In my Summer Reading book lists for kids going into Kindergarten and First Grade as well as my Summer Reading book lists for kids going into Second and Third Grade I blabbed plenty about how important it is for your child to be reading during the summer and always.
I mentioned research has proven that it is the one way to guarantee the kids get ahead is to have them read. I mentioned that just reading is most important; don't fret about reading level. I mentioned that reading a book aloud with or to your child is a great tactic/tool with reluctant readers aka a kid that doesn't love to read. Reading a book with them takes the challenge out of reading and let's they come to realize how fun and fabulous a good book is. I've mentioned a lot of benefits to reading; I don't need to keep harping this one.
However, let me also say that 4th and 5th graders can really get into Summer Reading Programs at the library or stores like Barnes & Noble. Kids at this age get super excited to be able to earn prizes like book marks, toys, a book, putt-putt tickets, etc. Sign your kid up (most libraries do it online now) for a Summer Reading Program. Better yet, sign you and your kid up. You both can earn free books and other cool things/activities to do together that is free.
The book lists below are for kids going into 4th or 5th grade. However, if you have a younger kid but want to read a chapter book with them look a grade or two above them for a good book.
Also, you know your kid the best. If you think they can handle the content in a book from an older grade and they want to read it then by all means go for it. Trust yourself as the parent, but also feel free to ask me specific questions. No child or book is a one size fits all. I'm here to help!
For kids going into...
Fourth (4th) Grade
A great story with a great message for both boys and girls; there is a reason this book won a Newbery.
Boys and girls LOVE reading this book b/c it is huge with over 500 pages. This book may look intimidating, but it has a lot of pictures that help tell the great story. The pictures are beautiful and even won a Caldecott. This book also had a movie made after it, so you could always watch the movie after reading it to compare.
Another great book in a school setting by Clements; both boys and girls will be fans of this humorous but fabulous story. Really, Andrew Clements writes fabulous books for kids this age.
An oldie but a goodie; this book is perfect for boys and girls.
An old classic mystery series that boys and girls love. You may remember reading this book and enjoying it; your kids will enjoy it as well! Plus, there are a TON of them if they really get into them.
An oldie but most definitely a goodie. The main character is a girl so a lot of boys will not want to read this book even though it is hilarious and fabulous. However, girls will adore this book and will want to read everything by Cleary after.
This short and hilarious chapter book is perfect for boys, and the girls will love it as well.
For kids going into...
Fifth (5th) Grade
If you are a HP fan you can probably tell from the name of my blog that I am a HUGE fan. I love this book and series. Your child my ready to read this book before this age, but I really feel unless you are reading it with them that this grade is the best grade to start the series.
Another classic fantasy series both boys and girls will enjoy. These books are shorter than Harry Potter, and there is also a movie you could watch after to compare.
This humorous realistic fiction is perfect for reluctant readers. A fun read that everyone will get a laugh from.
This book is more funny than anything. Books that are in settings like school are always a winner for kids b/c they can easily relate.
A great mystery book that girls will love. It's a great story, but with a girl as the main character boys will shy away from it. There is also a movie based on this book which would be fun to watch and compare.
Christopher's sports books are perfect for boys into sports. They aren't too long, and they work great for the reluctant readers.
A Newbery Medal book with an absolutely fabulous story both boys and girls and adults will love. It also has one of the best movie adaptations if you want to watch it after.