Summer is a great time to read as a family, whether it’s listening to an audiobook together on a road trip or bringing a book along to the park. Or enjoy one of these before bedtime when no school the next morning means you can indulge the requests for “just one more chapter.”
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
I already knew I loved Mac Barnett from his Caldecott-snagging picture books, but it turns out he’s just as deft with a novel too. When Miles moves to Yawnee Valley, he is not happy. He’s leaving behind the ocean, best friends, and his reputation as a fantastic pranker. Even worse, his boring new town has only two things – cows and a prankster of its own. You know an epic prank war is the only way through. If you want something to make you laugh this summer, not only is this a great choice, but there’s also two more in the series, including the newest one, The Terrible Two Go Wild, which takes place at summer camp.
By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman
I picked this one up at the library for the girls to listen to on a road trip and it was so delightful that everyone in the family ended up listening along. It follows a butler and a young boy who set out for California, determined to strike it rich during the gold rush. Of course, nothing goes as they’ve planned and in true Sid Fleischman style, it’s all just very amusing. The audiobook gets top marks from our family, if you’re looking for something to listen to during a road trip this summer!
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
I read this to the girls earlier this year and when I mentioned it on Instagram, I was surprised to see how many people had never heard of this series. I LOVED these books growing up and read them all multiple times. They’re semi-biographical books about a little boy, JD, growing up in the late 1800s in a tiny town in Utah with his two older brothers, including the middle one, Tom, who is super smart and uses his brains to trick others (especially JD) out of their money. They’re clever and funny and I never get tired of them.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
If you loved Wonder, this book is just as good, about eleven-year-old Melody who has cerebral palsy. She can’t walk or talk, but she’s super smart (in fact, she has a photographic memory) but no one knows she has any mental ability at all because she can’t communicate. But now she’s ready to show what she can do. I advise against reading this on an airplane unless you enjoy trying to sob quietly so as not to alarm your seat mate (ask me how I know).