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On the Coast Magazine

Great Books for Great Kids

04/30/2013 04:58PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

Summer is upon us once again.  Parents, the days are hot and the sun is strong so consider establishing a daily quiet time for your children during the hottest part of the day.  While they are too old to nap, setting a time to read daily while your children are young will encourage them to read regularly for their entire lives.  

Unfortunately recent studies have shown a marked decline in reading in America.  Don’t become one of these statistics!  Stress reading and the wonderful things it offers to your children and set them a good example by reading yourself.  Summer is a perfect time to have a family “book club” even if your children are young and you read the book aloud to them. 

My first recommendation for this month is a great family book club choice called “The City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau.  My daughter, Clara Brown, and her class at Gateway Academy read this book and it was a hit with both the boys and girls.  In this story, people are living in an underground city called “Ember” which was designed as a last refuge for the human race.  However, the people of Ember are running out of food and supplies and two teens take it upon themselves to decipher an ancient parchment and find a way out.   This book is the first of a four book series so it could keep you and your children reading for a while.  I highly recommend this book for a family read or for boys and girls ages 8 and up.

Another series of books I found for this month is the “Historical House” series.  I am fascinated by ingenuity of these books.  The setting of these books are all at one address – No. 6 Chelsea Walk – in London.  The books each tell stories of this very special house and the extraordinary women who have lived there throughout history.  A few of them I have are “Mary Ann & Miss Mozart” set in 1764, “Polly’s March” set in 1914 and “Andie’s Moon” set in 1969.  What a wonderful way to teach history!  There are many others in this series, and I promise you will enjoy all of them.  While they are designed for ages 10 and up, I am well above 10 and I am enjoying them immensely.

Lastly, I want to recommend the 2013 Newberry award medal winners to you.  I have not read all of them as of the date of this article, but the Newberry quality assures that all of these books will be fabulous reads:

Winner:  “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate and Patricia Castelao
Honor:  “Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz
Honor:  “Bomb” by Steve Sheinkin
Honor:  “Three Times Lucky”  by Sheila Turnage

In all of these wonderful books, surely you will find something you and your family enjoy. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know.  Happy reading!!!

About the Author
Alexandra Brown lives in Destin and is married to Jerry Brown and has 2 daughters, Ellen (11) and Clara (9). She has loved reading since the age of 3 and also loves snow skiing, hiking and mountain biking.
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may/june 2013 great books summer reading the one and only ivan newberry award
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