Education

12 educational, entertaining books to keep your kids reading this summer

Posted June 12

Summer vacation is something almost every kid looks forward to — a time when they finally have freedom and no homework. However, even when kids aren't in school, they can still be learning — maybe even without realizing it.

Books are a great way to keep your kids learning this summer and provides one way for them to have fun while doing so. Whether you want your child to read on a subject they already like or about a subject they fear, there are great books available for everyone.

Here are some book suggestions for kids ages five to 18:

Ages 5 to 7

"Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos"

Written and illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson

Following the story of a curious young boy named Carl (inspired by American astronomer Carl Sagan), "Star Stuff" has short and easy-to-follow narratives with fun and beautiful illustrations of galaxies, cities and more. We watch Carl explore space throughout his life and make more discoveries about what exactly stars are. This book is fun for space-obsessed kids and will teach children the basics of the galaxy, and maybe even inspire them to learn more about it.

"How do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?"

Written by: Jane Yolen

Illustrated by: Mark Teague

This book works for your dinosaur and doctor loving kids. Filled with fun rhymes, colorful images and fun characters, this book covers basic health needs in an entertaining way. Kids learn what to do when they’re sick by watching beautifully- illustrated dinosaurs go to the doctor, deal with a stuffy nose and stay in bed.

"A Ticket Around the World"

Written by: Natalia Diaz and Melissa Owens

Illustrated by: Kim Smith

Your kids can join a young boy as he travels to 13 different countries around the world to learn more about the country's food, language, weather, population and more. This book provides a great opportunity for kids to learn about geography, different cultures and customs and is accompanied by fun illustrations of food, flags, maps and more.

"Inch by Inch"

Written by: Leo Lionni

This fun book introduces young kids to the concept of measurements through the life of a tiny inchworm who measures everything he crawls on — mostly to avoid being eaten. Illustrations are colorful, fun and detailed.

Ages 8 - 12

"Wonders of the World"

Written by: DK Eyewitness

This book is perfect for your kids who love geology, geography and traveling. "Wonders of the World" highlights well-known attractions including Machu Picchu, the Dead Sea, the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China, among others. It also features many overlooked and beautiful locations like Victoria Falls, the Nasca Lines, Namib Desert, the Cave of Crystals and much more.

Readers learn about the science and history of these natural and man-made creations. Because of the scientific terms, this book appeals more to older kids; however, the pictures could be interesting to younger children.

"Animalium: Welcome to the Museum"

Written by: Jenny Broom

Illustrated by: Katie Scott

Animal lovers can read details about birds, bugs, mammals and more in this beautifully illustrated book. Covering more than 200 species, "Animalium" helps readers learn a step above the basics about their favorite animals. Similar to "Wonders of the World," reading content in "Animalium" is geared for an older crowd. However, the heavily detailed illustrations of animals can be enjoyed by children of any age.

"The History of Money: From Bartering to Banking"

Written by: Martin Jenkins

Illustrated by: Satoshi Kitamura

Who says money has to be boring? Organized by short chapters, “The History of Money” gives a comical and engaging narrative starting with the Stone Age and ending with today’s world. The goal of the book is to help kids understand the basics of money. Readers learn where money came from, why it was invented, what bartering was, what money lending is and how we came to have the money we have today.

Kids can even learn about taxation, inflation, interest and international currency valuation in a light-hearted way that’s easy to understand.

"The Hiding Place" - abridged version

Written by: Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill, Lonnie DuPont

Illustrator: Tim Foley

This incredible story accounts Corrie ten Boom’s experience of hiding Jews in her family’s watch shop during World War II. She and her family are eventually betrayed and sent to various prisons where she befriends officers and fellow prisoners. The abridged version of this book is great for kids to understand the plot of this intriguing story.

Ages 13+

"Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West"

Written by: Blaine Harden

Former Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden recounts the story of Shin Dong-hyuk — one of the few people who escaped from a North Korean work camp, where he had been born and raised. It details the torturous life in the camp, life and culture of North Korea, his relationship with his family, his escape in 2005 and much more.

"Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice"

Written by: Phillip Hoose

This story covers the unknown and significant story of Claudette Colvin, a 14-year-old living in Alabama who refused to give up her seat on the bus nine months before Rosa Parks. The community’s reaction to her was much different from Rosa Parks’ experience, but that didn’t stop Colvin from advocating for her rights. This book was written based on interviews people had with Colvin.

"I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban"

Written by: Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

This story could be particularly interesting for youth because the events took place in recent history. Malala Yousafzai tells her story of fighting for the right to education after the Taliban took control of Swat Valley in Pakistan. In 2012, she survived a gunshot wound to the head by the Taliban at age 15 when she was riding the bus home from school. Since recovery, she has continued to stand up for the right of girl's education, earning a Nobel Peace Prize at age 16. She has also visited the United Nations.

"The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia"

Written by: Candace Fleming

This book is great for history loving teens. It accounts the true story of the murdered Romanov family from the point of view of both the royal family and Russia’s peasant community. This book is reported to be well researched with great facts and pictures.

What books do your kids like to read during the summer? Let us know in the comments.

Camilla Stimpson enjoys reporting on politics, crimes, and her own awkward moments on 50shadesofawkward.com. When not writing, she can be found watching '30 Rock' or 'The Office,' napping, planning trips she can't afford and googling dogs she can't h

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