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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

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Best Summer Reads for Older Children

Best Summer Reads for Older ChildrenAs the summer wears on and the kids become restless, it is important to find ways to keep them entertained, engaged, and using their minds. One of the best ways to go about this is by offering them plenty to read.

While very young children require you to assist them during reading time, older children are much more independent, and while you may need to stand by to help with the occasional word or two, they can likely make it through an entire book on their own if you let them. The experience of finishing an entire chapter book or novel is a great self-confidence booster for children and can help lead them toward a life-long love of reading. 

If you want your kids to sit down and read, and especially if you want them to continue reading throughout their lives, it is a good idea to pick books they will enjoy. Try taking them with you to the library and allowing them to pick a book or two from the children's section.

The books listed below are some great examples of books children in the third and fourth grades might enjoy reading this summer. Some are old, some are new, and some you might even recognize from your childhood, but all of them offer great storytelling that is sure to have your kiddos excited to sit down and read.

Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Judy Blume knows how to tell a children's story, and this one is no exception. The book follows the young Peter Hatcher through his day-to-day life and adventures. The book is relatable for young children, and Blume does a fabulous job entertaining readers of all ages.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

A book that has truly stood the test of time, The Boxcar Children has been a favorite of children for many years. The story follows a group of orphaned siblings as they make themselves at home in an abandoned boxcar.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

A piece of literary gold, James and the Giant Peach is a wonderful story of magic and adventure. Follow along as young James sets out on the journey of a lifetime aboard a giant peach. If your little reader enjoys this one, be sure to check out other Roald Dahl stories. 

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Follow the Penderwick sisters on their summertime adventures in the countryside. This book is the perfect relaxing summer story, and because of its status as a New York Times Best Seller, you can bet it'll be a good read. 

Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar

This silly story is sure to keep your third or fourth grader entertained. You wouldn't even believe some of the crazy stuff that goes on in this sideways school.

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett

A hilarious story that follows a couple of class clowns as they carry out the ultimate prank. This is the perfect book for a young prankster, but is sure to entertain anyone who picks it up. 

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

Pip can talk to magical creatures, but nobody believes her. Follow her adventures as she uses her knowledge of magical creatures to save the town.

While this list certainly does contain some of the best summer reads for kids, it is not a complete list by any stretch of the imagination. This list was merely put together to get you started, and should most definitely be expanded upon based on your child's interests.

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Topics: Book Review, Education, Summer