7 Books to Read Aloud During Summer Vacation 

Summer is in full swing and with it, are a multitude of opportunities where families are brought together. Whether you are having fun at home or find yourself on the go, summer is the perfect time to read aloud with your family. To get you started, we’ve curated a list of books filled with fun, adventure, and no shortage of laughs. Dive in below: 


Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan by Cynthia Rylant

When a terrible drought slams Gooseberry Park, the animals that call the park home must come together. Gwendolyn the hermit crab, Kona the Labrador, Stumpy the squirrel, and their menagerie of other animal pals each demonstrate strengths and talents that contribute to the Master Plan. The love and determination each expresses prove to be their strongest tool of all, proving that no matter the hurdle, they’ll overcome it – together. Families are sure to have a blast with this tale of humor and heart! 


Stella Díaz Never Gives Up by Angela Dominguez 

Stella’s summer vacation soon becomes one she’ll never forget – she has her first beach trip while visiting family in Oaxaca, Mexico and learns she’s been accepted into a program at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. Stella learns about marine life and the dangers these creatures face from humans. Soon enough, Stella rallies both new and old friends to form a conservation club, the Sea Musketeers. Despite her quiet nature, Stella becomes a leader and forges real change in her community.


Just Harriet by Elana K. Arnold

When Harriet Wermer is sent to spend the summer with her grandmother, Nanu, on Marble Island, she isn’t exactly thrilled. But once she arrives on the island, a new world emerges: Nanu runs a bed and breakfast, one that is surrounded and filled with mysteries just waiting to be solved. Just Harriet will delight any reader who is looking for humor and adventure while also delving into some challenges, like dealing with change and learning to manage anger. 


Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

On an idyllic spot in the Pacific, Nim lives with her scientist father. Some of Nim’s closest companions include an iguana, a sea lion, a sea turtle, and a frigate bird, each with their own personalities. Nim’s routine is turned upside down when her father fails to call home while on his science expedition – which prompts Nim to reach out to the only person she believes may be of help: her favorite adventure author, Alex Rover. Nim and Alex’s lives soon become entwined, forging both an unputdownable rescue sequence and a charming path to self-discovery. 


Stuart Little by E. B. White 

This classic presents a series of episodic stories that follow Stuart, a mouse-sized boy born to the Little family. The Littles live in New York City, and the city offers young Stuart a whole world of possibilities. He goes sailing in Central Park, piloting a toy sailboat into an exciting duel on the high seas. He endures a trip to the garbage barge, rescued by his beloved Margalo, a bird who nests for a while in the Little’s Boston fern. And he fends off the evil intentions of the family’s cat, Snowbell. While Stuart matures and seeks adventure, this book has resonated with young readers for decades. Who hasn’t felt small in this big world? 


Malamander by Thomas Taylor 

As the Lost-and-Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, Herbie Lemon is used to reuniting things with their rightful owners. However, Herbie is out of his depth when Violet Parma stumbles into his life, seeking her parents who vanished from Eerie’s shoes twelve years ago. Violet and Herbie are quickly caught in the crosshairs of a local writer’s search for the Malamander egg, a magical relic that grants its holder any and all wishes they might have… A relic that the Malamander – a  half-fish, half-man that’s kept residents of Eerie-on-Sea weary of misty evenings for generations– is determined to take back. Thomas Taylor’s atmospheric fantasy is perfect for anyone ready to embark on a larger-than-life adventure, who might be searching for their place in the world, and who holds an appreciation for things that are just a little bit strange. 


The Islanders by Mary Alice Monroe and Angela May

As Jake contemplates his upcoming summer on a Lowcountry island in South Carolina with his widowed grandmother and without his friends, he is sure it is going to be the “worst summer ever.” He soon discovers, however, that the island holds plenty of excitement, especially when experienced with two new friends and some freshly hatched sea turtles. The Islanders will give your family a chance to learn more about sea turtles and their fragile habitat. It also explores the lives of military families and includes themes of friendship, family, and forgiveness.

Do you have any other books you’d recommend for our summer reading list? Let us know in the comments below. 


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