Summer Reading Recommendations and Rewards with Knoxville Moms

My latest post with the Knoxville Moms is available here! See below for a sneak peek!

Somehow, summer is just around the corner. Reading is a wonderful way to maintain those hard-earned skills developed during the school year, all while encouraging imagination and building empathy at the same time. But staring down shelves and shelves of books at the library or bookstore can be intimidating. Never fear, that’s why I’m here! I’ve broken down my recommendations based on reading level, and included fun reading programs where kids can earn prizes for their reading as well. But summer reading isn’t just for kids– whether you want to read alongside your bookworm or your own book adjacent to them, I’ve included titles I recommend for the grownups, too (and there’s even prizes for grownups!). Full reviews are available through titles with links!

You can find a purchase-friendly version of this list on here. Amazon links are in the list! Disclosure: I am an affiliate of and Amazon. I will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.

Chapter Books

Chapter books are great for first and second graders, as they are growing more comfortable reading on their own. Library/Bookstore tip: Look for the Branches logo on the book’s spine. Branches is an imprint of Scholastic, and we have had excellent luck with their titles.

  • Dragon Masters series by Tracy West; Amazon
  • The Last Firehawk series by Katrina Charman; Amazon
  • Diary of a Pug series by Kyla May; Amazon

Middle Grade Books

These titles are for readers who are comfortable reading independently, and have more mature themes than chapter books. Many of these novels are so engaging and well-written, you may likely enjoy it just as much as your kid!

Graphic Novels

Whether the pages look more like a long-form comic book or simply include illustrations to aid the storytelling, these novels are a great option for reluctant readers or those who are intimidated by books that grow in size as they age.

  • New Kid by Jerry Craft; Amazon
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander; Amazon

Young Adult

Aimed at those 13+, YA titles have more mature language and themes.

For the Grownups

Book Reward Programs

Knox County Library is aiming to have us read one million hours! Kids and adults alike can participate via the Beanstack app. There are multiple phases to the program. Full information can be found here, but kids and adults alike win prizes for reading!

Pizza Hut has brought back their BookIt! Program! Remember the joy of reading to earn free pizza? Now you get to set their goal! When they complete their reading goal, they get a coupon for a free personal pan pizza. More information here.

Barnes and Noble has an annual summer reading program where kids earn free books! Simply read eight books and fill out their log, then turn it in to any Barnes and Noble and get a free book from their list of titles. Full information here, and printable book log here.

Happy reading!


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