Summer Reading Lists for Catholic Students and Parents

Summer Reading for the whole family

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
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.
Eagle Forum: A Child’s Reading List. This is a good list of classics for grade school through high school.
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 of literature that also introduces math concepts. Terrific for someone struggling with math who needs to find joy in the subject.
Chesterton Press. Again, not a reading list but a publisher. Several fiction titles for preschool to adult. It is also the home of Regina Doman’s fairy tale books, which are popular among teens.
Emma’s Top 50 Historical Fiction Picks from Sweetness and Light.

Before Five in a Row. Five in a Row is a literature-based homeschool curriculum. Scroll down for their preschool reading list. Several great read alouds here for you.
Begin at the Beginning: Board Book Delights & Good Book Habits. Includes a great reading list of board books for your preschool child.

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
Chesterton Academy. Their summer reading list for high school. A good, short list.
Mensa for Kids: Ninth to Twelfth Grade.

College / Adult
Dr. Taylor Marshall’s Lifetime Reading Plan. This is a Catholic theology list and there a lot of good titles to choose from. They’re organized nicely by subject (literature, mariology, history, etc.).
The Big Ol’ Catholic Reading List from Haley Stewart. Terrific list that includes both fiction and nonfiction.
100+ Catholic Novels. This list is from Deal Hudson and for the fiction lover.

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 with everyone in the comments!

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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