Our best kids books list includes Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and Bad Guys


The best books list for kids to get them reading this summer

— The recommendations are selected independently by the editors of Reviewed. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Summer is in full swing and if you’re like most parents you’re looking for a way to beat that summer brain drain. Type: this book list for kids.

Most schools encourage children to read 20 minutes or more a day. Studies show that 20 minutes of daily reading builds a variety of skills, including stronger writing and vocabulary skills, improved memory function, non-linear thinking, and empathy.

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The best way to start your child on a path that will build a lifelong love of reading is to find the right books!

We polled parent groups and school librarians to get suggestions for our kids’ book list, which features the best early reading chapter books that not only appeal to reluctant readers, but inspire budding bookworms.

A lot of these books are short, sweet, and part of a series (think Greg’s diary books) – so when your child falls in love with a character, there’s a lot more to their story.

Read on for our best summer book list for kids of 2022.

1. The Bad Boys

The Baddies by Aaron Blabey

You probably already know this series from the world of children’s books, thanks to the recent ones Bad Boys Film that hit theaters this summer.

The Bad Boys are a ragtag group of characters trying to overcome their reputations and troubled pasts to redeem themselves in the eyes of others.

It’s hilarious and fun to read, and it’s packed with lots of fun visuals to keep early readers engaged.

$21 for the 5 book set

2. Hilo

Hilo by Judd Winick

An early reader-friendly comic series that Hilo Children’s books focus on a little boy from outer space who happens to be a robot. He lives for mangoes, overzealous greetings, saving the world from the evil Razorwark, his best friends Gina and DJ, and his sister Izzy.

Fun fact, this series was written by MTV real world Alum Judd Winick (for all you Generation X parents out there).

$61 for the 6 book set

3. Jasmine!

Jasmine!  by Saadi Faruqi

Jasmine! is a series of children’s books about a girl who approaches life with positivity, curiosity and cultural pride.

Readers will love this unique character and never get bored with the adventures she faces and the dilemmas she tackles. Drawn in adorable illustrations in bold colors, Yasmin’s confidence, empathy and positivity make her so endearing.

Yasmin’s Pakistani culture plays a big part in these children’s books, using traditional foods and Urdu words.

$24 for the 4 book set

4. The Notebook of Destiny

Notebook of Downfall by Troy Cummings

You will be addicted to this epic series that includes 13 popular children’s books.

Alexander is moving to a new city that definitely feels spooky where he finds this Notebook of Doom. Inside are drawings of monsters and other creatures.

When he finds out these aren’t just sketches, he and his best friends Rip and Nikki set out on a quest to save their town from a monster takeover.

$51.95 for the 12 volume series

5. Ricky Ricotta’s powerful robot

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey

If your child isn’t already in the captain underpants Incredibly popular children’s book series, trust us, they will be.

This is a lesser known offshoot of captain underpants and dog man Creator Dav Pilkey, and beautifully illustrated by Caldecott winner Dan Santat.

Just as hilarious as one would expect from the spirit behind it dog man and captain underpantsthis series is a buddy adventure between a mouse and a robot.

Every book in Ricky Ricotta’s powerful robot The children’s book series is a battle between good and evil, with humor, adventure and hilarious storytelling at its core.

$49.50 for the 9 book series

6. Alvin Ho

Alvin Ho from Lenore Look

A cute little series about a scared boy and his fears. Girls, camping, birthday parties, babies – like many kids, Alvin struggles with new things.

These charming books follow Alvin Ho as he shrinks those mountains in his head down to size and learns to be bold while maintaining healthy boundaries.

$41 for the 6 book series

7. lunch lady

Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka

What if the lunch lady is actually an undercover secret agent bringing justice with a side of Sloppy Joes?

The crime-fighting cafeteria worker in the lunch lady Series serves lunch to unsuspecting students at Thompson Brook School while solving crimes.

MacGyver doesn’t mind this woman who can shoot down a helicopter with a spatula and lure baddies with a hairnet.

Starting at $6.99

8th. ivy + bean

Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows

This dynamic BFF duo have a new take on the odd couple dynamic that teaches kids not to judge a book by its cover.

Featuring Bean, who has a tendency to mischief, and Ivy, the “nice girl” next door, this 8-volume series takes these buddies on all sorts of adventures, letting big ideas and wild dreams run wild.

Sometimes the adventures in ivy + bean lead to success, sometimes trouble, and sometimes chaos, but despite it all, their bond as best friends never wavers.

$11 for the 3 book series

9. Julian’s world

Julian's World by Ann Cameron

This series opens discussions about friendship, race, and parent-child relationships.

Julian, his brother Huey and Julian’s spectacular storytelling skills are at the heart of the stories in this series steeped in humor and positive family relationships.

Some of Julian’s stories may get him into trouble, but the ALA Notable Children’s Book series by Julian’s world is filled with black and white illustrations to anchor kids with the humorous stories.

Starting at $4.99

10 Zoo Patrol Squad

Zoo Patrol Squad by Brett Bean

This crazy and captivating 4 book series follows that Zoo Patrol Squad how they crack criminal cases.

Written and illustrated especially for young readers by Disney, Dreamworks and Marvel alum Brett Bean, these colorful, clever and downright hilarious graphic novels are filled with wacky animals, wild adventures and wacky mysteries.

No matter how hesitant a reader may be, this compelling series of children’s books is sure to capture their attention and imagination.

Starting at $9.99

11. Diary of a great kind kid

Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney

fans of Greg’s diary Books will love this newer series about Greg Heffley’s best friend and naïve neighbor, Rowley.

Rowley lacks the grumpy tween vibe that is Greg’s trademark, instead approaching life with positivity and humorous innocence. If you laughed about it Greg’s diary Books that will absolutely enchant you Diary of an awesome kind kid Series.

Starting at $4.99

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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