As I was walking out of the local middle school with my son and a few friends last week, I noticed there were brief student book summaries posted on the walls because they're having a contest. So, I reminded my son to get some blank sheets to fill out.
Well, one of his friends said, "Wow. You read?" He said he never reads because he doesn't like it. I tried to explain that he just needs to find a book that interests him, but I don't think he was really listening.
It made me want to call his parents and give them some book tips, but I don't know them too well yet. And I don't like to bud in anyway.
But it made me wonder how many children and parents out there just have given up on finding any books that they'll actually enjoy. From what I saw during my time in the public schools, there are far too many. So, that's why I like to share the books my children enjoy the most on this blog. I hope they help make reading a fun activity, rather than a dreaded one.
Since a long holiday break is coming up for many of us, I'd like to share a few more books suggestions with you. Please note that I haven't read most of these myself, so you should scan the reviews just to make sure you're comfortable with the material. Each child and family has different needs and preferences.
Anyway, my 12 year old son really enjoyed the following three books:
- Alibi Junior High, by Greg Logsted, revolves around a 13 year old boy whose father is a CIA agent. He's never attended public school, and he faces many challenges as he tries to lead a so-called "normal" life. GreenGuy couldn't put this one down, so it seems like a great pick for even the most reluctant reader.
- Stuck on Earth, by David Klass, has to do with aliens, and has some kind of an environmental message. It seems like a great companion to the movie Avatar (Original Theatrical Edition), which is a wonderful movie to watch as a family.
- And of course, the first book in Rick Riordan's new series, The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero. My son became the lost (in another world) reader with this one, just as he did while reading each book in The Lightning Thief series. Rick Riordan's done it again.
My 15 year old daughter is currently reading So Yesterday, by Scott Westerfield. While School Library Journal and a few reviewers didn't have many positive things to say about it, StrawberryGirl appreciates its uniqueness. She gets tired of reading books which repeat the same themes and writing styles over and over again. I must say I'm intrigued by the subject matter, which involves trend-setting and the power of consumerism, so I'm adding it to my reading list as well. Any reading material, movie, or commercial that can get a conversation going about these topics is worth taking a look at, in my opinion.
I was sent a review copy of Gifted: Out of Sight, Out of Mind (which will be donated to the local library), the first in series for tweens and young teens by Marilyn Kaye. It was a little too "young" for my 15 year old daughter, and my son wasn't interested (there's a female character on the cover, and I think having the word "gifted" in the title is a bit of a turnoff). So, I decided to read it myself. I found the book to be a fun, "beachy" kind of read, and thought 9 to 12 year old girls would eat it up.
What I liked about Out of Sight, Out of Mind was that one of the characters (the stereotypical popular "mean girl") wakes up one morning in another girl's body (the unpopular loner, of course), and literally has to put herself in her place. It's kind of an extreme rude awakening, and one that gets the character and the reader thinking. Throw into the mix some not-so-typical supernatural powers, a mysterious student teacher, a dysfunctional family or two, and a few hypnotic sessions, and you have quite an over-the-top story. Seems like a recipe for a fun tween read, no? If all books were like real life, many of them would be too boring to read. Don't you think?
I didn't get to the next few books in the series, but I see that Amazon reviewers rated them better than this initial one. So, it might be a great series for your child to try out this holiday break. For another opinion, and more details about the series, please go to Jen's Book Page.
Please note that I link to Amazon mainly because they usually have a wide variety of reviews on each book or product. If you do make a purchase of any kind through my blog link, I do receive a nominal commission, though. I do appreciate your support of my time spent writing and sharing my research through this blog, but there's absolutely no pressure to buy from Amazon or any other vendor. It's even more important for you to support your public library, and local, independent bookstores first!
I may not be a certified librarian, but I've certainly felt like one since my first child was born. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with picture books, and now YA literature. So, it makes me sad when I see so many parents missing out on the experience completely.
Children grow up - and out - of children's literature all too fast. As for me, I never will.