Summer reading week 2 (and a call out for recommendations for 10 to 12 year olds)

It is week two of the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge.  There is still a month of fun left if you and your kids would like to sign up for the free six week program here at the website.  Once you sign up you’ll begin receiving daily emails with literacy tips and activities from Scholastic and PBS Kids. To add to the fun there are daily contests and prizes, too.

What we are reading

This week I thought I would share with you some books that Lucy, my four year old, and Max, my six year old, and I have been enjoying reading together.

Here are Lucy’s current favorites:

Here are Max’s current favorites:

Have you downloaded your copy of Fifty Books to Enjoy with Kids, written by Jessica’s of Life as Mom with mother Veronica Getskow, PhD. ?  The ebook is a reading guide for parents of kids ages 2 to 8, that gives titles and descriptions of 50 “must read” books for young children, as well as story extension ideas.

The list price for this ebook is $9, but for a limited time it is available for only $5. Please note that I am an affiliate for Life As Mom, and so do receive a portion of the proceeds when you use my links to make your purchase.  Thank you!

A question for you: series for a 10 year old girl?

And now, friends, my ten year old daughter Jillian and I have a question for you.  She recently finished the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and loved it, and she has read the Harry Potter books and the Little House books.  She likes to read book series because she is a pretty quick reader and she enjoys getting to know characters that she can spend time with beyond the two or three days it generally takes her to finish a book. (She’s like her mother that way)

She is looking for another series to start reading this summer. Do you have any suggestions for her? We would both love to know what your tweens and teens are reading this summer.

What have you and your kids been reading this week?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. Jena Barber says:

    I just finished up the Peter and the Starcatchers series and absolutely loved it! The series is a prequel of sorts to the well beloved Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It’s fantastic and Jillian (and you) won’t be able to put them down!

  2. For a series, I highly recommend the Anne books by Lucy Maud Montgomery! I loved them as a girl and continue to reread them often. She might also like Gene Stratton Porter’s The Girl of the Limberlost and its prequel Freckles. I’ve included those suggestions, as well as the Little House and Harry Potter books, (which you said she’s already enjoyed) on my top ten list of books for girls to read: Hope that’s helpful! I can’t wait till my baby girl is old enough to read them :)
    Haley´s latest post: This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 17

  3. Ok Kara, Natalie (age 9) is crazy for series, so here’s some she has enjoyed recently:

    The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall – our all-time favorite around here. Love!

    The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler (mermaids)

    The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney – told from the perspective of classroom hamster – wonderfully written

    The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright – the first book is The Saturdays. These are older books from the 40s and 50s. Natalie loved them so much she read the series twice.

    The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel

    The Fairy Godmother Academy by Jan Bozarth

    American Girl historical girls series – We’ve read Kirsten, Molly, Kit, and Kaya.

    Clarice Bean by Lauren Child

    Happy Reading! :)
    Amy@Let’s Explore´s latest post: Morning Activities: Start the day with play!

  4. We’ve been listening to Anne of Green Gables and really enjoying it. Here is a review from my blog:

    We also loved the City of Ember series by Jeanne Deprau, reviewed here –

    While I loved the Harry Potter series – I honestly thought these two series were both great reads and fundamentally more profound then Harry Potter.

    Also, we just started listening to Lemony Snicket and really enjoy it, but I haven’t written up my thoughts.

  5. Herbwifemama says:

    My daughter is a bit younger, but what about Betsy-Tacy or Magic Treehouse?

  6. Sounds like your daughter would also enjoy Fablehaven (by Brandon Mull; there are 5 books) and the Chronicles of Narnia (surprised no one has suggested those yet! We’ve been reading those out loud to our kids since they were 3 and they are hands-down favorites around here. She may be a little young for Lord of the Rings, but even our youngest kids have enjoyed The Hobbit).
    Rachael´s latest post: Chicago with my kids

  7. Amanda Slater says:

    I would add the Septimus Heap, the Mysterious Benedict Society, and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. We have also recently enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth, and the books in the Half-Magic series.

  8. Oh–and once she gets through the Anne books, L.M. Montgomery has another couple that are really awesome: the Emily books (there are 3) and The Story Girl & its companion The Golden Road. She wrote many more, but they start to repeat their themes and aren’t nearly as good as the Anne & Emily series.
    Rachael´s latest post: Chicago with my kids

  9. I have two boys, age 7 & 4, but I read a lot of children’s literature for my own enjoyment and to share with them as they get older. Yes, LM Montgomery books were a childhood favorite of my sister and mine (plus it’s fun to watch the mini-series after reading them).
    Other ideas: I just read the The Emerald Atlas, the first book in the Books of Beginning series by John Walters, which was a creative and engaging story. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
    I also read The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, which I can’t recommend highly enough – some history, some family life & delightful characters. It’s not part of a series, though.
    Another series that I really enjoyed and has positive, strong female characters is The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. It starts with Goose Girl. Part fairy tale, part adventure story, these books really suck you into the world of Bayern.
    What about A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (my all-time favorite book ever, ever, ever)? The whole series is wonderful.
    Happy reading!!!

  10. Beth Gillespie says:

    I grew up loving Enid Blyton (a classic English writer) – she has a few series that I loved at that age
    – The Naughtiest Girl at School ( a trilogy about a spoilt girl who quickly learns about caring for others, being part of a team, and the value of working hard when her parents send her to a boarding school)
    – the adventures of the secret seven – lots of adventures and really fun characters.

    Also, a really well written series is The Unfortunate Events of Lemony Snikket.
    really fun, and full of adventure and mystery.

  11. Consider the “Boxcar Children” series. Older but still so fun!
    Affordable blog proofreading for when your blog has attracted too many followers to pretend it’s okay because no one’s going to see it.

  12. I second the suggestions made by Amanda. My 11yo daughter has read those and love them. Another great book that she loves and places in the same category as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson is Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. We are reading it now and both my 8yo son and she love it. I just blogged about it last week.
    Jennifer´s latest post: Raspado

  13. We’ve enjoyed all 7 books by Edward Eager (Half Magic, etc), The Saturday and it’s 3 sequels by Elizabeth Enright, and the Moffats + 3 sequels by Eleanor Estes. These are 3 of our favorite series and all three are written by authors with the initials E.E!

    We also *really* like Swallows and Amazons– about 12 books in the series. They’re a little thick and dense reading (written in the 30s and 40s, I think), but the stories are great.

    happy reading!

  14. Robert P. says:

    Two more –

    SECRET OF WONDLA/ HERO OF WONDLA (just came out) — young girl raised by rObot underground Earth chased above ground to discover she’s not on Earth (just the beginning of book)!

    The 39 CLUES series — brother/sister team up to figure out 39 clues to get family inheritance and save the world.

  15. This week we’re reading:
    -Press Here
    -City Dog, Country Frog
    -I Like to Curl Up Like a Ball
    -Toad and Frog Together
    Sleeping Should Be Easy´s latest post: Encourage independent play

  16. For an 11 year old girl- my daughter says she has enjoyed most:
    the Roman Mysteries Series and 13 Curses/Treasures/Secrets series. If your child is a little younger we loved reading Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree together- we couldn’t wait until the next night to continue the adventure- truly gets your imagination going!

  17. I know it’s been mentioned, but The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall is a delightful series. This isn’t a series, but Gail Carson Levine has written some wonderful books, such as Ella Enchanted.
    Terri´s latest post: Kid’s Co-op

  18. Some books I didn’t notice anyone mentioning that my kids all loved (6 of them ranging from ages 3 up to 10) is the Miss Pickerel or the Mrs Piggle Wiggle books. Lots of laughs! We recently read Baby Island and as soon as we were done my 9 year old daugter wanted to read it again on her own.

  19. My 10 year old son loved The Ranger’s Apprentice series ( written from the perspective of a boy, but I enjoyed them as well). My daughter loved Howl’s Moving Castle and the follow up books by Diana Wynne Jones when she was that age, as well as anything by Lm Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott.

  20. Some books my Katie (11) has enjoyed:
    The Penderwicks
    Little House books
    Anne of Green Gables
    Clementine books (reading level is probably lower but these are absolutely hilarious)
    The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (I believe there are only 3 books out but they’re a hoot)
    Rick Riordan’s other series, especially the Kane Chronicles, which are Egyptian mythology
    The Sisters Grimm (awesome strong female characters)
    Glory Be! (well-written, sensitive book about integration/segregation)
    39 Clues
    The Dark Hills Divide trilogy
    Annette´s latest post: Morning Songs

  21. Great suggestions here to take with us to the library!

    My kids have both loved Rick Riordan’s series.

    Also both are reading Killing Lincoln and both are surprised that they like it. (Boring history!)
    Sarah´s latest post: Is Fat Healthy? Big Fat Myth Dispelled

  22. Cdnmom2three says:

    I also have to agree with the Mysterious Benedict Society, 39 Clues, other Rick Riordan books, and the Anne books.
    If she likes animals, what about the Guarians of Ga’Hoole, or the Warriors series? They’re big hits around here. (And an added bonus is that there’s more than a few books in those series!)

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I agree with all that has been recommended so far, especially The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. I would add: The 100 Cupboards trilogy by N.D. Wilson, the Time Travelers trilogy by Linda Buckley-Archer, and two separate trilogies by Derek Benz – Grey Griffins and Clockwork Chronicles. And don’t forget about the Pendragon series by MacHale.

  24. Eleanor Estes The Moffats series;
    N.D. Wilson’s 100 Cupboard series;
    Brian Jacques Redwall books;
    C.S. Lewis Narnia books;
    Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles.

  25. I’m a librarian and was just contemplating this myself! Some suggestions I’ve gotten are Diary of a Wimpy Kid (both girls and boys love them), Judy Moody, Kane Chronicles, Dork Diaries, A-Z mysteries, and Joey Pigza books.

    From my childhood: Boxcar Children, Orphan Train series, American Girls, and anything Beverly Cleary.

    As a librarian I love to hear about kids reading and adults actually encouraging them to. Too many times the parents are uninvolved in their children’s education especially during the summer so go you!!!

  26. Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series (just awesome!), which consists of 4 books:
    The Wee Free Men
    A Hat Full of Sky
    I Shall Wear Midnight

    Also, check out The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.

  27. My boys loved the book “Ten Boys Who Changed the World” and there are corresponding books for girls…..”Ten Girls Who Changed the World” The are biographical stories about Christian leaders such as Corrie Ten Boom and Joni Erickson. My boys gobbled them up (lightkeepers series there are five books) and they are full of wisdom, character, and examples of following God’s leading.

  28. My 12 year old daughter is currently reading the series that follows the Percy Jackson Series (only two have been released to date). The series is called, “The Heroes of Olympus”.

    Another series of three she is quite enjoying is “The Archer Legacy” by Richard Newsome. Book one is called “The Billionaire’s Curse”. Mystery/Adventure.

  29. Caitlin says:

    My sister made a great list of books for kids on her blog: She includes her own recommendations and those from her oldest 2 kids, ages 10 and 12.

  30. Vicki B says:

    Adding to the others…
    The Nancy Drew Series
    The Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard
    The Spiderwick Chronicles


  31. My nephew (age 9) has loved both the Nancy Drew series and the Hardy Boys series. Enjoy!

  32. Many of the newer books we like are included here. I’m making a list for my 10 year old! Here are some to add:

    The Frog Princess and all the others by E. D. Baker is fantastic—it starts with a re-imagining of the Frog Prince story, but goes in all sorts of directions from there.

    Remember the fountain and anything else by Kate and Sarah Klise

    This can’t be happening at McDonald Hall, by Gordon Korman. If she likes funny books, these are laugh-out-loud funny.

    Here are my blog posts about the books I remember reading as a child:

  33. Mandy Somers says:

    Goddess Girls (Also based on Greek mythology)
    The Sisters Grimm
    Nancy Drew

  34. Just catching up on my reading: here is a post I wrote with my kids… heaps and heaps of books we haves loved reading – all categorized into animal stories, series stories, classic stories and so on.. heaps and heaps!!! There has to be something in there that you would love to read!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun #127

  35. And I am guessing I should have popped a link into that comment!!! Here it is… heaps and heaps of books selected by my kids to be worthy of reading:
    se7en´s latest post: Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun #127

  36. I would recommend a three book series by Ingrid Law. Books in the series are Savvy, Scumble, and her newest, Drizzle. Great series. I’ve read the first two and my daughter who is 11 is currently reading Savvy after I recommended it.
    Jenny´s latest post: One of those half-baked ideas.

  37. I remember when I was about 10 reading the books: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance (I think) and Tales of the Reformation. They’re allegories (and Christian so that makes a difference) and few people know of them but they are so, so good.

  38. I saw someone mention Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. Those are fantastic and he has more, some with a girl as the protagonist. My son just read his Westmark series and liked it.

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned them, but I loved Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew at that 10-12 age. My son loves Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr. We also enjoyed George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie.

    Also, here’s a series that no one seems to have heard of but I have LOVED: The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. They’re about a family with two boys and a girl. I gave them to my son for Christmas, he told me to read them (which I did) and now they’re our read-aloud with my son and two younger children. Great books! The last one is coming out next year.

  39. Stephanie Pease says:

    Someone else mentioned the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle, but I wanted to add that L’Engle also has a couple of other series, all very appropriate for your daughters age. Well written.

  40. Sheridan says:

    My 11 yo is hard to please with books meh is reading a new book Evertaster and is staying up late to read. So I can recommend that.


  1. […] in the Summer my daughter Jillian and I asked you for your recommendations for books for tweens and teens.  Boy, did you come through for […]

  2. says:

    Summer Reading, week 2 | Simple Kids

  3. industrial plumbing

    Summer Reading, week 2 | Simple Kids


    Summer Reading, week 2 | Simple Kids

  5. plumbers sydney

    Summer Reading, week 2 | Simple Kids

Share Your Thoughts


We prefer humans! *

CommentLuv badge