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Summer Reading Lists for Kids Ages 8-12

Patch has teamed up with James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead program to bring you reading lists for all ages. Here are James Patterson’s summer reading picks for kids ages 8-12.

Looking for a great book to read this summer? This list of books has something for everyone—adventure, magic, smart kids, and amazing kids. Read one, or read ‘em all— then post your thoughts in the comments and be sure to let us know if we missed one of your favorites.


Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Being grounded for two months during summer vacation changes Jack Gantos’ life forever. Especially since it involves the mysterious chore of typing obituaries for his intriguing neighbor.

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
What happens when Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever, has to actually read a book?

Big Nate in a Class by Himself (Big Nate series) by Lincoln Peirce
Things don’t always go your way just because you’re awesome.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Dwight is a clueless boy who talks to his classmates through a prescient origami Yoda finger puppet. His classmate Tommy is mystified.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School series) by James Patterson
Middle school student Rafe Khatchadorian decides to break every rule in the school’s code of conduct. But what happens when things don’t go as planned?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kinney
Read Greg Heffley’s diary detailing the trials and tribulations of middle school.

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Bud, an orphan, doesn’t have much, but what he does have is a suitcase filled with important things, a book with instructions for having a fun life and being a better liar, and clues to find his father. Nothing is going to come in Bud’s way—not hunger, not fear and certainly not vampires.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
This book weaves prose and illustrations beautifully to tell the story of Parisian orphan, clock keeper and petty thief Hugo.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Orphan Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee decides to run away from his unhappy aunt and uncle. And then he decides just to run.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
A facial deformity prevented August Pullman from going to a regular school. He craves an ordinary life when he joins a prep school as a fifth grader but he soon learns that you can’t blend in when you were meant to stand out.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series) by Christopher Paolini
Can farm-boy-turned-dragon-rider Eragon and blue-stone-turned-dragon Saphira join forces to save the world?

Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles series) by Suzanne Collins
What happens when Gregor falls through a grate in his New York City apartment and enters the strange world of the Underland?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter enters the world of magic and realizes his destiny.  
                                                                      
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
This intricately plotted story features 16 people who could become millionaires if they can play the tricky and dangerous Westing game.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle
Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin travel through space and time to find the siblings’ father.

Guinness: World Records 2012 by Guinness World Records
Read about extraordinary, interesting daredevils who want to push the limits and their record-breaking feats.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2012 by National Geographic Kids
Learning about your world and everything in it was never so much fun!

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Special Edition 2012 By Ripley’s Inc.
Read about the bizarre, the hilarious and the incredible in this fun collection!

The ReadKiddoRead program features bestselling author James Patterson’s picks for the summer. Find reviews of these books and more in the Pageturners section of ReadKiddoRead.com.

Did your kids have fun reading the books on the list? What are you reading this summer? Are there other books that should make it to the list? Share your reading experiences with us and post a comment below!

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