“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” — Anna Quindlen
Oh, how so very right Ms. Quindlen is. Books have the ability to teach you, inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, but above all else, make you HAPPY. How powerful is that? And, how awesome is it that words, typed on paper, can be so impactful on your life, depending upon when, and why, you are reading those words in that book.
It is crucial to foster a love for reading in children, from early on, if you want for them to have an appreciation for books and an understanding of all that books can and will do for them throughout their life.
In my list, below, I have compiled a fabulous summer reading list for each member of your family. Included with the book title and author is a brief statement about the book
Non-Fiction Book For Mom:
Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay – Why read this book? Because it is a practical instruction manual for how to effectively parent your child. The main parenting method discussed in this book is the one that encourages parents to maintain some control, but not engage in power struggles with their children. The book is broken down into chapters that touch on responsibility, positive self-image, mistakes, thinking words, choices, empathy, respect and so much more.
** All my favorite non-fiction books for moms are self-help. If you would like to view all my top-ten choices for parenting books you can view my list here.
Fiction Books For Mom:
Murder List by July Garwood – A great read if you are into drama and suspense, coupled with some always necessary romance. The book combines a journalist, a serial killer, a business executive, a doctor, a detective and an heiress to create on-the-edge tension that can’t help but be felt by the reader. Once you start this book, it will be hard to tear yourself away.
Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline – What do you get when you combine some adult-aged “mean girls,” drug dealers, abuse, crushes and dead bodies? You get this book. You also get the main character finding love while on the search for a killer.
Non-Fiction Books For Dad:
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw – If you are a history buff, then this book will be right up your alley. Brokaw’s book is delivered via a compilation of stories of important men and women, who by their choices and behavior, came to be known as citizen heroes. The book steadfastly contends that the individuals noted in the book are all a part of a certain generation, whose values included “duty, honey, economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and, above all, responsibility for oneself.
Devil In The White City by Erik Larson – Another read for the history buff, this book, written in the style of a fiction book, is actually true; all the details throughout the book come from letters, memoirs or other written documents. This book starts slightly slow, however if you push through to the middle of the book, then you are on the road for a dynamic “exploration of American History”. Interestingly, Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the film rights to this book back in 2010 and the movie is scheduled to be produced by Paramount Pictures.
Fiction Books For Dad:
Double Cross by James Patterson – If you are not familiar with Patterson’s series, which revolve around Detective Alex Cross, you need to familiarize yourself with it. Full of action, excitement, murders, mayhem and maniacs, Patterson’s stories, including this one, delve into the mind of criminals, as well as the mind of those that search for them. This book is a must read.
Good People by Marcus Sakey – This crime fiction book, which is slightly dark and disturbing in its nature, is about a couple, in crisis, that is offered a fairly tale ending — but at a price. This book draws on its readers vulnerability, to give into temptation, by showing them how quickly a bad choice can turn very, very dangerous.
Books For your Elementary-School Aged Child:
The Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo – Definitely a top pick for me and very popular amongst my children. This book revolves around a pig, named Mercy, who is the “pet,” but really more like a family member to her loving and doting parents, Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Each story contains a fun-filled adventure that is sure to keep your children’s attention and keep them laughing.
The Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park – Readers are engaged from page one of any of the books in this series, thanks it part to the book’s main character, the extremely sassy, Julie B. Jones. With the crazy mishaps and Junie’s horrible grammar as a staple throughout the books, your child is sure to enjoy.
The Ivy and Bean Series by Annie Barrows – These stories revolve around the antics and rivalry of two friends, which your child will find very humorous. Reviews of the books in this series have included that these chapter books are great for children who have just become independent readers
The Princess in Black Series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale – This is a chapter book series with a princess as the main character. In each of the books, the reader follows the princess as she transforms out of her frilly dress and into her mask and cape to tackle any trouble that arises. Young girls seem to quickly develop a fondness for this character and therefore, thoroughly enjoy these books.
Unstoppable Me! 10 Ways to Soar Through Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer with Kristina Tracy – This book teaches children they are “unstoppable”. It includes the teaching of ten life lessons through easy to understand descriptions and examples, as well as helpful illustrations. Some of the lessons discussed in the book include dealing with stress, finding enjoyment in each moment and taking risks.
Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish – The stories in this chapter book series revolve around the main character, Amelia Bedelia, who humorously and repeatedly misunderstands the various commands being asked of her by her employer. This is another book that is sure to keep your child’s attention due to its comical nature.
Books For Your Pre-Schooler:
Wacky Wednesday (and any other book by Dr. Seuss) – This book is super fun for the kids, as it allows them to find numerous wacky things throughout each illustration. Similar to a look-and-find, this book is sure to entertain your toddler.
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley – This is a cut-out book through which you watch the monster grow. It is slightly scary (but not too scary), fun and exciting all at the same time. My three-year old loves this book!
Manners Time by Elizabeth Verdick – This book teachers your child about manners, in a succinct and easy way, via friendly words and pictures. This book encourages you and your child to practice your manners throughout reading time.
Sweet Dreams 5-Minute Bedtime Stories (by Ten Different Authors) – There are many versions of this book including five-minute Curious George stories, Disney stories and Bedtime stories. There are about ten five-minute stories in each book and the length of each story is just long enough to keep your preschoolers attention, but not too long that they will get bored. The books contain big and colorful illustrations, as well.
Books For Those Ages 1 – 2:
Noisy Farm by Tiger Tales – This is a touch and feel book, with sound, which is so great for this age. Every page of this book is interactive with noise, texture and colorful pictures. Touch and feel books, and books with sound, are the way to go for those children under the age of two.
I Say, You Say Opposites – This is a lift-the-flap book that explores the world of opposites. This book, and books in this same style, are great for your younger children because they help them to learn new words while they simply feel like they are playing.
A Book for the Whole Family to Enjoy Together:
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – A true classic in the world of children’s poetry and short stories. The comedic titles, silly language and straightforward and funny drawings make this read a blast for kids. Every time we open this book in our house, we cannot put it down without hearing “please, one more!” at least three times.
I hope that you check out some of the books on this list, but whether you do or you don’t, just pick up a book and encourage your children to do the same.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers”. — Charles W. Eliot