During the summer, backpacks and lunch boxes may go into storage, but great children’s books should always stay out. If you have young readers at home, summer is the perfect time to get them excited about books by introducing them to enticing new characters and series from a summer reading list.
Kids who are ages 6 to 7 are just beginning to explore independent reading and deciding what types of stories capture their interest. According to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 7th Edition, the top thing kids want in a book is humor. They also want books that help them become more familiar with topics that interest them, and books that help them imagine and understand other people’s lives.
As a mom of two (one of them a 7-year-old), I asked other parents, aunts, and teachers to share the books their young readers want to read over and over again. These are some of their favorites for 6- to 7-year-olds from the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge, a free, fun educational program. During the Challenge, kids enter reading minutes online to unlock exclusive digital rewards and help donate books to kids in need across the country. Ask your child’s teacher or local librarian if they’re participating — if not, you can register your child individually. Then, get ready to captivate and delight your young reader with these amazing reads!
1. Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey
The Dog Man graphic novels are a hit with with this age group, and Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild is quickly becoming an all-time favorite. Neva Cole, a mom of a 7-year-old in New Hampshire, says this book had her daughter and husband howling with laughter. “These books have actually gotten my daughter really excited about reading, which is something that no other book has really done,” Cole says. “The comic-style format, along with the idea that two kids around her age are the ones writing and crafting the story, makes it even more appealing to her.”
2. Dragons Eat Noodles on Tuesday by Jon Stahl
When two monsters can’t decide what should happen in their dragon tale, they stumble upon a real dragon who gives them the answer to a very important question: What do dragons eat? My 7-year-old loves when I read this book because it's rich in dialogue and gives me the chance to use my funniest monster voices. It also helps her practice using dialogue to figure out key points of the story, a useful skill as she starts reading more advanced books.
3. Owl Diaries: Eva and Baby Mo by Rebecca Elliott
The Owl Diaries series is a megahit from Scholastic’s Branches line of early chapter books for emerging readers. In this installment, Eva the owl babysits her little brother and learns some big lessons about responsibility. “My 7-year-old daughter couldn’t put this book down,” says Elizabeth Glass, a mom of two in Rockford, Iowa. “The characters and stories are really relatable for her, and it gives her confidence that she can read these books on her own.”
4. The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk
This fact-packed book makes learning about science and space exciting and funny! It explains what the sun does and why it takes center stage in the middle of our solar system with colorful illustrations and asides from anthropomorphic planets. “As a teacher, I really love how this book makes my kids laugh and inspires big thoughts and big questions,” says Erin Becker, a 1st grade teacher in Bellevue, Nebraska.
5. WeirDo by Anh Do
WeirDo is an anthem for any kids who feel like they might not fit in. WeirDo is the new kid at school — and, yes, that’s his real name. This delightfully illustrated chapter book follows him as he navigates friendships, his zany family, and feeling like the odd one out at school. It will have kids laughing out loud and gaining a new appreciation for the ways in which we are all unique and, well, a little “weird.”
6. There Was an Old Mermaid Who Swallowed a Shark! by Lucille Colandro
The old lady is back at it, only this time she’s a mermaid on a deep-sea adventure, and she’s eating everything in sight. She’s joined by two new friends as she swallows a shark, a squid, a fish, an eel, a sea star, and other underwater creatures. “This is a really fun addition to the Old Lady series, and I love reading it with my niece and nephew because it’s absurd and zany and it makes them laugh out loud every time," says Alexis Molitor, a literacy intervention tutor at Reading Partners North Texas and the aunt of a 4-year-old and 7-year-old.
7. What If You Had T. Rex Teeth? by Sandra Markle
This is the perfect read for dinosaur lovers from the author of What If You Had Animal Eyes!?, What If You Had Animal Hair!?, and countless other fun, informative books. It helps your kids imagine what it would be like if they woke up with T. Rex teeth and other dinosaur features, like Velociraptor toes. “It’s one of those books where kids learn without realizing it, and they have so much fun make-believing that they’re really dinosaurs,” says Molitor.
8. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Follow the story of Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures with this kid-friendly, inspiring book that teaches children about four black female mathematicians who helped make American space travel possible. My own 7-year-old daughter is obsessed with space and science, and this book left her excited to learn more about these amazing women and other NASA women she hasn’t heard of yet.
9. Unicorn and Yeti: A Good Team (An Acorn Book) by Heather Ayris Burnell
This is a charming reader that celebrates the differences between friends. Yeti is good at kicking the ball, and Unicorn is good at running fast, but together they’re unstoppable. As kids kick summer sports into high gear and spend more time playing with friends, this book will remind them that it’s not important to be the best at everything — but rather to surround yourself with friends who bring out the best in you.
10. Fly Guy Presents: Sharks by Tedd Arnold
Kids absolutely love the Fly Guy series, and Fly Guy Presents: Sharks combines their favorite funny insect with an informative look at an iconic sea creature. “My 6-year-old twins are at an age where they're super curious about the ocean, so Sharks is a favorite in our house because it teaches them cool new facts using characters they know,” says Megan Zander, a Connecticut mom of two. “I also like how the book includes pronunciations for harder words like ‘aquarium.'”
Browse more great books from the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge at the Scholastic Store Online.
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