Summer Books for Kids Ages 8-14

I'm a HUGE fan of books. I love nothing more than escaping with a good book for a bit. I remember as a kid spending summer days swinging in the hammock that was tied between two trees in our backyard reading every Babysitters Club book in order and then moving on to Sweet Valley High. I love seeing my kids pick up books to read for fun too. When I was substitute teaching, I always loved recommending books for kids and getting them excited to read. It really is the best. Maybe I should have been a librarian...Anyway, as the summer starts and kids begin their chorus of "I'm bored," here is a list of good books that I would recommend for kids from about the age of 8-14. 

Summer Books to Read for Kids 8-14

The first ten books I mention are books that either all of my kids have read or at least one of them have read and it's sparked more curiosity for books. I think a book is doing it's job if it makes you long for more and all of these books do that. Some of these are books in a series, which are great because sometimes kids get comfortable with a character and want to stick with that character through multiple books, and some are genres that will open up a love for a type of book a child may not have thought they liked. Read the reviews and make a list. Our local library is one of our favorite places to go all summer long!

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

This book combines the modern day world with a fairy tale world as two children leave their world behind and experience the wonder of a fairy tale land they read about in children's books when they were young. They discover family secrets and inner strength they didn't know they had.

Wonder by RJ Palacio

A young boy is born with a facial deformity that has kept him from going to school. He transitions in to mainstream education hoping to be treated like a regular kid. The story is told from several points of view and gives kids a great understanding of empathy. It's a great book about true friendship.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Appleagate

The true story of a gorilla named Ivan held captive in a shopping mall. This book is told from Ivan's perspective and it's beautifully written.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Actually, this whole series of Fudge books is one of our families favorites. These are timeless books that take a look into a normal family living in New York City.

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

I must confess, I have never read this classic, but my daughter did back in elementary school and it got her hooked on reading. Read the back of the book, it makes me want to go check it out from the library myself.

Where the Red Fern Grows and Hatchet are two classic boy books {that many girls like too!} that I recommend quite often. They have adventure that boys seem to like and the story gets kids hooked right away.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

This book doesn't require much of an introduction. Most kids {and many adults} love this series. It's a great read out loud book or something the kids can whip through all summer long. It's our rule that you have to read the book to see the movie, so using that logic, can make for a fun summer treat after the kids read the book. Heck, you could even plan a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios! Bonus, it's a free download right now if you have Amazon Prime.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

When the Percy Jackson series first came out, my oldest son was younger and he devoured these books, using his own money to buy the most recent copy instead of waiting for them at the library. They still remain popular and I see kids snatching them off the shelves at book fairs.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

My son started this series as a book they read in class, he came home and we read the final few books in the series together. It was an interesting look at a post-apocalyptic world and created some really great imaginative discussions between us.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This holocaust story isn't for young kids who can't handle the reality of what really happened in this period of history. However, this book started my daughter's love of historical fiction and led her to read other books like Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Chasing Lincoln's Killer. Which is why after my 11 year old son read Projekt 1065 and Prisoner B 3087 he's been reading through this list as well. Again, make sure that you use your discretion on these books. Read them together or spend some time discussing the events so that your child has time to process what they are reading.

Those are my suggestions. I know I forgot some, but that's a good start. Let me know if you have anything to add. I would love to hear from you in the comments about what your kids are reading or what you are reading together.

Looking for more book recommendations for kids? Try these!

In case you missed my summer reading list can be found here. 

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Nicole said...

Anything by Blume is awesome. And I love that you have The Chocolate Touch in the list. That was one of my favorite books as a kid!

Christine said...

I couldn't be happier that my 8 year old son has the same love of books as I do. There are a few here he hasn't read. Funny, I was just contemplating letting him read Boy in The Striped Pajamas. He's been loving reading WWII stories lately. He's currently reading a kid version of Diary of Anne Frank. Thanks for some new ideas.

Joline said...

I love books our little house is almost overrun by them LOL! And it helped a lot that I grew up around adults who love to read too. I think EVERYONE should Harry Potter :)

Thirty Eighth Street said...

This couldn't have come at a better time. We're off to the library to get some new reading material for this week! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! thank you for sharing!!! My 9 year old loves books and some of these he hasn't yet read! WooHoo!!!

Catherine said...

What a great selection of books to read. My daughter has read most of these and loved them!

Fearlessly Creative Mammas said...

I am a reading junkie and this is a great list. I especially like reading books that I read as a kid with my children now and seeing how my perspective has changed about the scenarios as I have grown up. Love lazy Summer reading days!

faithjournaleden said...

Patricia Maclachlan ("Sarah Plain and Tall") wrote some great young reader's stories, also for the older ones I recommend Lisa Clark's series, starting with "Discovered." The second "Concealed" is also out.

Nancy | Hungry Enough To Eat Six said...

Great list! My son (13) also enjoys the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and his all-time favorite is Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein.

rachelteodoro said...

Oh my! You guys are so great at providing some new great suggestions too! Thank you! I've got some to add to my reading list!

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