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Summer Reading Lists for Kids Ages 8-12

Patch has teamed up with James Patterson’s READKIDDOREAD program to bring you reading lists for every age. If you’re looking for some great summer reading options, check this list of “Favorite Pageturners.” from James Patterson. These books are great read

Looking for a great book to read this summer? This list of books has something for everyone – adventure, magic, smart kids, and amazing kids. Read one, or read ‘em all – post your thoughts in the comments. Or, if we missed your favorite book, tell us in the comments!

Dead End in Norvelt By Jack Gantos
Two months of being grounded during summer vacation change Jack Gantos’ life forever. Especially since it involves the mysterious chore of typing obituaries for his intriguing neighbor.

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading By Tommy Greenwald
What happens when Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader EVER has to actually read a book?

Big Nate in a Class by Himself (Big Nate series) By Lincoln Peirce
Things don’t always go your way just because you’re awesome.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda By Tom Angleberger
Dwight is a clueless boy with a prescient Yoda hand-puppet. His classmate Tommy is mystified.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School series) by James Patterson
Middle school student Rafe Khatchadorian decides to break every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct. But what happens when things don’t go as planned?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Wimpy Kid series) By Jeff Kinney
Read Greg Heffley’s diary detailing trials and tribulations from middle school.

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Bud, a motherless boy on the run, is armed with his suitcase of secret, important things, his book with instructions on having a fun life and being a better liar and clues to find his father. Nothing is going to come in Bud’s way – not hunger, fear or vampires.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret By Brian Selznick
This book weaves prose and illustrations beautifully to tell the story of Parisian orphan, clock keeper and petty thief Hugo.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Orphan Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee decides to run away from his unhappy aunt and uncle. And then he decides just to run.

Wonder By R.J. Palacio
A facial deformity prevented August Pullman from going to a regular school. He craves an ordinary life when he joins Beecher Prep. as a fifth grader. But he soon learns that you can’t blend in when you were meant to stand out.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series) by Christopher Paolini
Can farm boy turned dragon rider Eragon and blue stone turned dragon Saphira join forces to save the world?

Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles series) By Suzanne Collins
What happens when New Yorker Gregor falls through the grate in his apartments and enter the strange world of the Underland?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone By J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter enters the world of magic and realizes his destiny. 

The Westing Game By Ellen Raskin
This intricately plotted story has 16 people who could become millionaires if they can play the tricky and dangerous Westing game.

A Wrinkle in Time By Madeline L’engle
Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin travel through space and time to find Meg and Charles’ father.

Guinness: World Records 2012 by Guinness World Records
Read about extraordinary, interesting daredevils who want to push the limits and their record- breaking feats.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2012 by National Geographic Kids
Learning about your world and everything in it was never so much fun!

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Special Edition 2012 By Ripley’s Inc.
Read about the bizarre, the hilarious and the incredible in this fun collection!

The ReadKiddoRead program features bestselling author James Patterson’s picks for the summer. Find reviews of these books and more in the Pageturners section of ReadKiddoRead.com.

Did your kids have fun reading the books on the list? What are you reading this summer? Are there other books that should make it to the list? Share your reading experiences with us and post a comment below!

Julie July 05, 2012 at 07:10 PM
My friend's girl (4th grade) in South America is taking an English language class and she asked me to recommend some English books to her girl. I simply recommended this link to her. She liked this idea a lot!
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Dead End in Norvelt By Jack Gantos--"The hero is Jack Gantos, a plucky 12-year-old living in Norvelt, the small town in Pennsylvania where Gantos himself grew up. It's the summer of 1962; John Glenn has just orbited the Earth and Marilyn is about to die."
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
"The novel initially appears to be a fairly straightforward description of an American childhood in the early 60s. Jack is an ordinary kid who makes the mistake of borrowing one of his dad's souvenirs, a rifle looted from the Japanese, and doesn't realise it's loaded. As punishment, he's grounded for the entire summer. His mother only lets him leave the house to run errands or help Miss Volker, an elderly neighbour who writes obituaries and a history column for the local newspaper."
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:29 PM
"She gives him an education in a side of American history that would otherwise be hidden from him, telling him, for instance, about Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, "two great American anarchists who wanted to improve the lives of all Americans". There's a simple reason, she explains, why Jack has never heard of them: "Schools don't teach the history of social reformers who were real American heroes and fought for workers' rights and justice."
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
"Gantos has a relaxed style and writes very enjoyably, peppering the pages with good jokes and eccentric characters, but it soon becomes clear that this isn't simply his reminiscence of a charming childhood; the real hero of the novel isn't Jack himself, but his home town and its values. Norvelt was a New Deal town built by the US government to house poor families and named after Eleanor Roosevelt, described by Miss Volker as "the greatest American woman who has ever lived"."
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
"Miss Volker explains the inspiration behind the town: "Jefferson believed that every American should have a house on a large enough piece of fertile property so that during hard times, when money was difficult to come by, a man and woman could always grow crops and have enough food to feed their family. Jefferson believed that the farmer was the key to America and that a well-run family farm was a model for a well-run government. Mrs Roosevelt felt the same. And we in Norvelt keep that belief alive.""
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
"Miss Volker has lost the use of her hands, so Jack types the obituaries for her, and these histories of the townspeople, who are now dying off, form the heart of the book. There's a murder-mystery plot wrapped around the deaths, but Gantos deals with it perfunctorily and doesn't seem particularly interested in the usual mechanics of plotting. His main interest is the lives of his characters, not their deaths."
Bethany July 11, 2012 at 03:33 PM
"Dead End in Norvelt is a defiantly political novel that delivers some simple moral messages: question the stories that you're told at school or in the media; "if you don't know your history you won't know the difference between truth and wishful thinking"; and, most importantly, don't forget the narratives of American life that have been neglected or deliberately buried by the dominant culture. • Josh Lacey's The Dragonsitter is published by Andersen. "
Alice July 12, 2012 at 04:08 PM
"Big Nate is in a class by himself! But things don't always go your way just because you're awesome. " ---- Interesting!
Ethan July 15, 2012 at 04:21 AM
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda By Tom Angleberger Book Description: In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
Ethan July 15, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School series) by James Patterson : Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.
Ethan July 15, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Wimpy Kid series) By Jeff Kinney:Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

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