Summer Reading List (Years 4-6)

Updated:June 30, 2023
Author:Creative Hare

The summer holiday is fast approaching and many parents are thinking about  family fun, as well as how best to support their child’s reading. Learning to read for pleasure is treasure, so read on!

As a parent, you’ll know whether or not your child loves to read and the type of books they enjoy reading. Fast-paced, hilarious books, gobbled up with ease are hugely popular and rightly so. These books are enticing for children and they provide a lot of pleasure, as well as a fun way to unwind.

For those preparing for a competitive school entrance exam, reading habits come into sharp focus. Every parent feels a lot of pressure to ensure their child is reading high-quality books for their 11-Plus exam. So what can you do to relieve some of the pressure without it feeling like a major challenge?

Reading is personal and tastes vary. So what can you do if your child is addicted to a certain type of easy-peasy book? How can you expand their reading taste?

First, I think it’s helpful to understand why your child may love to consume these easy books. Children’s school days are regimented with an ever-increasing focus on academic testing. Add on extra-curricular activities and children can feel like robots as they move from one activity to the next. That’s pretty tiring. 


The problem is children are not robots (well, not yet). They need time to relax and recharge, away from stimulations. Children (and siblings) are all different and they each have their own preferences for how they like to relax, as well as how much they need! Everyone’s needs are different. 

So, non-stop exciting books, without any tricky words to digest, help children to switch off and have a laugh. But how can I encourage my child to try some more ambitious fiction? I hear you say.

Well, there’s no overnight fix but there are lots of small things you can do to help. Here are some ideas for you: 

Keep Calm   

If you feel stressed and anxious that your child isn’t budging from their binge reading habit, they too will pick up on these vibes. This will make them feel like there’s a problem, even though we all know that reading for pleasure is key. To help you keep positive try talking to a librarian or your local bookstore for some inspiration. Book stores often have some very passionate people working in them who can help recommend some great books. 


Visit a Book Shop

Visiting a bookshop is great fun. There are so many books just waiting to be read by your child. Aim to make it a relaxing experience by carving out some time to browse the shelves. Let your child choose whatever book they like, as this will help empower your child’s reading journey. 

A Balance of Book Types

If your child races to choose the latest easy-reader, let them do it, as long as they also select a more ambitious book. Ideally, you want your child to enjoy reading books with ambitious vocabulary, but in the interim, balancing both types is a good compromise. Telling your child to forget the easy-readers may cause annoyance and resentment in the long-term. 

Audio Stories 

Audio stories can work wonders for some children. Again, it’s personal preference. For some, listening to audio stories saves them from reading printed words, which can feel less tiring. I think this works best when children are interested in the story. 

Create a Routine

Having a routine can work wonders for children. It can mean that even when you don’t feel like doing something, you still do it, and more often than not, you’re glad you did. Set aside some time on a daily basis or a couple of chunks through the week, either way, make it work for you and your child. 



If you have exhausted the above and you’re still struggling… then give non-fiction a go. Reading about what we are actually interested in can work wonders for our engagement level. There’s often a lot of subject specific tricky words in non-fiction, but that’s a good thing for your child to embrace. 

My Book Recommendations – something for every taste

Children’s Historical fiction:

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian 

War and Millie McGonigle by Karen Cushman 

How to find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani (recommended age 10+)


A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

The Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman 

A Clock of Stars: Beyond the Mountains by Francesca Gibbons 

Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell 

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie 

Realistic Fiction:

Track series by Jason Reynolds 

Adventure Fiction: 

The Call of The Wild and White Fang by Jack London 

The Famous Five Adventures by Enid Blyton 

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 

A Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson 

Boy Giant: Son of Gulliver by Michael Morpurgo 

Five Children and It by Edith Nesbitt 

The Fowl Twins Get What They Deserve by 

Eoin Colfer (bestselling author of Artemis Fowl) 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery 

Fictional Animal Biography: 

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell 


When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr (semi-autobiographical)

Arctic and Antarctica by Dorling Kindersley 

Reaching for The Moon:The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician by Katherine Johnson 

Penguin’s Who Was…? Series – Who HQ  (Great Graphic Novels too)

Adventures in Time Series by Dominic Sandbrook

The Extraordinary Life of Greta Thunberg by Devika Jina 


A Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens

Mr. Penguin series by Alex T. Smith 

The Islands of Elsewhere by Heather Fawcett 

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin 

The Extraordinary Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 

Phew.. that’s it. I could probably go on, but I need stop somewhere! The summer holiday is a great time to learn and grow. I hope you find time to rest & recharge, explore new interests, visit the beach, and of course… read. 





"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary."

Jim Rohn