May 30, 2012

A Summer Book Surprise List

"Brown paper packages tied up with string... these are a few of my favorite things!" Summer break is still a few weeks away for us, but I'm getting ready, including putting together a summer reading list for E.
Last year I made her read the public school's summer reading list and write a short summary after each book. In return, she was able to complete her reward chart and earn video game time with daddy.

This year I want to do something a little different. I'm scrapping the school's list (it wasn't that impressive) and ignoring the reward system (because reading should be a reward in and of itself) and giving E the gift of good books. I'm making use of Amazon's 4-for-3 deals and buying a bunch of chapter books for E to read over the summer. I'll wrap them each up like the one above and give her the whole stack on the last day of school. She will be able to unwrap and read one at a time throughout the summer.

So which books did I choose?

by JK Rowling

She's been begging me to let her read these for ages. I originally said she had to be 8, but I'm caving and letting her read it this summer. I think she's ready. (Book 2 will have to wait a bit longer, though.)

Sarah, Plain and Tall
by Patricia MacLachlan

I loved this book as a kid. Loved it. It has such a beautiful quiet spirit... just like Sarah.

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen
by Eric Berlin

I haven't read this one, but I wanted to include a contemporary mystery in the bunch. This particular title got such great reviews, I couldn't resist. It's full of puzzles, so I might have to read this one with E. Not because she's not equal to the task, but because I don't want to miss out on the fun!

Ballet Shoes
by Noel Streetfeild

A classic I admit I've never read. I have seen the 2007 movie based on the book and was absolutely charmed, so I'm excited to see if the original story is as good.

In Grandma's Attic
by Arleta Richardson

I loved the Grandma's Attic series. They're sweet, wholesome reads reminiscent of the Little House books and full of faith and family.

I'm hoping this collection will keep my precocious bookworm busy throughout the hot summer months. For those of you who don't know, E is seven years old and started reading at the age of 3 and began chapter books at 4. While she reads at a very advanced level for her age, her reading comprehension and emotional maturity is pretty much on par with her age, making it difficult to know which books will be appropriate for her. I'm constantly on the lookout for good books, so let me know - which ones would you add to the list?


  1. Thanks for the book suggestions. Reading will definitely be a big part of our summer...especially for my 7 year old. I will be looking into the Grandma's Attic series. We have 1 of the Dancing Shoes books (Skating Shoes??) ready for this summer, but I would like to get them all.

  2. Love looking at your blog! I know E will be so excited to get new books. She is such a doll baby. Oh, such a fun time in your lives together. There are advantages to having children that are aging!

  3. Your blog is always a treat, and I usually check it out before hitting the library! :)

    A book that was new to me as an adult that I wish I'd read as a little girl is All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. My girls (who are littler than E) have also really enjoyed hearing me read aloud The Borrowers. And perhaps not literary masterpieces but tons of fun would be the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books!

  4. Hmmm......... I have to think for a minute. Maybe Nancy Drew or the Borrowers.

    I have to admit I'm really curious about what books were on their list.

  5. Joanna jo_k_richards@hotmail.comMay 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Hi. I teach at an international school in Germany and have some international recommendations. A couple of years ago I had a second grader reading on a 6th grader was a challenge to keep him "in books" that I had read and felt were appropriate. I would recommend the Rowan of Rin series by Emily Rodda (Australian). The 39 Clue series started by Rick Rioridan, but written by a different authror each time after that, introduces historical facts, geography and culture in a very enterntaining way. I really enjoyed Nancy Farmer's trilogy starting with The Sea of Trolls. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall reminds me of little women for younger children. Anything by Eva Ibbotson is to be reccomended, but I really enjoyed The Dragonfly Pool, Journey to River Sea, The Star of Kazan and The Secret of Platform 13...she's an author a child can grow with! Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo (British series) and The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas (trilogy). I love the Septimus Heapseries too: Magik, Book 1 by Angie Sage. I could go on and on and on, but it's only a summer.

  6. no book recommendations here but this did remind me that i have the *in grandma's attic* series in my attic. thanks for mentioning it so i can pull those books out. our oldest daughter is 7 and this would be a great read for her.

  7. My daughter is loving Boxcar Children right now although the reading might be too busy for E. Just found a Betsy-Tacy book at the thrift store for Katie...that's a series I remember liking when I was little. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi is another really great girl book.

  8. Sarah Plain and Tall is one of my favorites too.

  9. i have a few i can suggest...

    Willa Bean's Cloud Dreams, by Cecilia Galante

    Please Write in This Book, by Mary Amato

    Highway Cats, by Janet Taylor Lisle

    you have a fun list for your daughter! how exciting. And the Secret Garden was always a favorite of mine when i was a girl.

  10. Hi!thanks for the list..esp for our little is my friend's list... thought you might like! Jennifer aka Gigi

  11. I read 'strawberry girl' and 'grandfather's mountain' as a girl and loved them.


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