Summer can be a great time for reading books. Choosing books that both capture our children’s interest and are at their reading level is imperative. There is so much to do in the summer and reading must be able to compete! To help out with this, I have put together a list of books that my tweens have been enjoying this summer. I am also including strategies that ensure our kids are reading should this prove to be challenging. Cheers to great summer reads for tweens that keep our 9 to 12-year-olds engaged!
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How to Ensure our Tweens Read over the Summer
To make sure reading remains a priority over the summer, we do a few things in our house. While I acknowledge that some kids would make reading a priority on their own, I also realize that many won’t. My kids are no different. Implementing strategies that make reading a preferred choice helps! Here are the strategies we implement:
– Take kids shopping specifically for new books at the end of the school year.
– Allow the kids to stay up longer as long as they are reading.
– Take books along for things like swimming lessons or other activities where there is waiting for someone or downtime. In addition to this, leave the electronics at home.
– Make book talk part of conversations.
– Make sure the adults also read often when the kids are reading. Reading time can also include adults reading to the children.
Favorite Books my Tweens have Read so far this Summer
For summer reading, my 9-year-old has loved the following:
Magic Animal Friends: She has read a few of these books and has loved each of them. If you have a child who is an animal lover, this is a perfect series! Specific books from the Magic Animal Friends series that my daughter read this summer include Lucy Longwhiskers Gets Lost and Bella Tabbypaw in Trouble.
Another book my 9-year-old thought she would check out is Diary of an Awesome, Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal. If you are familiar with Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then you likely already know Jeff Kinney’s writing style as well as the character, Rowley. You guessed it… This is now Rowley’s journal and my daughter loved this fresh, new perspective! I have to say that the font used in this book is nice and reader-friendly as well, which is a bonus!
My 11-year-old has been entertained by her summer reads:
My 11-year-old loves all things funny. Just before summer, she read Project Z: A Zombie Ate My Homework by Tommy Greenwald. She was asking for the follow-up to that book, but it hadn’t yet been released. She decided to try out some of Tommy Greenwald’s other books and has had zero regrets with her decision. As a result of trying out some of Greenwald’s other books, she now has a new favorite character, Charlie Joe Jackson! And why not? The series is funny with super short chapters and a character that even the most reluctant of readers can relate to!
For example, in Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading, the first tip he gives in his guide is to first make sure the chapters are short if you have to read a book. That way, when mom or dad tells you to read 3 chapters before bed, they only need to read 3 pages instead of 30, but can still say, “Hey, guess what? I read my 3 chapters.” There is even the odd illustration to compliment the 218-page novel. We had visitors with a 12-year-old son who needs a lot of convincing to pick up a book, but he even ended up sitting and reading it for a bit!
Another Tommy Greenwald book that my daughter picked up is Katie Friedman Gives up Texting! (And Lives to Tell About It). Katie is a friend of Charlie Joe Jackson’s so those familiar with his character will already be familiar with her as well. The lesson in this comical book is also significant: we need to disconnect to connect!
Demon Dentist by David Walliams is her current choice. This is a story about a boy who discovers that the new dentist is actually a witch aiming to steal all of the children’s teeth. As is typical for novels by David Walliams, there is humor throughout with an emotional ending that has a deeper meaning. The kids and I enjoy reading his books!
My 12-year-old has been absorbing her summer reads:
My soon to be 13-year-old has been reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. This is a fantasy/adventure series depicting the adventures between Greek gods and monsters. I have to be honest in that, as a teacher, I knew this was a very popular series for boys, but didn’t know what she would think of it. However, her friend recommended it to her and she has been devouring the series ever since! She is just finishing up book #4 as I write this. The series does go in order, so definitely start with the first book in the series, The Lightning Thief.
Need More Ideas?
If you are looking for more ideas for books that will keep your tweens engaged, you may wish to check out my posts entitled The Best Chapter Books for Reluctant Boy Readers and The Best Chapter Books for Reluctant Girl Readers. Another post to check out is Hilarious Chapter Books to Read to Your Children.
How About You?
I hope this list of summer reads for tweens based on what my own children have been reading helps provide ideas for your child’s next reading material. Regardless, I would love to know what your tweens have been reading and what is on their recommended list. Do you have any strategies that you use to ensure your child continues to read over the summer? Please let me know in the comments below!