Keeping children reading over the summer holiday can be quite a challenge. We've assembled some of our favourite summer stories for all ages to keep your class motivated and enthusiastic about reading throughout those six long weeks. Including old classics such as Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, and brand new tales of adventure like Janina Ramirez's Riddle of the Runes, this collection has something for everyone.
More summer fun
For more book recommendations, activities and ideas for the summer, take a look at the Oxford Owl for Home summer feature.
I Want to go First
by Richard Byrne
This captivating story follows little Elphie, the youngest and smallest of all the elephants, as he tries to get to the front of the queue. To get to go first for once, he needs your help! With audience participation throughout, this is a great book for sharing.
Oh No, George!
by Chris Haughton
George is a dog who wants to be good. He hopes he can be good. But temptation proves too much for him with chocolate cake, flowers and cats! Each page leads to an 'Oh no, George!' moment, as trouble follows the dog wherever he goes. Will all be forgiven when his owner returns?
by Hervé Tullet
This is an interactive experience of colour and imagination. The child is invited to press, blow, shake, clap and tilt the book and then see what happens on the next page. The reader is taken on a colourful journey, while at the same time feeling responsible for the changes that happen throughout.
by Matty Long
Set sail with the Salty Dogs on an adventure through the Pirate Islands in search of treasure! Their journey won't be easy. They must outwit rival pirates, navigate stormy seas, and keep the poop deck clean if they are to become pirate legends. Get ready for an amazing new adventure from the award-winning creator of SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST.
Steven Seagull: Action Hero
by Elys Dolan
This hilarious and fast-paced book follows Steven Seagull as he tries to bring justice to Beach City. A perfect summer read!
Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs
by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto
Flinn loves dinosaurs. One day at school he falls through the back of the art cupboard with three friends and starts an exciting adventure to recapture a pirate ship stolen by pirate dinosaurs!
Isadora Moon Goes to the Fair
by Harriet Muncaster
Half vampire, half fairy, totally unique! A brand new story in this charming series of chapter books, beautifully illustrated in black and pink throughout. Perfect for readers who like their magic and sparkle with a bit of a bite.
Why not also take a look at Harriet Muncaster's personal top ten magical reads?
Nixie: Splashy Summer Swim
by Cas Lester and Ali Pye
Follow Nixie – a fairy with attitude – as she tries to make her friends' swimming party go with a splash. Her wonky wand is up to its usual mischief and soon the peaceful pond becomes a froggy fiasco! Bumblebees' bottoms – Nixie's in trouble… again!
North: The Greatest Animal Journey on Earth
by Nick Dowson and Patrick Benson
This book travels with the animals that migrate north to spend their summer in the Arctic. The book shares the beauty of the migrant creatures and the landscapes and seascapes through which they pass.
Bee Boy: Clash of the Killer Queens
by Tony de Saulles
Half bee. Half boy. Melvin Meadly is… Bee Boy! In this exciting adventure, Mel defends his hive by battling killer wasps, terrifying hawkmoths, and queen bees. Full of humour, heart, and bee facts, this is the first full-length fiction book from Tony De Saulles, the illustrator of the bestselling Horrible Science series.
How the World Works
by Christiane Dorion and Beverley Young
This award-winning non-fiction book looks at how life began on earth, along with other complex concepts. It introduces the earth's cycles and encourages young readers to reflect on the impact humans have on the world.
Magical Kingdom of Birds: Sleepy Hummingbirds
by Anne Booth and Rosie Butcher
This book is the first in an enchanting new series, based on the real-life beauty and wonder of the natural world. Maya is transported to a beautiful realm filled with magnificent birds and their fairy friends. But evil Lord Astor has a plan to cage the tiniest residents, the hummingbirds. Will Maya be brave enough to save the day?
If you like Anne Booth's stories, you may be interested in her thoughts on developing empathy through reading.
Oliver and the Seawigs
by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
Oliver is the son of explorers. After years of travelling to faraway places they decide that it is time to go home. But living by mysterious islands proves far too tempting for his parents. When they go missing it is Oliver who goes to the rescue, meeting new friends and battling with sea monkeys and villains along the way. A magical adventure story, full of friendship, imagination and fun!
Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia
by Sally Pomme Clayton and Sophie Herxheimer
A diverse collection of memorable folk tales from Central Asia. The stories gathered on Clayton’s travels are richly resonant of the cultures of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and more. Includes notes about the stories as well as a few songs, riddles, a map of the region and a glossary.
The Accidental President
by Tom McLaughlin
On a visit to the US, things take a strange turn for 12-year-old Ajay when, completely at random and totally by accident, he is sworn in as the new president. Well, I guess he can't be any worse than that guy who had the job before him, right? Wrong. It's quite easy for power to go to your head and Ajay, overwhelmed by it all, goes rogue…
Take a look at Tom McLaughlin's favourite top ten hilarious books!
by Eoin Colfer
Anti–hero Artemis Fowl is a criminal genius, descended from a line of criminal aristocracy. To restore his family to its former infamous glory, Artemis sets out to prove that fairies exist and to use that knowledge to extort gold and secret fairy magic that will bring him criminal supremacy.
by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
Coraline finds a mysterious door in her new house. Venturing through, she discovers a world that mirrors her own, in ways both good and bad. On returning home, Coraline finds that her real parents are missing. It's up to Coraline to rescue her parents – as well as the souls of other children – from the fiendish 'other mother'.
Riddle of the Runes
by Janina Ramirez and David Wyatt
Runes, riddles, and revenge! This story is the first of a thrilling new mystery series set in the age of Vikings. Following shield maiden Alva and her pet sniffer-wolf, Fenrir, this book will appeal to fans of murder mysteries and historical fiction alike. Includes Viking facts relating to the story at the back of the book – learn about Viking forensics and decipher runes.
The River Singers
by Tom Moorhouse
Knowing their lives are under threat, Sylvan and his brother and sisters have no choice but to abandon their burrow for ever. Together they set out on an epic journey along the Great River; but with dangers lurking at every turn, will they ever find a safe place to call home?
Take a look at our blog to read Tom Moorhouse's thoughts on the importance of animal fiction.
by Robert Winston and Ian Graham
Robert Winston has avoided repackaging tried and tested experiments and has come up with a brilliantly original book. From creating balloon rockets to making dry ice bubbles, this book covers the physical and earth sciences. The layout is appealing and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
by Gill Lewis
Joe has always loved the moorlands: the wildness, the freedom, the wide open space. But since his father died, everything has changed, and the moors are no longer a place of refuge. Now the whole community is divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest there – and Joe is stuck right in the middle, with a choice to make and a huge secret to keep.
To The Edge of the World
by Julia Green
Jamie loves the freedom he finds on his new island home – he feels like he belongs there. But when he makes friends with Mara, they both end up in a boat being swept out to sea on a wild adventure. Guaranteed to capture the imagination of children who crave adventure, this story from award-winning author Julia Green tackles ideas of what it means to be free and to be yourself.
The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame
When Mole leaves his spring cleaning and heads up into the open air, he embarks on a series of exhilarating adventures with his new friends: the laid-back Ratty, the gruff yet kindly Badger and the self-satisfied, irrepressible Mr. Toad. The impulsive Toad leads the friends from one escapade to the next in this classic story of adventure and loyalty.