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Summer Adventure Books for Boys or Girls + Family Fun Activity Resources

Summer Adventure Books for Boys or Girls



It may not hit the calendar for a couple weeks, but school’s out and the weather is getting steamy. Summer adventures are ready to begin.

One of my favorite summer memories is mom reading aloud to us during the summer.

I would sit with my brothers and sister in the water at the edge of our cow pond and soak in the stories. That’s when slime between our toes and duckweed on our arms didn’t bother us!

I don’t remember all the books we read, but I can still recall quirky characters from The Little Cow and The Turtle by Meindert Dejong. I’m sure we found it at our tiny town library. Sadly, it’s out of print now, but I think I can find a used copy to read to my kids this summer.

Are you looking for a few books to read aloud to your kids this summer?

Here are some favorite summer adventure books I’ve enjoyed reading to my kids. They are all family-centric and full of wholesome fun.


Favorite Summer Adventure Books

These stories will have your kids begging for more, so you’ll be happy to know that many of them have sequels that are also worth reading.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall – This is also one of our favorite audio books. The sub-title pretty much sums it up: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. Add to that a respectable single dad, a lovable Hound and a bit of Latin for plenty of hilarity and adventure.


Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright – A brother and sister get to spend the summer with their cousin in the country. While exploring the nearby woods, they discover a town that time forgot, make friends with two charming characters and . . . succumb to “the gulper”!


The Saturdays  by Elizabeth Enright – The four Melendy siblings decide that none of them will ever have enough money to go on adventure together. They form a plan to pool their money, so that each of them can have a thrilling experience to tell the others about. The excursions take place, you guessed it, every Saturday and are looked forward to by all.


Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls – Jay Berry spends his summer attempting to catch monkeys who have escaped from a traveling circus in the Ozarks of Oklahoma. The task becomes a little more difficult than he imagined, but the prospect of reward money keeps him from giving up.


Five Children and It  by E. Nesbit – A rather unusual story of 5 children who discover an ancient sand fairy in the gravel pit. Their careless words result in wishes being granted in ways they weren’t quite expecting!


The Railway Children by E. Nesbit – Mother and three children move to the country when Father is suddenly taken away. While mother tries to make ends meet and keep things cheerful, the children make friends at the local railway station. Can they solve the mystery of what happened to Father?


Owls In The Family by Farley Mowat – Somewhat auto-biographical story about a boy who acquires two owls plus a menagerie of other animals as pets. Your kids will laugh like crazy when they hear about the escapades Billy and his friend Bruce have as they try to keep all the animals in line.


The Moffats by Eleanor Estes – The description reads, “only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.” The siblings look out for each other (and sometimes loose each other) all along the way.


Enjoy the stories, and be sure to have some summer adventures of your own!


Need a little help in that department? Check out these resources.



Mom’s Summer Survival Guide is free, but you will need to visit Faith Along the Way and subscribe to receive it. I really appreciate Sarah Ann’s heart for encouraging strong families. Visit the link for a summary of what’s included in the guide.  A few of my ideas are in there too!


Summer Survival Kit - Kitchen Stewardship

Purchase the Summer Vacation Survival Kit (affiliate link), for only $6.99.

A few highlights:

* 30 minutes to put your kit together, 20+ activities ready to go
* ages 3-12
* parents don’t need to be involved in every step!
* for the non-crafty parent
* engaged brains, enhanced creativity, independence, and enjoyment – no screens!
* compiled by two teachers with a combined 7 kids


We’ve read all these, so we need some suggestions! What summer adventure books would you add to the list?


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Shared at: Booknificent ThursdayLiteracy Musing MondaysGrace & TruthInspire Me MondayThriving ThursdayNourishing Joy, Modest Monday, Art of Homemaking Monday, Tuesday Talk, Women With Intention, Coffee & Conversation, What To Read, Read Aloud Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, Family Fun Friday, and Saturday Soiree.


  1. bekalynn02 says:

    What a great list! I actually have some of these books on my list for this summer as well! I just made my own list for my kids and we went to the library. I absolutely love reading and am so glad my kids finally do also.

  2. This is a fantastic list for any time of year! We’ve read about half of them, and I’m adding the rest to our wish list! Thanks for linking up at Booknificent Thursday at Mommynificent.com!

  3. Thanks for the list, Abi! Summer is the perfect time for adventure books. 🙂
    Found you on Literacy Musing Mondays.

    • We all need a little adventure in our lives; reading about it is a good place to start! Glad you saw the list at the link-up, Donna.

  4. I loved Summer of the Monkeys. I hope you will share this post with my readers at Liteacy Musing Mondays. It went live tonight at
    http://www.maryanderingcreatively.com/literacy-musing-mondays-week-26/ !

  5. These look great! We haven’t read all of them yet, so I’ll definitely have to add them to our list. Thanks for sharing with us at Grace & Truth!

  6. My son needs some books to read this summer. This is very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Pinning this. #InspireMeMondays.

  7. Wow, thank you for putting this list together! We will most likely wrap up our Chronicles of Narnia Series by mid summer, but I’ve been looking ahead for those hot late July and early August afternoons. We usually read aloud as part of our homeschool routine, but now you’ve got me wondering how I could make these summer readings more “adventurous” 🙂 Hmmm….maybe not every time, but for the first reading of each book…something tied to the theme, maybe blow a train whistle for “Railway Children” or for “Summer of Monkeys” we could use the barrel of monkeys and link a new monkey for each chapter. Ok, now my mind is buzzing, thanks for such an inspiring post!

    • Glad the suggestions are useful for you, Cookie. Have fun making memories. 🙂 I don’t do a whole lot of extra activities with our literature – my kids just don’t care for it. They do like it when we make some kind of food related to the story,though.

  8. dawnklinge says:

    You’ve listed some great book here. My husband told me that Summer of the Monkeys was his favorite book as a boy, and I have still never read it to my own boy. That’s the one I’m going to look for. I love The Moffats too. : )

    • I love hearing that our favorites are enjoyed by other people too, Dawn! I read Summer of the Monkeys to my twins when they were 6 (young, I know); I should read it again for my 8 year old.

  9. Thanks for this list! I will be looking these up on our library website!

  10. I love the Moffats. And the Penderwicks is a family favorite here! Thank you for linking up with Read Aloud Wednesdays.

    • Always fun to know that other families enjoy the same books we do, Leah. I love to see others encourage reading aloud too.

  11. Hi Abi! What a fun list of books! Our only child is our bulldog 🙂 But I think I would love to read some of these! In fact, I am adding a few to my reading list! Stopping over from Tuesday Talk, hope you have a great rest of the week!

  12. anislandfamilybygrace says:

    This was really helpful, as we are always on the lookout for good books and I had not heard of most of the books on your list- thank for sharing them!


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