SOMMER, SONNE, URLAUBSZEIT: Great Kids' Books in German on Summer (part 2: chapter books)
Summer time is reading time! School is out, the days are long and warm, so lots of time for family activities, camp and getting fully imersed in hours of reading. My older son is definitely upping is reading now. If your kid is not a voracious reader, then the occasional book will help against the summer slide - and you can always snuggle up and read the books aloud to your kid - it helps to keep the German up in your house, if you are not travelling back to Europe this year and is excellent bonding time.
Books on summer are full of fun in the sun, travelling, beach time, camping time. But not everything is merry go lucky either, sleep away camps may have their own issues as can being away from best friends
Here are our favorite early reader and chapter books in German on summer time and all it entails!
FERIEN AUF DER BLAUBEERINSEL
Vacation time! Lea and Luca are spending their summer with their parents in Sweden. Lots of canoeing which is nice! But after a few days of that in a row, they are ready for a change. Luckily a foggy day is ahead..
The perfect read for beginning readers who love nature. Easy sentences and not too much text with illustration on every page make it a good choice.
6 years and up
ABENTEUER IM MOEWENWEG: WIR HABEN ENDLICH FERIEN!
The kids in the neighorhood suburb are excited, they are all staying home over the summer, exploring together. One dad is taking them on a little outing, biking to a nearby lake. What fun! But then two of them, Vincent and Petja, are nowhere to be seen anymore, they have vanished....
The Moewenweg Series by the grand dame of German kids' books, Kirsten Boie, is loved by many kids, it is kind of Astring-Lindgren Bullerbue set in a German suburb in more modern times. For beginning readers there is a spin-of series which is one of the best in getting kids to read. Simple, easy language but an engaging story kids enjoy.
6 years and up
OHJE, SCHON WIEDER FERIEN
In this fun short book, summer time means swapping roles: the parents suddenly turn into kids, and the kids are the parents. Obviously It is also the time when kids are home and supervision is the job of the parents. So there is lots to be done for Eddie and her younger brother: finding the children that got lost in the supermarket, mediate when quarrels arise, react to secret costume parties and to little and not so little fibs. It is a lot of work! Eddie and her brother can't wait for the summer break to be over so they can be kids again!
An humoristic short chapter book for the beginning reader (20 lines per page), with a few cliff hangers, easy language and matching illustrations.
7 years and up
DAS GEHEMNIS AUF DEM BALKON - LEONIE LOOPING
Leo is upset. Her parents had promised her a vacation at the beach, but now they are off to some work project in Stockholm and she has to spend the summer with her grandmother once more. Even though she loves her grandmother..
On Leo's first day, her grandmother heads out for some shopping and leaves a note, not to go on the balcony. Leo doesn't heed the advice, and to her big surprise she finds some little creatures and their little houses in the plants: butterfly elves! One of the elves gives her a little shrinking pea and soon Leo is just as tiny as her new friends...
A perfect start into chapter books, with big letters and not too much text. Perfect for bilinguals too.
Bright fresh illustrations make this even more fun.
7 years and up
Alexander von Knorre
JULI & AUGUST
KROKODIL UEBER BORD!
For all lovers of slightly absurd adventure stories: Juli is cruising on a little inflatable crododile, longing for ice cream, when he meets August on her raft. She is happy to hire him as a ship boy. But first he needs to prove himself...
6 years and up (as a read aloud)
EIN SOMMER WIE SPRUDELNDE LIMONADE
School is out, and for 10 year old Lucy this also means she is done with primary school. She is looking forward to a summer to just hang out and chill with her grand-father, far away from some of the class bullies. In a family of out-going super-achievers, she as quiet bud is the odd one out.
While she hangs out with her grand-father they find a donkey. As it turns out, the donkey is looking for a shelter: he just moved from Greece together with three boys. Lucy decides to hide the donkey in her grand-father's garden. Very soon she realizes this is a big task and adventure, as the grandfather's landlord is strictly against pets and animals, and she has to rise to the occasion.
A feel-good chapter book with super likeable characters.
9 years and up
ANTON TAUCHT AB
Anton was picturing his summer in the pool. But the camping resort his grandparents are taking him to only has a pond to offer, and the water of that pond is dirty, full of algae and other yucky stuff. Anton swears he will never ever dip into that disgusting water.
Back home Anton, who loves computer games, has tons of friends (most of home he is in touch with via chats), but here at the camping resort he has difficulties connecting. So he daydreams, picturing himself being the superstar of his computer game.
When his grand-parents see that Anton is not swimming, they start to worry. So to please them, he tries to head to the pond. But there he only meets up with some rather unpleasant bossy boy he names Pudel. His grand-father takes him fishing next. And Anton saves the fish that is the bait, carrying the little fish in a pickle jar he names Piranha. Soon Pudel makes fun of Anton. And Anton has a mission: save Piranha from Pudel!
Anton tells all this from his own point of view, and since Anton is a cool kid, it is a super cool adventure novel.
9 years and up
SOMMER AUF SOLUPP
Marie's mom has booked a vacation on the island of Solupp, some obscure island nobody has ever heard of, yet alone can locate on a map. Marie's father seems apathic, her brother screams he will definitely not join. Marie and her little 5 year old brother also would rather go anywhere else! But the mother insists it would be best after the last year that was so hard on everyone, and so to please her they go. Solupp turns out to be a paradise. The house they are renting has rooms that are just perfect for each of them, it seems magical and unusual, On top the kids learn about some hidden treasure. And the adventure starts...
Beautifully written, in a breezy tone this books at the same time addresses loss and feelings and has character development.
10 years and up
Kemi is in summer camp, with some other kids from his school. It is an outdoorsy camp in the forrest, somethign Kemi does not enjoy. He is also not so much into the other kids, a bit of an outcast. Even more different is Joerg, a nerd with some amazing skills that the others pick on...
Saša Stanišić is one of Germany's best contemporary writers, with an incredible skill with language and making heavy topics breezy (while still thought provoking). Wolf is no exception. Just published it is already award-winning and bestselling. More telling maybe is that a book on bullying was something my son kept asking me to continue reading (and when I was not compliant enough, just finished by himself. And I then just had to finish it by myself as well.)
11 years and up for self readings, 9 for read aloud
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