5 Reasons A Reading Book Journal Is Essential This Summer

Book reading journal

Summer reading doesn’t have to be work. Teach your student/child how to enjoy reading with a reading book journal.

Why Every Child Needs a Book Reading Journal

Summer is the perfect time for children to find inspiration as they dive into the world of books, explore new stories, and unleash their imagination. And what better way to make the most of their reading adventures than with a summer reading book journal?

What are Reading Book Journals?

A reading book journal or book journal helps book lovers and hesitant readers find their favorite books. It also helps them keep track of books read and set a reading goal for themselves. There are many reading book journal options, so kids are bound to find or create one they enjoy.

A reading book journal will encourage readers to read and also enhances their reading habits. This essential tool acts as a personal guide, capturing their thoughts, reflections, and insights as they journey through different literary worlds.

Reading book journals can children develop critical thinking skills, improve their comprehension, and foster a lifelong love for reading. Journal prompts allows kids to actively engage with the books they read.

So, let’s unlock the magic of reading this summer and empower children to become avid readers through the power of a personalized reading book journal. They also make a thoughtful gift.

Why are Summer Reading Book Journals Important for Children?

Summer is a critical period for maintaining reading skills in children. Summer a also the perfect time to create a reading bucket list. Kids can join a book club or check out library books. Adults can buy an inexpensive reading book journal or make a book log using a template. I am including a free template for you!

Research has shown that children who don’t read during the summer months can experience a significant loss in their reading abilities, also known as the “summer slide.” This makes the return to school much more difficult and creates a learning gap between those who read and those who did not.

Reading book journals create a way for kids to engage in reading. Many times children only need to find one book they absolutely love to become an avid reader. As an English teacher, I can say from experience that adding a daily reading tracker to your child’s routine will dramatically increase their comprehension and stamina for reading.

By encouraging children to use a reading book journal the summer, we can help prevent learning loss and ensure that they start the new school year on the right foot. Reading not only improves vocabulary and language skills but also expands knowledge, cultivates empathy, and sparks creativity. A child’s “reading life” is often developed over summer.

A summer reading book journal can be the perfect companion to make reading even more enjoyable and impactful.

What are the Benefits of a Reading Book Journal?

There are many benefits to book journals.

They benefit children because they help children stay organized and keep track of the books they’ve read. By recording the titles, authors, and dates, children can easily refer back to their reading list and recommendations.

1 Find a New Genre

Reading book journals not only helps them remember the books they’ve enjoyed but also allows them to explore similar genres or authors in the future. They can also create personal recommendations and fine new genres to read.

Children can choose titles within their reading ability. I’ve created a handy guide to book levels here.

2 Share and Reflect

Secondly, a reading book journal allows children to reflect on their reading experiences. They can jot down their favorite quotes, create their own rating system, summarize chapters, or share their thoughts and opinions about the characters and plot.

3 Retain Information and Promote Critical Thinking

Reading book journals helps children retain and process information better. Who knows, it could create a future book lover.

Book reflections helps improve comprehension and critical thinking skills, as children learn to analyze and interpret what they’ve read. Reading trackers are easy to create. All you need is a book title and a notebook to create a book review. Writing book reviews are one way to promote critical analysis of books.

The best reading book journals encourage children to engage with the books on a deeper level. By actively recording their thoughts and insights, they become active participants in the reading process.

This not only enhances their understanding of the text but also fosters a sense of ownership and connection with the story.

How to Create a Summer Reading Book Journal

Share your thoughts together, as a family, to promote good reading habits.

Creating a summer reading book journal is a fun and creative activity that can be tailored to each child’s preferences and interests. Here are some steps to get started:

1. Choose a format:

Decide whether you want to create a physical journal using a notebook or a digital journal using a note-taking app or online platform. Spiral bound journals work well, too. They each have their advantages, so choose the one that suits your child’s preferences.

2. Personalize the journal:

Encourage your child to decorate the cover and inside pages of their reading book journal with their favorite colors, drawings, or stickers. This personal touch will make the journal feel special and unique.

There are many journal options for kids, but a fancy journal or a simple reading journal, they all suffice.

Book lovers will tell you, the best reading book journals are personal.

3. Set Up Your Reading Book Journal:

Divide the book journal into sections, such as a reading log, review page, reading challenges, favorite quotes, and creative writing prompts. There are many reading journal options.

This organization will help your child navigate their journal easily and find information quickly.

4. Include Reading Challenges:

Have your child set reading goals for the summer, such as the number of books they want to read or specific genres they want to explore. Book clubs are a great place to find book lovers with similar tastes.

Writing down these goals in the journal will provide motivation and a sense of accomplishment as they tick off each goal.

5. Establish a routine:

Encourage your child to dedicate a specific time each day or week to write in their reading journal. This routine will help make journaling a habit and ensure that they keep up with their reflections and insights.

Remember, creating a book lover benefits them and you, in the long run because students who enjoy reading will have an easier time in school.

6. Create a Comfy Place

The most important thing is to make the reading journal a personal space for your child to express themselves and engage with their reading materials.

You can also create a comfortable space for them to read. Perhaps you have a reading nook with a comfy chair to sit. Begin with a song!

Let their creativity shine and encourage them to experiment with different journaling techniques.

Tracking Progress in the Summer Reading Book Journal

Reading Journals promote critical thinking.

As your child reads throughout the summer, they can use their reading journal to track their progress and keep a record of the books they’ve completed.

This tracking can be done in various ways:

1. Reading log:

Create a section in the journal where your child can record the title, author, and date they’ve finished each book. Add book review pages so they can also rate the book using a star system or write book review.

2. Book reviews:

Encourage your child to write short book reviews in their book journals. They can include a summary of the plot, their favorite characters, and whether they would recommend the book to others.

This not only helps them reflect on their reading but also provides valuable insights and inspiration for other young readers. If they like the book, try to find a book related to it.

3. Progress charts:

For visual learners, create a chart or graph where your child can track their reading progress. They can color in squares or fill in circles to represent the books they’ve read.

This visual representation can be motivating and satisfying as they see their progress grow.

Reading trackers help children gain a sense of accomplishment and can look back at their reading journey with pride.

It also helps them stay motivated and encourages them to continue reading throughout the summer.

Incorporating Creativity into the Summer Reading Journal

A summer reading journal doesn’t have to be limited to just writing. Encourage your child to incorporate their creativity and artistic skills into their book reading book journal.

This can be done in various ways:

1. Illustrations:

Have your child draw scenes or characters from the books they’ve read. This visual representation adds a new dimension to their journal and allows them to further immerse themselves in the story.

Diverse authors provide unique perspectives.

2. Collages:

Cut out images or words from magazines or printouts to create collages that represent different books or themes. This tactile activity adds a hands-on element to the journal and sparks creativity.

3. Poetry or song lyrics:

If your child enjoys writing poetry or lyrics, encourage them to write their own poems inspired by the books they’ve read.

This allows them to explore their creative writing skills and express their emotions through words.


Create personalized bookmarks using craft materials, such as ribbons, beads, or pressed flowers. These bookmarks can be used while reading and also serve as a decorative element in the journal.

By incorporating creativity into the pages of their reading journal, children not only enhance their artistic skills but also develop a deeper connection with the books they’ve read.

It’s a wonderful way for them to express themselves and showcase their individuality.

Fun Activities and Prompts for the Summer Reading Journal

To keep the summer reading journal exciting and engaging, create interesting reflections.

Here are some fun activities and prompts that your child can explore:

1. Character interviews:

Have your child imagine they are interviewing a character from one of the books they’ve read. They can come up with questions and write down the character’s responses.

This activity allows them to delve deeper into the character’s motivations and personality.

2. Alternate endings:

Ask your child to rewrite the ending of a book they’ve read. They can explore different possibilities and create their own version of how the story concludes.

This activity encourages creative thinking and storytelling skills.

3. Book recommendations:

Have your child write book reviews and recommendations for their friends or family members. They can include a brief summary of the book and explain why they think others would enjoy reading it.

This activity not only helps improve writing skills but also fosters a sense of community and sharing.

4. Visual representations:

Encourage your child to create visual representations of scenes or settings from the books they’ve read.

They can use drawings, paintings, or even photography to capture the essence of the story visually.

These activities and prompts are meant to inspire your child’s imagination and encourage them to think critically about the books they’ve read.

They add an element of fun to the journaling process and make it an enjoyable and interactive experience.

Engaging with the Summer Reading Journal as a Family

Teach children to love reading - They will benefit their entire lives.

A summer book club can also be a great opportunity for family engagement and bonding.

Here are some ways you can involve the whole family in the book journaling process:

1. Family book club:

Choose a book that everyone in the family can read together. Set aside time each week to discuss the book and share thoughts and insights.

Each family member can contribute to the reading journal by writing their own reflections and reviews. These memories will be treasured forever.

2. Reading challenges:

Create reading journals with challenges for the whole family, such as reading a certain number of books or exploring different genres.

Each family member can track their progress in their own reading journals and share their achievements with the rest of the family. Keeping track of your family reading will encourage the most hesitant reader.

3. Joint creative projects:

Collaborate on creative projects inspired by the books you’ve read as a family.

This can include creating a family scrapbook, writing and performing a short play based on a favorite book, or even organizing a book-themed party.

By involving the whole family, you not only create a supportive and encouraging environment for reading but also create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds.

Resources and Recommendations for Summer Reading

To make the most of your child’s summer reading experience, here are some resources and book recommendations to explore:

1. Local Library:

Visit your local library and check out their summer reading programs and book lists. Librarians and book lovers are excellent resources for finding age-appropriate and engaging books for children.

2. Online Book Communities:

Explore online book communities, journals and websites dedicated to children’s literature. These platforms often provide book recommendations, reviews, and discussion forums where children can connect with other young readers.

3. Book Series:

Introduce your child to book series that span multiple volumes. This allows them to immerse themselves in a longer narrative and get to know the characters and world more deeply.

Some popular book series for children include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

4. Diverse Voices:

Make an effort to include books by diverse authors and featuring diverse characters in your child’s reading list.

This exposes them to different cultures, perspectives, and experiences, fostering empathy and understanding.

Remember, the goal is to expose your child to a wide range of books and genres to ignite their curiosity and expand their reading horizons.

Encouraging a Love for Reading with a Summer Reading Journal

Find a reading journal that fits your personality.

A summer reading journal is a powerful tool that can transform a child’s reading experience. With so many reading journal options, everyone will be able to find a great book.

By actively engaging with the books they read, a reading tracker can children develop critical thinking skills, improve comprehension, and foster a lifelong love for reading.

Create Life-Long Book Lovers.

Through a reading journal, children can capture their thoughts, reflections, and insights, creating a personal connection with the books and enhancing their understanding of the text.

So, this summer, let’s encourage our children to dive into the world of books, armed with their own personalized reading journal.

Track your reading alongside your child and together, let’s unlock the magic of reading, one journal entry at a time, and empower our children to become lifelong avid readers.

The journey awaits, so grab a book, grab a journal, and let the reading adventure begin!

Happy reading! If you’d like to support my blog, please check out my reading journals on Amazon! 🙂

Reading journals are perfect for every reader!
Valerie de la Rosa


I am an educator with almost 15 years of experience teaching in Japan, Hawaii, and in Los Angeles. My goal is to change education and the way we view literacy instruction in America.

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