Summer Reading List: Fun Book Choices for Kids

Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Summer is here so it's time to grab your favorite books and head to the beach (or even pack 'em for a road trip!). Sometimes it's hard to find relevant chapter books (or books in general) for kids, so I've gathered a few of my favorites for ages 7-14. I've found everything from unique fiction to the best non-fiction books from National Geographic Kids. Check them out!

Disclosure: I received these books to review in exchange for an honest opinion, but I would never recommend anything to you if I didn't totally love it myself. Also, this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I may earn a (very small) commission from qualifying purchases. You can read more about this on my Disclosure page. 

Star Stable Soul Riders Series

The Soul Riders series is sure to be a hit with the horse loving girls out there. The popular adventure game Star Stable has an amazing book series for girls ages 9-14  Follow the tales of four friends who discover their magic powers and learn how brave and strong they can be. This trilogy by Helena Dahlgren tells the heroic tale of four young girls who have been chosen by destiny to save the world from the ancient demon Garnok and his band of dangerous Dark Riders. Each girl has a magical bond to her horse, making them "soul riders." Not only did I love the characters and storylines in these fantasy books, I also loved the beautiful cover illustrations. Readers can learn more about the characters and play the Star Stable game online as a follow-up to the book series, too.The trilogy includes Jorvik Calling, The Legend Awakens and Darkness Calling. Books are paperback and are roughly 190-200+ pages each.  

The Star Stable game was developed by Star Stable Entertainment, a Swedish company founded in 2011. Besides Star Stable Online, they create apps, music and stories for girls of all ages. Find out more and help protect the magical island of Jorvik at

National Geographic KIDS Almanac 2022 and 101 Life Hacks

I don't know. single kid (or adult) who isn't fascinated by the info in the National Geographic KIDS Almanac series. Their latest edition, National Geographic KIDS Almanac 2022 is filled with over 500 incredible photos, and according to the publisher, "amazing animal stories, explorer profiles, and outrageous attractions that kids know and love, plus more of the incredible inventions, awesome games, and fresh challenges for curious kids who want to learn all about the world and everything that's in it." There are tons of facts, crafts, activities, and info about animals, science, nature, technology, and conservation. There's even a chapter full of games, activities, jokes, and comics, which makes it a great book to take on a car ride or plane for traveling! Recommended for ages 8-12, paperback, 352 pages. 

National Geographic KIDS 101 Life Hacks: Genius Ways to Simplify Your World was actually a favorite book of mine this month! It's totally a book that adults would love, too, since it's filled with cool hacks for upcycling and reusing household items, as well as hands-on activities, fun facts, and insights from "professional-grade life hackers who use their problem-solving skills to change the world."  You can learn to make lantern lights for your room, discover a brain freeze cure, learn how to boost your memory power, and more. Recommended for ages 8-12, paperback (it's also small so it's a great book to bring on a trip or to the beach).

5000 Facts About Everything - National Geographic KIDS

National Geographic KIDS never fails to disappoint and they've hit it out of the park with 5000 Awesome Facts (About Everything). This is a GREAT book to give as a gift or even an end-of-the school year celebration book. This BIG hardcover book is filled with fascinating facts about awesome  topics that kids love. From facts about chocolate to fascinating shark photos and info, this beautiful book is perfect for any kid. Recommended for ages 8-12, hardcover, 224 pages.

ZEUS the Mighty, Izzy Newton and Explorer Academy

Chapter books galore! I have three titles that are sure to interest your tweens out there. 
ZEUS the Mighty by Crispin Boyer is an adorable choice for kids ages 8-12, and it's part of a series. Here's a summary from the publisher: "Welcome to Mount Olympus, a pet supply and rescue center that sits high on a hill in Athens, Georgia. The overconfident hamster Zeus, wise cat Athena, and other rescued pets live there under the watchful eye of their caretaker, Artie, who's obsessed with Greek mythology. The pets overhear her favorite podcast, Greeking Out, and believe themselves to be the actual megastars of mythology! Join .  Get ready to laugh, cheer, and learn with this Zeus and his minions in their rollicking romps through Greek mythology and unforgettable adventures." Books One and Two are currently available, with Book Three coming out this August. Check out the Zeus the Mighty website for books, fun printables, games, fun Greek facts and episodes of the real life Greeking Out podcast.

Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T.: Squad Absolute Hero by Valerie Tripp  is brand new series from the author of many American Girl books, Valerie Tripp.  Here's some info from the publisher: "Join Izzy Newton and her friends at Atom Middle School in the first adventure of this new middle-grade fiction series. A crowded new school and a crazy class schedule is enough to make Izzy feel dizzy. But for the S.M.A.R.T. Squad, it’s all about relying on the value of friendship and the power of science to help them think their way through all kinds of sticky situations. Science and tech reign supreme when these five brainy buddies put their heads together."  You can read a sample chapter, check out the book trailer,  and meet the characters from the story at  Book 2 in the S.M.A.R.T. Squad series will be released in October. Recommended for ages 8-12, hardcover.

Explorer Academy: The Tiger's Nest by Trudi Trueit I've recommended the Explorer Academy books several times before, and Book 5 is another great edition to the series. With action, excitement, mystery and tons of fun science facts, it's a book that even I loved reading with my son. Here's a summary of the storyline from the publisher:  "Join Cruz as he leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and exotic locales, eco-challenges and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?" Books 1-5 are out now, and book 6, The Dragon's Blood will be released in October. Recommended for ages 8-12, available in hardcover and paperback. Also check out the Explorer Academy activity books and the Explorer Academy website featuring videos, comic shorts, games, profiles of real-life National Geographic Explorers, chapter excerpts and more. 

Be sure to check out my other fun Must-Haves, recipes, crafts, and travel ideas for Summer on my Summer Fun for 2021 Page!

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