The past few summers, I’ve been making a reading guide for our kids, just for fun. It’s a low-pressure way to encourage them to keep reading in the non-school months.

We read all the time anyway, so this isn’t a big shift for them. But it will help them stay in the groove of things, not default to the Garfield comic section of the library (moth to flames, oddly enough), and it gives them a summer goal.

If it’s helpful for you, you’re welcome to use it, too! Here’s a bit about our kids:

Our 12-year-old is a voracious reader; has long read above her “grade level.” The trick with her, especially as a tween, is finding age-appropriate books that are challenging enough and don’t talk down to her (she has a laser-sharp “this is babyish” radar).

Our 9.5-year-old is a strong reader; sometimes goes in fits and spurts—he’ll read nonstop for a week, then go two weeks barely wanting to lift a book. The challenge with him is finding books that’ll keep his ever-changing interest.

Our almost 7-year-old is still barely reading. And that’s okay. We’ll keep working on this throughout the summer. (I’m saying this here just in case, for any parents prone to worrying that their kid hasn’t hopped on the reading train yet.)


For the first time, our two reading kids’ levels have gotten somewhat close—so I’ve made one master reading list this summer. They’re divided by Level A—easier books, and Level B—harder books.

This master list is for older kids and tweens who read at their grade level or above. So, age 8-13. (A broad range of age and maturity, I know.) As a parent, you know what’s best for your kiddos.

Head here to read this list of 26 middle-grade and young YA books.

You’ll also get short weekly emails from me (if you don’t already)—you can unsubscribe from these at any time, no worries. (But I think you’ll like them.)

Happy reading!

p.s. – Here’s last year’s reading guides: for 8-10-year-olds and for 10-13-year-olds.