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18 Fun Summer Reading Ideas for Kids, Teens and Adults

Whilst you are spending your days (I’m assuming) swimming at the beach, sliding down water slides or turning up the air-conditioning full blast, it’s winter here. Here in Australia’s ‘sunshine state’, our winter mainly consists of weather that is so cold that it makes not wearing a jacket  impossible, but not cold enough that it snows. Which, in my personal opinion, makes winter worthless. Next week I’m going to New Zealand with my school in search of snow, but until then, I’m pretending it’s summer here, too.

So, to get in the ‘summery’ mood, (whilst I huddle in my flannel pajamas and Ugg boots pretending it’s not cold), here’s my list of 18 Fun Summer Reading Ideas for Kids, Teens and Adults.

They’re perfect to keep kids busy on a long road trip, for you to  flip through on a beach lounger whilst sipping something cold, or, use as an alternative when the TV goes on the fritz.  Some of them are ‘oldies but goodies’, some of them are about summer and summer camps, and some of them are just plain read-year-long awesome. Perhaps your kid is refusing to read the books on their school ‘recommended summer reading’ list (those books are all boring, anyway), but you just want them to read something during the break? Try one of the books from this list.

Happy Summer, everyone!


  • The Children of Cherry-Tree Farm 1 of 18

    This book is super cute, albeit not published in this century. It'll educate your kids on life prior the existence of modern technology, whilst at the same time, making them wish they could swap Farmville for a real farm experience.  With 160 pages, and basic language, this book is perfect for a child which has just started to read books independently.

    Available used at Amazon.com.

  • Milly-Molly-Mandy 2 of 18

    Just because Milly Molly Mandy looks a little like a creepy porcelain doll when you stare at this cover a bit too long, doesn't mean this book isn't awesome. It's a chapter book with pictures and words, so it's great for a child that has just started to read independently but still needs the comfort of a picture book. 

    Available new from Amazon.com!

  • Go Girl 3 of 18

    I don't know if the Go Girl book craze is as popular in America as it is here, but Go Girl books are great ways for kids to gain more confidence reading, whilst actually enjoying it. They're thin enough that they weigh almost nothing (therefore, perfect to pop in a kids' backpack for a road trip, or on an airplane) but thick enough to guarantee at least an hour of peace and quiet.  

    An assortment of Go Girl books is available from Amazon.

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events 4 of 18

    You might recognize this book from it's super creepy movie. This series is not exactly "happy" but the books are unique, to say the very least. To describe it, basically take Annie from the musical of the same name. Times her by 3. Take away all the cheery musical numbers. Leave, 'It's A Hard Knock Life'. Put it on repeat.  That's basically these kids' lives. Confused why I'm recommending it? In short, it might be creepy and without a 'happily ever after' ending, but it's really interesting, and it's uniqueness makes it a really fun read. It won't be traumatizing for any kid over the age of ten, I promise.  

     Available at Amazon.com!


  • Sleepaway Girls 5 of 18

    This book is such a fun read! It's perfect for any girl going to sleep away camp, or just any teenage girl for that matter! It's funny, with just a hint of the teenage girl angst we all love (to read about, that is). It's a little long (320 pages), but that just means the 'I'm bored!' whines will be delayed even longer.

    Available at Amazon!

  • Harry Potter 6 of 18

    Harry Potter. It's not the first time Harry will make one of these lists, and it definitely won't be the last. That's because Harry Potter is the perfect read: simple language, enough fantasy to make it interesting, enough mystery to make it thrilling, and enough day-to-day conversation to make it relate able. Not to mention, Harry Potter is awesome. 

    Available here, at Amazon.com

  • Along for the Ride 7 of 18


    This book is like the basic qualities of a perfect boyfriend: smart, funny, interesting and attractive (just look at that pretty cover!). You see that tagline, the one that says "read her once and fall in love"? That is totally, completely true.  The characters are interesting, funny and real, and there's a happy ending, which, in my opinion, every book needs. This is one book that you can definitely judge by the cover- the cover is amazing, and so is the book. 

    Available in a different (but equally pretty) cover here!

  • The Hunger Games 8 of 18

    The Hunger Games series. If you live on this planet, there's a 99.99% chance you've heard of the series, or, at the very least, heard about the movie franchise. The movie was good, but the books are even better, and that's coming from someone that doesn't normally like anything with even a hint of action in it.  Don't read them if you're a fan of happy stories, however, because these books are anything but cheery. They're incredibly addictive, though- perfect to occupy time during a long plane ride!

    All three books available here, via Amazon.com!

  • Luxe 9 of 18

    You know Gossip Girl, that tv show that had the notorious tagline "a parent's worst nightmare"? These books are a lot like that show, just more PG13.  They're set in New York City, just before the turn of the 20th century. Full of mystery, gossip, and scandal (OMG the rich girl and the stable boy!), these books are a really fun read. No need to worry, though: these books aren't explicit with their hints at sexual behavior- they use innuendos instead, so your teenager won't be educated in anything they don't already know. 

    Find this book, and the rest of the series, at Amazon.com!

  • Lucky Star 10 of 18

    This book is the game of 'cat and mouse' brought to life. Cat, a rich girl bored with her monotonous lifestyle, seeks wacky adventures with Mouse, a boy who has had a crazy life and is just looking to stay out of trouble. It's a gorgeous story of friendship, family, and fun, directed at pre-teen readers. 

    Find this book here!

  • CHERUB 11 of 18

    If you take a good look at the cover of this book, you'll notice how tattered it is. I bought it new, and I've had it for six years. I've either 1) read it quite a bit, or 2) don't take good care of books. Both are true, but I've read this book more times than I can count-  even though I bought it when I was 11, I love it just as much as I did then. The book is about 2 preteen orphans being recruited into CHERUB-  a ' boarding school' (I use that term loosely, because it's so much more) which trains orphans into being 'agents' that help criminals get arrested. They go out on action packed missions, whilst still living (relatively) normal teenage lives full of angst, first loves and hormones. This is the first book in the series, and the whole series is an exceptionally good read for kids, preteens and teenagers. 

    Available here, (in a different cover).

  • Camp Confidential 12 of 18

    Perfect for someone going to summer camp for the first time- or just anyone that likes a good read- the 'Camp Confidential' series is fabulous. Each book in the series focuses on a girl with an 'issue': Natalie tries to hide her father's movie star identity but fails, Alex refuses to acknowledge her diabetes which results in her going to hospital, Grace is failing school, and there's so many more. Preteens will totally identify with the characters, and don't be surprised, if, after reading the books, they start begging to go to summer camp. 

    Available here!

  • Spells and Sleeping Bags 13 of 18

    Ever thought about what summer camp might be like if you're a teenage witch? No? Well, let Sarah Mlynowski educate you. These books are hilariously funny, and encapsulate teenage life perfectly. The magic just adds to the fun- haven't we all wanted to cast a spell on a boy we like at some point of our lives?

    Available here, in a slightly different cover.

  • Pippi Longstocking 14 of 18

    A crazy classic, Pippi Longstocking takes wacky to a whole new level. The language is basic enough for a child, and the story is so unlike normalcy that they'll be begging to die their hair red and wear it in pigtails for weeks!

    Available here, in a different cover.

  • Secrets Of My Hollywood Life 15 of 18

    Kaitlin is a celebrity. Kaitlin wants a 'normal' life. Kaitlin disguises herself in order to attend high school. Kaitlin develops a crush on one of the high school boys. Kaitlin's life is crazy. This is one of my most favorite novels ever for two main reasons. 1) Jen Calonita writes with a brilliance that manages to sum up teenage life perfectly. 2) This book takes what could be defined as a 'simple' plot, but develops twists and turns, until what's left is something that is just plain fantastic. If I was a movie producer, this book I would make a movie- it's the type of story that attracts a preteen and teen cult following. It's that good. 

    Available here!

  • The Funny Thing Is… 16 of 18

    Looking for a book that will just make you relax and enjoy your vacation? This is it. Like it's author, this book is incredibly funny. It has no plot, it's just a whole bunch of ramblings, yet it somehow works. Trust me- read this book, and you won't regret it. 

    Available here!

  • L.A. Candy 17 of 18

    Written by the Hollywood socialite Lauren Conrad, comes a book full of sex, secrets and scandal. It's written from the perspective of several reality show stars, and although it sounds superficial it's really not...Okay, it really is, but it's surprisingly well written. It's not the type of book you can write a thesis on, but it's perfect for a read-beside-the-pool book.

    Available here

  • sTORI TELLING 18 of 18

    I know, I know. Tori Spelling. You're probably raising one eyebrow right now, judging me on this choice. Don't be judgmental- this book is actually really and truly, honest to goodness, good. It's funny, frank and full of Tori's faux-pas, which she is brutally honest about. It includes tidbits on Beverly Hills, 90210, her first and second marriages, her tumultuous relationship with her mother, and much more.  Try it, I think you'll be surprised on how good it really is (or maybe that was just me). 

    Available here!




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