Summer Reading Challenge Printable (+ Our Reading Lists for the Summer)

Free printable summer reading challenge.  Simple, fun summer reading challenge for kids and adults!

I am so excited to share a Summer Reading Printable AND my kids’ Summer Reading Lists with you today. But first, a little background:

We homeschool year round with a 6 weeks on, one week off schedule.  I’ve found that I love this arrangement for many reasons, some of which include: we spend less time doing school on a day-to-day basis because we’re making steady progress; there is no “summer slide”, no need to review stuff we’ve learned and then forgotten over the summer; school is part of our daily structure, it’s expected and routine and much easier to follow through on because we all know it’s going to happen.

We do have less formal school time during the summer months (thanks to morning swim team practice) and a little extra time for reading.   In an effort to inspire my children to pick up and enjoy beautiful books, I’ve complied a summer book list for each of them.  The idea is that they each spend time every day reading a book from the list.  I wanted to give them lots of really great options across many genres.  Books that they may not have chosen otherwise.  We own some of these books and every week I add a few books from these lists to our holds at the library so they are available at home. I’ve included a spot for assigned reading on my kids’ daily checklists, so they must finish their reading before they play with friends or have screen time. They get to choose the books they read from this list and when they read them, and I certainly don’t expect them to finish all the books this summer. They both have many more options than they’ll probably get to this summer.

In order to inspire you and your young readers to branch out of your typical reading habits, I created a free Summer Reading Printable. Color in each doodle as you read a book from that category and see how quickly you can fill them all in.  Maybe offer a prize for those who complete all the categories?  I’m not above bribery at all!   To grab the free download, click Add to Cart below.


And now, for the book lists!

Ellie (11) is a voracious reader, but often sticks to the same genre of books (or re-reads her favorites until she has them memorized) and I’d like to challenge her a little. She reads these books on her own (20 minutes per day) and we talk about them a little bit when she’s done.  No book reports, no assignments, no verification questions.  I talk to her like I’d talk to a friend of mine who is also a reader.

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt! by Jean Fritz

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Baillett
Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbitt
The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Grimms’ Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C O’Brien
Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss

Ethan (7) is still emerging as a reader.  He’s not comfortable reading entirely on his own yet, so he reads aloud to me each day.  I am there to help him with words he doesn’t know and we enjoy the books together. Ellie was a very early reader, reading chapter books by the age of 5, and I missed this phase with her. She just took off and wanted to do her own thing, so it’s been fun to really soak up this reading time with Ethan and to see the incremental progress he’s making.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson
A Bargain for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban

Best Friends for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban

The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
Billy and Blaze by C. W. Anderson
Blaze and the Forest Fire by C. W. Anderson
Bored–Nothing To Do by Peter Spier
Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer
Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Doctor De Soto by William Steig
Little Bear Series by Else Holmelund Minarik
Grasshopper on the Road by Arnold Lobel
Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg
Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
What Do You Do, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin
What are you planning to read this summer?
Happy Reading!
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