I was digging through some old homeschool records and happened upon Ben’s summer reading list for the summer before 3rd grade. It was so fun for me to remember back to these times in our homeschooling journey and remember with delight how much this boy loved to read. He was (and still is) a voracious reader. I believe that encouraging summer reading helped cultivate his love for books.
I thought you might find it fun to see what he read and also find it a useful list for developing your own summer reading list. The books on this list are timeless and I think should be read by or read aloud to every child.
Ben was an advanced reader at this age, so these are all chapter books. As I recall, he also read quite a few of our favorite picture books (mostly for the summer reading program at the library). Speaking of which, be sure to find out if your library has a summer reading program (most do). They often give away some awesome prizes as a part of a reading challenge. My friend Misty over at Year Round Homeschooling has compiled a list of summer reading programs your kids may enjoy as well.
For the record, I never expected Ben to read all of these books in one summer. He chose what sounded interesting to him, and then the books he didn’t get to read carried over into our 3rd-grade school year. Some of them became read-alouds (and can I just tell you how nostalgic I’m feeling right now — it literally feels like we read these books last year!).
There are several books listed here which are a part of a series. My hope was that reading the first book in the series would spark an interest in the entire series. And for him, it did! Of course, there is a chance that by reading the first book, your student may find he doesn’t care for the series. Either way is fine. It’s like tasting broccoli for the first time.
I think this list could work for an advanced 2nd or 3rd-grade reader, or an average 4th or 5th-grade reader.