Summer Reading List for Families of All Ages

Not only is reading a great way to keep our brains active all summer long, but it is also an excellent opportunity for spending quality time with family!

We love the idea of having a summer reading list for the entire family and using it as an opportunity to spend more time together. While some kids might not find reading to be the most fun summer activity, there are ways to get the entire family excited about reading this summer.

First, creating a summer reading list can be helpful as you’re writing your summer reading goals down on paper! It can also get the family excited about the books to come. Pick a cozy spot in the house and dedicate it as your “reading room,” and then dedicate time slots to when you will have family reading time together this summer.

As we prepared these reading lists, we reached out to guests on our Community Facebook Group to get their summer reading list recommendations, and we’ve included them in this blog! We also asked store owners and staff to chime in with some summer reading suggestions. Thank you to everyone who gave us great book recommendations to include in this blog!

If you’re interested in joining our community on Facebook, where we talk about all things Dream Dinners, recipes, family, and more, click here. We’ve created a reading list with suggestions for every age group (parents, too!) so the entire family can get reading this summer, no matter their reading level! Have more reading suggestions this summer? We’d love to hear; let us know on Facebook or in the comments below!

Summer Reading List for Early Readers and Pre-Readers (Picture Books)

Mom and son reading a book togetherWhile these books will likely be enjoyed most read aloud to our little ones who are still learning to read, they can still be enjoyed by the entire family as part of storytime! These picture books include gorgeous illustrations and great lessons for people of all ages.

  • The Circles Around Us – Brad Montague. This book is a beautiful illustration of how our circles grow, and it touches on themes including kindness and inclusivity.
  • The Octopus Escapes  – Mallie Meloy. An adorable story about nature’s great escape artist, the octopus! This fun read teaches kids about independence and adventure.
  • My Hair is a Garden Cozbi A. Cabrera. A beautifully illustrated book about self-acceptance and teaching our children to love themselves exactly as they are.
  • What If Samantha Berger. An inspiring picture book about creativity, self-expression, and using our imaginations.
  • The Giving Tree Shell Silverstein. We had to include a classic in this summer reading list! This touching book teaches lessons on the gift of giving and loving in return.

Summer Reading List for Young Readers (Easy Reads and Chapter Books)

These books are perfect for families with children who are just getting into chapter books and starting to excel in their reading skills. You can have your little ones read these to themselves or try snuggling up in your reading room with popcorn, reading with the entire family!

  • Donut Feed the Squirrels Mika Song. A funny and entertaining read the entire family will love, this graphic novel touches on themes like problem-solving and working together.
  • The Poet’s Dog Patricia MacLachlan. Have dog lovers in the family? This classic is perfect for getting your young dog-lovers excited to read! A dog narrates a heart-warming story about loss and love that is sure to pull in your young readers.
  • Pick Your Own Quest Connor Hoover. This series is excellent if you want to do some interactive reading with the family. Each book includes a multitude of endings, and you get to choose your own path! We’ve linked the newest “Pick Your Own Quest” book, but there are many to choose from. Any would be a great option to add to your summer reading list!
  • Meet Yasmin – Saadia Faruqi. Yasmin, a second-grader from a multi-generational Pakistani American family, will take your young reader on little adventures that are sure to inspire and entertain.
  • The Little Prince Antoine de Saint Exupéry. A read that should be enjoyed aloud with the entire family, this classic book teaches valuable, thought-provoking lessons that parents will love as much as children!

Summer Reading List for Middle School-Aged Readers

Boy reading a chapter bookDo you have readers in middle school? These funny and adventurous books are sure to keep them reading all day long this summer!

  • Thanks a Lot, Universe Chad Lucas. The perfect read for all middle schoolers, this book helps navigate anxiety and the feeling of not fitting in.
  • Confessions of a Class Clown Arianne Coster. This hilarious book follows Jack as he searches his school for a comedy partner for his video channel, providing tons of entertainment for your young reader.
  • Race to The Bottom of The Sea Lindsey Eager. A thrilling sea adventure, this is sure to grab your reader’s attention and keep it through the entire book!

Summer Reading List for Young Adult Readers

Girl reading outsideAlthough some of these books may work best for young adults, most of them can be enjoyed by the entire family (especially if read aloud). This was a suggestion by one of our Dream Dinner’s customers in our Dream Dinners Community Group that we absolutely loved! She commented that she and her family love to make it a family activity to read books that have subsequent movies being released. We love this idea as it engages the entire family, and it’s a long-term way to spend quality time together this summer. Read the book together, watch the movie together as a family, and compare and contrast. Since we loved this idea so much, we decided to have this section of our reading list exclusively feature books turning into movies.

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han. Voted best young adults’ fiction by Goodreads Choice, give this book about a senior going off to college a read and then give its counterpart a watch on Netflix!
  • Moxie Jennifer Mathieu. Perfect if your family includes high-school-aged kids, this is a great read that you can watch as a series after you finish reading the book.
  • Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness. This young adult science fiction is perfect for an adventure-packed read followed by an adventure-packed movie after.
  • School’s Out Forever Scott K. Andrew’s. About a fifteen-year-old navigating a post-apocalyptic world, this is another read turned into a movie in 2021.
  • A Boy Called Christmas Matt Haig. If your family feels like getting in the holiday spirit this summer, this is a great book you can read that is being turned into a movie. Enjoy it now, and then enjoy it again around the holidays!

Dream Dinners Community Reading List

Woman reading on the beachThank you to everyone in our Facebook Community who gave us suggestions to include in our summer reading list! We enjoyed all of your suggestions so much that we decided to dedicate an entire reading list to you! In this reading list, we’ve included all community-favorite books shared with us on our Facebook Group.

Dream Dinners Store Owner & Staff Reading List

Woman reading in hammockFor this last reading list, we’ve included some summer-reading favorites of our store owners and staff around the country!

  • The Four Winds Kristin Hannah. This book appeared not only in our Facebook Community Group but also in our store owner’s favorites, making us think it is totally worth the read!
  • The Midnight Library Matt Haig. A thought-provoking book that is a favorite of one of our Dream Dinner’s owners, this book ponders the question: What is the best way to live?
  • Oona Out of Order Margarita Montimore. An exciting book that also touches on the theme of life, through a 19-year-old girl who ends up in her 51-year-old body overnight.
  • The Book of Lost Names Kristin Harmel. Inspired by a true story about a woman during World War II, this is an excellent read that is not only an owner-favorite but a New York Times Best-Seller.


We hope you enjoy our summer reading lists for families of all ages, and we would love to hear what you think! Comment on this blog post and let us know if you’ve read any of these titles or if there are must-read books you would love to add to these lists.