Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Great Chapter Books for Kids continued.

 Great chapter books for kids continued.  Numbers 1 - 7 are here. 

8. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles This book was written by Julie Andrews, yes, that Julie Andrews. It was originally published under her married name Julie Edwards but in more recent editions it is credited to Julie Andrews Edwards. It is the story of three siblings who accompany Prof. Savant on an adventure to Whangdoodle Land to find the last Whangdoodle and the other magical creatures who live there. Nothing earthshaking but fun and sweet.

9. Wizard of Earthsea Another book that is the first in a series, this time a series of six books by Ursula LeGuin. This book is a coming of age story focusing on Ged, a young wizard who accidentally lets loose a horrible shadow on the world. The first book and the third book will probably appeal to kids the most since they have more adventure. The fourth book, Tehanu, is the brilliant story of a middle aged woman who is basically invisible and ignored by the world. Reading it as an adult woman quickly approaching middle age, I was like, "Girl, I feel you." but I am not sure how muck kids would get out of that one. Start with book one and see how it goes. This one is for older kids, at least 10 and up I would say. Probably about the same reading level as Harry Potter (but better in my opinion!)

10. Root Cellar Ok, see? This is one of those books where someone is sent off to live with mean relatives. So, I am not imagining that is the central plot point of lots of kid's books. Rose, the main character, finds a root cellar that transports her back to 1860s and the American Civil War. Despite the fact that the book deals with the American Civil War it is actually a Canadian book, the Root Cellar in question is firmly planted in 1960s Canada. It is entertaining and educational. I found this book years ago when I needed to buy a little present for a girl I didn't know. I walked into the Children's Bookstore that used to be on Harbord in Toronto and asked them for the best Canadian book for kids and this was what they handed me.

11. Buried Bones Mystery This is another series of mysteries for young kids. This book focuses on four boys who are distraught to find that the basketball court where they play everyday has been vandalized and destroyed by unknown villains. The boys start a club, complete with secret meetings and codes and whatnot. This book mainly sets up the series but the central mystery is one that kids can relate to and will enjoy. The series was originally called Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs but seems to now be called the Clubhouse Mystery series, so look for it under either or both names.

12.  Dealing with Dragons At this point, princesses who don't want to marry Prince Charming is as cliched as stories about princesses who do nothing but sit around waiting for Prince Charming, but Dealing with Dragons manages to breath some life into the story of Cimorene, a bored princess who manages to learn things like archery and cooking from the royal staff.  She runs away in order to avoid marrying the young man her parents have picked and winds up as the willing "captive" of a dragon named Kazul. This is, again, the first in a series of books.  If the kids are reading the book themselves they will need to be about 10 but they are good read aloud books for younger kids too.

13. All of A Kind Family The story of a Jewish family at the turn of the last century in New York. The family consists of Mama, Papa and their five daughters. The story follows the family over the course of the year which means that you also get to learn about Jewish holidays since they are pretty central to the family's life. Just when you are about to say "what is a Sukkah?" the book explains it to you. There is also a subplot revolving around the lost romance of a minor character that for some reason really appealed to my kids. When my daughter realized who the library lady was her face lit up and she clapped. 

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