Dive into Adventure: Summer Reading Recommendations for Dads and Kids

As a dad who treasures every moment spent with my kids, one of my favorite ways to bond is through the magic of storytelling. With summer coming up, there’s no better time to embark on literary adventures together and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

So grab a cozy spot, snuggle up with your little ones, and let the reading adventures begin! Here are some book recommendations that promise to ignite imaginations and strengthen the bond between dads and kids.

1. “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein

I feel like this was the number one book that I loved reading as a child. Reading “Where the Sidewalk Ends” over and over became a thing for me, so I had to put it on this list.

Transport your family to a whimsical world of imagination with this beloved collection of poems and drawings. From silly rhymes to thought-provoking tales, Shel Silverstein’s timeless masterpiece is sure to spark laughter and creativity in readers of all ages.

2. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis

Nothing like reading a book that takes you away from the everyday life and placing you into a magical fictional journey. My kids love the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia,” so I thought how fun would it be if we read the book together.

Embark on an epic journey to the magical land of Narnia with this classic fantasy series that has captivated readers for generations. Join siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy as they encounter talking animals, mythical creatures, and battle the forces of darkness alongside the noble lion, Aslan.

3. “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling

We made a challenge for our kids that if they wanted to watch the Harry Potter movies, they had to read (or listen to) the books first? Have you listed to the audio books? They are done so well that this is one I would recommend listening to because the reader does different voices for every single charter. Game changing!

Step into the enchanted world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with Harry Potter and his friends as they navigate the trials and tribulations of adolescence while battling dark forces threatening the wizarding world. Filled with friendship, courage, and adventure, this beloved series is perfect for readers of all ages.

4. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

Not every book has to be a huge novel, but this is a classic!

Share the heartwarming tale of friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte in this timeless classic. With themes of love, compassion, and the circle of life, E.B. White’s poignant story is sure to touch the hearts of both young and old alike.

5. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

With kids in the same age group as Matilda, we watched the movie together and they loved her so much! That was when I figured we should read the book together and really connect to Matilda. What I really love is when there is a book, movie, and musical that we could do all together.

Introduce your kids to the extraordinary world of Matilda Wormwood, a brilliant and resourceful young girl with telekinetic powers, in this beloved Roald Dahl classic. Follow Matilda as she navigates the challenges of school and family with humor, wit, and a sprinkle of magic.

6. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

Have you read “Wonder” yourself? This is a book that I think everyone, adult and child, need to read this book. We all could use a reminder to improve ourselves and use a heartwarming story.

Explore the power of kindness and empathy in this heartwarming tale of a young boy named Auggie Pullman who faces challenges and triumphs as he navigates the ups and downs of middle school with a facial deformity. With its powerful message of acceptance and understanding, “Wonder” is a must-read for families looking to instill values of compassion and inclusivity.

7. “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan

I had heard a lot of great things of “The Lightning Thief” and a few teachers had suggested these books for Nixon. He loves a good fantasy, and while they aren’t always my favorite, I am happy to do something with my kids that they love that might not be my favorite.

Embark on a thrilling adventure inspired by Greek mythology with Percy Jackson as he discovers he is a demigod and sets out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Filled with action, humor, and heart, Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series is perfect for families who love a good adventure.

8. “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo

This is one that I felt like would be more for my girls, but think my boys could enjoy it too! Really, my kids all love listening to any kind of book and I just thought this would be a fun one for them all.

Join a brave and unlikely hero, a tiny mouse named Despereaux Tilling, on a quest to rescue a princess and save a kingdom in this enchanting tale of courage and redemption. With its charming characters and timeless themes, Kate DiCamillo’s award-winning novel is sure to captivate readers of all ages.

9. “The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster

Who doesn’t love an adventure? Especially one that can take you to cool places, while being in the comfort of your own home. The kids love adventure books so this is going to be a fun one I feel like.

Embark on a whimsical journey through the Kingdom of Wisdom with Milo as he discovers the power of imagination and the joy of learning in this beloved classic. Filled with wordplay, wit, and unforgettable characters, “The Phantom Tollbooth” is a delightful read for families who love a good adventure.

10. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Since Nixon and I watched all the “Lord of the Rings” movies, but I thought we should do “The Hobbit.” The other thing that makes this one even more meaningful to me is growing up I remember my dad would come into my room at night and tell me the story of “The Hobbit” which I want to do with my kids too.

Set off on an epic quest to reclaim a lost kingdom with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who finds himself swept into an adventure beyond his wildest dreams. Filled with dwarves, dragons, and magical landscapes, J.R.R. Tolkien’s timeless tale is the perfect summer read for families craving adventure and excitement.


So there you have it—10 captivating books that promise to ignite imaginations, spark conversations, and strengthen the bond between dads and kids this summer. Whether you’re exploring magical realms, solving mysteries, or discovering the power of friendship, these literary adventures are sure to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. So grab a book, snuggle up with your little ones, and let the reading adventures begin!

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