*Mini-Post By The Bookworm*
There are certain age groups that it can be difficult to find books for. They’ve moved past Amelia Bedelia and Curious George and are looking for something a bit longer. But at the same time they probably aren’t quite ready for Harry Potter or Michael Vey. These kids can also be very picky about what they want to read and if can be tricky to catch their interest.
I’ve compiled a short list of books that should keep your child entertained and very probably you as well.
Title: Pippi Longstocking
Author: Astrid Lindgren
Summary: Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilson. Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure.
Bookworm Rating: A
Mini Review: I loved reading Pippi Longstocking when I was younger and I still love it. The humor is fun and quirky and each chapter covers a different story (making it perfect for bedtime). And if your child loves Pippi and her adventures there are two more books in the series that they can enjoy.
Title: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Author: Betty MacDonald
Summary: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Patsy hates baths. Hubert never puts anything away. Allen eats v-e-r-y slowly. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle has a treatment for all of them.
Bookworm Rating: A+
Mini Review: The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series was probably my favorite when I was younger. Both the children and the adult characters can be pretty silly so I loved reading about them and their different “ailments”. I also loved how clever Mrs. Piggle Wiggle was and she had to be with all the problems she helped solve. All the way from talking back to showing-off and lying, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle always knew just what to do.
Title: The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Norton Juster
Summary: For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams!
Bookworm Rating: A+
Mini Review: This book is a bit longer so maybe put if off until your child is a little closer to the 8, 9, 10 side of this spectrum (depending on how well they read). I LOVE this book. It is ridiculously clever and funny. Norton Juster was a very clever man who knows how to play with the english language. The characters are also very colorful and it’s fun to meet them along with Milo;the “Wether” Man, the Humbug, and the “Senses” Taker being some of my personal favorites. Even if you don’t have children I really recommend giving this book a try.
Title: Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang
Author: Mordecai Richler
Summary: Jacob Two-Two is two plus two plus two years old. He has two ears and two eyes and two arms and two feet. He also has two older sisters and two older brothers. Life was bad enough at home, where he had to say everything twice to just be heard over all his siblings. Now he’s trapped on smelly Slimers’ Isle; a prison just for kids, where the fog never lifts, the prisoners drink curdled wolverine’s milk, and the showers are inside a giant freezer! Worst of all, the place is run by the horrible Hooded Fang, a bad-tempered strongman who hates children. And all Jacob did to land himself in jail was ask a question twice.
Bookworm Rating: B+
Mini Review: This book is a hoot to read out loud. It’s very clever and approaches tongue-twister levels at times.The story is engaging and full of things like superheros, prison escapes, and a bit of a twist ending.
Title: The Boxcar Children
Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Summary: One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery. No one knew them and no one knew where they had come from. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are orphans. Determined to make it on their own, they set out to find a safe place to live. They discover an old, red boxcar that provides shelter from a storm. Against all odds, they make it into their home – and become the Boxcar Children!
Bookworm Rating: A
Mini Review: A bit like Pippi Longstocking and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, The Boxcar Children is set up chapter by chapter telling a different story about the same characters. The Boxcar Children get into a lot of adventures while they are trying to make a home and stay one step ahead of their “terrible” grandfather. It’s a sweet heartwarming story (and maybe their grandfather isn’t as bad as they think). This book is also the start of the Boxcar Children Mysteries which are clever and fun to read.
Title: Rowan of Rin
Author: Emily Rodda
Summary: The wise woman’s warning rings in Rowan’s head as he and six companions set out to climb the forbidden Mountain that towers over their village, Rin. The stream Rin depends on has stopped flowing,and these seven are seeking out the source of the problem. But no one who has tried to climb the Mountain has ever returned. Legend has it that there is a dragon at the top. Rowan is terrified. In a village where people pride themselves on being hardy and brave, Rowan has always been timid and shy. This dangerous journey is Rowan’s chance to step out of his father’s shadow and earn the respect of the village. But, frightened by the perils that lie ahead, Rowan isn’t even thinking about this possibility. He’s just wondering if he can survive.
Bookworm Rating: A+
Mini Review: This is a really, really good book. The writing is clever, the story is well developed, and the characters are well-rounded. I didn’t actually read this book until I was a little bit older but I still loved it. The book is full of adventure and also has a really good moral about what it means to be brave.
I could probably keep listing books that I love all day but I really don’t have that kind of time. So here’s a list of some other great books to explore.
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
Mary Poppins By P. L. Travers
The Bailey School Kids by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Jones
A Hidden Magic by Vivian Vande Velde
Geronimo Stilton by Elisabetta Dami
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
Horrible Harry by Suzy Kline
Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson