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Summer Reading for Tweens

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

***This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases***

Just because school is over, it doesn't mean the reading should stop. Continue to nurture your child's reading by providing them with books to read over the summer. In this post, I will share books that are great for 3rd, 4th graders, and older grades to read over the summer.

Summer reading is important for students, as it helps them maintain the knowledge and skills they have learned during the school year. A report from the White House indicates that reading just five books over the summer may help prevent learning loss. Giving your child time to read during the summer can help minimize the risk of them falling behind. In addition, having them read good books, books that interest them, during their summer vacation is a good way to get them to realize that reading doesn't have to be a chore. Reading is a fantastic way to unwind during summer vacation.

In our house we love books. As part of the end of the school year, I plan on gifting my children books to read over the summer. Of course, it will be books that I am certain they will enjoy. My oldest loves animals, especially dogs, and he loves video games. I know that a dog-centered book or a video-game-themed book will captivate his attention.

Below are some great options for your tween's summer reading. Books that spark excitement and imagination, books for animal lovers, books for video game enthusiasts, and more. ***This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases***

Quick Links:

  1. Shadow Jumper 7. A Wolf Called Wonder

  2. Summer of the Monkeys 8. Summer of the Woods

  3. The Mandolorian 9. The Secret Lake

  4. Bailey's Story 10. Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions

  5. Trapped in a Video Game 11. Escape from Monticello

  6. How to Steal a Dog 12. Wish

Summer of The Woods

by Steven K. Smith

Reading age: 7 - 10 years

Derek and Sam are brothers who have just moved to Virginia with their family. As they explore their old house and the mysterious woods, they discover a long-time mystery of a stolen coin collection. Their summer is full of mystery and adventure!

Bailey's Story: A Puppy Tale

by: W. Bruce Cameron

Reading age: 8 - 10 years

Inspired by the New York Times bestselling A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Bailey's Story is a moving tale told from the perspective of a golden retriever. Bailey is a curious puppy that quickly discovers his purpose is to spend all his time with his boy, Ethan. He loves nothing more than to play and explore with his eight-year-old best friend. Bailey also learns that sometimes bad things happen, and there is no greater purpose than to protect his precious human.

Bonus: At the end of the book there is a discussion and activity guide.

Escape from Montecillo

by Steven K. Smith

Reading age: 8 - 12 years

History and adventure!

Sam, Derek, and Caitlin discover letters in a journal that describe a lost collection and missing treasure. They soon realize that those letters were between Thomas Jefferson's granddaughters. When the journal goes missing, the kids are forced to take a walk through history by following in Thomas Jefferson's footsteps at The University of Virginia, his home of Monticello, and Popular Forest. This story is a fantastic complement to history and social studies units!

Trapped in a Video Game

by Dustin Brady

Reading age: 8 - 10 years

A book for kids who love video games!

In this story, Jesse Rigsby gets sucked into a new game Full Blast along with his friend Eric. They must quickly figure things out before they are trapped for good.


by Barbara O'Connor

Reading age: 8 - 11 years

New York Times–bestselling story

Eleven-year-old Charlie is sent to live with family she barely knows in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Just when all hope seems lost, she learns the true meaning of family with the help of Wishbone the stray dog who captivated her heart, Howard the neighbor, and her big-hearted aunt and uncle. This title has Common Core connections.

Free with audible trial.

Summer of the Monkeys

by Wilson Rawls

Reading age: 8 - 12 years

Memorable, filled with heart, humor, and excitement!

Summer of the Monkeys is a timeless adventure about a fourteen-year-old boy who discovers a tree full of monkeys. He learns that the monkeys had escaped from a traveling circus, and he is determined to catch them in order to receive the reward money in order to help his family. By the end of the summer, he will have learned more than just about monkeys.

Teachers Pick!

How to Steal a Dog

by Barbara O'Connor

Reading age: 8 - 11 years

"The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you're in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it."

Georgina and her family live in their car. She knows they need more money to find a place to live, and she is determined to improve their situation. Georgina comes up with a plan to "borrow" a dog and wait for the owners to offer a reward. However, she is surprised by what happens next.

The Secret Lake

by Karen Inglis

Reading age: 8 -11 years old

Stella and Tom are siblings who have just moved into their new home. They are mystified when they discover the neighbor's dog keeps disappearing. But why does the dog keep reappearing wet-through? Where does he go? Their quest for answers leads them to a secret lake and even more questions. They soon discover that they have traveled back in time.

The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions

by Tracey Hecht

Reading age: 6 -9 years

Perfect for fans of Wish, Pax, and Wild Kratts!

In this fun-filled chapter book, three unlikely animals work together to solve unpredictable mysteries. The Nocturnals is full of humor. Dawn, the serious fox, Tobin, the sweet pangolin, and Bismark, a small sugar glider, use their teamwork to find out why animals are disappearing.

Free with audible trial.

Shadow Jumper

by J M Foster

Reading age: 10 - 14 years

Teachers Pick!

The Shadow Jumper is a story about family, friendship, loss, bravery, and overcoming adversity. Jack Phillip is allergic to sunshine, causing him serious life-threatening burns if he catches some sun rays. His allergy impedes him from stepping out during the day, but shadow jumping on the rooftops when it's dark makes him feel alive and free. When his condition worsens, only his missing scientist dad can help him. Jack and his friend, beth, begin their quest to find his father.

Free with audible trial.

The Mandolorian Junior Novel

by Joe Schreiber

Reading age: 8-12 years

For the young Star Wars fans!

Is your child a fan of Star Wars? The Mandalorian Junior Novel is the book adaptation of Disney's Mandalorian Season one, geared toward a younger audience. It's described as interesting, mesmerizing, and easy to follow. My 9-year-old agrees!

A Wolf Called Wonder

by Rosanne Parry

Reading age: 8 - 11 years

A New York Times bestseller!

Parents and children rave about this beautifully illustrated book inspired by the true story of a wolf named Journey. In this New York Times bestseller, Swift is a wolf that goes through an incredible journey to find his new home. This is a book that is also very informative about wolves. Your child will learn all about wolves from the perspective of a wolf. How wolves live, what wolves eat, etc.

Happy Reading!

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