Kids Summer Reading Journal with Free Printables

Picture it:

One sunny day in California, my 10 year old has just finished another great book.

Me: “What did you think about the book?”

Her: “It was good”.

Me: “What was it about?”

She looks at the back of the book and reads the summary. Uhhh, No.


I needed to create my own way of getting her to not only read the books, but remember concepts, conflicts, and the main idea. So I came up with a summer reading journal bag. It’s  a cute way to encourage my her to read really any time of the year. The gummy worms are just a little added incentive for my book worm!  My princess is 10 going on 25 and loves to carry a purse. I don’t let her, but I thought this cute bag would be perfect for carrying books to our beach and park days. Since we school year round, our learning takes place all day, everyday, and sometimes on location. I believe it’s so important for kids to continue reading and writing all year long. Yea, my daughter doesn’t like the idea either.




Princess has been struggling with reading comprehension so I added some prompts, and questions to help her strengthen her skills. This could be used strictly as a journal or a diary. FYI, there is a difference: a journal is a record of things that you have learned or inspired you ; a diary is a record of your daily events and happenings. Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things and her crew call this a commonplace notebook.  I have every other kind of notebook except a commonplace (it’s on my list). All this to say, you can use it in many different ways.

I created a list of questions and gave her the option of answering any three she liked. These questions will help her to recall what she just read and use her imagination to create something new.








writing prompts printable

tote back ( I picked this one up from Target for $3)

colored pens or pencils (Target $1)

notebook (Target $1)

gummy worms (optional)




After you print out the journal prompts, cut to fit the inside cover of your notebook. I simply glued it down and placed a heavy book on top for a few minutes to seal it. When your child finishes a book have them pull out this notebook and answer all or a few of the questions. Start each book on a new page. I like to have the title of the book at the top of the page, skip a line, and then begin answering the questions in complete sentences. Review their entries once a week to see their process or problem area.


Additional Free Downloads

Print this library book checklist with great book selections for you to choose from on your next library run. DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST HERE!

Have fun selecting new types of books with this Reading Genre Bingo. DOWNLOAD BINGO HERE!


Now when we go to the beach or park she has this cute tote to carry all her goodies!

How do you get your kids to read in the summer?

Author Diona Navarro

More posts by Diona Navarro

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Amy says:

    What a cute idea! I think this is what is lacking with our story times. It’s a great way to figure out exactly how much then are retaining. Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp
    Amy recently posted…Diary Excerpts from a Ninja Mom #11My Profile

  • Trena says:

    Thanks for sharing with #What to Read Wednesday. Love this idea! Did you read any of the 31-Days to Raising Writers series on our blog in July ( I will keep this post in mind the next time we do such a series. Great creative idea to help readers become writers.

  • We homeschool year around too! I love your Reading Journal Questions! They will definitely help to get more out of a reading experience. I was up late last night trying to finish an exciting historical fiction book. (I know, I know I should have been sleeping… as 2am is not a good time to finish a book). As I was reading your questions now I was answering them keeping my book in mind and it allowed me to hold on to the warm feeling I got from reading that book a little bit longer.

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