Summer is the best time for family reading, whether you’re reading at home on the couch or out on a blanket in the shade. And when it comes to bedtime reading, no school means you can indulge requests for “just one more chapter.”
City Spies by James Ponti
This is exactly the kind of summer read that’s so fun as a read aloud. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. Sara Martinez is a twelve-year-old hacker who landed herself in jail after she hacked into the NYC foster care system to prove that her foster parents are using their foster funds for their own gain. But then a British spy shows up just before her hearing and after posing as her lawyer, springs her free and invites her to come work with four other child spies. Well, she’s not going to refuse that offer. This is the first book in a new series and I can’t wait for the next one.
WildLives: 50 Extraordinary Animals that Made History by Ben Lerwill, illustrated by Sarah Walsh
Ever since school was canceled, the girls and I have been working our way through this book about animals from all over the world that are famous for all sorts of things. Each story is two pages long and filled with beautiful illustrations, and my girls from ages 9 to 3 have been super into it (and so have I!). We’ve had the best conversations about geography and history and a million other topics – I can’t recommend it highly enough. Read about one animal a day and you’ll get through the whole book this summer with no problem!
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel, illustrated by Sydney Smith
The girls and I started listening to this in the car and then Bart joined halfway in and requested we not finish it without him. Things aren’t great for the Rylance family. Their mom has passed away and now their famous comic book writer dad has writer’s block. And then Inkling arrives. When the ink in one of Dad’s sketchbooks run together, the blob leaps off the page and Inkling is born. And he might be just what the whole family needs.
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Ray Fenwick
Nobody writes children’s non-fiction like Candace Fleming and her book about P.T. Barnum is my favorite of her works. If you or your children loved The Greatest Showman, you’ll love this fascinating book full of amazing stories about the real life of Barnum and how he made a name for himself. I can’t recommend this one highly enough!