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary Schoolir?t=prettyopinion 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=1506448720 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School

While all of the above are great reads for kids just going into Kindergarten, When Charley Met Emma gets my vote for the top pick. Take a look at the blurb, it really says it all:

When Charley goes to the playground and sees Emma, a girl with limb differences who gets around in a wheelchair, he doesn’t know how to react at first. But after he and Emma start talking, he learns that different isn’t bad, sad, or strange–different is just different, and different is great!

This delightful book will help kids think about disability, kindness, and how to behave when they meet someone who is different from them.

1st Grade Book List

  1. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogersir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=057eaccb68ae451a6c189186b5db9583& cb=1558879642258 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Fred Rogers and Luke Flowers
  2. Eye of the Earthquake Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #13)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=5445354f1d6daa84f66f6e54742fbcad& cb=1558879672625 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Tracey West and Daniel Griffo
  3. My Name is Yoonir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=3968d37bafcca40b6014aa4d43a0b16a& cb=1558879924328 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Helen Recorvits
  4. I Will Be Fierceir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a123ecfc5d92050cc92c4a991127064a& cb=1558880210881 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Bea Birdsong and Nidhi Chanani
  5. Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Cloudsir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=c2a72a88711aa643b527d678f2b1dcad& cb=1558881024866 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Abby Hanlon
  6. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandinir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=7c355593b31b9587607c830287e93dd9& cb=1558881146117 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School (Amazing Scientists) by Julia Finley Mosca
  7. Wild Things (Lonely Planet Kids)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4b3b03d805a73e9d6ca2625cfec211f5& cb=1558881189891 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Lonely Planet Kids
  8. Bat and the Waiting Gameir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a2464fbc3a7c92a41bac1d8735d9600c& cb=1558881266137 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Elana K. Arnold
  9. Harrison Dwight, Ballerina and Knightir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a39b3b854eba5359343954178f550ddb& cb=1558881360984 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Rachael MacFarlane and Spencer Laudiero
  10. Peter & Ernesto: The Lost Slothsir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=669b28b4f03f139b267b115c9e1b3f85& cb=1558881393469 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Graham Annable

Top Pick for 1st Grade: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School

You can never go wrong with a book by Mr. Rogers! Even though he’s gone, his lessons live on. Introduce a whole new generation to the songs and poems that we all grew up with!

For the first time ever, 75 beloved songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are collected in this charmingly illustrated treasury, sure to be cherished by generations of children as well as the millions of adults who grew up with Mister Rogers.

2nd Grade Summer Reading List

  1. Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants: The Questioneers Book #2ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=405bff20ea4923096a40667dd97a3cbb& cb=1558879918464 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Andrea Beaty
  2. Case Files (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=98cda2f47fe05e4aec0a873191c239bf& cb=1558881588764 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Meredith Rusu
  3. Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kidir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=6be9f85a1e357b4e0ad7305389475257& cb=1558881594735 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Marcus Emerson
  4. Nixie Makes Waves (Mermaids to the Rescue #1)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=011254aee456821cfda4705d791c16d6& cb=1558881869995 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Lisa Ann Scott
  5. If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moonir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=19ea6cda3dcc72fb057fb49c6ea9a223& cb=1558881921479 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Joyce Lapin
  6. The Cat, the Cash, the Leap, and the Listir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=43dee70ae0fcf481b100bce4efd450e8& cb=1558882070187 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Sue Campbell
  7. Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventionsir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d2697b49a24ba522e79cef93a718e0a5& cb=1558882144948 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Chris Barton
  8. Mystery Club (Mr. Wolf’s Class #2)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=ca46203fe16689f365b173c5c75fbec3& cb=1558882184141 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Aron Nels Steinke
  9. The Atlas of Monsters: Mythical Creatures from Around the Worldir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=1f93150a96a95f4315692b1f1fc1da0f& cb=1558882485133 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Sandra Lawrence
  10. Parker Bell and the Science of Friendshipir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=944567be7999c3e4e0c5ff788aef48d5& cb=1558884986188 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Cynthia Platt and Rea Zhai

Top Pick for 2nd Graders: Ada Twist & the Perilous Plants

I love the idea of a book that encourages kids (especially young girls) to think scientifically and explore the world around them. Although we’re getting better as a society at encouraging girls to delve into STEM concepts, it seems like more science-y books are still geared towards boys.

Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down.

As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?

3rd Grade Books

  1. Big Nate: Payback Timeir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=1588dac013c62716226a4ecf32a674a0& cb=1558892746024 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School! by Lincoln Peirce
  2. Marvel Studios Character Encyclopediair?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=02f45a4559c78df8654d0a1fcd13d4cb& cb=1558892760951 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Adam Bray
  3. Harriet’s Monster Diary: Awfully Anxious (But I Squish It, Big Time)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4f8d091f2fb09535aca717085e25f14a& cb=1558892769134 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Raun Melmed
  4. Just Jaime (Emmie & Friends)ir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=966aa7df92ba166de3e70add3daacf78& cb=1558892778270 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Terri Libenson
  5. Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Storyir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=aec3730a553f28123e8084e994dbe04b& cb=1558892788734 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Raina Telgemeier
  6. Endling #2: The Firstir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=24d1b5899710038d7576c6feb00fafd5& cb=1558892795046 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Katherine Applegate
  7. Toby’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Puppy Taleir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=9aad702a4a46b07050724f54785d8ee1& cb=1558892986045 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School (A Dog’s Purpose Puppy Tales) by W. Bruce Cameron
  8. 5 Worlds Book 3: The Red Mazeir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=0eb78d7ad238594dc26bf8d708fd6d44& cb=1558892992317 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Mark Siegel
  9. Maybe a Mermaidir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=75f6cbc9786e5f9f991c433cbf93e448& cb=1558892998661 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Josephine Cameron
  10. Katt vs. Doggir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=e5b45be30f2daba01e6b3bf50a73039a& cb=1558892979951 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by James Patterson

Top Pick for 3rd Grade: Maybe a Mermaid

Maybe a Mermaid is a must-read for anyone who has ever been the new kid in town or felt like they didn’t really fit into the cookie cutter stereotype of what society says they should be! Or both!

Eleven-year-old Anthoni Gillis is not the kind of kid who believes in fairies, unicorns, or even the word “maybe.” She’s more of a comic-books girl. So when her mom brings her to Thunder Lake for a summer at the Showboat Resort, she doesn’t believe the local rumors about the Boulay Mermaid.

4th Grade Books

  1. The Lost Book of Adventure: from the notebooks of the Unknown Adventurerir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=ff83efe3bac2d28ff3e622c8ec431e15& cb=1558882001256 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Teddy Keen
  2. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journalir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=f3508d4aee6e20bc961294da05816f8f& cb=1558893090736 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Jeff Kinney
  3. Theodore Boone: The Accompliceir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=534eb65c2798a682593a9fc5be61fb30& cb=1558893184935 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by John Grisham
  4. Warriors: The Broken Code #1: Lost Starsir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d8c0d1ff0fcc20d7222918a826b8ce4d& cb=1558893192300 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Erin Hunter
  5. Last Kids on Earth Survival Guideir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=01d4ce27704f981aa4b69bcb1aee940c& cb=1558893226948 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Max Brallier
  6. Greystone Secrets #1: The Strangersir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4aad534a996c14ca8ec6a48a64875f6b& cb=1558893248764 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Margaret Peterson Haddix and Anne Lambelet
  7. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girlir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a61311b7cb2b004f48fbcfbc0a4c384d& cb=1558893294605 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Stacy McAnulty
  8. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactusir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=5f1dad858e50bf239796a95f5258cca0& cb=1558893361047 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Dusti Bowling
  9. Bob by Wendy Massir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=fede6e36c0aecda1bcacc823c391ccce& cb=1558893446469 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School
  10. York: The Clockwork Ghostir?source=bk&t=prettyopinion 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=cf2daf8ec5652db2e6d2a2b177c364b4& cb=1558893515964 50 Summer Reading Books for Kids in Elementary School by Laura Ruby

Top Pick for 4th Graders: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

Do you think it would be easier or harder to go through middle school as a genius who’s technically ready for college? Find out in Miscalculations of Lightning Girl!

Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn’t remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test–middle school!

Remember, the age and grade recommendations are just that: recommendations. They’re not set in stone, and many of these books are written for age ranges versus a specific grade. For example, some on the 3rd grade list cover ages 7-9 (so 2nd through 4th).

Since summer reading should be fun, stick with books in your child’s comfort zone rather than trying to give them an edge by only giving them more advanced books. It’ll backfire and you’ll likely end up with a kid that hates reading.

I think that about covers it! I hope your kids find a book that they just can’t put down somewhere on this list!

If you still need more ideas, check out the latest bestsellers on Amazon!

Bestseller No. 1
Room on the Broom
  • Puffin Books
  • Donaldson, Julia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 08/25/2003 (Publication Date) - Puffin Books (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Grumpy Monkey
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lang, Suzanne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 05/15/2018 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection (Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks)
  • Random House Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dr. Seuss (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 360 Pages - 09/22/2009 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 4
I Promise
  • Hardcover Book
  • James, LeBron (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 08/11/2020 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 5
The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes!
  • Carole P. Roman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 08/27/2019 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 6
Just Go to Bed (Little Critter) (Pictureback(R))
  • JUST GO TO BED
  • MERCER MAYER
  • CHILDREN'S BOOKS
  • Mayer, Mercer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages - 04/23/2001 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 7
Llama Llama Loves Camping
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages - 06/05/2018 (Publication Date) - Penguin Young Readers Licenses (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 8
If Animals Kissed Good Night
  • Paul, Ann Whitford (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 34 Pages - 06/03/2014 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 9
The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary
  • Hardcover Book
  • Pearlman, Robb (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 09/29/2020 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 10
How to Catch a Mermaid
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wallace, Adam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 07/17/2018 (Publication Date) - Sourcebooks Wonderland (Publisher)

What’s on your elementary school kids’ summer reading lists?

 

 

 

Last update on 2020-08-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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