Over the last two weeks I have offered two separate summer reading suggestions – books my kids are reading right now and their favorite books. This week it’s my turn! There are a few books I am always trying to convince my kids to read – so far unsuccessfully. I’m hoping they will stop being stubborn and try them. I think all kids should read these titles.

Jacob, 13: Jacob tends to gravitate towards Fantasy or Action books. I often battle with him about classics and less action packed stories.

  • Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) - A grand adventure book as Huck and his friend, Jim – an escaped slave – head down the Mississippi River
  • Watership Down (Richard Adams) – A story of rabbits in search of a new home and facing hardships along the way
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak) - Set during WW2, a young foster girl must steal to survive; she can’t resist stealing books, which she shares with others, including a Jewish man in hiding
  • My Side of the Mountain (Jean Craighead George)  - 15 year old Sam runs away from home and learns to survive in the wild
  • The Chocolate Wars (Robert Cormier) -  (I have to admit I never heard of this one, but it sounds great): High school student, Jerry, learns about standing up for his convictions when it goes against what others are doing

Sophie, 10: Sophie rebels against anything I suggest, so my best tactic is to just get the book and leave it on her bed. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. So far she refuses to read the following few books that I know she’d love, if she gave them a chance!

  • The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) - After her parents die in a cholera epidemic, Mary is sent to live in England with her Uncle. There she discovers a secret garden and some young relatives, and throughout the summer, the family learns to live again
  • Swallows and Amazons (Arthur Ramsome) – The sailing, camping, camping, fishing and pirate adventures of two families of children
  • Ann of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery) – The adventures of young Ann, who is sent to Prince Edward Island after living in an orphanage – the couple expected a boy, but got Ann instead
  • The Wombles (Elisabeth Beresford) – Furry creatures who collect garbage and use it in creative ways

Carrie, 8: Carrie’s the easiest – she reads anything and everything. Here are a couple that she hasn’t gotten to, and all children should read!

  • The Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warner) – Orphaned children who live in an abandoned boxcar until they are taken in by a kind uncle – who moves the boxcar into his backyard for them to play in
  • Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren) – The mischievous adventures of the red haired young girl
  • The Alley (Eleanor Estes) – In the heart of NYC Connie discovers adventure and mystery in an alley by her home
  • My Father’s Dragon (Ruth Stiles Gannett) – Elmer Elevator hears about a young baby dragon imprisoned on an island and he runs away to save it

Written by Jenny Tananbaum