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Summer Reading Your Kids Will Actually Enjoy (And You May Too)

girl reading book

Jennifer Minicus - published on 08/11/15

Why don't teachers assign books more like these?

The excitement of summer vacation is somewhat dampened by the distribution of summer assignments, in particular the summer reading list. I thought students would appreciate classics that are humorous and fun, so here are a few books that should make readers laugh:

Ages 7-8

Mr. Bliss by J.R.R. Tolkien: Written and illustrated for his children, this short story proves that even a literary giant can be silly sometimes.

James and the Giant Peach by Raold Dahl: a transatlantic flight and a lesson about insects rolled into one.

Ages 9-10

The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber: a clever spoof on "happily ever after".

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit: be careful what you wish for – it might come true!

Ages 11-12

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene duBois: a twist on the eruption of Krakatoa.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster: apathy turns to adventure in a world of literal meanings.

Ages 13-14

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth: true life story about an exceptional family.

The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi: post-WWII Italy seen through the eyes of a parish priest.

Ages 15+

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: autobiographical anecdotes about a Scottish veterinarian’s first job.

Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene: a zany vacation with an elderly relative.

Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ. This article was first published at

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