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Summer Reading Lists for Kids Ages 8-12

Patch has teamed up with James Patterson’s READKIDDOREAD program to bring you reading lists for every age. If you’re looking for some great summer reading options, check this list of favorites from Patterson himself.

Looking for a great book to read this summer? This list of books has something for everyone: adventure, magic, and smart and amazing kids. Read one, or read ‘em all; and post your thoughts in the comments section below. If we missed your favorite book, tell us what it is.

Dead End in Norvelt,
by Jack Gantos

Two months of being grounded during summer vacation changes Jack Gantos’ life forever, especially since it involves the mysterious chore of typing obituaries for his intriguing neighbor.

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading,
by Tommy Greenwald

What happens when Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader EVER, has to actually read a book?

Big Nate in a Class by Himself (Big Nate series), by Lincoln Peirce

Things don’t always go your way just because you’re awesome.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda,
by Tom Angleberger

Dwight is a clueless boy with a prescient Yoda hand-puppet. His classmate Tommy is mystified.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School series),
by James Patterson

Middle school student Rafe Khatchadorian decides to break every rule in the school’s code of conduct. But what happens when things don’t go as planned?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Wimpy Kid series), by Jeff Kinney

Read Greg Heffley’s diary detailing trials and tribulations from middle school.

Bud Not Buddy,
by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, a motherless boy on the run, is armed with his suitcase of secret, important things: his book with instructions on having a fun life and being a better liar, and clues to find his father. Nothing is going to get in Bud’s way — not hunger, fear or vampires.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret,
by Brian Selznick

This book weaves prose and illustrations beautifully to tell the story of Parisian orphan, clock keeper and petty thief Hugo.

Maniac Magee,
by Jerry Spinelli

Orphan Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee decides to run away from his unhappy aunt and uncle. And then he decides just to run.

Wonder,
by R.J. Palacio

A facial deformity prevented August Pullman from going to a regular school. He craves an ordinary life when he joins Beecher Prep as a fifth grader. But he soon learns that you can’t blend in when you were meant to stand out.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series),
by Christopher Paolini

Can farm boy turned dragon rider Eragon and blue stone turned dragon Saphira join forces to save the world?

Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles series),
by Suzanne Collins

What happens when New Yorker Gregor falls through the grate in his apartment and enters the strange world of the Underland?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter enters the world of magic and realizes his destiny.  
                                                                      
The Westing Game,
by Ellen Raskin

This intricately plotted story features 16 people who could become millionaires if they can play the tricky and dangerous Westing game.

A Wrinkle in Time,
by Madeline L’engle

Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin travel through space and time to find Meg and Charles’ father.

Guinness: World Records 2012
, by Guinness World Records

Read about extraordinary, interesting daredevils who want to push the limits and their record- breaking feats.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2012,
by National Geographic Kids

Learning about your world and everything in it was never so much fun!

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Special Edition 2012,
by Ripley’s Inc.

Read about the bizarre, the hilarious and the incredible in this fun collection!


The ReadKiddoRead program features bestselling author James Patterson’s picks for the summer. Find reviews of these books and more in the Pageturners section of ReadKiddoRead.com.

Did your kids have fun reading the books on the list? What are you reading this summer? Are there other books that should make it to the list? Share your reading experiences with us and post a comment below!

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