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What’s summer without a good book? Sure, the beach makes it all better – ok who are we kidding, a lot better – but summer often lends itself to much needed time to reset and escape.

This year has been challenging. As we find ourselves preparing for back-to-school and taking in the last few weeks of summer, it’s important that we remember to take a little time for ourselves. Whether you’re looking for a distraction or looking to set some time aside to read with your family, there’s something about curling up with a good book that calms the soul and eases the mind.

So wherever the remainder of the summer takes you– even if it’s just the backyard—pick up a book.

Below is a list of favorites selected by our Safe and Sound team. You’ll find we’ve included some much-loved classics and several school safety reads to get you in the back-to-school mindset. Feel free to share any suggestions you have with us. Happy reading!

Family Read-A-Long

  • The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
  • Jesus Calling (daily devotional and Phone Application)
  • Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Best Books for Kids

Ages 0-5

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister
  • Anything Dr. Seuss!

Ages 6-10

  • Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
  • The Girl Who Hid Her Dreams in a Can, Dr. Tererai Trent
  • One Crazy Summer, Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney

Preteen

  • I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, Malala Yousafzai
  • Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
  • Holes, Louis Sachar

Teen

  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  • Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
  • The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Giver, Lois Lowry
  • Code Talker, Joseph Bruchac

Top School Safety Picks

  • The Ant Hill Disaster, Julia Cook (for elementary ages)
  • The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School – How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle, Barbara Coloroso
  • The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.
  • It’s Always About the Children, Charles A. Barrett, PhD, NCSP
  • Emotional Poverty In All Demographics, Ruby Payne, PhD

Recreational Reading and Inspiration for Adults

  • The Selection 5-Book Boxed Set: The Complete Series, Kiera Cass
  • Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
  • Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz
  • The Gift of Fear, Gavin deBecker
  • Talking to Strangers: What we Should Know About the People We Don’t Know, Malcom Gladwell
  • Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult
  • They Call me Mr. De, Frank DeAngelis