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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Reading List: Chapter Books

Now that we are gearing up for back to school, it was nice to look over the list of Chapter Books read by the  8 year old  over the last 2 months. There was no rhyme or reason to the book choices she made - at least that's what it looks like to me. But, most of them were enjoyed as evidenced by how quickly they got read to completion.

Of course, besides these chapter books, every picture book was read right away - just a quick read before she hands it over to her little brother. A separate picture books list read over summer is in the works.

All-of-a-kind Family
Front CoverBy  Sydney Taylor

A lively narration of the everyday events of the 5 young sisters - Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie - who live with their parents in New York City at the turn of the century.

The first book ends with a baby brother being born, so they are not "all-of-a-kind" family anymore.

Scarlet fever was the part that affected the 8 yo the most. She had come to fear it after reading how Helen Keller lost her sight.

There's more - More All-of-a-Kind Family - which is on hold at the library.

[image source: google books]

Magic Shop Books:
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher,
Juliet Dove: Queen of Love,
The Monster's Ring
by Bruce Coville

Magic Shop Books are the latest fun discovery for the 8 yo.

With Elives' Magic Supplies store filled with all kinds of amulets and pendants and rings and dragon eggs, and kids accidentally finding themselves in that store, the series is a brilliant set-up for adventure after adventure.

Set in contemporary times, the kids have the usual troubles with friends and bullies, and somehow end up at the Magic Supplies store and find the exact thing that they need. The handful that I speed-read so far were quite the kind that the 8 yo is very much into.

[image source: public library]

Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing
By  Judy Blume

Peter Hatcher was easy to identify with thanks to his little brother Fudge who reminded the 8 yo of her own little brother, but only in shades. Swallowing the turtle apparently was the clincher.

Anyway, this is first of the series and she is working on the rest of them. A quick read, thanks to the story moving forward with some funny events. Realistic fiction always has its appeal.

[image source: hcplonline]

Pandora Gets Lazy,
Pandora Gets Jealous,
Pandora Gets Vain
By  Carolyn Hennesy

Borrowing from mythology and adding a modern twist to the story, with some misadventures and age-appropriate angst thrown in, seems to be a popular theme with young readers. Not to mention the older readers as well - I loved Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan.

However, I couldn't get into Pandy's adventures, but the 8yo seems to like it.

[image source:]

The Roald Dahl Treasury
By  Roald Dahl

Collections are fun - always room to discover a few as-yet-unread books by a favorite author. The Treasury has excerpts, not the full stories, plus illustrations from Quentin Blake, Lane Smith, and Raymond Briggs. Also has short stories, poetry and memoirs/personal letters. A wonderful mix for the Dahl-o-philes at home.

From Giraffe, The Pelly, and Me to The Magic Finger to The Witches to BFG to Matilda to Revolting Rhymes, Dahl's books have been a great reading experience over the last year.

[image source: TCDC resource center]

The Haunted School,
It's the First Day of School-- Forever!,
Welcome to Camp Nightmare,
Be Careful What You Wish for,
By  R. L.Stine

Goosebumps books get devoured voraciously - often a whole book at one bedtime read on a weekend night when staying up late is an option. The little girl has a craving for the dark stories, even if it spooks her a lot longer than she'd like.

[image source: wikipedia]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1 -7
By Jeff Kinney

Despite the typical middle school issues, which she has not experienced yet, the first 7 of the Wimpy Kid books were read almost back-to-back with gusto. I read a few of them, in no particular order, and found parts of it absolutely hilarious.

I think the format appealed to the 8 yo the most - the pictures and the matter-of-fact conversational tone, plus the fact that Greg Heffley is essentially a likable kid. And who doesn't have an obnoxious older sibling and a precocious younger one?

Interestingly, around this time is when she also started watching Malcolm in the Middle with complete interest - of course, I let her watch only the first 3 seasons as the older Malcolm's issues can wait till she is older.

[image source:]

Meet Mammoth,
PictureLife with Mammoth
By  Ian Fraser
illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser

Cavemen Ogg and Bob meet a mammoth and adopt it as their pet. What's more to say?! Part Flintstones, part Ice-Age sort of mix. But, a quick and fun read for 6/7 year olds nonetheless.

A surprising repeat read - she asked for these to be placed on hold wanting to read them again, wondering if there were any more in this series.

A nice bridge between early reader books and chapter books, it is perfect for the 5 yo if he can feign interest in the subject matter and the characters. For now, Oggie prefers non-fiction books, mostly about space, mostly picture books, with maybe a few Magic School Bus and Magic Tree house books if we are open to reading it aloud to him.

[image source: Mary Ann Fraser website]

The following books were ones I enjoyed reading to the little girl. There is no discounting the power of reading aloud, no matter what age. So, I do find some special books I'd like to read to the 8 yo at bedtime, letting the words create the pictures in her mind as her body is perfectly relaxed and ready for rest.

Rickshaw Girl
By  Mitali Perkins

Daughter of a poor rickshaw man in Bangladesh, ten year old Naima longs to help out with the family income. She dresses up as a boy and rides her dad's rickshaw without permission and accidentally wrecks it. Of course, a problem arises, and how she handles the solution - being courageous and creative -forms the rest of the book.

As I read it to my daughter, I took the opportunity to explain why it was a problem for Naima - she being a girl, the cultural and traditional roles of girls and women in certain parts of the world can be restrictive in terms of how they can contribute... why Naima cannot go to school... what talent does she have that she is willing to use to help her family...

And, from her trip to India about 4 years ago, she remembered the pedal rickshaws and the rickshaw-man who gave us rides from the local market to home sometimes. Of course, these days, auto rickshaws have taken over in that part of the world...

[image source:]

Cautionary Tales for Children
By  Hilaire Belloc

Knowing how much Struwwelpeter is loved and cherished and sits much-used in our bookshelf, I thought the Cautionary Tales may not be a stretch to read to the 8 yo.

With titles like "Matilda: Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death","Jim: Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion", and "Rebecca: Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably", it is not a very politically correct sort of book to read to the uninitiated young.

Considering that it was written a little over a century ago, in rhyming couplets, it has its appeal.

[image source: bookdepository]

Artemis Fowl
Picture shows the book under lock and key, as a young person's diary.By  Eoin Colfer

The 8 yo got to have this read to her by both Mama and Papa alternately, with Papa taking over the second half and reading it to her to completion - clearly, it was one of his favorite books.

First in the series, this was supposed to serve as a teaser, to see if she is up for it and is willing to pick up the second book and continue on.

What's not to like about Holly Short and the devious young millionaire genius Artemis Fowl?

[image source: wikipedia]

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