Summer Reading Inspiration for Kids and Parents

My Nightstand

This summer, I am diving into learning more about the emotional life of boys through Raising Cain; Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. I am eager to read Insight about ways to see ourselves more clearly and raise our own self-awareness. We’ll be advancing our sex education agenda in our household as our son asks new questions and is understanding more about his peers. My husband and I both will benefit from the book, Talk Sex Today; What Kids Need to Know and How Adults Can Teach Them. And finally, I have an idea book at the ready for exploring nature and getting fresh air together entitled 101 Things for Kids to Do Outside.


My 9-Year-Old Son’s Nightstand

Though for me, an avid reader, it’s difficult to imagine, my son claims he does not enjoy reading. We still read together before bedtime every night and now, take turns since he can read on his own. Because he is not necessarily eager or excited to read, we only stock books he is excited or inspired by. We also ensure that there’s a diverse range of fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, poetry and biography to expose him to the virtues of various reading experiences. This summer, he’ll be reading Friendship According to Humphrey, one of a delightful series about a classroom hamster’s adventures and The Story of Diva and Flea about an unlikely friendship between a scraggly alley cat and a pampered, well-to-do dog both living in Paris. In addition, he’s checking out a graphic novel entitled The 52-Story Treehouse about two friends who write books and create an incredible fantasy world in their treehouse. We’ll also enjoy the poetry of Shel Silverstein (which I consider a classic) in Where the Sidewalk Ends and in the story, The Giving Tree, one not to miss about a boy’s relationship with a tree that gives his very life for him. We appreciated the gift of a biography on Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.? and will read about his life together. And finally, E will be trying out some science experiments from 101 Great Science Experiments to feed his interests.

Here are some further ideas for your summer reading.

Picture Books


InMyHeartIn My Heart; A Book of Feelings

by Jo Witek, Illustrated by Christine Roussey
A girl explores the feelings of her heart and describes what she feels when she is happy, calm, brave, hurt, angry, sad, hopeful, silly, shy and proud. This is a perfect book to introduce a conversation about emotions and the purpose they serve as clues to who we are. There is no shame or guilt in feeling any of these emotions. They are all equally a part of this girl’s heart as they are a part of ours.



Juvenile Fiction for 7-12-Year-Olds


cvr9781442429314_9781442429314_lgAnyway: A Story About Me with 138 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations and 1 Plate of Spaghetti
by Arthur Salm

At summer camp, twelve-year-old Max reinvents himself as daring and fearless. He comes home to return to school, his friends and his life and realizes that the fun he had over the summer was at the expense of others’ feelings. He acted like a bully and now, cannot be as risky with his friends at home. Max tries to figure what kind of person he really wants to be.



Young Adult Fiction for 13-17-Year-Olds



The Giver
by Lois Lowry

The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a world of contented conformity. Society attempts to control who procreates and how many children are born per couple in addition to giving each child a “life assignment.” Not until Jonas is given his own assignment does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his community. This book raises important discussions about questioning rules and authority and understanding the purpose behind decisions.

Young Adult Nonfiction


Anxiety Sucks! A Teen Survival Guide

by Natasha Daniels

Dealing with anxiety? This simple guide, written in language teens will surely relate to by a therapist, will offer ways you can conquer your stress. Learn when you are beginning to feel anxiety and multiple ways to deal with it so that you rule the day, not your stress.



Parenting Nonfiction


inside out

Parenting From the Inside Out
by Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell

Drawing upon research findings in neurobiology and attachment research, Siegel and Hartzell explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain and offers parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children. This book addresses the patterns that we all form from our own childhood – understanding what they are and how they impact the parents we are today.


For more great book recommendations, check out the Confident Parents, Confident Kids full list on Good Reads!

4 Comments on “Summer Reading Inspiration for Kids and Parents”

  1. Interesting – as usual. He doesn’t like reading ? Really ? Hard to believe. L,M

    • That’s what he says now. But it changes. It doesn’t come easy. He has to work at it so he doesn’t consider it fun yet. He’ll get there when he’s ready. Meanwhile I’ll supply books that really peak his interest! As you do too! Thanks and love!

  2. So inspiring, I wonder if you read each book one at a time or a little from each book each day. I am curious to know as I am looking to expand my reading this summer.

    • Because time is limited, I tend to read when inspiration strikes and we do tend to always have a fiction chapter story underway but read shorter nonfiction at the same time. We do the fiction consistently at bedtime. Although we are gone during the day frequently, on the days we are home, we have a routine quiet time after lunch. Often during that time, I’ll suggest reading a book my son has expressed interest in. I never force it though. I want him to love the experience of reading so the psychological conditions I help create around reading matter. Is it fun? Do we feel more connected? Do we feel excited and inspired? Reading for kids can get lost in summertime with camps, sports and more. But keeping it on the radar as a coveted experience that connects you can help your son or daughter stay engaged. I appreciate your comment! Happy summertime!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: