Book lists are my one weakness. I know I have mentioned this before, but its true. However, when I am trying to find books to read, sometimes there are so many that I have already read that I begin to wonder if there is anything new under the sun. Hint: there’s not. But there are a vast number of opinions and I am here to tell you 5 of my absolute favorite children’s books and Summer is a great time to get started on them. Now, another criteria I had with writing this list is that they had to be ones we have read and my children enjoyed. Otherwise, I could give you something like Bambi, which bored us all to tears, even though it has made the top 100 classics to read.
First on the list is the Melendy Children. Rush and his enthusiastic piano playing to fit the mood of the day, Mona and her theatrics and dramatics while still enjoying being a young girl, Randy with her aspirations and spunk, and Oliver with his sweetness and assertiveness. These children will warm your hearts from the first page. The time takes place just before world war 2 and delighted all of my children. We were blessed to have the audio book which was terrifically narrated.
The Saturdays, The Four Story Mistake, Then There Were Five, and Spiderweb for Two. Worth owning. I also read Gone Away Lake to my children this past Spring, even though the setting for the book takes place during the summer— ahem, and while it was slow going, by the middle the kids were begging for “one more chapter.”
Homer Price! One of MY FAVORITE Childhood books and quickly became a favorite among the children. It’s silly. It’s wacky. The kid has a pet skunk! A diamond bracelet in a donut? But within these pages is a young kid in a fun town with a silly sherrif and mayor. Each chapter is it’s own unique story. Delightful tale that will have you giggle and smiling. If you like Opie Taylor from Andy Griffith, then this is the book for you. The kids also voted to do Lentil with this one since it feels like they should be brothers.
The first time we heard Everything on a Waffle (yes, we had the audio book, thanks to my local library), I was stunned at how much this girl went through. But, I think it was because she had so much going on in her life that my children really ended up wanting more and more of her story. Primrose’s parents are lost at sea and believed to be dead by everyone except Primrose. She ends up living with an elderly lady that ends up being unsuitable and moves in with her uncle that basically is very absentminded. Throughout the story, more of Primrose’s life is told through this cafe’ where you get everything on a waffle. At the end of each chapter is recipes that sometimes have little humor put inside them. Primrose has some appalling accidents that made me a little hesitant. However, despite all my misgivings, we ended up loving this book and I purchased a copy for our own library– and it has been read by 3 of my 5 children, and for some, more than once. Since this takes place on the coastline in Canada, if memory serves me correctly.
From the first page of The Lizard Garden, Anne Phillips weaves in a tale that is so enriching in geography and art appreciation. The story is about 3 siblings that end up staying in the Netherlands during the summer. We absolutely adored the Nutella Spaghetti story and the idea that you can only get groceries a few days at a time. Centered around the author’s actual experience and visits to the historical sights mentioned in this book. Now, while we did enjoy the Lizard Garden, I have to say that Verbania Treasure was very much our favorite of the two. The children go on a treasure hunt with their eccentric grandma and cousins, including one prone to mischief, George. The children were laughing out loud and asking me to read the scene with Grandma in the airport again, and probably again. Can’t recommend this story enough, and I think it will be the perfect summer read.
I debated about sharing Sweet Home Alaska, I talk about it so much and I wanted a variety of books to share with you but seriously, this has turned out to be one of our top 10 books we have enjoyed. From the name Terpichore, to the love that the protagonist has for Laura Ingalls Wilder, this story is a great historical fiction of the last frontier and the plan that Franklin Roosevelt hatched to help the depression economy. This book doesn’t necessarily scream summer but it for sure one of the best books we have ever read.
It is always daunting to make a post like this with the top books I recommend reading. There are so many that I want to recommend and endorse. However, I noticed that in a lot of the book lists that I search online, there seems to be a lack of quality literature that promotes goodness and love. Not only that, most of them look alike, and I wanted a diverse range of content and books not normally chosen. If you are avid reader’s like our family, we’ve read most of them. And just like all the lists that I weed through every so often, I know that there will be books that just don’t fit each individual or family. But hopefully, what I have shared here will give you all a love of reading, a terrific summer adventure, and joy in making lifetime friends.