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Summer Books and Activities for Kids

Flight

Flight

How to explore this theme:

  1. Choose books and book-related activities
  2. Explore more hands-on activities
  3. Try some summer writing
  4. Dig deeper with these websites
  5. Play and learn with interactive mobile apps

#1: Choose kids' books and book-related activities Great Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Abuela

Abuela

By: Arthur Dorros

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rosalba imagines flying over New York City with her much loved abuela. The young girl uses a lovely mix of English and Spanish to describe their journey, moving from the busy streets of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty. Brightly colored illustrations detail what Rosalba and her grandmother glimpse as they fly, and the rich tales of Abuela's memories. (Available in both English and Spanish).

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Astronauts Today

Astronauts Today

By: Rosanna Hansen

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Astronauts Today is a journey into space exploration. With fun facts like what astronauts eat and how they sleep, kids will learn about today's space adventures and how people from all over the world work to continue space exploration.

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Kite Flying

Kite Flying

By: Grace Lin

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The young narrator describes how she and her family each contribute to a handsome kite which they then enjoy flying. Signature illustrations show traditional Chinese kite designs combined with an author's note about kite history. The result is the celebration of an ebullient family tradition that readers may want to take up themselves!

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Rocket to the Moon

Rocket to the Moon

By: Lerryn Korda

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Lester explains the basics about the moon and space travel to Little Nye before they take off on their lively imaginary journey. Sturdy pages support uncluttered illustrations and simple text in this appealing, surprisingly informative book.

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The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909

By: Alice Provensen, Martin Provensen

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

By 1909, Louis Bleriot's persistence had paid off: this Frenchman became the first aviator to fly across the English Channel in an "air machine." This Caldecott Medal winner is a quiet account of one man's perseverance and passion.

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Age Level: 6-9 years old

Air Show

Air Show

By: Treat Williams | Illustrated by: Robert Neubecker

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ellie and her brother accompany their pilot father in his airplane to an air show where they see a host of airplanes; Ellie even gets to ride in a stunt plane. Cartoon illustrations in an oversize format detail every aspect of planes from the instrument panel to the vehicles themselves.

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Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan | Illustrated by: Brian Selznick

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two well known women sneak away from the White House for an aerial adventure in this handsomely illustrated story based on real people. Though fictionalized, readers will appreciate the common interests and similar personality traits of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

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Flight:  The Journey of Charles Lindbergh

Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh

By: Robert Burleigh | Illustrated by: Mike Wimmer

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Charles Lindbergh was only 25 years old when he made his historic non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Through Burleigh's vivid retelling and Wimmer's bold paintings, the reader soars with Lindbergh as he follows his dream.

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Floating in Space

Floating in Space

By: Franklyn Branley, True Kelley

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Wondered what it might be like to see the sun set sixteen times in one day? Open this book and be transported on an information-packed voyage aboard the space shuttle.

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Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman

Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman

By: Louise Borden, Mary Kay Kroeger | Illustrated by: Teresa Flavin

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bessie Coleman grew up picking cotton in Texas, but she aimed high -- soaring into history as the first African American woman aviator. Her riveting story is told in inviting, rhythmic language and engaging illustration.

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Flying Machine

Flying Machine

By: Andrew Nahum

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Detailed, full-color photographs and illustrations to explain man's fascination with flight and efforts throughout history to achieve human flight. Readers also get the facts on the physics of flight and information about aviation pioneers.

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Give Me Wings

Give Me Wings

By: Lee Bennett Hopkins | Illustrated by: Ponder Goembel

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Take flight with a bit of imagination and a varied collection of poems. Handsome illustrations enhance the short poems presented to encourage flying with or without wings.

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Kids' Paper Airplane Book

Kids' Paper Airplane Book

By: Ken Blackburn, Jeff Lammers

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated children (or children with an adult) will appreciate the variety of aircraft designs ranging from easy to difficult, silly to complex, and the science behind them. All is presented in easy-to-follow instructions and crisp diagrams.

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Look to the Stars

Look to the Stars

By: Buzz Aldrin | Illustrated by: Wendell Minor

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin takes the reader on a journey through centuries of air and space aviation, from Isaac Newton to exploring Mars to futuristic space tours. Fascinating details and a timeline are imbedded throughout.

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Out of this World: Poems and Facts about Space

Out of this World: Poems and Facts about Space

By: Amy Sklansky | Illustrated by: Stacey Schuett

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Poems combine with information and evocative illustrations to create a sense of wonder about space and space-related topics. Beginning with a countdown ("T-minus:/10/9/8…./Spaceship soaring!") and concluding with a child wondering about "My Place" in the universe, this intriguing collection is sure to delight readers.

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Owly: Flying Lessons

Owly: Flying Lessons

By: Andy Runton

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Though nearly wordless, the expressive black and white illustrations effectively convey Owly's broad range of changing emotions: loneliness, trepidation, fear, joy, and more. In this volume, Owly learns to fly while another forest animal learns to trust — both with the help of Owly's buddy, Worm.

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Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee

Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee

By: Marissa Moss | Illustrated by: Carl Angel

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

The true story of one of only two Chinese-American women to fly for the U.S. Air Force during World War II, is told as though by Maggie Gee herself. Her dream of flying became reality because of a dream and determination. An author's note provides a short glimpse into where and what the actual Maggie Gee does today as well as period photographs.

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Soar, Elinor!

Soar, Elinor!

By: Tami Lewis Brown | Illustrated by: Francois Roca

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Elinor Smith was a girl whose dream of flying was realized in the 1920s, a time when girls and women weren't encouraged to do so. Based on a real person, Elinor's story is well told and dramatically illustrated. Equally interesting is the author's endnote in which she reveals how she researched this fascinating woman.

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Tar Beach

Tar Beach

By: Faith Ringgold

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Cassie doesn't have to actually go to the beach; she's got her very own "tar beach" on the roof of her Harlem apartment building. From there, her imagination takes her on a journey through time and space. The artist's quilt story was successfully adapted into this modern classic.

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The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont

The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont

By: Victoria Griffith | Illustrated by: Eva Montanari

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

While the Wright Brothers were gliding over Kitty Hawk, the charming Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont was making his own mark on the history of flight. Alberto loved floating over Paris in his personal flying machine called a dirigible. The book includes an author’s note about Santos-Dumont, a bibliography, an index, and photographs of his flying machines.

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The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes

The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes

By: Doug Stillinger

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Pre-Reader

From very easy to more challenging, paper airplane folding is a craft that soars! Clear instructions along with crisp photographs make these airplanes sure-fire hits to fold, fly, and decorate.

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Wind Flyers

Wind Flyers

By: Angela Johnson | Illustrated by: Loren Long

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

A young African American boy tells the story of his great-great-uncle, who realized his dream of flying by becoming a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. Richly hued paintings evoke the period, and spare language allows the story to speak for itself.

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Wings

Wings

By: Christopher Myers

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stunning, bold collage illustrations carry the action in this reworking of the traditional Greek myth. Here, Icarus becomes Ikarus, a boy of color, who learns to fly in spite of the society in which he lives.

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Wings

Wings

By: Sneed Collard | Illustrated by: Robin Brickman

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Many creatures have wings: birds, bats, insects. How these amazing appendages work and how they are used are presented with brief text and stunning collage illustrations for a memorable look at flight.

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More great summer resources for parents from Reading Rockets

Read Aloud Tips

Read Aloud Tips

Read aloud every day with your child and talk about what you're reading. These two simple activities help build your child's vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Get tips (In English and 10 other languages) >

Downloadables

Downloadables

Download these colorful ready-to-print lunch box notes, play date cards, and door hangers for the kids in your life.

Download and print >