Book recommendations for the Summer

A suggestion from us to you 

Another academic year is almost complete, and so with that thought brings the question for you parents: what am I going to do over the summer? Well of course, enjoy the sun, build memories and do lots of amazing things – that goes without saying! But, what about this huge block of time where my child is not in school – what shall I do?  

If you are like me, I can remember it clearly myself. The long summer, playing outside with the feeling that school would never start again. Then the August bank holiday. Is school really only a week or two away? Then…what? I have to go to bed early tonight because I have school in the morning. How did that happen? Early September and it is back to reality; I’m in my uniform and sat at my desk. I pick up a pencil for the first time in 7 weeks and it feels weird – I’ve almost forgotten how to write! Ah, those were the days!

For some, I am sure you can relate to my memory above, but for others, there is a feeling that everything simply can’t just stop. So, like my childhood next door neighbour, it was down to WHSmiths to collect as many revision books as possible to keep things ‘ticking over.’ In whichever camp you fall in however, I would recommend one thing for all: don’t stop reading! Reading (in my possibly biased opinion) is the most important skill throughout school. It overlaps to every single subject and is a skill for life, so it makes perfect sense that I recommend it is the one thing that continues throughout the summer holidays.  

If you would like to read more about some tips about how to generate a love of reading with your children, please read a previous article. Below though, you will find our top recommendations for you to read this summer.  

Nursery to Year 3 

Our recommendation: The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak.  

This is literally what is described on the front cover: a book with no pictures. However, the focus on words makes for a hilarious read and lots of fun with your child. It will have them laughing out loud, and you can even go a step further and begin thinking about make-up-words together. It is also great to play around with expression and intonation, noticing how presentation can impact performance.  

Year 4 – 6  

Our recommendation: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  

In this beautiful story, we are introduced to Wilbur, the run of a litter of piglets, who is saved by Fern and then by Charlotte the spider who weaves wonderful statements about him into her web. There are many levels to this book that you can draw out with your child, but at the very least, it is a story told with great affection and humour, full of memorable characters.  

Year 7 and 8  

Our recommendation: The Giver by L. Lowry 

Having sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, this book is one of my personal favourites. We are introduced to 12-year-old, Jonas who inherits a position that begins to challenge everything he knows. Being set in what appears to be a utopian society, the book reveals that it is actually dystopian, and has taken away pain and strife by converting to ‘sameness.’ It explores main themes and can open up some deep and rich conversations, really getting children to think and the ‘what if?’