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8 Unputdownable Independent Summer Reads for Kids

8 Unputdownable Independent Summer Reads for Kids

Getting your kids interested in reading independently can sometimes be a struggle, especially with the endless technological distractions around the house. Even for some adults, there are so many other ways to fill the time nowadays that reading can often fall to the bottom of the list of things to do. 

Enticing a love of reading at an early age however can be extremely beneficial to their brain development as well as numerous other factors of their life. Enjoying literature can enhance their vocabulary, sharpen their memory and improve knowledge and imagination. Independent reading is also a great chance for your child to learn more about themselves and discover, on their own, their likes/dislikes as well as their views on the world. 

Here are some of our suggestions for independent summer reads, to help inspire your young ones to delve into the world of literature.


1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

If you are entirely new to Jeff Kinney’s internationally famous Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, can we just start by saying that we’re completely jealous of you? Prepare yourself for one serious reading binge as you are in for a wild ride. And the best place to start, by far, is the beginning. 

In the first entry of the illustrated journals Greg, the protagonist, has just started middle school (equivalent of high school in the UK – think year 7 nerves) and is determined to showcase his newfound maturity and more importantly his ‘coolness’. But it’s a slippery and often smelly slope to that goal as we see throughout the book.

“I’ll be famous one day, but for now I’m stuck in middle school”


2. Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief - Rick Riordan 

Another series that should arguably be read in chronological order. This is perfect for a young reader who wants to get completely lost in a fantasy. In this comic fantasy novel, we meet 12-year-old Percy Jackson who discovers that the Greek gods of Olympus are alive and not only that but that they are living in modern day New York City. And to add even more suspense into the mix we find out that his real father is one of them!  

In the book Percy is assigned to the biggest adventure of his life, and we follow him as he travels across America as he tries to avert a War of the Gods. 

"The real world is where the monsters are."


3. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien 

Your children’s first introduction to the world J. R. R. Tolkien is an important one. As it might just become one of their biggest obsessions. Like Harry Potter, the world created by Tolkien is fantastical and addictive, escapism to the most exciting and entertaining extent. The Hobbit is an unputdownable adventure story, as we follow the famous Bilbo Baggins on his most unlikely travels to the treasure hoard of Smaug the Dragon.


4. NYPD Red Collection – James Patterson 

James Patterson’s NYPD Red series is full of twists and turns, perfect for a young reader who enjoys thrillers and crime novels. With darker themes throughout, this collection is for teens 13 and over. 

‘The one who knows the secrets is the one who holds the power.’


5. Alex Rider – Anthony Horowitz

Espionage, chase scenes, violence, adventure. This book has it all. After his uncle is killed Alex Rider unwittingly becomes a secret agent and soon realises his natural skills as a spy. With non-stop action and surprises this book is a joy to read. Alex is a great protagonist, with a strong moral code for justice and as well as having a quick wit when faced with adversity and world dominating enemies. 


6. Clean Break – Jacqueline Wilson  

One of the most interesting facets of Wilson's writing is her ability to discuss difficult topics. She doesn’t shy away from adult topics, such as broken homes and unconventional families. Within her work she can both celebrate and emphasise the situations her characters are in, making for an uplifting and often emotional story. 

The book starts on Christmas day, with Em and her sisters opening presents and laughing. It is only when Em overhears her step-dad talking to a woman on the phone that things start to fall apart. With flawed characters and emotional conversations this story will leave a lasting impression on its readers. 


7. The Spiderwick Chronicles – Holly Black 

This book is great for readers who might not have the longest attention span yet, it's short, magical, and fast paced. It all starts when Jared and Grace find their uncle's field guide that they realise they are not alone in their new house.

As they explore the magical world that surrounds them their uncles’ book 'Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You' helps them when it comes to protecting themselves from and learning about the amazing creatures around them.

‘Their world is closer than you think’


8. Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer

A review of this collection that packs a punch is by the author himself who described it as ‘Die Hard, with fairies.’ The story follows the title character Artemis Fowl, a 12-year-old millionaire who is obsessed with crime.

However, he overestimates his skills when he kidnaps a fairy called Captain Holly, as the fairies in this world aren’t the ones found at the bottom of the garden in flower beds, they’re dangerous. The story is full of surprising twists and riveting characters. The perfect summer read!


Finding the right book for your children to lose themselves in takes some thought, hopefully our list has helped. Let us know what your kids enjoy and if any on this list sparked their interest. 

You can find all the titles mentioned in this blog on our website. Don’t forget to share your reading adventures with us @books4us on Instagram. 

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