We’re starting to think about summer. Specifically: favorite summer books.

Recently, this conversation sparked a debate among CLiF’s voracious readers:

What makes a book a great summer book?

  • Is it a picture book, like Blueberries for Sal, that captures the long, hot days of the season?
  • Is it a classic book you associate with read-alouds and campfires, like Treasure Island?
  • Is it the memory of the experience, like staying up late and waiting with other costumed fans at the bookstore to buy the next title in the Harry Potter series?
  • Or is it a chapter book you read at just the right time and that helped you grow up a little bit between school years? (While we all agreed on Charlotte’s Web, when it came to middle grade and YA titles, we all had this experience with different books).

We’re collecting favorite summer books for kids–however you define them–in this list.

Please tell us your favorite, or your child’s favorite (or your together favorite!) summer book, and we’ll add it to the list. Tell us in a comment below, or tell us on Facebook or Twitter. If you tell us why it’s your favorite, we’ll add that to the description.

When summer vacation starts, we’ll really get things cooking! Stay tuned.

7 responses to “CLiF Spotlight: What makes a great summer book?

  1. I like to spend some time of my summer catching up with new books within a series that I haven’t been able to keep up with. So often I find series I like, but feel like I can’t keep up with them during the school year like I want to. So, I stockpile them for the summer and do a marathon reading. I did this with the Hunger Games series and Divergent series recently for my upper grade students, and the Warrior series for my 4th-5th graders.

  2. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren…my grandmother read this to me over and over again and i never tired of it. or so i recall now when i read it to my boy and girls. hard not to like a kid who could care less about what the rest of humanity thinks about her. and one who always sees the fun side of life, regardless of the circumstances.

  3. Where the Red Fern Grows – I don’t think it actually takes place in the summer, but in my imagination I picture the last scene where the boy finds the red fern as being in the late summer.

  4. My favorite summer reads with my son are ones that get his imagination going so he can recreate worlds all summer long. Some of our favorite reads together have been My Father’s Dragon and most recently, The Black Stallion. Growing up, I loved The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and played Narnia all summer long, so that may have to be this year’s summer read.

  5. I love The Moon Jumpers by Janice May Udry. It’s not all that well known, but it’s a story about a gaggle of children playing tag barefoot in the lawn during that magical stretch of dusk late on summer evenings where the fireflies are out, but the parents have not yet called kids back home for the night. That stretch of time defines carefree freedom and joy for me…and the book transports me back my 10-year old self in the most wonderful way.

  6. I have a great summer memory of a family vacation in Maine during which a new Harry Potter book came out. My mom, sister and I waited in a long line that led up a rickety set of stairs to a very old bookshop in Kennebunkport. We bought three copies and spent the rest of the vacation reading on the beach!

  7. I remember one summer that I read as many Nancy Drew books as I could find. Summertime is the perfect time to go searching for clues to nature’s mysteries!

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