Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Reading Ideas for 8 Year Olds

My friend was looking for book ideas for her lovely daughter Aniyah to read this summer. I like to consider myself the book whisperer, so I thought I'd make a list of some great books for upcoming 3rd graders. I planned on making a girl-centric list, but I hate to put books into the category of boy vs. girl books. I hate to put limits on which books my students read, so I'm not going to do it here. These books won't necessarily be easy reads, but I choose them for the plot and for how much I think your kiddos will enjoy them. I also love when a book teaches and gets a child to think. Be prepared for discussions about books with your child, it will help them develop and grow as a reader!

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis - This book is somewhat intimidating because of the issue of racial tension in the book. The main character goes to Alabama to stay with family and his move coincides with the church bombings so the whole city is reeling. The racial tension in the book is handled so delicately. The main focus of the book is the importance and strength of family. Don't be afraid of the subject matter, and be ready to discuss the truth of what happened.

Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary - A classic that all children should read. This book is great for summer because Ralph is on summer vacation in it. Simple, silly, entertaining light read for kids.

Anything by Roald Dahl but especially The BFG or The Witches - Those were my two favorite Roald Dahl books when I read them as a kid. James and the Giant Peach is another good one, but I just wasn't as big a fan. The Witches TERRIFIED me, but if your kid isn't a giant wuss like I was (or am) then they'll love it. These books are on every third grade teacher's bookshelf, I guarantee it.

Charlotte's Web by EB White - This is one of my favorites to read-aloud to second graders, but I think it would be even better for third graders. Again, this has classic themes like life or death, so be prepared to discuss. Some teachers actually skip over the death part when they read it, but I find that to be ridiculous.

Pippi Longstocking - Every little girl should read Pippi Longstocking. She's spunky and thinks for herself and goes on crazy adventures.

Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer - Learn about the woman who discovered the importance of a star's brightness.

Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom - Zeus is kidnapped and finds that he can defend himself

Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs - A collection of funny poems about animals and how they died. It's pretty morbid and pretty hysterical.

Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond - Pretty self-explanatory. A look
at dogs who have served in battle.

Liberty Porter, First Daughter - The story of a girl whose father is elected President and her entire life was turned upside down.

Stellaluna - A baby bat falls into a bird's nest and learns how to be a "proper" bird. A good book for teaching kids about fitting in and how sometimes it's better to just be yourself.

Magic Tree House Series - A great series that combines magic and history. Each book also has a nonfiction guide that goes into more detail.

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