Ah, summer reading. Warmer days have begun and now is a good time to choose a few books to read aloud during the summer months. There are few things more pleasant than cracking open a book on a lovely, sunny day. Take a peek at these absolutely perfect summer read alouds.
My kids and I have picked out a stack of books to read aloud when we are lounging outdoors at the park or community garden. If you are looking for some books to supplement your school’s summer reading list I hope this list provides you with a bit of inspiration.
Summer Chapter Books to Read Aloud:
I chose these books for a variety of reasons. They don’t all have specific summer themes, but they all called out to me about the carefree adventures and magical inspiration that summer always promises. If you have young kids, take a look at my list of 50 chapter books to read aloud to preschoolers for further suggestions. Many of these books are also available as ebooks so you don’t have to tote around a stack of books in your beach bag. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)
McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm: Three Tall Tales by Sid Fleischman. Funny books make perfect summer read alouds! These humorous tales can be read as stand alone stories so they are perfect for kids who may not have the attention span for longer novels, or who don’t like the idea of pausing the action at the end of a chapter. These quite hilarious tales feature McBroom and his 11 children, bamboozles, tricksters and lots of wit and wisdom.
Poppy by Avi. If you want to stock your bag easily with great summer read alouds, pick a quality series! We loved Avi’s very popular Tales from Dimwood Forest series. Our first read was Ragweed, which was huge hit with the boys, (see it on my list of books to read to 4-6 year olds) especially with my then-4 year old who started constantly interrupting conversations throughout the day to tell me “Silversides [the cat] needs to go to jail!” You will be enchanted by the whole series
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (series). This is one of my favorite summer-themed books of all time. Birdsall’s series about the Penderwick girls manages to be both old-fashioned and contemporary at the same time. In the first book, the Penderwick girls and their father spend the summer in a cottage exploring the grounds of a sprawling mansion.
Matilda by Roald Dahl. Sometimes the parent just has to pick the summer read alouds she wants to! This one is on the list for selfish reasons. It’s an excellent book about a girl who loves books, and I just want to read it to my kids!
MORE BOOKS: 100 funny chapter books for kids
The Rescuers by Margery Sharp. Do you know, I’ve actually never seen the Disney movie version? The book was out of print for many years, but was re-issued a few years ago. Adventure, tiny animals, a Norwegian poet in danger, what more could you need in a summer book? After all, summer read alouds should be a mix of new favorites as well as classic books.
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. A true classic that can be enjoyed lazily while lying under a tree on the cool grass on a hot day. No introduction necessary!
MORE BOOKS: Charlotte’s Web was a big hit with my first grader. See more engaging first grade read aloud chapter books.
Bed-Knob and Broomstick by Mary Norton. Full confession: I adored this movie when I was a kid and it wasn’t until many years after seeing the film that I read the book. It has lots of adventure and high-flying fantasy, perfect for a summer escape. Norton wrote The Borrowers, which is also under consideration for our summer reading list.
Half Magic by Edward Eager. This is the perfect choice for kids who are begging you to read Harry Potter, but aren’t quite ready for it. I have more books like that right here: Books for kids not ready for Harry Potter. One magical summer four siblings find a coin that grants half a wish, creating irresistible adventures. This is one of my must-read books for every child and I can’t wait to read it again!
MORE BOOKS: Magic Early Chapter Books (for kids ages 5-9)
Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. Yes, I am ashamed to say I have not read this classic aloud, either! It was one of my all time favorite books as a kid and I’m hoping my 8 year old will pick up the sequels to read independently. UPDATE: My son adored Betsy-Tacy! Find more still-wonderful 1940s chapter books.
Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson. What can I say, every summer should include a little Finnish whimsy. I dare anyone not to love the enchanting little creatures. In Winter, you can also visit Moominland.
Do you have any plans for summer read alouds with your kids?
More summer reading book lists for reading aloud:
- Summer Reading Picture Books
- (More) read aloud chapter books for summer
- 100 funny chapter books for kids