By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd

It is hard to believe that we are at the halfway point of the year and summer is in full force. Less hectic schedules and relaxed days give everyone a chance to catch their breath, enjoy time to just be, and to READ!

While I have always loved to read, summer reading was always extra special to me while growing up. Instead of reading books assigned during the school year, I loved having the opportunity to select books that interested me or I just felt drawn to, and “escape” for hours to another place and time. I recall one summer between 5th and 6th grades when I read everything I had on hand and kept bugging my mom for something else to read. She went to her bookshelf and pulled out a tall stack of Readers’ Digest Condensed Books. I was thrilled! I poured through them, excited to be reading books that were for “older” audiences. To this day, that was one of my most favorite summers.

Plan a weekly trip to your local library and/or bookstore to check out these great titles and take advantage of the summer pause for some fun, summer reading. Who knows, maybe you and your children will one day recall this summer as being a favorite because of the books you all read!

Picture Books —

  • Big Ideas for Little Environmentalists by Maureen McQuerry, with Jane Goodall
  • Piper and Purpa Forever by Susan Lendroth
  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  • Not Enough Lollipops by Megan Maynor
  • It’s a Sign by Jerome Pumphrey, Jarette Pumphrey and Mo Willems
  • Mermaid Kenzie: Protector of the Deeps by Charlotte Watson Sherman
  • The Path by Bob Staake
  • The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
  • Group Hug by Jean Reidy
  • Letters to Live By: An Alphabet Book with Intention by Lisa Frenkel Riddiough


Middle Grade —

  • Honestly Elliott by Gillian McDunn
  • Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury
  • Pizza My Heart by Rhiannon Richardson
  • Sofia Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy
  • Confessions of a Class Clown by Arianne Costner
  • Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
  • All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey
  • Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee


Young Adult —

  • Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
  • The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder
  • Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes
  • I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
  • Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney
  • My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
  • All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Match Breaker Summer by Annie Rains
  • The Wish by Nicholas Sparks
  • An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan


Moms —

  • Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  • The People we Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
  • The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Where I Can’t Follow by Ashley Blooms
  • The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon
  • Meant to Be by Emily Giffin
  • One Italian Summer: A Novel by Rebecca Serle
  • The Keeper of Lost Things: A Novel by Ruth Hogan


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is a writer and mom of two children, one who has flown from the nest and the other is not far from it. She blogs about perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue, a freelance writer and memoir ghostwriter. Ellen lives in Greensboro with her husband, her daughter, when she is home from college, and the sweetest dog ever. She looks forward to seeing her son, who is now living and working in a nearby metropolitan city, as often as possible.

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