Great Books for Great Kids!
08/30/2013 10:08AM ● Published by Nancy Babin
I am just getting old, but time just seems to fly faster and faster.
It feels like summer just started and suddenly it was gone and here
we are immersed another busy school year.
keeping with the fact that our kids are in school now and already
working hard on science projects, spelling words, math tests and
such, I am including for this month books that aren’t quite so
long. Kids can get frustrated when they are busy and settling into
new routines and then they have lengthy more “thought provoking”
books pushed on them. There is a time for that type book, and then
there are times for books that are more of the type of book that we
adults would call “beach reads.” For kids’ leisure time, I
personally think summer is the better time for the more difficult
books and the school year is a better for the kids’ version of
first one is “Salt” by Helen Frost. If you have ever read my
articles before, you already know how much I like historical fiction
– when it is done well. “Salt” is done quite well. It is fast
paced and interesting and will draw kids in. The book takes place
during the War of 1812 and is centers on a friendship between 2 boys.
Anikwa’s family are members of the Miami Indian tribe and James’
family are fur traders. Because of James’ family having ties to
both the Miami tribe and also to the American soldiers at the fort,
things get really interesting when war breaks out. Immediately,
commodities like salt become critical to the army and the friendship
of the boys and the relationship between James’ family and the
Miami tribe is put to the test. The book is interesting and takes a
real look at a very difficult time in American history. Anyone ages
11 and up will enjoy this one.
is a completely different and new book by one of my favorite
children’s authors, Richard Peck. “The Mouse With the Question
Mark Tail” is a lively, fun book that parents and children will all
enjoy. We tried it out as a read aloud this summer and loved it.
The main character is, obviously, a mouse – the smallest mouse in
London’s Royal Mews Mouse Academy. He is such a small
insignificant mouse, he doesn’t even have a real name. So the
mouse with the question mark tail runs away from school and heads to
Buckingham Palace to find out who he is and what he is supposed to
become. This book is fun and different. If you enjoyed the Tale of
Despereaux you will love this one. I recommend it for boys or girls
ages 9 and up, and I encourage you to consider it as a read aloud.
Sometimes during the school year a lively story is a nice way to end
remakes of fairy tales seem to be all the rage these days, I found a
book that does just that. “Rump: The True Story of
Rumpelstiltskin” by Liesl Shurtliff is the story that goes behind
the scenes of the commonly known tale to tell about Rump, a 12 year
old boy who is a big joke to everyone. When Rump discovers an old
spinning wheel he discovers he has the magical ability to weave straw
into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him he is in
danger and she turns out to be right. To get out of danger, Rump
goes on a perilous adventure, but throughout there is humor that will
delight the reader. This book is fun and different and I think your
child will have a great time reading it. I recommend for anyone ages
10 and up.
for this month I include “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library”
by Chris Grabenstein. This is true proof that “last is not least”
because this was my favorite one of the bunch. It is one of the most
innovative story lines I have seen in a while. Luigi Lemoncello, a
famed game designer, is involved in designing a town library. For
the library opening, 12 town kids are chosen to spend the night in
the library for an overnight of fun, food and games. Kyle, a game
lover, is one of the winners of a spot to attend and the kids all
have a great time. However, the next morning the library doors
remain locked and the kids discover that they have to solve an
intricate puzzle to figure their way out. Your child will love this
book, the characters are funny and quirky and you just cannot figure
out what is going to happen next. In our family, it inspired us to
come up with some games on our own that are derived from the original
ideas set forth in this book. I see some great birthday party ideas!
Anyone ages 8 and up will enjoy this one. Don’t be fooled by the
age 8 I placed here. At 40+ I found it really enjoyable!
truly hope your family has settled in to a new school year. Try to
slow down every once in a while. Your kids are going to be gone
before you know it and a few minutes at night reading together can
create a bond that will last.