The Best of Sonlight Summer Readers, Part 1

Share this post via email

Best of Sonlight Summer Readers

The relaxed pace of summer learning provides the perfect opportunity to put away the schedule and enjoy unstructured reading. Summer reading keeps the skills your kids learned during the school year sharp while still providing entertainment. There’s no need to settle for fluff, though—you can still provide your children with thoughtful, age-appropriate literature that’s both edifying and fun!

Throughout the years, we’ve used the same seven-part test that we use for our curriculum to compile the best-of-the-best summer reader choices. If your eager readers are already finished with this year’s reader collection and are begging for more, take a peek at some of our favorites from past summer reader packs. Keep your family supplied with exceptional reading material all summer long!

For even more recommendations, check out part two here.

The following links to Amazon are affiliate links.

Summer Readers for Elementary Boys

  • The prize is in sight: a brand-new computer system. All Jake has to do is beat third-grade's biggest know-it-alls in the school science fair. – Jake Drake Know-It-All
  • At the Rainbow Street Animal Shelter, you may encounter a talking parrot, a three-legged goat, and a puppy that resembles a peanut. And that's just the start. – Lost! A Dog Called Bear
  • Unlikely pen pal—the city-dwelling boy and the wheat farmer. But that's what can happen when you send off a helium balloon tied to an index card with your name on it. – The Silver Balloon
  • Miles is moving to a sleepy town with lots of cows. Then he learns that there's already a guy at his new school who's the king prankster-in-residence. – The Terrible Two
  • Solve three puzzling cases with the world's best 10-year-old detective, Saxby Smart. – The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files
  • The animals panic when they hear that a new guest, a Komodo Dragon, is coming to stay. What will they do? – Animal Inn: A Furry Fiasco
  • Three sweet stories of an elementary school boy dealing with a grumpy bus driver and learning about honesty and friendship. – Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff
  • The first in a series of Hardy Boys mysteries for young readers, your mystery-lover will enjoy trying to solve the case along with the young detectives. – The Video Game Bandit
  • Fluffy show dog Fizz decides he wants to become a police dog. What will happen when he follows his dreams? – Fizz and the Police Dog Tryouts
  • A Sherlock Holmes style mystery for young readers. Solve the mystery with the Great Mouse Detective! – Basil of Baker Street

Summer Readers for Elementary Girls

  • When they arrive at the San Francisco Hotel and learn there are no available rooms, they decide to stay in the best space of all: one that has its ups…and its downs. – The Elevator Family
  • No one knows how Button the pony is getting out. Sounds like it's time for the Clue Crew to settle this pony problem! – Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Pony Problems
  • Lulu and Mellie go on vacation with Lulu's family. What will happen to the stray dog that keeps pestering them? – Lulu and the Dog from the Sea
  • A magical story about Annabel Tippens, who has no parents, but does have a dog who talks and a cat who tells her an important secret! – No Flying in the House
  • If she's ever caught in a bad situation, Roxie knows what to do. But when she ends up on an island with her classmates, she is tested with bringing all home to safety. – Roxie and the Hooligans
  • Zoey loves to sew and blog, and as she gains some recognition, she appears successful. But her friendships are falling apart. A creative story that celebrates connection. – Sew Zoey: Pins and Needles
  • Two siblings reluctantly head to their dad's house for the summer. There, Caroline babysits her twin siblings and J.P. coaches the 6-year-old's baseball team. – Just the Tates: Switcharound
  • Homeschooling Hilde writes her own online newspaper for the locals. When she hears reports of a bear on the loose, she and her older sister investigate to determine what happened. – Bear on the Loose
  • A story told from the perspective of a dog who works at a vet shop. When an animal needs a home, he faces a challenge. – Cranky Paws
  • Mia thought she was a klutz, and then she learns her parents are superheroes in hiding! Cheery illustrated story about a happy superhero family. – Mia Mayhem is a Superhero

Summer Readers for Middle School Boys

  • Ben and his friends do their best to foil a million-dollar deal that could destroy their school and change their lives forever. – Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School
  • Sam is having the worst Christmas ever—his dad's bakery is going bankrupt and his mom is spending the holidays elsewhere. A heartfelt coming-of-age story that will make you believe in the power of second chances. – Nickel Bay Nick
  • A humorous chronicle of one very strange field trip to Washington, D.C., where hijinks and hilarity ensue as two students try to save the president from an attack…that may not actually happen. – The Worst Class Trip Ever
  • A fantasy tale of a boy born into a family renowned for generations of clever thievery. Then, on his first solo heist, he makes a big mistake. – The Vengekeep Prophecies
  • When a prankster ends up in a gifted and talented program due to an administration error, he is out of his depth academically, but, surprisingly, ends up exactly where he belongs. – Ungifted
  • When 12-year-old Max's actor parents leave for parts unknown without taking him, he is forced to survive by his wits. – Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things
  • When several paintings go missing at the National Gallery, Florian gets to put into practice his "Theory of All Small Things," where he does his best to notice details—a young Sherlock Holmes. – Framed!
  • Chrstina’s father keeps her safe in an isolated stone mansion and forbids her talking to the orphans down the road. But when she meets orphan Taft, she helps him search for a secret tunnel. – The Secret of Zoom
  • A very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, he finds danger and adventure, plus a hidden box, and a lost map. – The Explorers: The Door in the Alley
  • In this fairy tale retelling, Jack and his sister take center stage. A story with remarkable depth! – Jack: The (Fairly) True Tale of Jack and the Beanstalk

Summer Readers for Middle School Girls

  • Thousands of travelers have come together from all over to watch a total eclipse of the sun. Watch as the lives of three unlikely strangers converge. – Every Soul a Star
  • Join Mibs on an amazing adventure full of talking tattoos, kidnapping and fantastical stories. – Savvy
  • In an alternate 1826, two girls form a secret agency with one goal: catching clever criminals. – The Case of the Missing Moonstone
  • The Incorrigibles are children found running wild in the forest, apparently raised by wolves. Can a governess from the Swanburne Academy civilize and educate the bunch in time for the holiday ball? - The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
  • Lucy loves photography and would love to win a photography contest. One problem: her photographer father is a contest judge. Second problem: what should she photograph? – Half a Chance
  • When Tabitha and five other children arrive at the house of the Countess Camilla DeMoss, they start disappearing one-by-one. Tabitha is determined to investigate what's going on. – Nooks and Crannies
  • Haleigh paints her favorite day—the last day of summer at the New Jersey shore—and wishes she could stay forever. The next day, she finds that her wish has come true. – The First Last Day
  • Darling works in the cellar of the palace, until she is unexpectedly promoted. She finds some magic—the 100 dresses in the closet transform her to look like someone different. – If the Magic Fits
  • A story of magic and whimsy. Emma faces an impossible task: finding a legendary treasure. – The Key to Extraordinary 
  • Dragons are supposed to have a specialty, like poetry, history, or philosophy. Aventurine hasn't found her specialty, but after she is turned into a human, she discovers her passion: chocolate. – The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart
  • An average girl thinks she’s going to a boarding school, but she snoops and realizes it’s a spy school. Even more surprising: her mother is a top spy! – Mrs Smith’s Spy School for Girls

Summer Readers for High School Boys

  • After global catastrophes have altered the landscape of the world, there are only two places for people to live: Topside, where humans live packed into stack cities, and Dark Life, where people live on the ocean floor. – Dark Life
  • As a "mudlark," the orphan, Eel, spends his days in the River Thames, searching for odds and ends to sell. – The Great Trouble
  • For Russell Culver in 1904, school has been nothing but a chain holding him back from his dreams. Maybe now that his teacher has passed on, they'll shut the school down and leave him free to roam. – The Teacher’s Funeral
  • The streets of 1893 New York are crowded and filthy. For newsboy Maks, they are also danger. A riveting adventure set against a backdrop of New York. – City of Orphans
  • When Peak is given the choice to go to Juvenile Detention or live with his father in Thailand, he chooses the latter. And finds that his father wants him to be the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. – Peak
  • A man about to become a monk suddenly starts to scale the exterior of Notre Dame when someone starts shooting at him (and just who is the green-eyed girl watching this happen?) – Vango
  • In this alternate history, a pair of twins set about creating their vision of skyscrapers and dazzling machines. When they disappear, they leave a puzzle for the people to solve. – York: The Shadow Cipher
  • Set in the years after WWII, after Jake's mother dies, he is uprooted from his Kansas home and sent to boarding school in Maine. Out-of-place, he goes on a canoe quest with an unusual friend. – Navigating Early
  • A forgery mystery, with a boy with amnesia and creeps who are trying to rip off a museum for $189 million. – The Van Gogh Deception
  • A fun steampunk story, including disturbing deadly beetles, a magical device that will incinerate London, and a magical evil magician who needs a young boy. – The Lost Property Office

Summer Readers for High School Girls

  • Ask Thankful Curtis to sail across a stormy sea, and she is suited better than no other. But when she attends school on the mainland, she finds herself in uncertain waters with nowhere to paddle. – Bright Island
  • Jack and Hazel were best friends; that is, until Jack disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice! Now, Hazel must go after her friend. – Breadcrumbs
  • Truly's family moves to New Hampshire after her military father loses an arm near the end of his tour of duty. Will they be able to keep the family bookstore going? – Absolutely Truly
  • An Agatha Christie masterpiece. Told from the point of view of a village doctor, it opens with a suspicious death that draws Hercule Poirot to investigate. – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Master thief Eugenides, one of the best characters in all of fiction, has married the Queen of Attolia. The thief has become a king, and he does not seem to be suited to it. – The King of Attolia
  • In the early 1900s, an orphan finds friends in unexpected places. When falsely accused, she must embark on an adventure to clear her name. – The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow
  • Seattle during the Civil War isn't exactly the paradise that was promised, so Jane's stubbornness and good humor must carry her from skinning an otter to building a canoe. – The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming
  • Desperado Detective Mo is ready to testify and put a kidnapper in jail for a long time. But when he escapes from jail right before his trial, so much quickly goes wrong. – The Odds of Getting Even
  • This play on Rapunzel has a wise enchantress, a good-hearted father, and a (shockingly) bald Rapunzel. Charming and thought-provoking. – Golden: A Retelling of Rapnuzel
  • When puzzle-loving Emily arrives in San Francisco, she and her neighbor James find a book with clues, and race to discover what is behind this new game. – Book Scavenger
Share this post via email

Filter by
Post Page
Sarita's Word Reading and Literature Summer Learning
Sort by

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.