Summer Reading Activities

It is not hard to get my children to read during the summer for several reasons.
  1. It gets too hot to do anything outside.
  2. The bookmobile comes to our front door every other Monday.
  3. The bookmobile's summer reading program is terrific. The kids are required to read a certain amount of minutes, depending on grade level, in order to receive a grab bag. The grab bags are full of great stuff! Klutz books, regular books, art supplies, etc. This year the theme is "One World, Many Stories."
We've added an extra touch this summer thanks to the reading program from my mom's bookstore, The Purple Cow (if you are ever near Tooele, UT you should totally stop by!) I think my brother thought this whole thing up. He's so good with ideas! Their program is "Around the World in 80 Days."

Click on the image to download the Summer Reading Bingo Chart

The kids have to read a book that takes place in or mentions one of the places on the Summer Reading Bingo card. When they get a bingo they get a special prize. The only rules are a book can only be used once, and that only one book from a series can be used. What a great idea to expand your reading list right?

Here are some suggestions if you are stumped as to what books contain say an amusement park or an attic. The recommended grade level is in parentheses. I tried to put books on the list that most may NOT have read to keep things fresh and new. Obviously there are some where I am drawing a blank - a graveyard is blank. If you can add to this list leave the books in the comments and I'll eventually get around to adding them. And I really didn't add too many books from popular series as those are rather obvious!

The forest
Sarah Whitcher’s Story by Elizabeth Yates (3-adult)
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (5-adult)
Becky Landers, Frontier Warrior by Constance Lindsay Skinner (5 – 12)
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements (4-adult)
Enna Burning by Shannon Hales (5-adult)

The Ocean
A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla (3-6)
Red Sails to Capri by Ann Weil (4-adult)
Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry (4-6)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (6-adult)
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (5-adult)

A Castle
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli (4-adult)
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg (6-adult)
Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer (6-adult)
The Lost Baron by Allen French (4-9)
Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funk (3-adult)
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (5- adult)

The attic
In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson (4-7)

An amusement park
Charlotte’s Web (county fair) by E. B. White (4-8)
The Carnivorous Carnival: Book the Ninth (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket (4-teen)
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (2-adut)

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (3-5)
Magic Treehouse #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne (1-4)
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges (3-5)
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funk (4-teen)
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (4-teen)
Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (5-adult)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (3-6)
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (5-adult)
Septimus Heap by Angie Sage (4-adult)
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (3-adult)
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald (2-5)

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (2-4)
Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze by Elizabeth Enright (4-adult)
The Reb and the Redcoats by Constance Savery (5-12)
The Hidden Treasure of Glaston by Eleanore M. Jewett (5-12)

Twenty & Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop (5-adult)
The Bravest Dog Ever by Natalie Standiford (1-3)
Pheobe the Spy by Judith Griffin (3-7)
The Story of Harriet Tubman Dorothy Sterling (4-7)
The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds (3-4)
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher (5-adult)
Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (5-adult)

The city
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (3-7)
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary (3-7)
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (4-6)
Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman (6-adult)
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (7-adult)
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (4-adult)
The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

The graveyard
Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables Series) by L.M. Montgomery (6-adult)
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (7 - adult)

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (6-adult)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (6-adult)
Secret Agents Four by Donald J Sobol (3-6)
Matilda by Roald Dahl (3-adult)

A secret passage
The Story of Harriet Tubman Dorothy Sterling (4-7)
The Secret Passage by Nina Bowden (5-9)
Dog in the Dungeon by Ben M. Baglio

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (3-6)
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (5-8)
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth (3-adult)

Outer space
Curious George Gets a Medal by H.A. Rey (1-4)
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca (3-7)
Star Wars Jedi Apprentice series

With secrets
Twenty & Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop (5-adult)
Pheobe the Spy by Judith Griffin (3-7)
Toliver’s Secret by Esther Wood Brady (4-adult)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4-adult)
The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (3-7)

Somewhere medieval
The Apple & the Arrow by Conrad Buff (3-6)
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli (4-adult)
The Sword in the Tree Clyde Robert Bulla (2-6)
Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (6-adult)
The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett (5-adult)
Red Falcons of Tremoine by Hendry Perte (5-8)

The jungle
It’s a Jungle out There by Ron Snell (5-adult)
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (4-7)
Jungle Drums by Graeme Base (1-4)
Tigers at Twilight by Mary Pope Osborn (1-4)
Afternoon on the Amazon by Mary Pope Osborn (1-4)

God King by Joanne Williamson (5-8)
Shadow Hawk by Andre Norton (7-adult)
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (5-adult)
Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborn (1-4)

A different time
The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack (1-3) pre-revolutionary China
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield (4-8) ancient Rome
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (5-adult)
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (5-adult)

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen (3-6)
The Boy Who was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris (2-5)
Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick (4-7)
A Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (5-adult)

Different country
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (4-7) France
The Story of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting (3-6) Africa
The Wheel on the School by Meindert Dejong (4- adult) Denmark
Daughter of the Mountains by Louise S. Rankin (4-adult) Tibet
My Heart Lies South by Elizabeth Borton De Treviño (6-adult) Mexico

In the country
Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells (2-5)
The Boxcar Children (3-6)
The Little House Books (3-6)

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  1. I noticed that you don't have anything for the graveyard space but the book 'Rainbow Valley' from the Anne of Green Gables has several scenes that take place in the graveyard. Hope that helps! (Also, the Septimus Heap series would be a great one for another time, dragon, and magical.)

  2. For the graveyard, Skullduggary Pleasent. I was not a BIG fan of it, and it is for older readers for sure, but it takes place a few times in a graveyard. Also, Artemes Fowl (sp?) has a few scenes in a graveyard. (and it was better than the skullduggary one)

  3. Oh, for pyramids, the new Rick Riordan series is pretty good, "The Kane Chronicles". All about Egypt.

  4. I was going to say "Rainbow Valley" too, for graveyards!

    In the Country: don't forget "Caddie Woodlawn" and "Little Britches"

    And for Ocean, why not 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"?
    I love reading lists! (At least these types, lol)

  5. you always make me smile...what a delightful childhood you must have had...what privileged children you are raising.

  6. What a fun reading program!

    Here's a few more book suggestions with my guess at reading level:

    Forrest - A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements (4-adult)

    Ocean - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riorden (5-adult)

    Castle - Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funk (3-adult) - This book would work for Medieval too.

    Dragons - Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (5-adult)

    Magical - Harry Potter and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald for the younger kids

    City - The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

    Villains - Matilda by Roald Dahl (3-adult)

    Secret Passage - Dog in the Dungeon by Ben M. Baglio

    Museum - The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth (3-adult)

    Outer Space - Star Wars Jedi Apprentice series

    Secrets - The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

    Jungle - Tigers at Twilight and Afternoon on the Amazon by Mary Pope Osborn

    Pyramids - Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborn

    Different time - The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

    Library - School Story by Andrew Clements and Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick

    Different country - Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan and Thief Lord by Cornelia Funk

    In the Country - Schooled by Gordon Korman

  7. Tom Sawyer has a key scene in a graveyard.
    Glad to see you read Constance Savery. I am presently in England visiting her goddaughter and gathering material for a biography of her life. I already have a website devoted to her work.

  8. Thank you for the great list and for the great bingo card!

    We have teh same theme for our library summer reading.

  9. I love this idea! I need to get upstairs to print this out on our home computer.

  10. I don't see any Shannon Hale books on there! Princess Academy, the Goose Girl and sequels, Book of a Thousand Days...all GREAT books for older elementary and junior high kids, and cover several categories. I LOVE Shannon Hale!!!

  11. The Graveyard Book is one of my all-time favorites. It's a Newberry Award winner, by Neil Gaimon. It's for older elementary to adult. I recently read it out loud to my 8 year old and some of it was a little over his head, but he liked it. Love these ideas.

  12. Love the Bingo idea! I have a few title suggestions for you (and I second Elizabeth's suggestion of Gaimon's The Graveyard Book!):

    Ocean: Three Young Pilgrims by Cynthia Harness
    Mysterious: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
    Pyramids: The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
    Library: Because of Winn-Dixie (has some scenes in library)
    Different Country: The Good Master (Hungary, pre WWI) by Kate Seredy
    In the Country: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

    Thank you so much for your great ideas!

  13. This is awesome! I haven't looked through the list completely, but I love that this is a neat way to keep an avid reader's summer reading varied. We are totally going to use this!


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