summer reading

Summer Reading Lists for Catholic Families

In her book Language Wars, Dr. Ruth Beechik tells the story of a student she had many years ago. His mom put him in summer school even though he didn’t really need it. So, Dr. Beechik sent him to the library with a reading list of the classics. After two years of this, Ruth noticed that his standardized test scores didn’t change much from September to May. But they skyrocketed from June to August. This is motivation enough for me to get reading this summer, alongside my children.

If you’d like to spend your summer immersed in books, too, here are some great reading lists to get you started …

Multiple Ages

The Ultimate List of Family Read Alouds from Homeschool Connections parents. This is a good mix of well-known classics, as well as some fun titles you likely have not heard about before.

Melissa Wiley’s Book Recommendations. Melissa is a children’s author whose blog always has great ideas for reading with children. This list covers preschool to adult.

Bethlehem Books. Okay, this technically isn’t a reading list; it’s a publisher. However, anything they publish is good, fun reading for children.

1000 Good Book List: John Senior’s reading list for primary school through high school. Provided by the Classical Christian Education Support Loop.

Reading Your Way Through History. Historical fiction list from Love2Learn . Titles are arranged by historical period and coded for age level.

10 Books You Must Read to Your Daughter (Or How to Keep Your Daughter From Ending Up Like That Horrid Girl in Twilight). Um, the title says it all.

Top-20 List of Living Math Books. Yes! Math can be fun. Really. Here’s a list for preschool to adult literature that also introduces math concepts. It’s terrific for someone struggling with math who needs to find joy in the subject.

Hillside Education. Again, this is not a reading list but a publisher. Several fiction titles for the family as well as Catholic homeschool resource books.

Summer Reading: Audiobooks for Your Catholic Homeschool. For while traveling on vacation or while carshooling.

Summer Reading for the whole family


Begin at the Beginning: Board Book Delights & Good Book Habits. From Jen Mackintosh, this is a lovely reading list made up of board books for your preschool child.

48 Picture Books for the Well-Rounded Catholic Child

Dad Reads Aloud. A Catholic Homeschool dad finds the best picture books for you and the kids.

Grade School

An ABCs of Must Read Children’s Book Authors from Haley Stewart over at Carrots for Michaelmas.

Mensa for Kids: K to Third Grade. This link will take you to a PDF file for the reading list.

Mensa for Kids: Fourth to Sixth Grade. More from Mensa.

Middle School

A Downton Abbey Children’s Book List. Another great list from Haley Stewart. These are titles you could read together with your child for an enjoyable summer.

Mensa for Kids: Seventh to Eighth Grade: Filled with great, yet fun, classics.

High School

Home Library Essentials for High School. A fun list across many genres.

Mensa for Kids: Ninth to Twelfth Grade.

College / Adult

The Big Ol’ Catholic Reading List from Haley Stewart. Terrific list that includes both fiction and nonfiction.

Summer Reading: Catholic Fiction. Mostly contemporary fiction titles written by Catholic authors.

Twelve Books for the Thinking Catholic Woman. Books to challenge you and foster your intellectual development.

Just for the fun of it, if you’d like to put down your book and watch a movie instead, here is Alicia Van Hecke’s Favorite Historical Fiction Movies.

If you have a favorite summer reading list, please share it with us at our Homeschool Connections Community or our Facebook group.

Let’s close with Father Robert Barron …

Oh, one more thing. If you’re reading this long after I posted it, we keep updated reading lists here: Reading Lists for Catholic Students and Parents.

Happy Reading! And, have a great summer!!!

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