I have talked before about reluctant readers and transitional readers, particularly about finding books that can interest and engage them as they work to become more confident readers. (Check out the list here if this would apply to the books you are looking for). However, my kids are a little older now, so I have spent more time looking for the elusive perfect middle grade book to interest my high energy readers. They both love to read but only if the subject matter and action level meet their specific standards. I know this is a common issue since I have helped many a frustrated parent and child find something to read while working in the children’s room.
Why do I bring this up? Well, this week as I was unpacking a new order of children’s books I was thrilled to see a large number of books that fill this sweet spot of reads that would interest many middle grade readers. Right away I started mentally listing some of the best and realized how many zany, energy packed reads are available.
Here are some high interest, high humor, and high action reads for those who have trouble getting into a book, or who have convinced themselves that reading is boring. These are not readers who have trouble reading, only who are tired of being told what to read or have not found highly entertaining books and might have lost interest in books because of it.
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier & Douglas Holgate
Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson
Home Sweet Motel by Chris Grabenstein
Marvin and the Moths by Matthew Holm and Jonathan Follet
Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty
The Hero Revealed by William Boniface
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt
Wonkenstein by Obert Skye
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
My Rotten Life by David Lubar
As usual, I found more books I wanted to include than can fit in a simple list, so more suggestions are: The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, SPHDZ by Jon Scieszka, The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French, Herbert’s Wormhole by Peter Nelson and Rohitash Rao, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka, The Lunch Witch by Deb Lucke, Dodger and Me by Jordan Sonnenblick, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis, My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara, The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry, The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, and The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson.
Did I miss a book that was a hit with you or a reader you know? Share the title here so we can give it a look too!
Oftentimes reading about another person in a similar (or worse) situation than your own helps a reader of any age feel less alone and better about their personal situation. It can also help them process what is happen and deal with their own emotions. While nothing helps more than a solid support system or counseling, reading a book that we can relate to can also do wonders. This is true for the children and teens in our lives, not just for adult readers.
If there is something serious going on in the home life of a young child in your life, here are some books they might relate to that could help them know they are not alone. They can also see someone else come to terms with and learn to cope with the same issues with which they are currently dealing. Most of these novels deal with the characters coming to terms with family issues such as separation or divorce, but some also include other family changes or conflicts.
Shelved in Childrens:
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Sarah Simpson’s Rules for Living by Rebecca Rupp
The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
What Would Joey Do? by Jack Gantos
How Tía Lola Learned to Teach by Julia Alvarez
Your Friend in Fashion, Abby Shapiro by Amy Axelrod
The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister by Charlotte Agell
Shelved in Young Adult:
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
Dark Water by Laura McNeal
Far from Fair by Elana K. Arnold
Black, White, Other by Joan Steinau Lester
The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens by Ashley Juergens
Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
Zipped by Laura and Tom McNeal
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
As always, these are just some suggested titles, there was no way to include all the wonderful books out there that might help. If you have a favorite book that you would suggest on this topic please share it in the comments.
As the weather gets a little colder, we have to face the fact that ice and snow will not be far behind. If, like me, you prefer the chilly days of autumn and early winter to the heat of summer, that this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you, or the young kids in your life, are looking forward to the colder weather and the possibility of snow days I have gathered some picture books and easy readers that can help you all get in the mood. Here are some of my favor books about snow and snow days for our youngest readers.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Sugar on Snow by Nan Parson Rossiter
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
Snowballs by Lois Ehlers
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow by David Soman
In The Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
The Snow Day by Komako Sakai
In the Snow by Sharon Phillips Denslow
Snow by Manya Stojic
The Three Snow Bears by Jane Brett
Snow Day! by Lester L. Laminack
Did I miss one or more of your favorites? Please share your favorite picture books featuring snow so that the rest of us can add it to our reading lists!
Everyone faces some level of anxiety about being liked, fitting in, or finding their own place in the world. For children and teens that have just started getting into the swing of school for the year, this is especially true.
These are some books about children struggling with fitting in and finding their own worth in the face of new situations and bullies. More often than not, our main characters discover that everyone has the same worries and that standing out is not such a bad thing. As a bonus for readers that are not facing some of these fears, reading books about others struggling can help them empathize with siblings or classmates. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell
The Detention Club by David Yoo
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
The Loser List by H. N. Kowitt
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Callie’s Rules by Naomi Zucker
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Hound Dog True by Linda Urban
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
There are so many wonderful books about fitting in and standing out that I only touched the surface here. Do you have a favorite from your childhood, or that you have recently discovered, that you would like to recommend? If so leave the title in the comments so the rest of us can check it out too.