Recently, we talked about how important it is to keep reading and learning alive over the summer break, especially for young children. The problem is, most kids don't squeal with excitement at the thought of cuddling up with a good book. Fortunately, the world of children's literature is always evolving, and there are plenty of books out there that can help spark a love of reading in your young ones. Here are some of the top bestsellers for every age group.
The Magic Treehouse Books by Mary Pope Osborne
These books have been around since I was in elementary school, but they're still wildly popular with young children. Imaginative and fun to read, each installment offers something new. Plus, there are dozens of sequels, so your kid can travel with Jack and Annie to magical places and embark on dangerous quests again and again.
The Descendants Series by Melissa de la Cruz
This trilogy is perfect for the child who loves all things Disney. Learn more about the children of infamous characters like Malificent from Beauty and the Beast or the son of Jafar from Aladdin. With fun references to so many movies, sassy characters, and an interesting plot, these books will have your kids addicted. Plus, there is a Disney Channel show and a movie based on the books, so your child will be able to enjoy both the novels and the screen adaptations.
The Dragon of Lonely Island by Rebecca Rupp
Does your kid get a real kick out of dragons and magical tales? Then they'll love this unique tale about a three-headed dragon and its hidden home. The dragon has been alive for thousands of years, and they regale readers with tales from long ago. Kids will be hooked into this fantastical story within one or two chapters. This one might be a little advanced for some kids, but if your child is a strong reader they'll love it.
Nate the Great by Majorie Weinman Sharmat
Full of illustrations by Marc Simont and a comedic story by Sharmat, this book will have your kid turning pages without too much encouragement. Nate, a mini-Sherlock-wannabe, helps his friends uncover mysteries as he learns to ask the right questions and use his deductive skills.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This book is packed with heart and understanding, and your child will enjoy and learn from it. Auggie has never attended a real school due to his condition and facial difference, but when he finally enters the fifth grade at a real public school, he realizes he has a lot to learn about people and life... and so do the others around him. It's an easy read and full of moral themes. Plus, your child can read it before its film adaptation hits screens this fall.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Riordan's fantastic series is hands-down one of the best pieces of children's literature out there. Follow Percy as he battles fierce creatures and attempts to find his way in a world fraught with life-threatening quests, witty satyrs, and ancient Greek gods. Don't let the mediocre movie adaptations sway your opinion: these books are the bomb.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I'm sure you've already heard of these hugely popular books, and there's a reason why: They're humorous, addictive, and extremely well-written. Your kids will get such a kick out of Count Olaf's eccentricities and the outrageous situations the Baudelaire children find themselves in. There are thirteen books in the series, and chances are, your child will devour all of them.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Does your kid love robots? Then they'll be enchanted by this imaginative story of a robot learning to survive in the wilderness of a deserted island. Although Roz, the young robot, has no idea why she woke up on the island, she embraces her surroundings and has a bit of an unexpected adventure. Your young reader will enjoy the entertaining story, as well as the beautiful illustrations.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Okay okay, I know this is such a cop out, but come on. If your child has only ever seen the movies, then this is the time to encourage them to pick up the books. Trust me, reading about Harry and his adventures is entirely different from witnessing them on the big screen. Before you know it, your child just might be holing themselves up in their room to devour a 600-page novel without being forced to.
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paloni
At first, your child might be intimated by the sheer size of these novels. They're definitely not quick reads, but they do grab your attention quickly. This summer is the perfect chance for your preteen to meet Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, as they attempt to defeat evil in a magical land. If they love movies like The Lord of the Rings films, then they'll gobble this enchanting story up.
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
This book provides the perfect introduction to romantic comedy for young readers. Cute and entertaining, Flipped has been earning admiration for many years for its adorable love story and relatable characters.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Even though this book was written in the 1980s, it's still a favorite among many young teens. Heart pounding and page-turning, Hatchet has been grabbing young readers' attention for more than thirty years, so it's pretty likely that even a reluctant reader will enjoy this story.
These are just a few selections from the bestseller lists. What do your kids love to read? Leave recommendations in the comments below!