Summer 2023 Reading Lists for Students

~ Written by Marissa Moldoch and Megan Waardenburg ~

Who else is excited for summer vacation? Whether you're planning to roadtrip across the country, camp in the forest, or relax at the beach, we hope you'll encourage your children to bring a stack of good books. School might be out of session, but that doesn't mean students should refrain from reading imaginative stories! Check out our official reading lists to find recommendations based on grade level.

Pre-K & Kindergarten

  • Curious George by E.K. Rey — A young monkey meets a human and creates mischief.
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone — The three goats must pass the troll under the bridge to graze in their field.
  • Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff — A little boy gets to play with his favorite extinct animal. 
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss — A picky eater must try a new food, recounted with some fun Dr. Seuss rhymes. 
  • Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion — A stubborn dog must be persuaded to take a bath.

1st-3rd Grade

  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond – A polite little British bear explores London.
  • The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War by Emily Little — The classic myth of the Trojan Horse and the Sack of Troy retold for young audiences.
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder —The Ingalls family's life in rural America in the 1800s. 
  • Floss by Kim Lewis — Much like young children, a border collie puppy must learn when to work and when to play.
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney — Inspired by a true story, Miss Rumphius lives her dream of making the world more beautiful by planting lupines along the coast of Maine. 

4th & 5th Grade

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain — In this American classic, Huckleberry Finn adventures down the Mississippi River Delta in antebellum America. 
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery — Anne Shirley's adventures becoming a part of the Cuthbert family on Prince Edward Island and becoming a part of her town's community. 
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg — A pair of siblings sneaks into the Metropolitan Museum of Art to live amongst the world's masterpieces and discover some secrets about them.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry — A young Danish girl lives amongst a community working to help their Jewish neighbors move to Sweden in the Second World War.
  • The Arabian Nights — Excerpts from the classic One Thousand and One Nights from the golden age of Baghdad. 

6th-8th Grade

  • The Iliad by Homer — In Homer's epic poem, the legendary warrior Achilles’ absence leaves the Greeks struggling to win the war. Follow along with some of antiquity’s most revered figures through the Trojan War era masterpiece. 
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery — A young boy visits new planets and meets a handful of new animals and people along the way. They teach both the Little Prince and the readers lessons about humanity and friendship. 
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe — Written during a golden age of travel, Robinson Crusoe depicts a man surviving alone on an island and his resourcefulness as he braves a biome and culture he’d never experienced before. 
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — In the most famous installment of the Sherlock Holmes novels, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson investigate some attempted murders and reveal clues that teach readers about honesty and the consequences of lying.
  • Julius Caesar by Shakespeare — William Shakespeare's dramatic retelling of the assassination of Julius Caesar, exploring virtue in leadership and guilt through Ancient Rome's scandals. 

9th-12th Grade:

  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis — C.S. Lewis' poignant retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche from the Metamorphoses of Apuleius.
  • The Eclogues of Virgil In contrast to the fast-paced epic Aeneid, Virgil's most pastoral poetry builds on itself as shepherds reflect on universal experiences. 
  • Henry V by Shakespeare — The story of Henry V and his rule leading up to and during the Battle of Agincourt featuring some of Shakespeare's most iconic speeches.
  • The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton — A man works for Scotland Yard's secret anarchist division in the 1900s. 
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens — Families and friends reunite during the French Revolution and must find a way to stay together amid the violence.

The adventure of a lifetime is just a page flip away! Which titles and genres will your children explore this summer? For even more parent-approved, classically-vetted options, be sure to check out The Classical Reader!

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