Summer holiday reading recommendations from the wonderful Sarah from Parrot Street Book Club.
No summer holiday is complete without a good book!
We've linked up with Parrot Street Book Club co-founder, Sarah Campbell, gives us the lowdown on why the summer holidays are the perfect time for a reading adventure and which books are top of her summer reading list this year...
The long summer holidays have always been synonymous with freedom, adventure and exploring the world. We might not be able to travel very far this year, but there’s still an easy way to experience all these things as a family.
Take a reading adventure
One of the reasons I love reading with kids is the wider world it opens up for them. For most of our children, the world is still a very small place. The places, people and cultures they are familiar with are relatively few, but fiction is an enormously powerful tool that can help gently to introduce our kids to the wider world, allowing them to witness and experience what it is like to live in a different country or culture.
The best fiction does this in a way that doesn’t over emphasise the differences or alienate them from the world they are reading about, but instead focuses on telling a good story that the reader is absorbed by and feels connected to, regardless of whether it is set in an Amazonian jungle or their own hometown.
Beyond the page
The reading experience doesn’t need to end when you put a book down. One of the best ways to get our children to engage more deeply with a book is to connect the stories they are reading with their own experiences. Talk about books. Ask your child how they think a particular character would react to a problem they’re facing. Organise activities, at home or on holiday, that are inspired by something they’ve read - reading and listening to stories can really encourage them to flex their creative muscles. And why stop there? You could also plan trips and activities that take you out and about that will help bring the stories they’ve read alive.
We know that during term-time life is hectic and digital distractions abound. Many families find they fall out of the habit of bedtime reading. Books are the perfect way to reconnect as a family and there’s no better time to share a good book than when you’re away from home and the usual routine. Take the opportunity to read together again this summer – you won’t regret it.
The books on my summer reading list this year
Reading is not an indoor activity! There’s nothing better than lying on a sandy beach or in a grassy field and getting lost in a reading adventure. The books I’m looking forward to sharing with my family this year all celebrate the great outdoors:
The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori
This magical book follows 11-year-old Stella as she returns home to Shetland to spend the summer with her Grandpa. When she meets Tamar, an old woman who can spin rainbows and call hurricanes, her holiday takes an unexpected turn.
The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethel
This spellbinding adventure is set on the shore of Papua New Guinea, where Blue Wing is desperate to become a shark caller and, with her new friend Maple, must journey to the bottom of the ocean to brave the deadliest shark of them all.
Twitch by M.G. Leonard
I love the look of this new book by the bestselling author of Beetle Boy. Twitch has a passion for birdwatching, but on the first day of the summer holidays arrives at his secret hide to find police everywhere. Can he use his birdwatching skills to hunt down a dangerous prisoner and recover the missing loot?
By Ash Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison
This beautiful story by bestselling nature writer Melissa Harrison celebrates the wonders of the natural world through the eyes of three tiny ancient beings, Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, who set off on an epic adventure when their beloved ash tree home is destroyed.
The Great Dodo Comeback by Fiona Sandiford
This fun adventure story has been a huge hit with our subscribers already this summer. Bird-lover Leni lives on the island of Mauritius. When two scientists arrive at her family’s beachside hotel, Leni and her parakeet pal Popcorn set out to help them on a surprising scientific mission.
Bigfoot Mountain by Roderick O’Grady
Our older subscribers enjoyed this exciting adventure story which raises some important questions about how we look after the world around us and what it means to share it with the other creatures who also call it home.
For more ideas on Summer Holiday fun, take a look at our best activities to keep kids entertained on holiday, or some top tips for surviving a long car journey with kids. Lucy has tested them all out on their family camping adventure and can confirm that they have been a huge success!