We all want our kids to read over the summer, right? But how can make that summer reading both memorable and fun – a treasured childhood memory rather than another thing to do and check off our lists?

For today’s show, I talked to one of my very favorite people on the whole planet- Pam Barnhill.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • ideas for how to motivate your kids to read
  • how to motivate yourself to read aloud to them
  • and which books are best for summertime

Just wait till you hear some of the reading party ideas!

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Episode 27
The Prairie Thief

The Prairie Thief

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A fantastical twist to a tale of life on the prairie made this an instant family favorite at our house. Louisa Brody’s life on the Colorado prairie takes an unexpected turn when her father is locked away in jail and she is sent to live with the awful Smirch family. Can Louisa and her friends save her father from a guilty verdict?

More info →
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The Green Ember

The Green Ember

FROM SARAH:

A Read-Aloud Revival community favorite. Rabbits with Swords! This story will inspire heroic virtue in your children (and who knows... maybe you too!). This is first in a truly wonderful fantasy series. Your kids can meet author S.D. Smith at his Author Access video replay in RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

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A Little Princess (Puffin in Bloom)

A Little Princess (Puffin in Bloom)

Also by Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden), Sarah goes from princess to servant. Will she remain noble despite her circumstances?

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Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)

Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)

The March sisters are each distinctive in their own way, but they band together to help their mother while their father is serving in the Civil War. The original version follows the girls as they grow into womanhood. Girls might enjoy identifying with a particular sister -- Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy.

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Caddie Woodlawn

Caddie Woodlawn

Based on stories of the author’s grandmother, Caddie loves hunting and pranks, but refuses to be a “lady.” Set in Wisconsin in the late 1800s, Little House fans will love Caddie!

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

$7.99

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When Charlie finds a golden ticket in a Wonka bar, it means he and Grandpa Joe get to tour the famous chocolate factory. They encounter the eccentric Mr. Wonka, Oompa-Loompas, and some very naughty children!

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The Black Star of Kingston

The Black Star of Kingston

A swashbuckling tale full of heroes and action, The Black Star of Kingston takes place a century before RAR favorite The Green Ember.

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Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

Endorsed by Jim Trelease (The Read-Aloud Handbook), this collection is wonderful for littles.

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Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency.

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I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back

**Description from Amazon: The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks t...

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The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (the Hobbit / the Fellowship of the Ring / the Two Towers / the

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (the Hobbit / the Fellowship of the Ring / the Two Towers / the

**Description from Amazon: THE BOOKS THAT INSPIRED THE EPIC MOTION PICTURES J.R.R. TOLKIEN THE LORD OF THE RINGS THE HOBBIT THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING THE TWO TOWERS THE RETURN OF THE KING © New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and the names of the characters, items, events and pl...

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Hatchet

Hatchet

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor.Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes...

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The Perilous Gard

The Perilous Gard

$8.99

In 1558, while exiled by Queen Mary Tudor to a remote castle known as Perilous Gard, young Kate Sutton becomes involved in a series of mysterious events that lead her to an underground world peopled by Fairy Folk—whose customs are even older than the Druids’ and include human sacrifice.

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Henry And Mudge First Book

Henry And Mudge First Book

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

The first book in the acclaimed Ready-to-Read series from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant featuring Henry and his lovable 180-pound dog, Mudge.Henry, feeling lonely on a street without any other children, finds companionship and love in a big dog named Mudge.

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The Gary Paulsen Collection: Dancing Carl; Dogsong; Hatchet; Woodsong

The Gary Paulsen Collection: Dancing Carl; Dogsong; Hatchet; Woodsong

**Description from Amazon: Four classic books from Newbery Honoree Gary Paulsen are now available in one boxed set: Hatchet, Woodsong, Dogsong, and Dancing Carl.This collectible boxed set of beloved titles from acclaimed author Gary Paulsen includes Dancing Carl, Dogsong, Hatchet, and Woodsong. In Dancing Carl, a teen’s ter...

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Encyclopedia Brown Box Set (4 Books)

Encyclopedia Brown Box Set (4 Books)

**Description from Amazon: Perfect for aspiring sleuths--master crime-solver Encyclopedia Brown lets you crack the cases along with him!A set of the first four books in the classic mystery series starring everyone's favorite boy detective Encyclopedia Brown! Whether Encyclopedia is solving cases for his neighborhood friends o...

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The Sherwood Ring

The Sherwood Ring

$7.99

Newly orphaned Peggy Grahame is caught off-guard when she first arrives at her family’s ancestral estate. Her eccentric uncle Enos drives away her only new acquaintance, Pat, a handsome British scholar, then leaves Peggy to fend for herself. But she is not alone. The house is full of mysteries—a...

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The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Animals (First Encyclopedias)

The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Animals (First Encyclopedias)

**Description from Amazon: Explores the habitats and characteristics of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and fish.

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Ogden Nash’s Zoo

Ogden Nash’s Zoo

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 27

**Description from Amazon: A collection of verses about animals from the barnyard to the aquarium and the haunts of the lion and rhinoceros also includes verses about mythical animals

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Beezus and Ramona

Beezus and Ramona

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party.

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The Enormous Egg

The Enormous Egg

**Description from Amazon: When twelve-year-old Nate Twitchell takes care of an gigantic egg laid by one of his hens, he is shocked to find that it hatches into a triceratops. Reissue.

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A Child’s Garden of Verses

A Child’s Garden of Verses

$19.99

Here is a delightful look at childhood, written by master poet and storyteller Robert Louis Stevenson. In this collection of sixty-six poems, Stevenson recalls the joys of his childhood, from sailing boats down a river, to waiting for the lamplighter, to sailing off to foreign lands in his imaginati...

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The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh

The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 25

**Description from Amazon: This exquisite, deluxe edition contains the complete illustrated texts of both Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. In full-color and featuring a satin ribbon marker, it is the perfect gift and a cornerstone of every family's bookshelf.Happy 90th birthday, to one of the world's most beloved...

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The Bobbsey Twins MEGAPACK ®: 15 Classic Children’s Novels

The Bobbsey Twins MEGAPACK ®: 15 Classic Children’s Novels

**Description from Amazon: Meet Nan and Burt, and Freddie and Flossie -- two sets of twins in the Bobbsey family. Their adventures have thrilled generations of young readers. This volume collects the first 15 original Bobbsey Twins books (published between 1904 and 1922):THE BOBBSEY TWINSTHE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRYTHE BO...

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Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet)

Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet)

**Description from Amazon: The worldwide bestseller, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card comes to the screen at last in a major motion picture event in November 2013. Starring Hugo's Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley, the movie is sure to inspire a new audience of fans to read the book that started it all. Once ag...

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My Side of the Mountain Trilogy (My Side of the Mountain / On the Far Side of the Mountain / Frightful’s Mountain)

My Side of the Mountain Trilogy (My Side of the Mountain / On the Far Side of the Mountain / Frightful’s Mountain)

**Description from Amazon: In 1959, Jean Craighead George published My Side of the Mountain. This coming-of-age story about a boy and his falcon went on to win a Newbery Honor, and for the past forty years has enthralled and entertained generations of would-be Sam Gribleys. The two books that followed--On the Far Side of the...

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The River (A Hatchet Adventure)

The River (A Hatchet Adventure)

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 27

**Description from Amazon: The government sends Brian back to the Canadian wilderness in this beloved follow-up to the award-winning classic Hatchet from three-time Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen!   Two years after Brian Robeson survived fifty-four days alone in the Canadian wilderness, the government wants him to...

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Ball

Ball

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 27

**Description from Amazon: A 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor BookA dog with a ball is one of the most relentlessly hopeful creatures on Earth. After his best little-girl pal leaves for school, this dog hits up yoga mom, baby, and even the angry cat for a quick throw. No luck. Forced to go solo, the dog begins a hilarious one-...

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Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon

Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon

**Description from Amazon: Only Amber Brown can handle her best friend moving away with such honesty, humor, and heart.Amber Brown and Justin Daniels are best friends. They've known each other for practically forever, sit next to each other in class, help each other with homework, and always stick up for each other. Justin ne...

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Good Wives (Puffin Classics Book 5)

Good Wives (Puffin Classics Book 5)

**Description from Amazon: Good Wives is the second story about the March family.Three years on from Little Women, the March girls and their friend Laurie are young adults with their futures ahead of them. Although they all face painful trials along the way - from Meg's sad lesson in housekeeping to Laurie's disappointment in...

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King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (Puffin Classics)

King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (Puffin Classics)

They're Puffin Classics for a reason, it's because they're the best.Step up to the Round Table and join the knights of the Realm!King Arthur is one of the greatest legends of all time. From the magical moment when Arthur releases the sword in the stone to the quest for the Holy Grail and the final t...

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Enchantress from the Stars

Enchantress from the Stars

**Description from Amazon: Elana, a member of an interstellar civilization on a mission to a medieval planet, becomes the key to a dangerous plan to turn back an invasion. How can she help the Andrecians, who still believe in magic and superstition, without revealing her own alien powers? At the same time, Georyn, the son of ...

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Thomas’ ABC Book (Thomas & Friends) (Pictureback(R))

Thomas’ ABC Book (Thomas & Friends) (Pictureback(R))

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 27

**Description from Amazon: Based on The Railway Series by the REV. W. AWDRY A is for All Aboard! Filled with fun photographs from the popular TV show, Shining Time Station, Thomas's ABC Book will delight children while teaching them the alphabet along the way.

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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Knickerbocker Classics)

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Knickerbocker Classics)

**Description from Amazon: "I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed." - William ShakespeareArm yourself with this volume from the Knickerbocker Classic series, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, including 16 comedies, 10 histories, 12 tragedies and all the poems and sonnets of the world's ...

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Redwall (Redwall, Book 1)

Redwall (Redwall, Book 1)

FROM SARAH:

Redwall Abbey is a quiet and peaceful place, just as the mice like it. But an evil one-eyed rat wants ownership of the abbey. An unlikely hero emerges in this action packed tale, which might be a good pick for fans of The Green Ember.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

The question in this first volume is resoundingly clear: What can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey do to defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats?

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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

The Cuthberts are expecting a boy to help work on their farm, Green Gables. Instead, they get “Anne with an e,” who will surely win girls’ hearts with her spunky personality and big imagination.

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The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain Book 1)

The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain Book 1)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Originally published in 1964, this three-book series follows “Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper” on his quest to become a hero. Filled with references to Welsh mythology and lots of humor.

More info →
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The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton

The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton

Four short mysteries starring the sweet Father Brown. Kids will love the subtle action, and trying to figure out whodunnit!

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The Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold

The Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 25, Book 1

**Description from Amazon: When Bear, a mysterious young man, lands on Blanche and Rose Brier's doorstep in New York City, the two sisters have conflicting opinions on whether or not he is dangerous. Even as Blanche learns to trust him, her fears that Bear's friendship threatens their family prove terrifyingly true. A modern...

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Tuesdays at the Castle

Tuesdays at the Castle

Author:
Series: Episodes, 085, Book 1
Tags: Episode 85, girls books 8-12

FROM SARAH:

On Tuesdays, the Castle changes. Sometimes it adds a new room, a turret, a staircase... or even a whole wing. This one is fun, fun, fun. I bet you'll hear "Just one more chapter, pleeeease!" from everyone in the room. Your kids can meet author Jessica Day George in RAR Premium in 2020.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the Castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the Castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions.

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Mandie and the Secret Tunnel (Mandie, Book 1)

Mandie and the Secret Tunnel (Mandie, Book 1)

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 27, Book 1

**Description from Amazon: In 1900, Mandie is searching her dead uncle's mansion for a missing will when she finds a secret tunnel and strangers who claim to be her relatives

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Doll Hospital #01: Tatiana Comes To America: An Ellis Island Story

Doll Hospital #01: Tatiana Comes To America: An Ellis Island Story

Author:
Series: Episodes, Episode 27, Book 1

**Description from Amazon: In the tradition of American Girl, each book in this series is a clever mix of past and present that brings a different era to life through a story told from the perspective of a beloved doll.Sisters Lila and Rose, ages 8 and 10, are spending the year with their eccentric grandmother (who runs a dol...

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Little Men (Puffin Classics)

Little Men (Puffin Classics)

FROM SARAH

Jo of Little Women fame is all grown up and has started a school. Homeschoolers might find some tips and ideas in this sweet sequel.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

In the treasured follow-up to Little Women, Jo March returns as a mother of two sons and schoolmaster to twelve orphans. Now Jo Bhaer, literature’s beloved heroine has transformed Plumfield, the decorous New England estate of the March sisters’ youth, into a progressive school.

More info →
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Jo’s Boys (Bantam Classics)

Jo’s Boys (Bantam Classics)

FROM SARAH

The third in the series starting with Little Women and followed by Little Men. The boys in Jo's school have grown up in this bittersweet finale.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Set 10 years after Little Men, Jo's Boys revisits Plumfield, the New England school still presided over by Jo and her husband, Professor Bhaer. Jo's Boys — including sailor Emil, promising musician Nat, and rebellious Dan — are grown. Jo remains at the center of this tale, holding her boys fast through shipwreck and storm, disappointment...and even murder.

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Links from this episode:

CLICK HERE to grab your summer reading printables from Pam Barnhill >>