Summer Reads: Early Readers and Tweens

Grouping together a list of fun reads for both early readers and tweens is tough!   This age group has a wide range of reading ability, interests, and attention span.  So we looked for books that are new this year where the chapter books are fun enough to read aloud to younger kids  and the picture books are fascinating and beautiful enough to entrance older readers.  Like these:

12 Finally by Wendy Mass – Rory can’t wait for her birthday. She’ll finally be 12! And she has a list of things she has longed to do that she finally has permission to do–like getting a cell phone and piercing her ears.  Wendy Mass has managed to perfectly capture the youth, innocence, and expectation of what lies ahead in life–even when it’s not quite what you expect.

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Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate diCamillo – Early readers love, love, love Mercy Watson!  So do adults who want to encourage early readers. DiCamillo mostly tells the story through simple words and phrases, but she also slips in more complex words, such as porcine, subtly. She deftly uses them in context that makes them clear to young readers. Fun and entertaining to enjoy Mercy the pigs adventures and misadventures.

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Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun by Michael J. Caduto – This is perfect for summer, and for parents and kids looking for fun things to do at home.  A series of activities and experiments that kids will love – and you’ll feel great about doing, since they’re not only educational, they’re all centered around renewable energy.

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The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall – This is the third installment in the Penderwick family saga.  If you’ve read the earlier books, you’ve probably already devoured this.  If not, picture Little Women plus Anne of Green Gables plus Betsy-Tacy, updated a bit, and you’ve got a clear picture of the series that won the National Book Award in 2005.

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The Wikkeling by Steven Arnston – A dystopia for the younger set.  Readers who loved Neil Geiman’s Coraline will be intrigued by this funny, creepy tale that ends up being one of hope.

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Junonia by Kevin Henkes – The junonia is a rare sea shell that ten-year-old Alice seeks on the summer beaches of Florida. The writing and illustrations are both touching and Henkes has a knack for capturing the emotional ups and downs of the pre-teen years. A great summer read to share with the family at the beach.

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Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos – This is a beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated book about a woman who lived her life with grace, goodness and a giving spirit.  She was also a gorgeous and glamorous movie star and style icon, and this is a great way to introduce her life, work, and style to a new generation.

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When Bob Met Woody by Gary Golio, illustrated by Marc Burckhardt – Another fabulous book that introduces kids to an American legend!  Again, this book is made relevant to all of us by showing that even icons start out as kids with dreams, and how important it is to follow our dreams and find our heroes.  It’s a good excuse to pull out the Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie albums, too.

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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood – Further tales of the wolfish Incorrigibles and their intrepid governess, Miss Penelope Lumley.  In this installment, we learn a bit more about a possible connection between the nanny and her charges, but the real draw is a budding romance for Miss Lumley (or Lumawoo, as the children call her).

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Cahoots by Karla Oceanak – Book three in the Aldo Zelnik alphabet series is probably the funniest yet, and is a great book for boys, especially reluctant readers.  Aldo’s stuck on the farm for the summer, with (cripes!)  no computers.  What’s a kid to do for consolation?  Get it yet?  “C’ words abound in this clever, cockamamie and colorful canard.

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Loser List by H. N. Kowitt- Denny Shine is obsessed by comics.  When he finds out that he’s on the Geeky  Loser List, he’s determined to get his name crossed off.  His knack for drawing helps his image, but also gets him into trouble.  A great recommendation for readers who enjoy the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

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