The Official TLM Summer Reading List

There’s a reason that many schools assign summer reading to students (and, contrary to what your child might say, it’s not because the teachers are mean.) Reading work has been shown (link to reading article) to strengthen the parts of the brain that aid in memory retention and learning. Indeed, it even helps build white matter, which benefits the entire system by improving communication between the parts of the brain.

Given these benefits, it’s obvious that children, and adults, should be continuing to read over the summer! But what should you read? Here are some of the things our staff recommend, for kids, teens, and adults!

Kids:

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The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne 

These enchanting stories have been charming6-10 readers for nearly 30 years. The books feature Jack and Annie, two siblings who are sent on magical missions to different eras by the powerful Morgan la Fay, by means of a tree house that can travel through time. With simple engaging language that is reflected in the alliterative titles, such as “Dinosaurs Before Dark,” these books are the ideal first chapter book for any gender of young reader.

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Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The heartwarming story of a brave young mouse named Despereaux who falls in love with the beautiful (and human) Princess Pea. When Princess Pea is taken by the evil rats, Despereaux must summon all of his courage to fight for his one true love. This book may be slightly more challenging than the Magic Tree House series, but is an excellent candidate for reading together.

Teens:

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Travel Team and Summer Ball by Mike Lupica

Formerly a sportswriter for the New York Times, Mike Lupica has since transitioned into one of the most prolific young adult writers in the country. His books focus on the often crucial relationship between sports and coming of age. These two books focus on Danny Walker, an undersized point guard who loves basketball more than anything else. These books let readers watch as Danny navigates love, friendship and social dynamics, all in the context of the sport he loves.

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

You’ve probably heard of this book due to the Netflix film, but the book is even more heartwarming. The story follows Lara Jean, a half white, half Korean teenager who writes secret love letters to the boys who she has crushes on. But when these secret letters are sent out, Lara suddenly has a lot of attention to deal with, and a lot of self-growth to do! The book is a wonderful story about a young woman growing up and finding her self-confidence.

Adults:

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This long-running NYT bestseller is a mind-blowing exploration of the history of our species. Dr. Harari takes us through the roles that biology and anatomy have played in shaping the unlikely dominance of our species, and indeed, what it means to be “human.” You might go through it fast, but this book will stick with you long after you put it down.

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SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain by Dr. John Ratey

Have you ever noticed that, if you take the time to get up and run in the morning, your day seems a little brighter? Well, it turns out that there is powerful science behind why you feel this way. In this powerful work, Harvard Professor of Psychology Dr. John Ratey lays out fascinating evidence proving that exercise can actually work on rewiring the brain, and helps with everything from depression to academic achievement to avoiding dementia later in life. This book will fascinate you, and might even help you and your kids get off the couch this summer.