December 1, 2012 @ 12:04 pm | Filed under: Books
Someone on Twitter was looking for suggestions. I rattled off a list…and then copied it to Facebook and thought of more…and I figured I’d throw the titles up here too, for easy access, though of course this is a mere sliver of what I’d put on my ideal Books for Ten-Year-Olds bookshelf. Later, when time permits, I’ll try to come back and add capsule reviews, but today is not that day.
(Um, it goes without saying I recommend my own The Prairie Thief for this age, yes? Because I’m totally saying it anyway. For boys and girls. Ahem.)
• Turtle in Paradise by Jenni Holm
• The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
• Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (and sequel) by Barry Deutsch
• Smile by Raina Telgemeier
• Jane of Lantern Hill (happy sigh) by L.M. Montgomery
the Betsy-Tacy books (obviously)
• The Firelings by Carol Kendall
• The Gammage Cup / The Whisper of Glocken by Carol Kendall
• Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
• By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
• The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
• The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr
• Rowan of Rin (and sequels) by Emily Rodda
• Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
• The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall—the first one is my favorite
• Rules by Cynthia Lord
• Bad Island by Doug TenNapel
• Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
• The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
• The Warriors books by Erin Hunter—Rose’s longtime obsession!
Harold Underdown suggested Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, and I second that—my kids and I loved it (and the related Calamity Jack—both graphic novels); they love all Shannon’s books like CRAZY. Next to Betsy-Tacy and Percy Jackson, the Shannon Hale novels are the most frequently borrowed books by their friends. We basically have a Lovelace/Riordan/Hale lending library going here.
Obviously, I could go on and on here. (See the comments for more suggestions.) This truly is a just-off-the-top-of-my-head list. Also check out my master list of book recommendations!
June 16, 2011 @ 8:07 pm | Filed under: Books
I think I should tackle the “what’s Jane reading these days” questions next. I’ve been asked for YA book recommendations from multiple friends and readers lately, and Jane said I could crib from her reading log. She reads way more than I do, so there’s a lot of stuff on there I haven’t read myself and am itching to—she has intriguing tastes!
I mentioned here that I’d ordered three new Rowan Jacobsen books—
• Shadows on the Gulf (oil spill aftermath and other threats to the Gulf wetlands);
• American Terroir (about distinctive regional flavors of particular American foods—how the soil, climate, etc affects flavor and cuisine); and
• The Living Shore (a hunt for rare oysters leads to a deep appreciation of the magic of coastal ecology and how shorelines have helped shape human history).
They’re still on my nightstand awaiting the end of Shakespeare Club, but Jane borrowed them one by one and said they’re all fascinating. She came running out and read me a passage from American Terroir, and said, “Isn’t he just the best writer?” (His Fruitless Fall and Chocolate Unwrapped certainly captivated me.)
Let’s see, what else…she loves mysteries and has read just about all of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy Sayers. Big fan of Josephine Tey (see my Daughter of Time review) and the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley. (Here’s a post I wrote on the first Flavia de Luce, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.) And she is especially keen on the Case Closed series: Japanese detective manga by Gosho Aoyama.
Another big hit recently was Girl Genius, a webcomic (some of which is collected into graphic novel collections) and set of novels. We met the author at the Steampunk Convention and the look of the books caught Jane’s eye. She has since devoured the entire eight-and-a-half years’ worth of webcomic archives.
Connie Willis—The Doomsday Book; To Say Nothing of the Dog (and I myself am wild about both of these—the former moving, rich, sad, suspenseful: a female grad student time-travels to the Middle Ages; the latter screamingly funny: an endearingly inept male grad student time-travels to the Victorian era and gets in all manner of comedic scrapes with the locals).
Shannon Hale’s fantasy novels—Forest Born, River Secrets, Book of a Thousand Days, and others—are popular with both my older girls, and our copies are in nearly constant circulation with their friends.
Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson. This was mentioned in the third Penderwicks book and she recognized the author’s name as the host of the NOVA tv show. She says she’d like to read more of his work.
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.
You know I have to mention the Maud Hart Lovelace books. Ain’t just me: I see Jane (and friends) pulling them off the shelf on a regular basis.
The Throne of Fire, sequel to The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Jane likes the Percy Jackson books better, but Rose is partial to the Egyptian pantheon as portrayed in the Kane Chronicles.
The Diane Duane Young Wizards series—High Wizardry, A Wizard Alone, Deep Wizardry to name a few.
James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small & the others in that series. (Such love!)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Mature language, barracks humor, violence. And, as Mental Multivitamin put it, “a can’t-miss.” Jane told me recently that she can’t imagine growing up without it.
A caveat about this list: every parent I’ve ever known draws his or her “appropriate reading material” lines in different places. Mine may not be in the same place as yours. Jane is sixteen, and we don’t monitor her book choices the way we do for kids thirteen and under.
Related post: Nonfiction for Teens. Same caveat applies.
More book recommendations here.
I owe my daughter Jane a nod of thanks for this one. Sunday-morning-at-10:00 panels don’t usually make my list, but Jane attended Comic-Con for the first time on Sunday and she was especially keen to hear Rick Riordan speak about his Percy Jackson books. So in we went, bright and early, and snagged good seats about four rows from the front.
The interviewer was acclaimed Irish author Michael Scott, an authority on Celtic folklore and writer of the popular Nicholas Flamel series. Both Scott and Riordan had a wonderful rapport with the audience, showing genuine affection for their enthusiastic young fans. I so enjoyed the warmth, humor, and wisdom radiating from these two amiable authors. Michael Scott asked wonderful questions and could undoubtedly have gone on asking them for a good long while, but the queue of readers eager to ask Riordan their own questions was so long that Scott graciously turned the floor over to the fans about halfway into the hour.
I’m pressed for time today (this week, this month) so what I’m going to do is simply type up my notes. If any point is particularly interesting to you, leave a comment and I’ll try to expand on it there. (more…)
39 Clues, how to pronounce Rick Riordan, Lightning Thief, Michael Scott, Percy Jackson, Red Pyramid, Rick Riordan, San Diego Comic-Con, SDCC, SDCC 2010, writers on writing