Summer Reading for the Whole Family

The dog days of summer are upon us, although it doesn’t always feel like it in San Francisco. But whether the sun is shining brightly, or we’re bundled up against the thick Bay Area fog, there’s nothing like the summer months to catch up on one’s reading.

Here, we’ve compiled our favorite books for kids and parents alike, to ensure that your summer reading list is well stocked.

Young Readers:

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, by Dan Santat

Vibrant illustrations accompany the story about an imaginary friend looking for his human.

The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh!, by Anne Vittur, Kennedy

The farm comes to life when the animals start talking.

Firebird, by Misty Copeland

Written by the famed ballerina, the book tells the story of a young African-American girl who follows her dreams to become a prima ballerina.

Middle Grade Readers:

Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain, by Russell Freedman

An illustrated book telling the story of immigrants who arrived at Angel Island between 1910 and 1940.

Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats, by Sy Montgomery

The author, along with photographer Nic Bishop, capture cheetahs as they study with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Africa.

The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L. Hilm

The eleven-year-old protagonist deals with issues relating to family, friends and life. Recommended as an introduction to the science fiction genre.

Older Readers:

Caminar, by Skila Brown

A coming-of-age story about a young boy during the Guatemalan civil war.

The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier

Two abandoned siblings in Victorian England discover the excitement of telling spine-tingling stories.

A Time to Dance, by Padma Venkatraman

A car accident disables a young Indian dancer, and the story tells of her remarkable return to dance while using a prosthesis.


1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12, by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.

This book outlines three easy-to-follow steps to get your kids to listen and behave.

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs, by Ellen Galinsky

A must read for parents who are dedicated to ensuring their child has what it takes to not only succeed, but to live a happy and well-adjusted life.

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn

This book written by famed New York Times journalists explores the methods we can use to make a difference in the world and become global citizens. Included are ways that families can make a difference together.

The children’s books we’ve chosen are all taken from the American Library Association’s list of 2015 Notable Children’s Books.

Photo credit: Jessica Lucia/flickr

Reading and Literacy, Tips for Parents literacy, summer reading lists