Summer Reading Booklist for kids

The Rabbit Hole Children's Bookstore's first annual summer booklist makes it easy to find great books kids will enjoy during the long, lazy days of summer. This list can be a springboard for helping your kids choose books on topics that pique their curiosity — that's what really motivates children to want to read!

These summer reading booklists feature books so engaging that your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or student will delight in them over and over again.

Each book has been chosen based on age, reading level, topic, writing quality, illustrations, and overall excellence. Keep in mind that there’s a wide, wide range of reading ability at these ages, so don’t despair if your kids read easier (or harder) books. There’s no shortage of wonderful literature for kids out there.

In literature, a genre is a category of books -- mystery, biography, fantasy, animal fiction. By reading books from these different categories, kids will hear and learn a variety of words, writing styles and formats. And they may find a new favorite book or type of story that they love. Whether your child enjoys picture books or chapter books, a genre challenge is a way to help them branch out to new areas of literature that they may not have read yet!

So this summer, challenge your child to listen to or read at least one book from each of the different genres!

Here are some recommended picture books and chapter books for each of a few genre categories -- these are just a guide to get you started and help kids to recognize the different types of literature they enjoy reading.
[Note: The interest level (audience age) increases as you move down each list.]


Here are a few wonderful biographies for young children!

  • When I Was Young in the Mountains
  • Me . . . Jane
  • The Art Lesson
  • The Dinosaurs Of Waterhouse Hawkins
  • Picture Gandhi
  • The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos
  • Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea
  • The Art Lesson
  • 26 Fairmount Avenue series (adorable series that tells the story of DePaola's childhood in the 30s-40s)
  • Odd Boy Out
  • Neo Leo
  • Reaching for the Moon
  • The Boy Who Invented TV
  • The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn
  • Boy: Tales of Childhood
  • Kathleen Krull's biography series



Not so scary reads for kids -- be a sleuth this summer!

  • Miss Nelson Is Missing!
  • Who is Stealing the 12 Days of Christmas?
  • The Missing Mitten Mystery
  • Nate the Great
  • Cam Jansen: The Birthday Mystery
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • The Missing Manatee
  • Flush
  • The Boxcar Children Series
  • Foxy Foursome​ (by Subhadra Sengupta)
  • The Conch Bearer


Wordless Picture Books

Change the story each time you read it! Have the kids 'tell' the story as you move through the pages, with these awesome wordless picture books. Also includes a few books with less words!

  • Chalk
  • Journey
  • The Secret Box
  • Flotsam
  • Tuesday
  • Draw!
  • The boy and the airplane
  • Gobble You Up
  • Do!
  • Tiger on a tree
  • Out of the way! Out of the way!



Books that kids WANT to be true!

  • The Polar Express
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Magic Tree House Series
  • My Father's Dragon
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Magic Moonlight flower and other enticing stories (by Satyajit Ray)
  • Vikram and the Vampire (YoungZubaan)
  • Bridge to Teribithia
  • Inkheart (Inkheart Trilogy



There are so many books that fall into this category so be sure to visit this area of your library and browse around!

  • Cat in the Hat Learning Library is one of our favorite beginner non-fiction series! It introduces kids to history, science, nature and more great things about the world.
  • First Look at Science series
  • Magic School Bus series is wonderful for elementary school kids (and they also have a great easy reader series and chapter books too!) -- a must for your budding scientist
  • Ms. Frizzle's Adventures - yes, the same Ms. Frizzle travels the world to explore cultures and geography.
  • Squiggles takes a Walk
  • Walk the grasslands with Takuri
  • Caring for Nature Series (Terrapin)
  • Circle of Life Series (Terrapin)
  • The Amazing Journey of series (Terrapin)
  • Wild in the Backyard
  • Monster on the Prowl and other Nature Stories



A very hard genre to introduce but there are some excellent authors who do a great job with poems.

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
  • Eric Carle's Animals Animals
  • Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature
  • It's Raining Pigs & Noodles
  • Earth Song
  • One Lonely Unicorn
  • Excuse me, Is this India?
  • Dum Dum Dho!



Laugh out loud -- you're probably hear your kids using lines from these stories over and over.

  • Duck, Duck, Moose!
  • Ekki Dokki
  • Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat
  • The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street)
  • The Book with No Pictures
  • A few Fractured Fairy Tales (traditional fairy tales with humorous twists)!
    • Goldilocks and just one bear
    • Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
    • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
    • The Princess and the packet of Frozen Peas
    • The true story of the three little pigs
  • When Ali became Bajrangbali
  • Pippi Longstocking
  • Atleast a Fish
  • Bookasura
  • Smile


Realistic Fiction

So many books fall into this genre -- basically if it can happen in your child's life but is not a true story, then it's realistic fiction. These are great stories to use when kids are going through a transition in their life - it helps them identify with others

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day
  • Fancy Nancy and the Too-Loose Tooth (I Can Read Book 1)
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
  • Rules
  • Samira's Awful Lunch
  • McElligot's Pool
  • Kermit the Hermit
  • The Little House
  • Charlotte's Web
  • In Bonbibi's Forest
  • Friends in Wild Places
  • Gangamma’s Gharial


Science Fiction

Usually set in the future or focusing on space or time travel, these are fantasy books with a science/technology theme.

  • Boy and Bot
  • Zathura
  • Baloney (Henry P.)
  • Commander Toad in Space
  • The Iron Giant
  • The Invisible Fran (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist)
  • The Homework Machine
  • Eat the sky, Drink the ocean
  • The Girl's Guide to a life in Science



Set out on an adventure in the pages of a book!

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt
  • Jumanji
  • The Great Alaska Adventure!
  • Time of Wonder
  • Harry by the Sea
  • Anatole
  • Gone-Away Lake
  • Malgudi Days
  • YoungUncle in the Himalayas
  • Vanamala And The Cephalopod 
  • The Ruskin Bond Children's Omnibus​
  • Aditi and her friends Series


Historical Fiction

Made-up stories about real life in the past -- these would include ancient cultures, events that took place and things your grandparents might remember.

  • A Little Prairie House
  • The Knight and the Dragon
  • Boxes for Katje
  • Magic Tree House series
  • Girls of India Series
  • How Did The Harappans Say Hello? And 16 Other Mysteries of History
  • Locomotive



Stories originating in a culture and usually passed on by word of mouth (until someone writes them into a book!)

  • One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
  • Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure
  • Strega Nona
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo
  • The Great Ball Play - A folk-tale from North America
  • Indian Folktales And Legends
  • The Tiger Child: A Folk Tale from India
  • Under the Banyan series ( Karadi Tales)
  • How Night Came: A Folk Tale from the Amazon
  • Monkey and the Water Dragon: A Folk Tale from China
  • The Wizard Punchkin: A Tale from India


Fairy Tales

Short stories about magical beings and lands. Fables are also included in this genre/group.

  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • The Little Red Hen
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Favourite Celtic Fairy Tales 
  • The Firebird and Other Russian Fairy Tales
  • Indian Fairy Tales (by Joseph Jacobs)
  • The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse 
  • Japanese Fairy Tales (by Yei Theodora Ozaki)



You may not think of reference books as good reads but I'm always amazed at how much kids love the pictures and factual information!

  • DK First Encyclopedia
  • National Geographic Kids Beginner's World Atlas
  • Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary
  • National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More!
  • Beginners Science Dictionary (TerraPin)
  • 101 Facts (Terrapin)



The fantastic (in every sense of the word) stories on this list that can't get you enough of stories about gods, goddesses, and other mythological creatures

  • Young Zeus by Brian Karas
  • Ganesha's Sweet Tooth
  • Rama and the Demon King: An Ancient Tale from India
  • The Mahabharata - A Child's View
  • Pashu - Animal Tales from Hindu Mythology
  • Sita's Ramayana
  • Amma Tell Me Series
  • Encyclopedia Mythologica by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
  • Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunder by Michael Townsend
  • Percy Jackson series (and anything by Rick Riordan)
  • The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard by Tracy Barrett
  • Número Uno by Alex Dorros and Arthur Dorres
  • Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
  • Corydon & the Island of Monsters: The Corydon Trilogy, Book 1


Happy Reading!

Last modified on Thursday, 09 July 2020 14:20

Rabbit Hole Bookstore The Rabbit Hole Bookstore - Where children discover the magic of books! The Rabbit Hole Bookstore is a passionate initiative to bring the world of literature and books close to our children. We are an independent children’s bookstore with children at the heart of everything we do. Created specifically to bond the child and the book and to allow children to encounter books in new and exciting ways, The Rabbit Hole brings with it specially curated children's books and other products that nurture creativity and a host of other skills and let the children explore the horizons of imagination and provide an opportunity to find their inner connection with the world of literature. Explore books and beyond at The Rabbit Hole!

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