Summer Reading List

Below is a collection of books that I feel are must reads for this Summer. There is something for pretty much every age group. Since I do not like spoilers – even for kids books – what you will see is the book cover, where to purchase, the age group, the official synopsis and then a few comments I have on the books. Enjoy, and please, let me know in the comments what you think of some of these if you have read them! I will be adding books to this list throughout the summer – and some may even have a giveaway – so check back often!


Dress Me

Dress Me

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By Sarah Frances Hardy
Ages 2 to 3

Synopsis:

A young girl makes her way through a variety of career possibilities—dancer, doctor, superhero, plumber—in a variety of costumes. She can be graceful, creative, brave, caring, silly, and even scary. She can wear braids or glasses, a crown or a beret. No matter what she chooses, her puppy is twirling and painting right beside her, often with an accessory of his own. The story is simple and yet affirms the little girl’s right to choose who and what she wants to be. The message is one of exploration, choice, and self-expression. And ultimately another option for the little girl is to be “just me.”

Thoughts:

My daughters love this book – and so do I! I love that is teaches them how to dress #LikeAgirl! This is a bedtime favorite in our home!


Yellow Copter

Yellow Copter

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By Kersten Hamilton
Ages 2+

Synopsis:

Shiny new yellow copter is a rescue helicopter that is always ready to save the day and can go anywhere trains, cranes, and planes can’t reach. When the Ferris wheel at the amusement park breaks down and a teacher gets stuck at the top, yellow copter is the only one who might have a chance of rescuing her. Will yellow copter be able to fly that high and get the teacher down?

Thoughts:

This is a fun book for any younger children. It is a great read aloud book and my 3.5 year old is even starting to learn some words from it. I love that some words are different colored for emphasis – and my girls love making the SWOOOSH sound as we read. This book is great for all kids – boys and girls alike!


putting the monkeys to bed

Putting the Monkeys to Bed

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By Gennifer Choldenko
Ages 3+

Synopsis:

Sam is never ready to go to sleep at bedtime. There are always more questions to ask Mama, more books to read . . . not to mention the monkeys! Sam’s rambunctious trio of toy monkeys would much rather jump on the bed and make up songs about ping pong than go to sleep. Eventually Sam wants to go to sleep. But how will he ever get the monkeys to settle down? This story’s silly monkey mayhem also includes a calming bedtime routine that really works.

Thoughts:

This is the perfect bedtime book! Ever since reading this story, my girls have decided they need to take their stuffed monkeys with them to bed every night. My girls love this book and it actually really works for getting them to go to bed on time. This is sure to be a story we read every night for a long time!


Sophie's Animal Friends

Sophie’s Animal Parade

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By Amy Dixon
Ages 3 to 5

Synopsis:

Mama calls it Sophie’s imagination, but Sophie calls it magic. Everything Sophie draws comes to life, and one day when Sophie feels lonely, she decides to draw a friend. But the polar bear cub isn’t very happy in Sophie’s room, where it is much too warm. So Sophie tries again. But the duck wants to swim in a pool full of water. And the giraffe is too tall for the tiny room! It isn’t long after the elephant shows up that things begin to get a little too wild and Sophie must demand that everyone go outside. In the backyard, with all her new friends, Sophie meets someone new—someone who happens to be an expert lion trainer. It looks like Sophie’s magic may have worked after all!

Thoughts:

This book is so much fun! My young daughters are really into animals and they enjoy reading this book daily. They are always drawing things and pretending they come to life now, it is adorable! I highly recommend this one to help stir your little ones’ imaginations!


Peanut Butter Itch

Peanut Butter Itch

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By Toyla L. Thompson
Ages 3 to 5

Synopsis:

Fabulous Me Piper Lee and the Peanut Butter Itch is the first release featuring Piper Lee in the existing line of Smarties Books. Guided by her inner voice, MeMe, Piper Lee struggles to resist the temptation of eating peanut butter even though she knows she is allergic to peanuts. The itch to taste, and the total body itch that follows, provide an unforgettable lesson on food allergies. Join Piper Lee on her adventures of illnesses seen in the emergency room and discover how to stay healthy, fabulous and ER free. In the special Smarties Page included in the back of each book, get wise to the facts of food allergies and discover how to stay healthy, fabulous and ER free.

Thoughts:

I think this book is great. My daughter is in Preschool and always asks why she cannot take anything with peanuts in it for snack. I try to explain to her about children with allergies but this book really drove it home for her. She tells me that she does not want her friends to get puffy and red spots because she loves them. I think this book would be great for children with allergies to understand why as well.


Cupcake Jones & The Missing Tutu

Princess Cupcake Jones

& The Missing Tutu

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By Ylleya Fields
Ages 3 to 5

Synopsis:

Princess Cupcake Jones loves creating a mess and ends up scattering her things everywhere in the castle! When her beloved tutu goes missing, Cupcake learns the importance of tidying up and putting things in their proper place. Join Princess Cupcake Jones as she searches her palace in hopes of finding her tutu and discovers hidden treasures along the way. As an added bonus in each book of the series, children will also have fun finding the hidden word in each inviting illustration. Helpful hints are a part of the book’s website, which also features downloadable color pages and other activities.

Thoughts:

This book has been a huge help in getting my girls to clean up after themselves! I think they have finally understood that if they do not put things back where they belong, they can easily get lost.  Ever since reading this book, my girls always make sure that their toys and clothes are right where they should be.


Cupcake Jones Wont Go To School

Princess Cupcake Jones

Won’t Go To School

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By Ylleya Fields
Ages 3 to 5

Synopsis:

Princess Cupcake Jones, the modern-day princess who loves her tutu and playing with her toys, is about to begin school . . . but says, “I won’t go!” Cupcake tries everything to avoid her first day—from pretending to be sick to even hiding! However, Mom stays one step ahead of her. Only after arriving at school and meeting a new friend does Cupcake realize that school might not be as scary as she thought. The book features a special word (“love”) hidden in each illustration.

Thoughts:

I think this is a great book for any child who will be going off to school soon. It will help them realize that school is not scary. It can be fun and you will make new friends. My oldest is already in school, but just a couple days a week. She loves this book and she “reads” it to her little sister while explaining that school for her next year will be fun.


The Alphabet of Bugs

The Alphabet of Bugs

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By Valerie Gates
Ages 3 to 5

Synopsis:

Travel through the alphabet to learn about the many beautiful and unusually named bugs found in nature. Valerie Gates’s charming alliterative style paired with Ann Cutting’s stunning photographs of all types of bugs is sure to delight curious children and adults alike. Spectacular photographs of insects of all kinds will inspire children to learn more about the different creatures found in the natural world. This is an ideal gift for new parents and for young nature-loving children!

Thoughts:

I am not a fan of bugs. I find them yucky and I am quite squeamish. But both of my daughters love them – I blame their boy cousins for that one – so they love this book! I reluctantly read it to them daily now. A great read for boys and girls who love bugs!


Faraway Friends

Faraway Friends

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By Russ Cox
Ages 3 to 6

Synopsis:

When Sheldon’s best friend moves away, Sheldon spies the word “Jupiter” painted on the side of the moving truck. Sheldon feels sad at first, but realizes that this is a sign—what he needs is a rocket ship! So Sheldon and his dog, Jet, build a ship piece by piece until they are ready for takeoff! The duo jets around satellites, zooms by planets, speeds past other flying saucers . . . until plop, they’ve arrived somewhere with a green alien life-form. Faraway Friends will speak to any child who has had a friend move away, teaching them to channel boredom into creativity and imagination. Ultimately, it is a story of old and new friendships.

Thoughts:

This is a new favorite bedtime book in our home. Both of my young daughters love it. It really stirs their imaginations. I love how it ends – and I loved seeing the smiles on my girls faces. Both of them really enjoy counting down to BLAST OFF very loudly while reading this book. It is a must have for young kids!


Piglet Bo

Piglet Bo Can Do Anything!

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By Geert De Krockere
Ages 3 to 6

Synopsis:

Can he walk on water? Can he widen the beach? Can he pluck a star from the sky? Piglet Bo can do all of these things and more. He leaps over tall grasses, blows down a forest, and walks out onto a long pier, as far as it will take him. He looks to the deep sea, and although the pier will take him no farther, Piglet Bo will not be stopped. “I can go into the water,” he says. “If I like. If I dare.” And with a leap of faith, he jumps. Piglet Bo finds friends on his journey—a whale, a pigeon, a bull—and they inspire and help him when they can, but ultimately it takes courage and daring for Piglet Bo to attempt the impossible. Piglet Bo is the bravest and most determined little piglet, with a heart set on adventure. There are no limits to what he can do, and young readers will fall in love with his sweet and endearing resolve. Geert De Kockere writes Piglet Bo’s adventures in simple, playful language, filled with light humor. Tineke Van Hemeldonck’s brilliant mixed-media illustrations bring the story to life, and even the littlest readers will have fun spotting the elusive, lucky four-leaf clover hidden on each page. De Kockere/Van Hemeldonck will be continuing the Piglet Bo saga with Piglet Bo Is Not Scared, which will be hitting shelves in November.

Thoughts:

This book is incredible. It has not only widened my girls’ imaginations but also makes us smile every time that we read it. It teaches children that they really can do whatever they want as long as they put their minds to it. It is a great lesson – and a great read. I highly recommend this for anyone with young kids. My daughters and I are anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!


The Cave Monster

The Cave Monster

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By Thomas Weck & Peter Weck
Ages 4 to 8

Synopsis:

Oh no! L. Joe Bean, Lima Bear’s cousin, has been captured by the Cave Monster. Lima Bear and his friends enter the dangerous Black Cave to save L. Joe Bean. The Cave Monster attacks. Will they save L. Joe Bean in time? And will they save themselves. The message of the story: Individually afraid, friends find courage acting together.

Thoughts:

I love reading this book with my daughters. Younger children may be scared, but my girls were not (ages 2 and 3). This book is great because there are “Extend the Learning” and “Activities” pages in the back. These gave me lots of great tips on things to talk about before, during, and after reading The Cave Monster. There are also fun activities that my daughters’ enjoyed like Make a Monster Poster and Sponge Ball Target Practice.


The Megasaurus

The Megasaurus

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By Thomas Weck & Peter Weck
Ages 4 to 8

Synopsis:

What’s the King of Beandom to do? The tiny, multicolored beans of Beandom are under attack by a monster. Even the King’s wisest advisors seem unable find a solution. Who will save Beandom? Can an ordinary tiny bean step forward with a plan that works? Welcome to Beandom! It’s a great place to visit. Or, it will be— just as soon as we get rid of that pesky monster!

Thoughts:

My girls love spooky things so this is one of their favorite books. I think it is a great read for little ones because it helps them learn how to think calmly in stressful situations and work to come up with a solution. The Expand the Learning section in this book is fulled with fun activities and questions that will help children comprehend what they are reading.


The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

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By Thomas Weck & Peter Weck
Ages 4 to 8

Synopsis:

Princess Belinda Bean takes the throne as Queen and Ruler of Beandom. All are happy except Mean ol’ Bean, who wants to be the king and ruler. He lures her into a magic labyrinth from which there is no escape. L. Joe Bean, one of her subjects, discovers the plot. Will he be able to save his Queen? What will happen to Mean ol’ Bean?

Thoughts:

Another great book in the Lima Bear series. My girls like reading this story. They always yell at Mean ol’ Bean and tell him that he is not being nice. They love when he gets what is coming to him! This book also has fun activities listed in the back for parents, teachers, and grandparents.


Boys Camp

Boys Camp: Zee’s Story

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By Kitson Jazynka
Ages 7 to 10

Synopsis:

Zee couldn’t be happier to be reunited at camp with his fellow jokester Will. The trickster team of two has millions of great ideas for practical jokes and more than a few big surprises to spring on their fellow campers and counselors. At first, all the mayhem and mischief they cause is a big success. Who’d have guessed that a stuffed octopus, toilet paper, and pies could be combined so comically? But when Zee tries to include other guys in the fun, Will gets mad, and their friendship blows up. The fight forces Zee to face his scariest, most dangerous crisis on his own while on a kayaking trip, and for a while, it looks like all is lost. How will Zee survive the rapids? Is this the end of Will and Zee? One thing’s for sure: Zee will have an adventure-packed summer at Camp Wolf Trail!

Thoughts:

This book is perfect for any preteen boy to read. My young nephew loved it. This series truly celebrates boys in all their glory – skinned knees and all! This is a good addition to any middle grade library as well! It is sure to fuel a spirit of adventure, a love of reading, an interest in the outdoors, and personal growth within young readers.


Marsha Mellow

Marsha Mellow Goes Missing

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By Kenley Shay
Ages 7 to 12

Synopsis:

What’s even more fun than shopping for Shopkins? Hanging out with friends who love them! Meet the Shopkins Kids Club, five girls who meet every week to buy, trade, and play with their favorite characters. As they build their prized collections, they also collect adventures—and little lessons about friendship and family, too. Nine-year-old Maggie can’t wait to go camping with her grandparents and her friends from the Shopkins Kids Club. The five girls sit around the campfire, making s’mores, singing songs, and trading Shopkins. Everything is perfect, except for Maggie’s annoying little brother, Max, who’s being a huge pain. But when Maggie’s prized Marsha Mellow goes missing, the campout heads downhill fast. Maggie suspects that one of her friends might be the culprit: envious Ava has been eying up her Marsha Mellow all night! Can Maggie find Marsha Mellow—and find a way to salvage her friendships and her campout? As Maggie follows the clues to find the missing Marsha Mellow, she learns lessons about taking care of your things, not judging others too quickly, apologizing when you need to, and, most of all, inclusion: inviting others to join in instead of keeping them out. More members in the Shopkins Kids Club just means more fun! Join Maggie and the Shopkins Kids Club in this brand-new story for Shopkins collectors!

Thoughts:

My 9 year old niece loves this book. I gave it to her for her birthday and she flipped out. She loves Shopkins so I knew this was right up her alley. She read it in just two days – and then reread it! She told me she plans to share this with all of her friends. 


giants in the land

Giants in the Land

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By Kenley Shay
Ages 8 to 12

Synopsis:

Thomas and his giant companion have disappeared. At the mercy of the evil king of Westland, in great peril, and with no hope for escape, Thomas faces an impossible test for survival. Book Three caps this award-winning trilogy with a danger-ridden triple quest: save Thomas, redeem a lost people, and reverse the land’s painful slide toward destruction. Can help be found in a mythical cave at the far edge of the world? Whispered legends speak of a ferocious tribe, fearsome obstacles, and fabled treasure. Join Thomas and his companions under an uneasy truce, risking all to seek the source of redemption―the Cavern of Promise―in a journey that could bring deliverance . . . or doom.

Thoughts:

My 8 year old nephew loves this series. He has read the other two books and was waiting months for this one to come out. He flew through it in less than a week and has since decided to reread the trilogy. I highly recommend this as a Summer reading book for any young boy (or girl!).


The Loudness

The Loudness

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By Nick Courage
Ages 9 to 12

Synopsis:

Following a series of natural disasters, dubbed the Tragedies, the citizens of an unnamed coastal city have been confined to the Green Zone, the final habitable neighborhood. Since the Tragedies, Henry Long’s existence has been reduced to an annoying low-watt buzz from his makeshift heart transplant and a dusty library attic from which he charts the slow progress of reconstruction in the Green Zone. While his parents work on making the Green Zone independent from a federal government that appears to have abandoned them, Henry finds himself increasingly left on his own—that is, until he discovers a refugee artists’ colony called the Other Side. But when the federales don’t take kindly to the Green Zone’s attempts at secession and kidnap Henry’s parents, Henry and his new renegade friends are forced from the colorful streets and underground rock clubs of the Other Side to an overcrowded capital city on the verge of collapse. As Henry uncovers more about the conflicting forces that run his corner of the world, he realizes that not everyone is who they seem to be—himself included—and recognizes that his artificial heart may turn out to be more of a blessing than a curse.

Thoughts:

This book is a great read. I found it very interesting and I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoy books that discuss tragedies and war so this was right up my alley. I great summer read for anyone ages 9 and up, in my opinion.


The Lost Marble Notebook

The Lost Marble Notebook

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By Marie Jaskulka
Ages 12+

Synopsis:

Forgotten Girl, a fifteen-year-old poet, is going through the most difficult time of her life—the breakup of her parents, and her mom’s resulting depression—when she meets Random Boy, a hot guy who, like her, feels like an outcast and secretly writes poetry to deal with everything going on in his life. In The Lost Marble Notebook of Forgotten Girl & Random Boy, the couple’s poems come together to tell their unique love story. The two nameless teenagers come from opposite sides of the tracks, yet they find understanding in each other when they lay bare their life stories through the poetry they write and share with each other. Through verse, they document the power of first kisses, the joy of finally having someone on their side, the devastation of jealousy, and the heartbreaking sadness of what each of them is simultaneously dealing with at home and hiding from the world. Finally they have someone to tell and somewhere to tell it in their marble notebook. This is the powerful story of two imperfect teens in first love who find solace in poetry.

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. The poetry and the raw emotion is just incredible. I think this would be a great summer read for any teenager.


how to

How to Entertain, Distract, and Unplug Your Kids

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By Matthew Jervis
Ages 20+ (parents of young kids)

Synopsis:

Face it. Your kids don’t want you around ALL the time! As much as you’d like to build that go-cart or that amazing tree house for them, you also need a little time for yourself! Sure, we’d all like to hand our kids the phone when things get tough, but down deep we know that screen time will not build world leaders. So how does a parent like you keep those little rug rats entertained and engaged in a meaningful way while you get your own stuff done? Well, this book is a good start! With these simple tricks, you will turn their boredom into fun, teachable, and productive (sometimes) moments in this irreverent yet practical guide. From photo bombing magazines in the dentist’s office to sock matching speed trials to making bread, this book provides spontaneous activities that kids can do with or without you, leaving time for you to do parent stuff like making dinner, reading the paper, or enjoying a glass of wine.

Thoughts:

This is a great read for any parent of young kids. There are so many tips and tricks to help yous kids have fun (with or without you) while not being on their phones, tablets, etc. I have learned a lot from this book and will reuse these tips time and time again. I love the entire section about kids in the kitchen as my husband and I love to cook. It is fun getting the girls involved! Highly recommended!


The opinions expressed here are that of Mama’s Geeky only. While the products in this post were given complimentary (unless otherwise stated) for me to review, that does not alter my opinion of the product(s) mentioned. This post may contain sponsored links and affiliate links.