So, here’s my approach to assigned reading in our homeschool — I don’t do it. 😉

A friend once recommended I read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and I loved her ideas! She suggests giving students access to a plethora of book choices, and helping them discover books they might enjoy by offering suggestions rather than forcing set books. That’s what I’ve always done for my girls, and Artist, who is nine now, is an avid reader. My only struggle is to get her to sleep before midnight because she can’t put her book down!

That said, I know a lot of times summer is the season of just for fun reading! I figured I’d share some of the books Artist interested in, in case anyone is looking for some new ideas to offer to your own kids! 🙂

Summer Reading list for 8-12 year old girls! | Running With Spears #middlegrade #booklist
* 1. A Snicker of Magic  by Natalie Lloyd – A fantastically charming  magical realism novel about a girl who collects words and spreads kindness.

2Caddie Woodlawn  by Carol Ryrie Brink – This historical fiction was the first book that I  remember staying up till midnight reading when I was a kid! Caddie is a spirited pioneer girl of the 1860s who has lots of exciting adventures.

* 3A Series of Unfortunate Events  by Lemony Snicket – An adventure book series about 3 kindhearted, quick-witted orphans and their superbly narrated unlucky plight.

* 4.  The Key to Extraordinary  by Natalie Lloyd – Another beautiful magical realism novel by one of my favorite authors, this story about a girl and her “destiny dream” is full of quirky humor, mystery and suspense.

5The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan – Greek mythology turned genuinely  fun, what?!? Artist devoured this book in about 3 days. When she’s done with the series I bet she’ll enjoy learning some of the actual myths with Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods.

6Warriors #1: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter – Cats, in the wild, talking and having adventures! What’s not to love? My cat loving girl has devoured at least a couple dozen books in the Warriors series!

* 7The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer – A fantasy series that gives a new spin on fairy tales, with plenty of laughs along the way!

8Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery – Anne is the most spunky, imaginative orphan girl I know! I spent many an afternoon watching the films, and the book was the first one Artist ever stayed up for hours after she went to bed reading (and kept coming out to tell me what had just happened, too).

*9Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by  J.K. Rowling – I’m pretty sure this is the most famous kids’ book of all time.  Friendship, magic, good conquering evil, and of course ALL THE FEELS!

10Monster Magic by Louise Simonson (illustrated by Dan Schoening) – A short, fun, illustrated book about Wonder Woman! Artist enjoys reading about other super heroes, too. 🙂

11Savvy by Ingrid Law – A coming of age novel with a sprinkling of magical realism and a lot of heart! The day she turns 13, Mibs receives her supernatural power – but we’re not talking flying or laser eyes. The characters and their powers are far quirkier than that.

12. Nancy Drew Vol. 16 by Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney (illustrated by Sho Murase) – Artist loves these graphic novels based on the series by Carolyn Keene. Graphic novels are such a fun way to experience a story! Artist loves mysteries and has read a number of the Nancy Drew spin-offs.  I think she’d love the original series, too!

Artist has been reading a number of these books at – a subscription service for kids’ e-books. There are over 15,000 books available for just $5 a month. We love it. Artist also reads a ton of non-fiction there, mostly books about animals.

*While all the books totally work as read-alouds, I can attest to the ones I marked with an asterisk as being really great choices!

I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are your kids reading this summer? What did you love to read when you were young? I’ll be honest, I still love reading middle-grade and young adult books and I’ve read a lot of these just for fun myself! 😀

Middle-Grade Books for Summer Reading!

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