The Ultimate Book Thread?

Posted by: Val

The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/12/09 05:57 PM

Okay, I'm taking a shot at starting a new Ultimate thread here. This thread is about book recommendations --- I'm thinking, one or so at a time, with a nice review rather than a list of titles.

I thought this thread could be a resource for books for kids who read way beyond age level and for whom it's hard to find suitable books. For example, my DD4 hasn't been to school but reads quite well. Many books for ages 6/7+ include themes about school or camp, etc, and she can't relate to them. So I'm always looking for books that meet her reading level and also have themes that she can relate to.

If people like this idea, we could also make a few of these threads by age group (e.g., pre-school aged, elementary aged, middle school aged, high school aged). If people like this approach, I'll set up a bunch of threads labeled The Ultimate Book Thread: Pre-schoolers, and TUBT: Elementary, etc. etc.

I'm going to start with a recommendation for pre-schoolers.


I bought Fire Cat by Pippa Goodhart. It's a story about a boy living in London in 1666, during the great fire. He mistakenly believes that his chubby male cat has become lost and tries to find him when he goes out with family friend Samuel Pepys. Turns out that his male kitty was a female who was, ahem, with kitten. She was hiding at home giving birth the entire time.

The AR Bookfinder rates it as a grade level 3.5, yet the boy has a very pre-schooler kind of face. I really liked that. DD4 learned vocabulary words and a little bit of history and geography from it.


DS9 grabbed it as soon as saw it and was fascinated by it, too.

The story might be a bit scary for very sensitive kids; DD4 didn't seem bothered by it, though.

Fire Cat at amazon.com


Again, it you like this idea, let me know and I'll set up some Ultimate Book Threads by age group.


Val
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/12/09 07:20 PM

Thank you, Val, what a wonderful idea!

I thought I'd start by mentioning one of my all-time favourites: "Wolf Story" by William McCleery (illustrations by Warren Chappell) c. 1947. It's a great read-aloud for ages probably 2 to 7 or 8 or so, and Harpo enjoyed reading it on his own when he was about 4 and 5.

It's funny and sweet. In a series of installments that starts one night at bedtime, a father tells his smart and rather crafty five-year-old son Michael a story about a hen named Rainbow, Waldo the wolf, and a bright and brave young farm lad named Jimmy Tractorwheel. Michael and his six-year-old best friend Stefan suggest various plot twists as the story unfolds; each installment is accompanied by a certain amount of negotiation with Michael's inventive father.

It's 82 pages, with charming black and white drawings; it has a nice amount of white space on the page, and a generous size of type and amount of leading for a young reader. I'd say it's a good early venture into chapter books.

peace
minnie
Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/12/09 08:21 PM

Wonderful idea Val! I'll talk about what we were reading tonight: Bunnicula, by Deborah and James Howe. I remember liking it when I was little too. This story, about a possible vampire bunny, is told by Harold the dog. My DS5 has been grinning ear to ear at the antics of Harold and his friend Chester, the cat. (He was laughing hysterically when the animals tried to pound a raw steak into the bunny's heart). The age range says 9-12, but definitely good for the younger gifted set (although it might be scary for the very sensitive ones). 98 pages, very quick read.
Posted by: Taminy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/12/09 08:21 PM

Oh Wow Val--This may be my dream thread smile

We loved Fire Cat by the way...Let's see if I remember this correctly...

"You aren't a good cat and you're not a bad cat. You're a mixed up cat" (or something like that...).

I don't know where to start with a recommendation, we have so many favorites, but the age of your child made me remember (quite fondly) reading aloud the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace.

The series starts with Betsy-Tacy, which is actually my least favorite of the series. It has a slightly different style and Tacy's baby sister dies, which some children might find disturbing (although my usually very sensitive DD didn't seem bothered). In that book, Betsy and Tacy are 4-5 years old, so many young readers might enjoy that connection. The girls age a bit in each successive book, and in the 2nd or 3rd book, they are joined by the character of Tib. If you have concerns about the first book, it's very easy to start with the second book. You do need to read the books in order, however, where ever you decide to start.

Here's why I love this series.

1) It's set around the turn of the century (not our most recent turn smile )and has a small-town innocence throughout. The girls' adventures are rooted in a time when young children could wander their neighborhoods without constant supervision by adults.

2) It's a wonderful model for girls. Having read them as a young girl myself, I was a bit worried about how I'd feel about them as an adult. I was pleasantly surprised by how progressive they were both for the time they were set and for the time in which they were written.

3) Betsy, Tacy and Tib are wonderful characters. It's a treat to get to know them and to watch them grow up. There are wonderful life lessons in their experiences, great decisions (good and bad) to be talked about.

4) Because of the age range covered by the series, it's a series that could be read slowly over a few years. Maybe every birthday or start of school year (many of the books begin with the start of school) could be the occasion to start a new book.

I recommend this series as a read aloud for younger children and as an independent read or read aloud for older children. In retrospect, I wish that I had bought each book as we read them rather than checking them out of the library. I think that they would have been read and re-read if they'd been around the house.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/13/09 03:16 AM

Hi, great thread idea!


I think the Fire Cat book Taminy lists is different than the one Val mentions. I know the one you mention Taminy, and it's great too - but no boy is in it. Here is a link.
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Cat-Can-Read-Book/dp/0064440389

I am probably the only mom here who remembers a child who didn't read to themselves at 2,3 or 4...but who was interested in 2nd grade books when they were age 4 and 4th grade books at age 6...
Ds9 was this way, and dd3, though a bit more of a reader than ds, is leaning this way too. Basically the inverse of Val's original idea.
They love to be read to, even now at age 9 ds will still ask to have a few pages read to him from whatever tome he is reading.

So, my recommendations are, even if it seems odd, if you child is interested in having things like books 1-5 of Harry Potter read to them at age 6, go for it (time permitting!)
smile

Posted by: Taminy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/13/09 10:49 AM

Oops. blush Chris is right! Different Fire Cat. Well, at least that clears up my confusion about the scariness of Fire Cat wink .

I realized I didn't put a link in for the Betsy-Tacy books, so for anyone who's interested, here are two links (the second is background about the book/author):

http://www.amazon.com/Betsy-Tacy-Betsy-Tacy-Books-Lovelace/dp/0064400964

http://www.betsy-tacysociety.org/

Chris,
You aren't the only parent here who didn't have an avid, independent reader in pre-school. My DS7 wasn't into reading to himself much in pre-school either, although he would pore over picture-rich non-fiction of all levels. In fact, at 3 and 4, he preferred non-fiction read aloud (and boy was I glad when THAT passed....) At 5 he really enjoyed those abridged illustrated classics as first "long" read alouds. He and my husband read White Fang; 20,000 leagues under the sea; Treasure Island... I hope some day he'll go back and read the complete versions as well.
Posted by: sittin pretty

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/13/09 09:01 PM

LOVE THIS THREAD!! Thanks!!

My DS4 has been really enjoying the Magic Tree House series (sort-of historical fiction). I've had trouble finding "chapter" books for him that are boy-ish and not filled with potty humor that isn't appropriate or is over his head.

He loves non-fiction books and reads those most often. The books sold through Usborne are a particular favorite. They tend to be crammed with both tons of information and pictures. Perfect for his brain which is always on overdrive.

I'd love any suggestions for a biography or non-fiction history series that is still fairly easy to read (i.e. 2nd-3rd grade level).
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/13/09 10:50 PM

Hi, sittin pretty!

I'm with you about nice "boy" books not filled with potty humour and so on--hard-ish to find.

These are not the nonfiction books for which you asked (I'll give that a think), but some fiction books at more or less the reading level I think you're seeking and which I've found very appealing to my boys (4, 6, & 8) are:

1) Esther Averill's Cat Club series (the most boylike ones are The Hotel Cat, Captains of the City Streets, and Jenny Goes to Sea, I'd say, but they're all good): this is a lovely series of short-ish chapter books (about 120 pages, picturesquely illustrated, with nice big print) from the 1950s. Several cats have a club, with lots of meetings (all conducted in a very orderly fashion!) and subsequent adventures. There are some humans, but they are mostly around the fringes of the stories; the heroine cat is Jenny, but she has brothers and male friends, who generally get large chunks of the action, too. What Frenchie (my husband) and I love about these books, apart from the general air of fun, is the tone: the cats are all terribly polite to one another, and are greatly concerned both with decorum and with the effect of their actions on others. It seems strange to say this about talking animal books, but if I had to pick one adjective to describe the series, I'd say they were genteel. (published by the New York Review of Books)

2) Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr has been a big hit here; a wolf wants to eat a little girl, who outsmarts him repeatedly. He has many fantastical schemes for getting her in his clutches (think Wile E. Coyote), but she is far too clever to let herself be caught. Despite the female protagonist, this is a particular favourite with my lads. (published by Jane Nissen Books)

3) The Great Piratical Rumbustification and The Librarian and the Robbers, by Margaret Mahy, with pictures by Quentin Blake. Very short (I'd say more short story length than chapter book, although they are divided up into chapters), and very witty. In the first one, three children are left with a babysitter who turns out to be a pirate, who promptly throws a big party for other pirates at the children's house. Mayhem ensues, but all turns out for the best. Funny and a bit zany. In the second, a librarian is kidnapped by villains, who are converted to good guys by literature and a good woman--gotta love that! (published by David Godine)

For a couple of excellent boy read-alouds for that age (I'd say they're about grade 5 or 6 reading level? I'm not good at estimating that sort of thing), try Philippa Pearce, especially Minnow on the Say (perfection!) and Tom's Midnight Garden. They're Puffins from the '50s, but are still in print. In Minnow on the Say, two boys (who seem to be elevenish or so) spend their summer in a canoe, seeking clues to an old family mystery involving hidden treasure, the finding of which will enable the older boy's family to stay in their ancestral home. Really wonderful--the zenith of boys' books! In Tom's Midnight Garden, the hero is sent away to stay with an aunt while the rest of his family is in quarantine (measles or some such); the aunt's house turns out to be magic, and he has time-travel adventures of a gentle and touching sort. Very good indeed.

Hope some of those will appeal--

peace
minnie
Posted by: BKD

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/14/09 01:39 AM

What a great idea for a thread - I'll definitely look up some of these.

Our favourite series here is Enid Blyton's Famous Five - and if your children enjoy them there's plenty to keep them busy - I think there are over 20 in the series. And since they're 1940s-ish vintage definitely not a trace of toilet humour (told the boys only tonight that the police don't consider it murder if you strangle your children for continuous toilet jokes). Lots of villains, hidden dungeons, secret passages etc.

Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/14/09 04:03 AM

Nonfiction book, easy read, big ideas, great for boys??
(and girls!)

My DS loved loved loved this one:

'Now and Ben
The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin'

A colorful picture book of the various inventions which Benjamin Franklin came up with or improved on. Brief but insightful discussion of why his inventions have been so long-staying in usefulness. This was perfect for our ds, as he is a bit of a global thinker/inventor type himself. It shows the side of Benjamin Franklin you don't often see in the history books: a playful boy, a lover of books and of course, wicked smart! smile
Illustrations are detailed, with lots of little 'oh, look!' moments.

http://www.amazon.com/Now-Ben-Inventions-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/0805079173


Posted by: sdrothco

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/14/09 01:36 PM

Oh I am so excited to find this thread! What a great idea! We are all book fiends at our house, and finding quality books of an appropriate reading and interest level can be so challenging. I especially appreciate people including notes on scary topics for sensitive kids.

I second the Magic Tree House Series suggestion. Those are the books that really got my DD5 excited about reading on her own. She just couldn't wait for me to be available to read to her. We have found that a few of them have topics too scary for her such as ghosts and mummies, but they are easy to avoid.

For science enthusiasts, I recommend the Magic School Bus chapter books. (Not the MSB picture books, though those are good too for a lower reading level.) They are at a slightly higher reading level (~grade 3.5) than the Magic Tree House books and are packed full of science facts. They are about a class of students who often take magical field trips in their school bus with their eccentric teacher. Each book concentrates on one topic such as space, bones, or bats. My DD5 is very sensitive to scary topics and has not been bothered by any of these books.
Posted by: sittin pretty

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/14/09 02:05 PM

Let me say again, I love this thread!

My DH, on the other hand, may not be so thrilled when he sees the latest Amazon charge. smile

Thanks, everyone!!

Also, for parents of boys: I find this website interesting (http://www.guysread.com/) but I wish the suggestions were better organized by reading ability level.
Posted by: renie1

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/14/09 07:43 PM


STORY/PICTURE BOOKS:
1) Burt Dow, Deep Water Man by Robert McClosky (IMO the smartest childrens book ever written-)
2) Henry Builds a Cabin and others in the series (cute simpel storeis based on H.D.Thoreau.)
3) Miss Rumphius
4) Amos and Boris by william Steig (also Brave Irene)
5) The little red lighthouse and the great gray Bridge

CHAPTER BOOKS
Most Roald Dahl (all about 4th grade level, very funny books):
-George's marvelous Medicine
-The Twits
-The BFG
-James and the Giant Peach

-Catwings - about 2-3 grade level, very sweet, great for boys or girls and animal lovers

-Gooseberry Park- Cynthia Rylant

-Dinotopia- James Gurian - original beautiful picture books (with very challenging and interesting text)..

-Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

happy reading

irene
Posted by: IronMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 07:51 AM

We are using the "easy" version of the classics - though depends on what age and whether the parent finds the material appropriate. Good ones for boys so far have been: Robin Hood, Oliver Twist, Moby Dick, Dracula;

I've heard Diary of a Wimpy Kid is good for around 8-9 yrs old that like humor?

I would also look for easy versions of Count of MonteCristo and anything by Victor Hugo. No need to shy away from the classics!

The Green Book is also a neat story on Amazon - about a family that have to leave earth for a new planet.
Posted by: renie1

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 07:58 AM

The easy versions of the classics have interested me too. I'm split between giving them those, or having them listen to audio books of the "real thing".. The original Peter Pan (not sure of author, i think his name is JM Barrie) book is a tough tough read- full of British-isms, etc. I just purchased the audio book of it and am curious if my DD7 will have interest in it and be able to absorb some of the vocabulary this way. He loved listening to the unabridged versions of: The BFG, Trumpet of the Swan, James and Giant Peach (after reading book), and Matilda. We have many other audio books but those are the favorites so far. But Peter Pan would be a much bigger deal since i think it runs about 8 hours.

irene

Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 09:54 AM

Another one for boys. I see that Roald Dahl has been mentioned quite a bit, but no Charlie. My DS5 asked the other day if we could buy Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), because he loved it so much. We didn't like the Chocolate Factory quite as much, but that's good too.

The main reason DS loves the Glass Elevator is that it involves space wars against the Vermicious Knids, shape-shifting blobs that can destroy pretty much anything (but the glass elevator is Vermicious Knid-proof, and they burn up if they enter the Earth's atmosphere). The Vermicious Knids have come up in many of DS's own stories. smile
Posted by: renie1

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 11:29 AM

iagree with st pauli girl, "charlie" gets the most attention but i feel other dahl books are even better, not so spoiled by hollywood giving us images of what it should look like!
Posted by: hkc75

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 11:59 AM

We loved "The Twits" and "The BFG" by Roald Dahl but I have to say to use caution with "James and the Giant Peach" for the sensitive kids out there. My son didn't make it thru the first chapter. Diary of a Wimpy kid was EXCELLENT for any one who has dealt with being the underdog! I just called hubby to pick up the "Glass Factory" book. I forgot about that one. Thanks StPauliGirl.

We also love the "Captain Underpants" and "Flat Stanley" and "Roscoe Riley Rules" series about boys who seem to find themselves in trouble a lot. laugh
Posted by: renie1

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 01:28 PM

yes i should have mentioned James and giant peach starts out with the shock of the boys parents being eaten by a rhino loose from the zoo. My son read it AFTER "The enormous crocodile" and other Dahl books so he was accustomed to the comedy/tragedy elements. He still can not watch most Disney movies so he is also sensistive. This should be discussed prior to reading any Dahl.
irene
Posted by: Taminy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 01:59 PM

My kids are both huge fans of Roald Dahl--I think the BFG has been the hands down favorite.

For a read aloud, the Narnia series was good for our DS. It's not my style, so DH read it to DS7 (who was 6 at the time). I got a good deal on the entire set on CD (yay for clearance sales!) and we have been listening in the car (generally when we have longer drives to make). So far we've made it through the first 3 books. It's been a good way for me and my DD to get on board with the series so that we can have it in common with DS.

Speaking of DD....My voracious reader, who was always reading (and finishing) seveal books as once, is suddenly having a hard time connecting to books. She has read a couple of short books this summer and has been working her way through Grimm's Fairy Tales, but has mostly been picking books up, reading a chapter or two, and then abandoning them with a sigh. I'm not sure if it's just that nothing is measuring up to the last book we read, or what's up. Has anyone else had a similar experience? DD is just shy of 10.
Posted by: BeckyC

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: chris1234


So, my recommendations are, even if it seems odd, if you child is interested in having things like books 1-5 of Harry Potter read to them at age 6, go for it (time permitting!)
smile



My DD (7 years old in Sept) just started reading HP Book #3. She just loves them. In fact she called down, very excited, (when I thought she was asleep at 10:30 last night) to let us know that "Guess what??? Hagrid is now an instructor at Hogwarts!"

I haven't read any of them, but I am enjoying the movies with her! It is my understanding that the series gets darker as the books progress. This was all fine and good when the 1st book came out 10 years ago aimed at 10 year olds, which meant, of course, these same kids finished the series as young adults. However, my DD has access to all of the books now at age 6.

My question is at what point should she slow-down the pace of the HP series due to its content? As a reference point to her readiness: she hid under the blanket during the last 20 minutes of the 2nd movie. But it wasn't because she didn't want to see what happened - she just didn't want to see the snake. blush
Posted by: tory

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 04:17 PM

Originally Posted By: BeckyC

My question is at what point should she slow-down the pace of the HP series due to its content?


It might happen naturally.

My DS7 just kept reading until they got a bit dark for him (somewhere around the middle of book 5).

My DS has read a lot of Roahld Dahl's books; especially loved BFG, Matilda (about a gifted little girl) and Witches. He is just about to read one of his collections of short stories.

I have mentioned before somewhere about the Emily Rodda books; Deltora Quest, Rowan of Rin, The Wizard of Rondo - my DS loved them.

He also loved the Narnia series.

He's currently giggling his way through the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series and has just finished giggling his way through 'Just Macbeth' by Andy Griffiths.
Posted by: Taminy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/15/09 08:39 PM

Quote:

My question is at what point should she slow-down the pace of the HP series due to its content?


I'm writing this fresh from the theater--just saw HP 6 with DD and a couple of friends wink

When DD began reading the books she was about a year older then your DS. She picked up the first book over spring break and finished book 6 by the end of the school year (so I guess maybe 8-9 weeks?). I had already read the series, and I began rapidly re-reading them trying to stay one step ahead of her so that I could decide when she should "take a break". Silly me. I think her head would have exploded if I had interrupted the series!

What I realized as she went through the series was that some of the disturbing/dark aspects of the later books are disturbing because of the parallels we can make to the "real world". For her, with her limited understanding of the social-political world, there were parts that were sad and parts that were scary, but only in the same way that the Wizard of Oz is scary, if you know what I mean. Events were less "disturbing" to her than they were to me, because it was a completely fictionalized world in her reading of it. She has now re-read every book about a million times, and I can tell that there are parts that resonate differently with her now that she is older and has had more experiences.

That said, I recommend that you read them too (or listen on audio). The books were DD's favorite topic of conversation, to the exclusion of almost everything else. She was fascinated by the characters, by the direction of the story, by the choices characters made, etc.

Since few kids her age were reading them, and since many of the kids that were reading them were reading with a relatively superficial comprehension, she needed me to be her conversational partner. If your DS falls for them as hard as my DD, he'll be looking for someone to talk to, and may also find few good conversational partners in his peer group.

Really, some of my favorite memories with my DD will probably always be around her love of HP. When book seven came out later that summer, we dressed up, went to the midnight party, and came home with two copies so that we wouldn't have to fight over the book. We lucked out with her discovery of HP coming when the fervor was so high--it was great fun for her to swap predictions and opinions with her camp counselors at the ripe old age of 7 grin !
Posted by: Raddy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/16/09 02:00 AM

The Faraway tree series by Enid Blyton has wonderful characters (some laugh-out-loud ones! and beautuiful little stories for kids from, I would say 4 through 8:
http://www.amazon.com/Folk-Faraway-Tree-...4311&sr=8-1

Another Enid Blyton series is "the Find Outers". ANy of these 'detective stories' are really good, funny, and captivating with good characterisation, for boys (and girls -why not) from age 6 through 10 and older (heck, I love them myself. just beware - the main character, the brains of the outfit, is called Frederick Algernon Trottville - "Fatty" - which some may find offensive ?

http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Banshee-To...4607&sr=1-1
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/16/09 02:59 AM

Originally Posted By: tory
Originally Posted By: BeckyC

My question is at what point should she slow-down the pace of the HP series due to its content?


It might happen naturally.

My DS7 just kept reading until they got a bit dark for him (somewhere around the middle of book 5).


He's currently giggling his way through the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series and has just finished giggling his way through 'Just Macbeth' by Andy Griffiths.


Our ds fell off interest in having them read to him at the same point, I thought it was more about the fact that Harry wasn't a kid anymore, and was getting interested in kissing girls, but maybe it was too scary as well. Now that he's reading them himself I wonder if the same will occur. He had a friend who finished book 7 this year, age 8, and gave a report on it. One of the questions someone asked him was 'Did this book give you joy?' to which he responded, 'No', at least that's the story.
I could definitely see a kid that age loving the first several books but having the last few be set aside for later.

(Diary of a Wimpy Kid was a huge hit for ds,too.)
Posted by: Botchan

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/16/09 07:34 PM

George's Secret Key to the Universe
George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt
both by Stephen Hawking and Lucy Hawking.

http://www.amazon.com/Georges-Secret-Uni...5812&sr=8-2

My DS8 who loves math and science really enjoyed them. They are full of science concepts with interesting stories.

Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson
Very funny series.

Hank Zippzer series by Henry Winkler andLin Oliver.

http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-Falls-Does...7142&sr=1-1

My 2E son loves Hank, who has learning disabilities.

Pick Me Up
http://www.amazon.com/Pick-Me-Up-Jeremy-Leslie/dp/0756621593/ref=ed_oe_h

Very interesting non-fiction with full of information about many subjects.
Posted by: RobotMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/16/09 08:38 PM

We have a few favorite series for DD6. She plows through these books like there is no tomorrow, only to reread them again and again and again...


The Pony Crazed Princess: Princess Ellie Adventures about a princess who would rather be with her horses than be a princess by Diana Kimpton

The Disney Fairy Stories, about Tinkerbell and all of the other fairies that live in Pixie Hollow.

Ivy and Bean Series by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall about 2 7 yr olds (I think they're about that age) who are neighbors and get into all sorts of mischief together.

And she recently started the series by E.D. Baker With the books Frog Princess and Dragons Breath in it. These are about a princess who kisses a frog to turn him into a human and she ends up turning into a frog instead. DD was laughing out loud when she read these two books, so I'm sure we'll be getting the rest from the library soon.

When she needs a break from these she reads the Berenstain Bears chapter books, which are fun to read.
Posted by: Raddy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/17/09 06:46 AM

And of course there's "Stig Of The Dump" by Clive King
marvellous!
http://www.amazon.com/Stig-Dump-Puffin-M...8274&sr=1-1
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/21/09 01:07 PM

Can I add a couple of recent reads?

"David and the Phoenix" by Edward Ormondroyd (Purple House Press, reprint of 1957 original): 175 pages, fantasy, about David, a boy of about 7 or 8, I'd say, and his adventures with the Phoenix, who lives up the mountain behind his house. The Phoenix is being stalked by an evil Scientist, who wants it for a specimen. David and the Phoenix conjure up various plots, some of which involve travel to the abodes of mythical creatures (Gryffins, Sea Monster, Banshee, Leprechaun, etc.), for foiling the Scientist's scheme. Sadness warning for the sensitive: the Phoenix dies on a pyre, but of course, a new Phoenix (who seems to retain some glimmerings of the memories of the original bird) arises from the ashes.

Reading level is hard to pin down on this one, though my older two haven't had any trouble with it, and the youngest is enjoying it as a read-aloud; the narrative itself is quite easy reading, but the Phoenix has amusingly elevated speech, so the dialogue is a good deal more difficult than the rest. Try it around 6, maybe?

Tove Jansson's "Finn Family Moomintroll" (originally published 1948, in print in Puffin, 150 pages) is the first of a series about funny little critters (the Moomintrolls, the Hemulen, the Snork Maiden, the Muskrat, Snufkin, Thingumy and Bob, usw) who live in the Valley of the Moomins, eat lots of pancakes, and have various adventures together; in this volume, the action is mostly motivated by the discovery of a magic hat, the results of the use of which are sometimes funny, sometimes useful, and sometimes unexpected and rather unpleasant. These books are pretty odd, but we like them--quirky drawings, funny little footnotes on several pages, stories that turn out all right in the end, characters who are (mostly) kind to one another....About a grade 3 or 4 reading level, maybe? (I'm sorry, I just don't know how to gauge these things very well.)

An adult book I recently reread which I think kids from about 12 would enjoy is "English Creek" by the wonderful Ivan Doig. It's the first-person narrative of an almost 15-year-old boy growing up along the eastern front of the Rockies in Montana in 1939. The summer of that year changed his life and the lives of his family, and it's a skilfully done, sensitive, and funny evocation of that betwixt-and-between age of no longer a child, not yet a man. It's also a wonderful snapshot of a particular place and time (Doig has a PhD in history, and it shows in most of his books, though he wears it lightly). The author is a brilliant stylist, and I think teens would really enjoy his use of language. (There is some not-very-serious profanity and the occasional mildly rude joke, if those sorts of things worry you any.)

Anyway, I hear some books calling...off to read!

peace
minnie
Posted by: Speechie

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/21/09 01:17 PM

Oh golly- I really enjoyed reading this thread!
Already mentioned, I have to second:
the Moomintrolls series of books- whimsical, delightful!
And the Jenny Linsky cat club books- very fun.

I wanted to suggest:
The Cay by Theodore Taylor- preteen book. About a boy who is shipwrecked and blinded- stranded with a sailor- book about survival and love. Good ending but some tragedy involved. I remember loving this book.
Posted by: tory

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/22/09 04:32 PM

Mr7 is reading (I should say ploughing through) The Hobbit (when he can wrestle it off me). It is fantastic. I read it a long time ago but forgot what a treat it is.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/22/09 08:52 PM

Our book of the day today was Thomas Keneally's "Ned Kelly and the City of Bees" (1978, repr. by David Godine, ca. 125 pages, approx. grade 5? reading level). Set in Australia (in maybe the late 1940s?), it's the story of 10-year-old Ned, who is confined to hospital with acute appendicitis. His loneliness is assuaged by the visit of a friendly worker bee, who shrinks him down to her size and takes him back to her hive, where he spends his summer. A curious and enjoyable book (with lots of information to be gleaned about bees and their habits), with a surprise ending...

peace
minnie
Posted by: mamaandmore

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/23/09 04:06 AM

My DS7 loves mysteries, so I'm constantly on the look out for good ones. His favorites so far:

Encyclopedia Brown- good, short mysteries that let the reader try to solve it before they reveal the answer and how Encyclopedia solved it. Grade level: mid elementary for difficulty, but DS was devouring them at 6.

Series of Unfortunate Events- he started this series recently and I worried that it was too dark, especially because it's a mystery without a happy ending. It actually ended up being a good bridge between the lighter, fluffier mysteries written for 3rd or 4th graders and the somewhat darker books written for Middle Schoolers. Grade Level: mid-late Elementary, but not for really sensitive kids.

Great Illustrated Classics- there are 3 Sherlock Holmes Mysteries available from them. They are very, very abridged versions of the originals, with illustrations that take up whole pages and huge typeface. But my DS loved them! The books inspired him to look for the original Sherlock Holmes books and while he wasn't able to read them yet, I am all for a book that motivates kids to find out more, even if it isn't the truest rendering of the original stories. Grade Level: difficulty is probably mid elementary, but the text size and copious illustrations make it accessible to much younger taglets.

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, the original series- DS found these a few weeks ago and is absolutely in love. I like that they're written at a higher level, but because they're from the 50s, other than some mild sexism, there aren't hugely inappropriate themes or situations. It's also nice that both series have a huge number of books, which can be found for dirt cheap at garage sales and Goodwill when we exhaust our library's offerings. Grade Level: Middle School for difficulty, but the text size and occasional illustrations make the books friendly to 6 or 7yo taglets.
Posted by: IronMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/23/09 12:59 PM

Can't believe the "Magic Far Away Tree" just got a mention! Thanks for the link. I literally just started in on this book with DS6 this week and was wondering if anyone, anywhere else still reads Enid and her British books! They are so British in tone - they make me giggle now that we live in the US! I was wondering if they were still available and up on Amazon. I'm reading him the book I've owned since I was a child. I'm a big "Famous Five" and "Island of Adventure" series fan of Enid's. They were always the "Nancy Drew" counterpart weren't they? Although I read many of these books as late as 10 yrs of age and older - because I wasn't exposed to them earlier - I think many a younger child can enjoy them. We recently also read her "Bedtime Stories" - many of which were silly and old fashioned - but she does clever things for children, like use rhyming words or riddles in her stories, poetry mixed in, old fashioned morals - always a consequence to your actions type tone - and sometimes prayers - depending on the book - and she never ceases to fire up the imagination. I think there is something about her writing that just totally resonates with how children think. DS6 is alreayd in love with Moon Face, the slippery slip slide down the center of the Tree and the thought of magical lands appearing int he cloud. We are only on Chatper 3 and he is begging eveyr night to read the next chapter before th next day comes around! It's innocent 5-6 yr old fun that you don't really find easily these days in popular culture anymore. "Pop Biscuit" anyone?
Posted by: IronMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/23/09 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Raddy
And of course there's "Stig Of The Dump" by Clive King
marvellous!
http://www.amazon.com/Stig-Dump-Puffin-M...8274&sr=1-1


Oh my goodness........flood of forgotten childhood memory ..wasn't that a BBC TV Series at one point ....I'm having flashbacks to totally loving that story and show and had totally forgotten about it ........Raddy freaks IronMOM out this week!!
Posted by: IronMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/23/09 01:19 PM

Yup - seem to remember "Tom's Midnight Garden" was a tv series too - and that's still on Amazon as a paperback - unlike Enid Blyton - it's still in print . Great story about finding a window in time - which I think appeals to kids - especially gifted kids that can understand the concepts.

JAW HITS FLOOR - Enid's collection of "Far Away Tree" stories worth over $1000.00 if anyone has copies lurking at home !!!!!!!!! Who knew? Typical for such great and innocent stories to be completely OUT OF PRINT today!! But Sponge Bob - he's still alive and kicking. (Excuse me whilst I barf).
Posted by: Speechie

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/23/09 03:15 PM

LOL about Sponge Bob reference...

I remember a book I loved called "the Egypt Game", and another one, "A Summer to Die" sad, but great for kids that feel misunderstood or in someone else's shadow-
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/23/09 04:51 PM

Aaahh, IronMom, you're a woman after me own heart....

BOO SpongeBob, Hiss, Moan....

Our benighted public library keeps DISCARDING lovely children's novels (by Dick King-Smith, for instance, or William Mayne) and replacing them with cartoon tie-ins; it makes me very cross (even though we personally benefit because I scoop up lots of nice books for a quarter apiece!)--there are so many wonderful books that kids visiting the library might never see. My rants in the suggestion box have so far gone unheeded, however!

peace
minnie

PS I think Frenchie has read every Enid Blyton in existence! Too bad so many are out of print, as it would be fun to reload his shelves with the Five and the Seven, at least.

PS again--A friend gave Harpo a SpongeBob "book" (I use the term loosely, you understand) for his second birthday, and I just couldn't read the thing--Bob was supposed to be having a garage sale, and that pink thing, whatever it's called, was helping him move stuff out of his cave to sell; Bob, greedy thing, decided he couldn't part with any of his possessions because he was all about the stuff! Nice message. We changed it to Bob and the pink thing gathering up all their stuff to give to the St Vincent de Paul, and then we just threw the silly volume away.
Posted by: kcab

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/24/09 11:32 AM

Minnie, if Frenchie has read every Enid Blyton - what did he think of the Wishing Chair books? I'm wondering if were typical or different from her usual. We have the two-in-one volume, afraid I don't like it much at all, though this is possibly due to the circumstances in which it was read.

"Egypt Game" was Zilpha Keatley Synder - she has written many very good books, which fortunately our library has not yet thrown off the shelves in spite of their aged covers.

Looking up the spelling of Snyder's name, I was reminded by Amazon of "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin. This is a mystery that DD12 enjoyed quite a lot perhaps two years ago. We've been looking for something similar off and on since then - haven't quite hit it yet. As I recall, plot, point of view, and language were all somewhat more complex than is typical in mysteries written for pre-teens. I enjoyed it a lot myself, not sure how I missed reading it as a child.

(There are so *many* good books....)
Posted by: oli

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/24/09 02:22 PM

DD2 is too young,just what I read as a child:

Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstocking) has written several cute children's books that would be appropriate even for really early readers. I loved The Children of Noisy Village the most. I liked anything from Enid Blyton, I'm sure you can find all of them used from Amazon or ebay. Some of the others that are maybe more suitable for a school age child: Daniel Defoy Robinson Crusoe, Jonathan Swift Gulliver, Mark Twain Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sayer, Jules Verne, Narnia and The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Erich Kästner books like Emil and the detectives (kind of like Famous Five) and Lottie and Lisa (the book behind the Parent trap movies).

For girls: LM Montgomery books like Anne of Green Gables, Louisa M Alcott little women etc, Mary Poppins for younger kids, Pollyanna is adorable too, Susan Coolidge Katy books, Johanna Spyri's Heidi, Jean Webster also has some.

Then if you search famous inventors like Edison from Amazon Children's book sections you can find nice biographies for elementary school aged kids. We used to read ton's of those too as a kid some of them were actually my fathers when he was a little boy.
Posted by: Taminy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/24/09 03:21 PM

Has anyone read the books about the Melendy family? I read them over and over as a child and DD9 and I read them when she was around 7. They were a huge hit. When DS7 and I finish the On The Banks of Plum Creek, I'm thinking about grabbing that next.

First book: The Saturdays
Second book: The Four Story Mistake
Third book: Then There Were Five


My DS7 (then 6) loves the Edward Eager books (like Half Magic).

For mystery buffs, some kids might like Chasing Vermeer (which has a pentomino thing running through it). It has two sequel books. My observation is that kids either connect to this...or they don't.
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/24/09 03:49 PM

Great Thread....don't have tons to mention that hasn't been mentioned yet.
Recent books DS5 has read include: Three Tales of my Father's dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. It's actually three separate books as well..but there is one with them all together. It's a neat book about a boy who sets out to save a baby dragon who is being held captive by animals to transport wild animals back and forth between islands. He goes to rescue the dragon with items in his bag and has to go through many obstacles and interactions with other animals. I can't remember which things happen in which books since we read them all together, but they were all pretty good. Not sure reading level...maybe 3rd grade.

Currently reading the invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It is quite interesting. DS got it as a gift for his recent birthday. I would guess reading level is 5th grade....but he can read it fine and introduces lots of new vocabulary. Also tons of great pictures. It's an interesting book because it goes back and forth between pictures and text. Here is the synopsis (I cut and paste since we are only 2/3 through the book.

ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/26/09 09:06 AM

kcab, Frenchie says he doesn't remember those ones very well at all, I'm afraid--the ones he liked best were the Famous Five and the _______of Adventure ones (this was 50 years ago, mind you! We are old parents....and his parents long since donated all his childhood books to the church jumble sale). The only Blyton I've ever read were one or two of the Noddy books, which I disliked, as I recall...but different strokes for different folks, I guess.

oli, interesting about Emil and the Detectives--another of my husband's childhood favourites. Jean Webster wrote Daddy Long Legs, didn't she? I loved that one as a girl (and our copy was one my grandfather gave to my grandmother when they were a-courtin', with a sweet inscription--it always added a particular flavour to a re-read of that book).

Taminy, I like the looks of the Melendy books--thanks for the tip!

Another of our summer's books is Penelope Lively's "The Voyage of QV66" (1978, repr. Jane Nissen 2005, ~175 pp, illustrations by Harold Jones, grade 6ish? reading level). All five of us loved this one. This book, I would say, is unique--it's a post-apocalyptic comedy, talking-animals road story. England is covered with flood waters, all the humans are gone, and a few animals are left. One small group of them (Pal the dog, Ned the horse, Freda the cow, Pansy the kitten, Offa the pigeon, and Stanley the nobody-knows-what [he's a monkey]; they are later joined by the Major, a parrot) set off by boat on a journey of discovery, to learn what they can about what Stanley is, and if there are any other creatures like him in the world. They have lots of adventures and get into plenty of scrapes, which they work through in various inventive ways, always looking out for one another even when they are profoundly exasperated with each other. Although hilariously funny, it's in many ways a very serious book, inviting the reader to consider large questions, most notably how one might find a place to belong in the world.

peace
minnie

Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/28/09 10:05 PM

We read a gorgeous book today: "The Old Man Mad About Drawing," by Francois Place, translated by William Rodarmor (David Godine, 2004; you should look at Godine's list in general, as he prints very beautiful books: www.godine.com ). It's a profusely illustrated biography of the famous Japanese artist Hokusai; in the story (which takes place in 1850), he is 90 years old, and takes a young boy named Tojiro under his wing. Tojiro is an orphan who has been ill-treated by his guardian; his time with Hokusai changes the entire direction of his life.

It's essentially a picture book, but an unusually long one (106 pp), and it might be just the ticket for a young advanced reader who still enjoys having lots of illustrations along with the story. There's plenty to like here: the reader not only learns about Hokusai's life and art, but also about Japanese culture (for example, Shintoism and Buddhism, Kabuki theatre, Sumo wrestling, the samurai, etc.) and the craft of engraving and the business of publishing. Hokusai is a brilliantly inspirational example of someone who never stopped learning; he looks forward to being 100 or 110, by which time he will have advanced still further in his art.

Most of the (very lovely) art is by the author, but there are also several reproductions of Hokusai's work, which my children loved. Everyone scuttled off for drawing pens and paper after we read this story today, which I always view as a good sign.

Hope this will suit someone!

peace
minnie
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 03:49 AM

OMG Minnie!!! Thanks so much for posting this. DS9 loves Hokusai, since seeing an incredible show of his work in D.C. at the Freer. We brought home the catalog, and he has a great poster in his room; we enjoy spotting prints of his Great Wave /aka one of the views of Mt. Fuji...the book sounds totally inspirational.

After reading in the catalog that Hokusai sometimes signed his name as 'Man gone Mad with Pictures', it just made me laugh and think about my son who draws everything/anything he's excited about.
Hokusai, a man who created 1000's of works of amazing art, many of them iconic even in the West, died wishing he had a few more years to become a 'real painter'. He is an extremely interesting character, and ds is very much into books with more pictures than words so I'm hoping this will be a winner. thanks again! smile
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 09:44 AM

Originally Posted By: IronMom
But Sponge Bob - he's still alive and kicking. (Excuse me whilst I barf).


Originally Posted By: minniemarx


BOO SpongeBob, Hiss, Moan....


PS again--A friend gave Harpo a SpongeBob "book" (I use the term loosely, you understand) for his second birthday, and I just couldn't read the thing--Bob was supposed to be having a garage sale, and that pink thing, whatever it's called, was helping him move stuff out of his cave to sell; Bob, greedy thing, decided he couldn't part with any of his possessions because he was all about the stuff! Nice message. We changed it to Bob and the pink thing gathering up all their stuff to give to the St Vincent de Paul, and then we just threw the silly volume away.


I have to say, well....we've had a Spongebob book or two which has been actually *good*.
Ds wanted to join a book club, and picked the nickelodeon one from the scholastic catalog. I figured we'd get a few of the books and I'd cancel, which did happen, but the few we received contained several Spongbob books. The best one incorporated story lines from several fairy tales, and even refernces to Shakespeare.

I am a goof, and really go for the Spongebob-esque humor on the show, and the books were ok by me. Especially the one I describe (If I lay my hands on it, I will post the exact title). Anyway, while all the other books (Jimmy Neutron and some other show I can't remember) were very uninteresting/badly written, the Spongebob ones stood out as B's in a field of C's (or much worse).

The materialistic message you describe seems a bit unusual for Spongebob, typically the guy is just ridiculously ethical to the point of being a huge pain in the rear
....and then even more unrealistically, everything works out for him because he 'did the right thing'. wink
It's likely with a franchise that big, their 'message' might be straying a bit.. wink wink

The show can be repulsive (ick-humor) and I would never have watched it but for ds introducing it, but it does have it's moments.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 09:58 AM

Ooops, sorry Chris--I didn't mean to offend! I've never seen the show (we don't really do TV), and the only book I've seen is the one we had--so I guess the moral of the story is not to comment on what I don't know much about!

I guess it's sort of a bugbear for me personally, partly because of the dumbing-down of our public library, and partly because the only thing adults who don't know the kids well (ie barber, dentist, etc.) ever use as conversational gambits are things like SpongeBob and Bob the Builder and other stuff to which my guys have had no real exposure, and they are left hanging there with this deer-caught-in-the-headlights look (and I'm afraid I'm not willing to change our parenting decisions around pop culture and the relentless commercialisation of childhood just to make chatting with the barber easier). Why does no one ever ask them if they've heard any good jokes lately, or what kind of games they like to play?

Anyway, sorry...But glad the Hokusai book looks good to you!

peace
minnie
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 11:54 AM

Not at all offended, just wanted to defend my poor Spongebob laugh

I know I definitely check the freebie/discard bin outside our library and have been simultaneously appalled/delighted with my finds! (I mean, do we have to chuck 'Persuasion'????)

I agree completely with how kids can feel like they're in a foreign country in their own classroom/community if they don't have all the latest tv knowledge...for better/worse we've started down the slippery slope and here we are. For our ds it has helped to have more things in common -- but he doesn't have 2 bro's with great senses of humor!! smile
I love the sense of freedom your boys seem to have in your posts,
something we've tried to cultivate in our ds...showing him how cool it is to really be yourself and I think he gets it, definitely, but it's hard out there in elementary school, so we've accepted his push-back on a lot of the popular stuff.

Many thanks for all the great references in the past and for the one on the H. book!

Well...now you've done it, I've gone off researching the intellectual underpinnings of Spongebob and found:
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-sponge-bob-works.htm

Interesting to note, I think, the creator is previously an educator in the field of Marine Biology, and then also an animator. Voila, Monsieur Spongebob.
"Hillenburg wanted his lead character to possess similar qualities to famous funny men like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin- both of whom played innocent characters"

My apologies to this thread for going Sooooo far afield from the area of amazing book recommendations. But I figured no way was I gonna start a new thread just for S.B. blush
Posted by: renie1

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 04:00 PM

Can someone on the board recommend some high quality picture books for younger kids who read at advanced grade level. My DS7 just finished first grade, reading level is about R-S for guided reading or about 5-6th grade. He will read chapter books if they are intensely interesting, but continually requests picture books. He even asked if i could get chapter books tha have illustrations on every page!! (tall order).. My local librarian told us there were lots of picture books designed for older readers but we've only found a few at this point. Patricia Polacco seems like a good fit but the story i picked quickly for him is too mature (deals with Holocaust)..

irene
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 04:39 PM

Irene, here are some that my boys liked:

"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," Janet & Allan Ahlberg (Puffin, 1994); very witty, story-within-a-story structure. Young Italian boy captured by brigands, spins tall tales to keep the bad guys happy. Pictures every page!

Also by Allan Ahlberg (can't lay my hands on it right now, sorry for the incomplete info) and longer, is "The Better Brown Stories," with an even more sophisticated structure. A storybook family discovers the writer who is telling their story, and asks for revisions, with unpredictable results. Lots of pictures.

We love the illustrator Beth Krommes. "The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish," by Jacqueline Martin (Houghton Mifflin, 2001, 48 pp), is a beautiful and interesting book. It's based on a historical incident; an Inuit family is on a Canadian Arctic Expedition ship in 1913 that gets stuck in the ice for several months. The story of their survival and rescue is well-researched and inspiring. Pictures (gorgeous ones!) on every page.

Another Krommes book, this one with Lise Lunge-Larsen, is "The Hidden Folk: Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings" (Houghton Mifflin, 2004, 72 pp). Well-told and beautifully illustrated traditional tales, with a picture on at least every two-page spread.

(Speaking of folklore, you might also try the d'Aulaire Norse and Greek mythology collections--lots of pictures there).

Another classic story you might look for is Kenneth Grahame's "The Reluctant Dragon." Sadly, this is most often seen abridged, but I believe the old edition with the Ernest Shepard illustrations is not abridged. Grahame's prose is challenging.

Do you like poetry? There are some lovely poetry picture books out there, with more fun in the language than you see sometimes in prose for this age. My kids liked, for instance, Charles Causley's "The Tail of the Trinosaur" (Jane Nissen, 2006, about 80 pp, and pictures on every one!), Dennis Webster's and Kim Webster Cunningham's "Absolutely Wild" (David Godine, 2009, about 40 pages, with the most fabulous woodcuts), and David Frampton's "Mr. Ferlinghetti's Poem" (Eerdmans, 2006, more wonderful woodcuts, for which I'm a big sucker!).

Anything there? You might also investigate the Hokusai biography I mentioned on the previous page; also my lads really like Tintin on days when they want stories with lots of pictures.

Hope that helps!

peace
minnie
Posted by: Belle

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 04:45 PM

DS6 loves the Rosco Riley series and has now found Captain Underpants and he loves it...how can you not love attacking toilets with teeth :-) He also loves any of the Roald Dahl books...his favorite movie when he was 4 was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I am thinking about starting him on some of my favorite series (Lion, Witch, Wardrobe...Prince Caspian) and these are way out of his league but was one of my favorite series of books...Madeleine L'Engle's books - A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time....I LOVED her books.
Posted by: Mia

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 05:18 PM

My ds-now-7 read a *lot* of great picture books when he was learning to read -- he taught himself to sight read with picture books. We never did early readers, but he pored over picture books every night!

Some of our favorites:

"Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney:
http://www.amazon.com/Miss-Rumphius-Barb...1685&sr=1-1

"The Three Questions" and "Stone Soup" by Jon J. Muth -- these are fabulous picture books and I can't recommend them highly enough:
http://www.amazon.com/Jon-J-Muth/e/B001H6UCHW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

"Imagine a Night" by Rob Gonsalves:
http://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Night-Rob-...1706&sr=1-1

Shel Siverstein writes wonderful poetry for kids that makes my ds laugh out loud:
http://www.amazon.com/Shel-Silverstein/e/B000AQ15KI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

"The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka:
http://www.amazon.com/True-Story-Three-L...1992&sr=8-1

"Dear Mrs. LaRue" by Mark Teague:
http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Mrs-Larue-Let...2038&sr=1-5

"Scaredy Squirrel" by Melanie Watt (one of ds7's all-time favorites):
http://www.amazon.com/Scaredy-Squirrel-M...2100&sr=1-1

A combo of Captain Underpants and Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins books finally pushed my little guy over the edge, from picture books to chapter books. He also really enjoys (and has re-read many times) the American Girl books -- they're at all not "girly," they just happen to be about girls! smile

He will read chapter books now (very quickly!), but prefers non-fiction almost any day of the week. Have you tried much non-fiction for your ds?
Posted by: BKD

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 05:27 PM

We've just discovered the Zac Power books - not sure if these are available in stores in the States though (am in Australia). My boys (5 and nearly 7) are desperate for them. Zac is a 12 year old spy who races through 24 hour missions in between schoolwork and chores. His older brother Leon invents the gadgets for GIB (Government Investigation Bureau). The books have a reasonable number of diagrams of the gadgets (lava skis, robot octopus/submarine, personal hologram projector etc) and take about 45 minutes to read out loud. I find them rather too much like read-aloud cartoons, but this seems to be a positive thing in the minds of small boys.
Posted by: Mia

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 05:37 PM

Ooh, or what about Graeme Base? I loved "The Sign of the Seahorse" as a 5th grader -- I have to get that one for ds7!

http://www.amazon.com/Sign-Seahorse-Adve...4181&sr=1-9
Posted by: momx2

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/29/09 07:04 PM

A few that DS liked that haven't been mentioned -
Frank Asch's Cardboard Genius series comprised of the following 3 titles:
Star Jumper, Gravity Buster, Time Twister

One he could not put down recently:
Science Fair by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
This book deals with a conspiracy at a gifted school regarding science fair projects and the lengths crazy parents go to ensure that their children succeed.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/31/09 03:45 PM

We've had a big reading week here, as it has been so HOT (well, y'all in Texas or somewhere would laugh at what I call hot, but it has been very very hot for here, anyway, so we've cut back on some of our normal outdoor stuff and read more inside):

Pierre Berton, "The Secret World of Og" (1961; repr. 2002 Doubleday Canada, 160 pp., profusely illustrated in a nice childlike fashion by the author's daughter). Silly, but fun, this is a book written for the author's children, using their names and the names of their pets (Yukon King and Earless Osdick, too funny). Four older children follow their cat and baby brother down a trapdoor into a tunnel under their playhouse, and discover a world of little green men, whose only native word is "Og"; some of the creatures have learned English, though, from picking up comic books and so on left on the lawn or in the playhouse, so they have a limited and comic understanding of humanity. Grade 4ish-5ish reading level, I think.

Beverley Nichols, "The Tree that Sat Down" (first of a trilogy that also includes "The Stream that Stood Still" and "The Mountain of Magic," 1945, currently out of print, but lots of paperbacks from the '70s still available out there, I think). Fairy Tale in the classic mode, with the good people very very good, and the bad 'uns extremely wicked. Miss Judy and her Grannie run a lovely little shop and clinic for animals in the wood on Magic Mountain; bad Sam and bad Old Sam start up a rival shop in an old Ford, where they cheat the animals and try to destroy the competition by recruiting an evil witch named Miss Smith and her three poisonous toads. All turns out well in the end (though even when I was a child, I thought the ending was a bit over the top in a hackneyed sort of a way). The well-drawn characters are probably the strongest feature of the book. For an audience of maybe 6 to 9, say?

Allan Ahlberg, "The Boyhood of Burglar Bill," (Puffin 2008, 180 pp.), the second volume of Ahlberg's memoirs. This is a terrific read, very vividly written--the story of one year (1953) in Ahlberg's childhood, and the scratch team he and his classmates got together to enter in the Coronation Cup football tournament. It's wonderfully funny, with also many poignant moments, and such great writing. (There's a sort of afterword "Part Two" in the last twenty pages or so, that I skipped when reading it aloud to them--a rather cruel prank winds up having tragic consequences for one of Ahlberg's friends, and I didn't think my lads were quite up to that yet.)

David Almond, "My Dad's a Birdman," illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick, 2008, 120 pages, lots and lots of pictures). For younger readers than Almond's other books (the jacket says 4 to 8, but I think you could go either side of that a year or two). A father, grieving the loss of his wife, decides to enter the Great Human Bird Competition (organised by Mr Poop); he collects feathers, sews wings, makes a nest, eats bugs, and practises "flying". His daughter Lizzie tries to snap him out of it, but in the end, decides that entering the competition together would be kindest. Lizzie's Aunt Doreen and her headmaster, Mr Mortimer Mint, are the other characters, who also undergo changes as the story goes along. Like all of Almond's books, this one is about finding joy in darkness, the power of love, and the importance of imagination. Lovely.

And the best for last, David Almond, "Skellig," (Hodder Children's Books, 1998, Delacorte 1999, 182 pp, jacket says ages 8-12). Michael moves into a new house, but his baby sister is very ill, his parents are upset, and he feels powerless to help. He finds someone living in their ramshackle garage; the only person in whom he can confide about the stranger is his neighbour Mina. I don't want to say too much about this one--it is magical, and you should discover it for yourself--but we found this book to be a treasure. Mina shares her love of William Blake with Michael, and the story reminds one of Blake, I must say, with its hovering air of the spiritual and the very great beauty present throughout. Special.

peace
minnie
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 09:27 AM

We read a fun one yesterday: "The Seventh Expert: An Interactive Medieval Adventure," by Mark Oakley and John Mantha (2008, Annick Press, 96 pp.). We've not read this kind of a book before, but it was quite entertaining.

It's 1368, and your village has been swept away in a storm; with six other community leaders, you relocate the survivors to a new village site, and for seven years, you try to ensure the survival of the community. You expend "effort" points on supplies and infrastructure (there's a catalogue at the end of the book), and respond to various random events, determined by rolling a die. Lots of bad things can happen: weather, bandits, plague, taxes (!), battle...The kids found it a challenge to accumulate enough food and so on to get through a winter in the face of all these trials and tribulations!

The book is well-researched; beside the main story, there are informative sidebars about various aspects of 14th-century life, as well as a brief but useful bibliography. Quite a fun way to learn some history!

The authors field-tested the book on grade 7 and 8 students, but it's eminently usable with younger ones, too.

peace
minnie

PS The game sheets are available at the publisher's website: www.annickpress.com . The Seventh Expert has its own microsite there, where the scoresheet can be found.
Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 09:38 AM

minnimarx - you find the best books! We'll have to check out the medieval adventure one.

We've been reading "The Wonder Clock, OR four and twenty marvellous Tales, being one for each hour of the day" by Howard Pyle (written in 1887!). Our library has a great copy. The narrator finds the wonder clock in Father Time's garret. It tells a story for each hour of the day (and in the book each hour is a chapter), and the tales are mixed-up fairy tales and myths. There are fun little poems to start off each hour of the day, by Katherine Pyle. I am surprised by the publication date just because the book is so wonderfully readable. Not the best for sensitive children, as their are some times when a hero gets his eyes put out (so far everyone's gotten his sight back!) Fun little morality tales, but true to many fairy tales, the female characters aren't the strongest.

And when I was double-checking on the date, I found the whole thing here: http://historyofideas.org/toc/modeng/public/PylWond.html (Still more fun for me to have a real book in my hands, though.)
Posted by: kcab

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 12:57 PM

This is nowhere near as high-quality as many of the books listed, but right now DS7 is greatly enjoying Cressida Cowell's series that starts with "How to Train Your Dragon by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III". The series is about a young Viking hero (Viking and hero used very loosely), Hiccup, and his various adventures/misadventures. It's got a good dose of body humor, though not overwhelming to the same extent as Captain Underpants (which DS refuses to read for reasons unknown to me). Hiccup, his dragon, and his best friend are far from the accepted norms for his tribe, but they do manage to succeed at things, eventually, in their own way.

Anyway, DS is enjoying it and I like that - it's a little longer and more complex than the books he's been subsisting on for fiction. I like that it's published in hardcover and the typeface is easily read - that keeps it from setting off the "It's too hard for me to read" alarms in his head. Not sure of the reading level - maybe 3rd/4th grade? DD12 likes the series too and sneaks the books off to read as well.
Posted by: renie1

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 03:00 PM

thanks to everyone who gave me help with advanced picture books! So far I've found some great Graehme Base that my DD7 seems to really love (though they were out of Sign of the Seahorse). I am trying to find a way to print the thread so i have it as a reference , is there a way that anyone knows of?
thanks
irene
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 03:53 PM

Looks like if you go to 'email post' on the first post, you can send that one and all replies. Don't know if it will really work, but worth a look.

Edit - I tried it, and now see a radio button 'entire thread' at the bottom. Worked for me. Good idea, too!

-Chris
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: minniemarx

And the best for last, David Almond, "Skellig," (Hodder Children's Books, 1998, Delacorte 1999, 182 pp, jacket says ages 8-12). Michael moves into a new house, but his baby sister is very ill, his parents are upset, and he feels powerless to help. He finds someone living in their ramshackle garage; the only person in whom he can confide about the stranger is his neighbour Mina. I don't want to say too much about this one--it is magical, and you should discover it for yourself--but we found this book to be a treasure. Mina shares her love of William Blake with Michael, and the story reminds one of Blake, I must say, with its hovering air of the spiritual and the very great beauty present throughout. Special.



Sounds fantastic!!

I've recommended this one before, but must again, as it surely belongs in this thread - the illustrations are jaw dropping, imo.
The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher.
Here is my original post, which also includes several other no-words books that are truly gorgeous.
Grey Lady thread



Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/04/09 07:32 PM

Ooh, Pauli, I like the look of that Howard Pyle book! The lads do really like older books, I must say. We'll look that one out.

kcab, I'd seen Cressida Cowell recommended on Amanda Craig's blog (she reviews children's literature for British newspapers, as well as writing novels herself); it's good to have a recommendation from someone I "know", too! They sound like fun books! (You're back home again now? If so, I hope you're feeling settled back in!)

Irene, we went through a Graeme Base phase here, too--aren't the pictures great? Also, he is very nice about answering fan mail!

I missed the Grey Lady thread the first time, Chris--that sounds lovely! As do several others on that thread--and isn't David Wiesner fun?

peace
minnie
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/05/09 07:20 PM

Well, the lads and I had some beach time today, and it brought this one to mind: "Green Smoke," by Rosemary Manning (1957, repr. Jane Nissen 2008, ~150 pp), a perfect beach story! (Enjoy summer while you can...)

A little girl named Susan is on a beach holiday in Cornwall; in a secret cove, she discovers a lovely creature, R. Dragon by name, who is 1500 years old. (In fact, he lived for a time at the court of King Arthur, a fact which interests Susan very much.) R. Dragon was tamed by St Petroc; he has no teeth, and has very nice manners, so he is not in the least frightening. He is vain, though, and rather greedy (he's very fond of Susan's biscuits and almond buns), but mainly he is full of interesting stories. He also takes Susan on some very exciting adventures, including tea with a mermaid. There are charming drawings by Constance Marshall. It's a book full of jokes and fun--just right for summer!

peace
minnie
Posted by: Raddy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/06/09 07:39 AM

We have just started reading this un-put-downable book
The weirdstone Og Bisinganmen by Alan garner
http://www.amazon.com/Weirdstone-Brising...9348&sr=8-1

may be a little scary 'for the wee ones' - for them best stick to Enid Blyton's Faraway tree - magical
http://www.amazon.com/Faraway-Tree-Stories-Three-Books/dp/1405201711/ref=pd_sim_b_4

Or if you just like looking at pictures
Flotsam by david Weisner
http://www.amazon.com/Flotsam-Caldecott-...9548&sr=1-1
Posted by: Ellipses

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/06/09 08:21 AM


Flotsam is fantastic. This arrived in the school library when my daughter was in fourth and we both went crazy about it and the possibilities. For a picture only book, this is very deep and mind expanding.
Posted by: Nan

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/08/09 09:54 PM

Ooh! A new book thread! We're always in desperate need of new suggestions, so I'll be following this with interest.

DS6 has just (today!) finished the HP series. I noticed that he slowed down a lot after book 3, and I think he dealt with some of the darker, scarier themes by reading more shallowly in the later books. He rereads a lot, so I'm sure he'll get new things from them in subsequent readings.

The Mad Scientists' Club series by Bertrand Brinley was a big hit with DS. Mad Scientists' Club books It features a group of boys who use science as they get in (and out of) mischief. My library doesn't carry them, but Amazon has them, and they've been worth every penny. DS has reread them several times.

The Alvin Fernald series by Clifford Hicks is another favorite here.
Alvin's Secret Code and The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald are two of DS6's often-reread favorites in this series.

Dragon Rider and Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke are two others that DS has really loved. I think Dragon Rider is his all-time favorite book. Dragon Rider features a young boy going off with a dragon as it tries to find a safe place for dragons to live. Lots of magical creatures, very sweet story.

The Sisters Grimm - All of these books have been hits with DS.

The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber was another recent favorite. It's on my shelf to read now that DS enjoyed it so much. I've heard many people say it's one of their all-time favorite children's books, so I think I'd better read it!

Simon Bloom, Gravity Keeper and its sequel by Michael Reisman - As I understand it, the book combines magic with science (especially the laws of physics). That's always a winning combination for DS.

I'd go into more detail, except I haven't read all of them yet. I've given up on previewing books as there's no way I can keep up and still have time to read any of my own books (or do much of anything else).
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/08/09 10:01 PM

Hi, Nan! Welcome! Another book lover--hooray! This board has the most tremendous bunch of people--I'm sure you will like it here a lot (and hey, anybody who loves The Thirteen Clocks is clearly a person of discriminating taste!! Your son might enjoy Thurber's other children's books, too! Many Moons, The White Deer, The Wonderful O...)

The Mad Scientists' Club books are on my wishlist at Chapters--I'm glad to hear they were a hit with your son! I've never heard of the Alvin books, we'll have to check those out.

My oldest adored Dragon Rider, too!

Glad you're here!

peace
minnie
Posted by: Raddy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/15/09 09:13 AM

yay - Mad Scientists Club - laugh out loud funny and loved by all of us here (even if they don't publish them in the Uk and the shipping costs are OTT)
Posted by: Austin

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/16/09 07:09 PM

The Mad Scientists Club is a hoot.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/16/09 10:21 PM

A couple more ideas:

--"Fattypuffs and Thinifers" by Andre Maurois (originally Patapoufs et Filifers, pub. 1941, repr. Jane Nissen in 2001, w/illustrations by Fritz Wegner; 96 pp.). Two brothers, Edmund and Terry, find themselves in the Country Under the Earth, where the two nations of inhabitants, the Fattypuffs and the Thinifers, are at war, over differing philosophies of, shall we say, personal avoirdupois. The boys are forced to take sides in this silly conflict, which escalates into something rather serious, but they help the principals find a way towards mutual understanding and peace. Pointed satire, very funny.

--"My Friend Mr. Leakey," by JBS Haldane, pictures by Quentin Blake (first publ. 1937, repr. by Jane Nissen 2004; 150 pp.). More a collection of short stories (though several of them are linked) than a novel, this book is highly inventive, and just the thing for precocious science-lovers (many of the characters are botanists or physicists or chemists, etc.--my favourite is the physicist Dobbs, who made thousands of pounds yearly from the British railways for carrying underweight luggage--he hooked up hydrogen jets inside his suitcases, which made his suitcases float; an attached electromagnet pulled up the metal plate on the scales, so great piles of weights had to be added to his baggage to get it up to zero. He successfully sued to be compensated for the weight he was not bringing on in his luggage, at the same rate people with overweight bags were charged.)

Several of the stories feature the magician Mr. Leakey, and the utterly logical treatment of the many fantastical happenings gives the book a unique tone. Mr. Leakey has a magic carpet, a pet dragon who breathes fire to grill fish for his dinner, an octopus who waits at the table, and other interesting characters as servants or friends. At one point, he has a costume party at which he magically changes everyone into their costumes: people become an atom of caesium, a comet, a fire engine, an icosahedron, a yak, a tortoise, Shakespeare, etc. Original and fun!

peace
minnie
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/20/09 07:02 PM

I read a great book this week (prereading to see if it were suitable for the lads, but not yet unfortunately.) Susan Cooper's "King of Shadows" (Margaret McElderry Books, 1999, 186 pp, no illustrations) is the story of a gifted child actor named Nat Field, who has been selected for a prestigious summer theatre programme, in which he'll be playing Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He and the rest of the company have gone to London to put on the play at the New Globe; Nat becomes ill, and finds himself transported back to 1599, where he is suddenly playing Puck in the original Globe, costarring with Richard Burbage and Shakespeare himself.

My kids are keen Shakespeareans, and one of them is very enthusiastic about acting, so I had high hopes for this one, and indeed, in a couple years, this is definitely a book I'll look to again. It's too dark for my particular kids right now (Nat has had a difficult childhood, which encompasses the early death of his mother and the suicide of his father, compounded by his having been the person to discover his father's body); the level of detail about Elizabethan England is fascinating, but some of that would be a bit much for my guys too (the bear-baiting for instance). The story is very well-told, though, and there's lots of lovely Shakespeare throughout (especially Dream, of course, but quite a lot of Henry V, too, and some sonnets); another nice feature from our perspective is the extent to which the young people in the story are treated as professionals, always taken seriously and never patronized.

The book says 10 and up, which seems about right to me.

peace
minnie
Posted by: JBDad

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/29/09 04:43 PM

I have not been following this thread that closely, but I did want to mention that our DS6 (who is completely fascinated with chess at the moment) is in love with "Through the Looking Glass". DW suggested it to DS because the chess game plays a major part of the book. I have not read it myself, but it's part of the Alice in Wonderland books. At any rate, DS is really enjoying it to the point of laughing out loud.

Just thought I'd mention it.

JB
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/30/09 09:59 PM

Oh, isn't it great? This has been one of Harpo's most beloved books for the last three years--he's read it over and over. I'm so glad your son is loving it! Isn't it fun when they find something that just speaks to them?

A very good chess-related book for adults is "The Flanders Panel" by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

peace
minnie

PS--JBDad, has your son read Norton Juster's "Phantom Tollbooth" or "The Dot and the Line"? Both fun books for math-loving little ones...
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/12/09 09:22 AM

"Warrior Scarlet" by Rosemary Sutcliff (1957; repr. Farrar Straus Giroux 1994; 207 pp., black and white illustrations) was a terrific read. It's the coming-of-age story of Drem, a boy in Bronze Age Britain; he has only one usable arm, which obviously has profound implications in a hunting culture. He has both failures and successes, very movingly told, as he grows to manhood; the author skilfully weaves much historical detail into the story.

Harpo (8) enjoyed it on his own; it also made an exciting read-aloud for Groucho (6) and Chico (4). I gather from various sources that some of Sutcliff's other books are more suitable for teens (this is the first one we've read; we're a few chapters into Eagle of the Ninth now), but this one was just fine for elementary-aged children.

At the risk of sounding sexist, I think it might grab boys more than girls (though I suppose you never know); gender roles are very starkly delineated, as you might expect, and there is only one female character of much importance to the story.

peace
minnie
Posted by: JBDad

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/12/09 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: minniemarx

A very good chess-related book for adults is "The Flanders Panel" by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

peace
minnie

PS--JBDad, has your son read Norton Juster's "Phantom Tollbooth" or "The Dot and the Line"? Both fun books for math-loving little ones...


somehow I missed this post! I'll check out those books for DS.

JB
Posted by: S-T

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/13/09 03:33 PM

I would include "The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger" and also "Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School" by Louis Sachar for those with interest in Math. smile
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/14/09 04:00 AM

Something fun for Halloween, or anytime - Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Great book of poems that are really funny and clever; most can be sung or are reminiscent of familiar tunes. Written for 6-8yr olds, these had the entire family really laughing! And the illustrations are excellent, too.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/17/09 11:10 AM

I am working on updating my at home library for my gifted DS9. We get most of the everday reading stories from the libary. I'm looking to build more on reference books like math dictionary, enclopedia of animals, ect. I was thinking some of you homeschoolers could give some of your top essentials. I thinking of putting together a box for Xmas. My son has lots of interests-science, math, nature, space, sports, inventions, legos, art, animals, parks, how it is made, how it works, ect.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/17/09 10:02 PM

He may be too old for these, possibly, but we like having a selection of the DK Eyewitness books on the shelves; they're nice for an initial survey of a topic, and the pictures are terrific--but the books aren't great for kids craving real depth in a subject.

The Kingfisher Encyclopedias (of Geography, History, Science, etc.) are also nice to have around.

You can't go wrong with a really good atlas or two, I'd say.

David Macaulay books are always good (The Way Things Work, The Way We Work, Cathedral, City, Pyramid, Mill, etc. etc.). In a similar vein is Bill Slavin's "Transformations: How Ordinary Things are Made."

There are lots of nice art history series for kids: Colleen Carroll's "How Artists See" (animals, heroes, families, etc.--there are twelve of them, I think); the old Metropolitan Museum series of "What Makes a ____ a _____" (Degas, Renoir, etc.--ten all told, I believe); the "Art Fraud Scandal" and "Art Auction Detective" books (there's one more, whose name slips my mind right this minute); Two Can Press has a history through art series that is only three books so far: Knights and Castles, Transportation, and Trails West.

Maybe a couple of fun magazine subscriptions, too? My kids like the science mags "Yes" and "Know", and I am tempted by "Dig" and "Kayak," too.

Anyway, just a couple of ideas for now...

peace
minnie

PS Another thing we've found really invaluable is a series of field guides for our region: trees, rocks, plants, insects, seashore life, pond life, birds, etc. These are heavily used--they were a good investment!
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/18/09 03:44 AM

Just wanted to post that the next Wimpy Kid book is coming out Oct. 12th, for kids who like this series (my ds9 has loved it from the beginning, lots of silly pictures, and apparently really speaks to the 2nd-5th grade crowd).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0810983...5HCJZ1880JPDJN8


Don't want to get the thread off the topic of good reference books, that is a great question, onthegomom. I am curious to see more recommendations.

So far, we enjoy a set of encyclopedias and the monthly National Geographic. (Ds was gifted with a life subscription by an uncle, a great gift!)

Ds is more of a fiction guy, however, so dramatic-facty books are more appealing at the moment, such as any of the 'Guiness World Record' books, and well-illustrated books like Minnie mentions on how stuff works, such as castles. Books with cut-aways and cross sections, too. I think there are many good books if you google on 'cross-sections', the ones from DK are very cool.
Various Cross Section books

Lastly, we have just ordered this reference on race car engineering:
Race Car Engineering & Mechanics

Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/18/09 09:21 PM

My DS9 is just crazy for the whimpy kid books. write more write more!!!!!!!
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/19/09 05:35 PM

Here's some great ones:
http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/Kids/SeriesDetail.aspx?PSId=224
Here is some great books on space for preschool to early elementary.

Let's read and find out science books, The Planets in Our Solar System
(This is a large series, I've found these used and at the library & on ebay , we can't get enough of these)

Little Rocket's special Star by Julie Sykes

If you decide to go to the moon by mcnulty

On the moon by milbourne
Posted by: Mingo

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/22/09 09:01 PM

I may have missed them, but a few from my childhood that *stick* are the Henry and Ribsy books by Beverly Cleary. I'm not a *huge* Cleary fan, but I always thought Ribsy was worth my time. smile

And don't forget Harriet The Spy (Fitzhugh). I used to hide under the living room sofa, "spying" on my parents, and wishing we had a dumb waiter....!

A newer one - the Dragon of Lonely Island by Rebecca Rupp. Fun story about three children who unwillingly (initially) spend a summer on a remote island at the home of their aunt. They discover an attic room that hints at the presence of something mysterious on the island - a dragon. They find him and he relates several moral tales, historically based, that help the children resolve some problems. One tale is about their aunt as well.

Very appropriate for the younger set - the stories are not harrowing, just adventures. The dragon is friendly. The follow-up book is equally appropriate, but not quite as strong a story.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/25/09 05:35 AM

Chris1234 thank you for the cartoon strip book reccomendation - Calvin and Hobbs

They are great! very funny. Some of the stuff remind me of the drama in my own son's life. I want to point that out to him at the right moment. Calvin's imagination is so inline with my DS9.
EVERYBODY SHOULD GET THIS.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/25/09 06:10 AM

Onthegomom - Gosh, you are so welcome!! I can't imagine going through life without having read at least a bit of Calvin. Don't be surprised if almost everyone on this board DOES have these books!! And don't be surprised if your kiddo ends up sleeping with the darn things....my ds9 has several, and some are so worn out we'll be getting him a couple new ones.
(Dh and I love them, too, lol!)
Posted by: Kareninminn

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/25/09 08:33 AM

Originally Posted By: renie1
Can someone on the board recommend some high quality picture books for younger kids who read at advanced grade level. My DS7 just finished first grade, reading level is about R-S for guided reading or about 5-6th grade. He will read chapter books if they are intensely interesting, but continually requests picture books. He even asked if i could get chapter books tha have illustrations on every page!! (tall order).. My local librarian told us there were lots of picture books designed for older readers but we've only found a few at this point. Patricia Polacco seems like a good fit but the story i picked quickly for him is too mature (deals with Holocaust)..

irene


My DS6 has no interest in chapter books, he prefers pictures, his reading level is ahead but his interest level is age appropriate and hes intimidated by too much text. We're doing a lot of graphic novels and he loves them. He's reading Babymouse now, it's very cute. The librarian recommended Bone. I'm not sures if my DS is ready for them but yours probably us. We started one called Joey Fly: Private Eye, my DS didn't care for it but I think it's better for a kid a bit older.

Posted by: bh14

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/25/09 02:29 PM

Try getting some of the EASY chapter books with pictures. They will be below his level, but perhaps if you can get him interested, he will progress to ones without pics. My daughter enjoyed the Ready Freddy series of books. When their were pics, on each one was a hidden word "Fin" (*because the main character loves sharks). She enjoyed having to look for the hidden word in the pic. We could easily finish the book in 30 min. maybe an hour, but it was better than a picture book even though it was an easy read. Just a thought. My daughter is 7 also. Again, it is way below what she can read, but she finds the series comical.
Posted by: CAMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/25/09 04:19 PM

My DS (1st grade) reads at a late 4th grade level but also prefers graphic novels and picture books. He loves Wimpy Kid, Magic Pickle, Herbert's Wormhole, The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich and a whole bunch of that type. I haven't had too much trouble finding books with more advance reading that still has pictures.
Posted by: Taminy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 09/26/09 10:46 PM

When it comes to picture books, just browse the library and you should come away with handfuls of great books. It seems to me that most picture books are designed for read aloud by adults, so the language is not oversimplified in the longer ones, and the reading levels are in fact relatively high. A couple of great picture book authors (other than Patricia Polacco):

Eve Bunting (although some have mature topics). I personally love the book Dandelions.

Allen Say

Tomie DePaola

David Mclimans (these are newer books--one is alphabet, one numbers. Each features endangered animals. Gorgeous artwork, brief but informative text on each page about the animal)

http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Wild-Caldecott-Honor-Book/dp/0802795633

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Hip Cat
http://www.amazon.com/Hip-Cat-Jonathan-London/dp/0811814890

Oh--and we love this author too: Jonathan London. In addition to the popular "Froggy" books, he also has some beautiful books that feature animals in the wild. Here's a link to one of his books:

http://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Gray-Wolf-Jon...803&sr=1-14

We also love Kevin Henkes, David McPhail, Robert Munsch....

So many books...so little time [sigh]

Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/05/09 03:17 AM

Just wanted to say 'Thanks!' to everyone who mentioned/recommended 'George's Secret Key to the Universe'.

I got this for DS9 a couple weeks ago, and he sort of sniffed at it, but about a week ago I finally got him to crack it, and he just LOVED it. He thought it was hilarious. I thought he'd enjoy the science aspect of it, but had no idea it was so enjoyably funny!!! That really seems to be the kicker for ds, a really great laugh-out loud book, plus SCIENCE. He was in hog heaven. Yay!! Thanks ALL smile

When he saw it was a series, he was soooo excited - I have to go out today and get the next one, hope I can find it easily.

Oh, and it was just so gratifying to have him ask me what neutron star was yesterday, and I actually had an ok answer for him, as I've been doing some reading on the subject as well! Fun stuff. laugh
Posted by: bh14

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/11/09 07:29 AM

Our two most recent fav's are The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes and The Inventions of Hugo Cabret. My DD7 read both of these in 2 days (would have sat down and read the entire books at once if we didn't have other things that needed to be done wink...) I listened to Liberty Aimes (it was VERY GOOD and I'd be surprised if it doesn't become a movie.) I didn't listen to Hugo Cabret but my DD read it so fast and took it everywhere that it must have been good. VERY LARGE BOOK (over 500 pages, but over 200 illustrations as well. So.. about 250-300 pages of text.) She loved it she said. Liberty Aimes is ages 8-12 and Hugo Cabret grade level equivalent is 5.2.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/11/09 08:02 AM

Originally Posted By: chris1234
Just wanted to say 'Thanks!' to everyone who mentioned/recommended 'George's Secret Key to the Universe'.



http://www.georgessecretkey.com/

you may want to check out the website too. My DS9 loved those books
Posted by: Botchan

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/11/09 12:10 PM

Wow! Cool site! Thanks, onthegomom!
Posted by: Lorel

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/14/09 05:48 AM

A suggestion for girls-

DD 9 and I have enjoyed the Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick. These books are light, yet fun, and each involves a core group of four girls who are in grades 6-8 as the books progress. One of the girls is academically very advanced, and takes high school math while in middle school, another is a gifted writer, the third girl is a gifted athlete, and finally, there is a fashion diva who designs her own clothes. Each novel involves a different book club selection. The first book has the girls reading Little Women, the second Anne of Green Gables, the third Daddy Long Legs.

I haven't heard anyone talk about these, and I think there are many young readers who might like to read them!
Posted by: lanfan

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/14/09 06:31 AM

A couple more suggestions.

My daughter loves Dick King Smith - "The School Mouse", "Babe the Gallant Pig", "Aristotle" etc etc...Many of them have lots of pictures some are more traditional chapter books.

We also love Kate Dicamillio. "Mercy Watson" is a newer series of picture books. She also has longer chapter books. "Because of Winn Dixie", "The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane" etc.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/14/09 08:24 AM

You're absolutely right, CFK--great suggestion.

Another excellent series for kids in the same boat is Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries (74 in total, I believe); I do think Archie Goodwin is one of the great comic voices in American literature!

peace
minnie
Posted by: bh14

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/17/09 07:11 PM

My DD just read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane as well. She really liked it. We just started the Mysterious Benedict Society. So far, it's very interesting! She's 7 and I thought I'd read a little with her to see how it is for her since the RL is 6.3 (though I don't put much stock into those since they seem to be way off in my eyes, Or else my view is scewed... one of the two wink.)

Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/17/09 07:28 PM

A little while back, we read Rosemary Sutcliff's "The Eagle of the Ninth" (1954, repr 2004 OUP, ~300 pp.); it's a terrific story of Marcus, a young Roman soldier who puts himself at grave risk to save his men during an attack on the fort which is his first command posting. He is discharged from the Roman army afterward with a career-ending injury, but finds new purpose in life when he decides to try to retrieve the missing eagle that had been lost when his dead father's legion disappeared in the north of Britain. He travels north of Roman territory on a dangerous quest in search of the eagle, with his friend (and manumitted slave), Esca. Marcus grows in maturity over the course of the story; his friendship with Esca, his relationship with his uncle Aquila, and his courtship of a British girl, Cottia, are very tenderly handled. It's very well-written and enjoyable--all of my kids liked it a lot.

Hopping ahead a few hundred years, another good one (for 8 or 9 and up, I'd say) is Eloise McGraw's "The Striped Ships," the story of a Saxon girl, Juliana, immediately before and during the year following the Norman Conquest of 1066 (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1991, ~225 pp). As it is essentially a book about war and its effect on children, this one is rather darker than our norm around here (Juliana's family loses everything, her father dies, she sees one of her friends killed, and there is an implied attempted [but thwarted] r@pe). It sounds in summary darker than it really is, though, because the dark bits are very carefully written, and because Juliana is consistently brave and resourceful throughout, as well as very adaptable; she gets her young brother to the monastery in Canterbury which he longs to join, and she finds her own way to a new and independent life, as she is taken on at the workroom where a team is embroidering the Bayeux Tapestry.

We're rereading an old favourite right now: Farley Mowat's "Owls in the Family" (1961, repr. McClelland & Stewart, ~100 pp). This one's a Canadian classic--everyone here of a certain age whom I know has read this at some point or another. It's the true story of a small-town Saskatchewan boy who rescues two orphaned baby great horned owls, and the adventures he has with them. Lots of funny incidents, a snapshot of a way of life that has disappeared (the story takes place in the early 1930s), and engagingly written, like all of Mowat's many books, for both children and adults. Lovely for any age.

peace
minnie
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/18/09 10:36 AM

http://cty.jhu.edu/ctyonline/languagearts/yrml.html

In the books Matilda by Roald Dahl, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling, and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, a young person learns the joys and pitfalls of acquiring unexpected powers


I just discovered a new source to find reading for my DS9. Look at what gifted online classes are teaching. I gave one example above. We have not used these yet.

Other sources are school summer reading lists,I find these on school websites and library websites and find books in catalogues/websites like http://www.montessoriservices.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=91_196

Finding books has been a big challenge for me. Hope this is helpful to someone.
Posted by: OHGrandma

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/24/09 07:53 AM

iWoz by Steve Wozniak, I picked it up for GS10 to use for a source for a report. He's loving it!
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/03/09 10:18 AM

Thirty days has september by Chris Stevens, cool ways to remember stuff.

I found this to be a very unitimidating source for history, geography, spelling, and math. It's only 1/2" think.

I think this would be a great book to give my DS9 before he starts his online writing class this summer. He does not have much experience with puctuation yet. This would be a great intro. and reference.
Posted by: Movingup6

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/06/09 06:59 AM

My DS7 used to love the Droon series, but now has moved on to Guardians of Ga'Hoole and the Dragon Slayers Academy books. The Guardian books are intense, and the DSA books are hysterically funny. He alternates between the two. -- FYI: I just heard that they are making a Guardians of Ga'Hoole movie that will be out next fall. I think it's great when the kids can read the books first and then compare them to the movies.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/06/09 07:09 AM

My son has been into the secrets of Droon. He will probally finish the series.
Posted by: BKD

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/18/09 09:39 PM

A quick thankyou to Minniemarx (I think it was your recommendation?) - we're a few chapters into Ned Kelly and the City of Bees and DS7 has pronounced it The Best Book We've Ever Read. Wow - take that J.K & Enid.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/23/09 08:33 AM

You're welcome! I'm so glad he's enjoying it!

peace
minnie
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/28/09 01:49 PM

I haven't been around much lately (worrying about me mum), but thought I'd jump back in with a quickie here...

Probably too well-known even to need a mention (but I've never minded being redundant!) is Robert O'Brien's "Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" (around 240 pages, I think, and maybe early middle-school reading level?). I read it to the lads a couple of weeks ago, and they loved it. Mrs Frisby (a mouse) has four children, one of whom is too ill to go outdoors, and moving day (when the mice leave the garden for safer summer quarters) is fast approaching, with the spring plowing coming soon. She asks some rats for help, which they gladly give.

The rats are escaped laboratory animals, with extremely enhanced lifespan and intelligence due to the experimental drugs they've been given; the story, in very many ways, is an extended meditation on the ethical implications of superior intelligence, and thus probably an apt read for our collective offspring on this board. I especially liked the rats' decision to leave the easy life that is theirs by virtue of their tapping into the farmer's electricity and water supply for a more difficult but more rewarding existence out in the wilderness where they will have to make it on their own--I want the boys to see the value of having to work hard for something, and I thought this book's message was a good one in that regard.

I read this book as a child, but was too phobic about rodents to enjoy it much--am so glad to have found it again, in a state of greater equanimity about small critters!

peace
minnie
Posted by: vicam

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 12/02/09 10:30 AM

My son read the Droon books in one night. Currently he is hooked on the Ga'Hoole books he is on book 9 out of 15 in 2 weeks. He loves them.

For humor try any of the Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle Books. She is hysterical in how she handles problem children.
Posted by: kiwi mum

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 12/03/09 02:10 AM

Hi all,
I am new to this and have already lost a post I typed...Just found the forum and am loving this particular thread.
I use the book depository for 99% of our book purchases as it is so convenient and the selection is amazing.

The Book Depository

I know that those of you in the US have Amazon, however this site is British and has FREE worldwide delivery and it is very fast!! You should be able to find any Enid Blyton books here that are difficult to source in the US.

Books we are currently reading - my dd8 loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and as a read aloud to dd8 and dd6, we all enjoyed The Mysterious Benedict society.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 01/16/10 05:58 PM

A couple of our Christmas successes were due to folks here, so this is just a note to thank the recommenders (I think Raddy and Iron Mum) of Clive King's "Stig of the Dump"--brilliant!

Also thanks to Taminy (I think) who mentioned the Melendy books--also enjoyed here.

Hope all are well--I haven't been able to be around here much lately.

peace
minnie

Posted by: OHGrandma

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/10 03:13 PM

Bringing up this thread again. We've hit some real doldrums for finding reading material. DS10 has read just about every thing currently popular with the 9 to 15 year olds, that I'd allow! Tonight I picked up three books in the 'The Cat Who...' series. I did get the first one in the series and he started with that one. He loves it! Woohoo! Not only a new series, and a big one, but a new genre, adult mysteries!
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/10 04:08 PM

I may have mentioned this before when we were going to read it...but DS finally did read it and really enjoyed it. "George's secret key to the universe" by Stephen Hawking. He thought it was great...and the pictures are really cool too. He is already reading parts of it again after he just read it. Also reading the lion witch and the wardrobe now and he really likes it. Does anyone have any other recommendations for books that are kind of like "the lion witch and the wardrobe?" or like either of those. He is into those fantasy type ones...but he is still 5 so it can't be too mature or scary. He hasn't been scared by a book yet or anything, just don't really want to go there yet.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/10 10:39 PM

OHGrandma, so glad he found something he likes! Those are pretty fun ones--I was a ten-year-old mystery fiend myself (and I haven't really grown out of it)! When he runs out of those, you might try Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series--perfect for that age and stage, I think. I also liked Perry Mason at that age (though it seems to me that there may be some more adult-type situations in those than in NW).

Shellymos, a possibility or two after the Narnia books might be Edward Eager's books, or LM Boston's Green Knowe books. Both fantasy series, but on the less scary side as those kinds of books go. (The Green Knowe ones are more suspenseful/mysterious than the Eager ones, but still well within my personal comfort zone for young-kid scariness.) "Tom's Midnight Garden" by Philippa Pearce is another excellent fantasy choice.

I would say Lloyd Alexander's Prydain chronicles are too scary for 5, but some of his other books might suit--Time Cat, for instance.

Some kids seem pretty taken with Cornelia Funke's fantasies (Harpo was keen on her books a few years ago); I haven't really warmed up to them myself yet, but they might be worth a go, too.

peace
minnie
Posted by: Austin

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/10 10:47 PM

OOOH, I forgot about Nero Wolfe!! How about Hercule Poirot? Or George Smiley...

This I enjoyed at that age.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye,_Mr._Chips


Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/10 11:15 PM

I still reread all of Nero Wolfe once a year; it's one of my summer rituals, man being a creature of habit! There's so much fun stuff there--the orchids, the haute cuisine, the love for New York, baseball, the passion for words--and truly do I think that Archie is one of the great, great comedic voices in American literature. The mysteries themselves are often not so mysterious, but the writing is so very good. I even have the cookbook!

Raymond Chandler, too, OHG!

Oh, and purist about such things though I normally am, I do very much like Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell novels. The first one in particular (The Beekeeper's Apprentice) I can see really appealing to our kids here.
Posted by: Trillium

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/10 11:28 PM

I just finished "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" (http://www.amazon.com/Sweetness-Bottom-Pie-Flavia-Mystery/dp/0385343493) and am planning on handing it over to my dd9 next. It's a mystery, set around 1950, and has a precocious 11-year-old chemist/poisoner as a heroine. It's fairly predictable, as far as murder mysteries go, but Flavia, the heroine, is simply delightful. I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to want to set up a chemistry lab in the house after she's done with the book.
Posted by: OHGrandma

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/20/10 06:57 AM

Thanks Minnie,and others, I'd forgotten about Nero Wolf & Raymond Chandler. Somehow, I'd completely missed Laurie R. King, that looks appealing to me. GS10 has hit a stage where he likes the main characters to be male, or at least one of the main character to be male. He may try King's 'Mary Russell' if I read them, he loves discussing books!

I may try a few Agatha Christie's, too.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/20/10 11:20 AM

How kind of you, gratified3, thank you. You all have been so generous and welcoming here, and I have so enjoyed the feeling of community; I sadly have nothing at all to contribute when it comes to more important issues like dealing with schools or testing, but I thought maybe I could make a small contribution over here instead. Books have been my good friends for a long time!

OHG, I wonder if your grandson would like Ellis Peters? I love the Brother Cadfael ones, and Harpo has started reading some of them, too (in his case, sparked more by his interest in history than by an interest in mystery, per se). She also had a series with a teenage boy (Dominic Felse) and his police detective father that might well be appropriate.

Another group of mysteries where the sex and violence are not much in evidence are the Josephine Tey books--period pieces, very well-written, with a Scotland Yard inspector (Alan Grant) for her detective. There are about six of them, I think: The Daughter of Time (a great historical mystery), A Shilling for Candles, The Franchise Affair, To Love and Be Wise, The Man in the Queue, Miss Pym Disposes--those are all I can remember right now; Miss Pym Disposes is set in a girls' school, and thus may not be of too much interest for him, but some of the others might appeal.

I like Eric Wright's Inspector Charlie Salter mysteries, too, though there is a certain amount of wry musing about middle age that might strike a ten year-old a little oddly, perhaps. They are quite good books, though, with interesting characters and situations; Salter has two teenage sons, so spends a certain amount of time in their world in some of the books, which might make those books interesting to a young boy.

peace
minnie
Posted by: MegMeg

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/20/10 01:34 PM

Gotta join in here. I have a number of favorites that rarely make it onto "best kids books lists." They vary in how advanced they are, but they are all ones I enjoy re-reading as an adult!

The Silver Crown
, by Robert O'Brien, is much better than Mrs. Frisby. It does have some unnerving parts, though.

Finn Family Moomintroll
, by Tove Janson. The other moomintroll books are quite dark, but this one is just a delight.

Bill Bergson, Master Detective, by Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi books.

The Gammage Cup, by Carol Kendall. Somewhat marred by a standard kill-the-bad-guys ending that is unworthy of how brilliant the rest of it is.

Harriet the Spy. I would have hated the realism of this as a kid, but I knew kids who adored it, and as an adult I really appreciate how great it is.

Carbonel, King of the Cats
, by Barbara Sleigh.

Diamond in the Window
, by Jane Langton.

The Changeling and The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. These two are far and away her best. The Egypt Game has one genuinely frightening bit, and The Changeling moves into teenage themes towards the end (disaffected teens committing vandalism, that sort of thing).

Louly, by Carol Ryrie Brink, author of Caddie Woodlawn.

While Mrs. Coverlet was Away
, by Mary Nash.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories
, by Salman Rushdie.

And as long as we're recommending mystery series, there's the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy Sayers.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/02/10 06:07 PM

Hi, I searched Bernard Evslin on the forum and did not find any reference, so I want to recommend this author to kids who have read and loved the Percy Jackson books. Evslin has written over 70 books on greek and other myths, but mainly greek. The ones I've seen range from 6th-9th grade reading levels. We just found a pile of these at the library and ds9 is delighted! There is a 'Monsters of Mythology' series which seems to have 25 books in it, so that should hold him for a while.
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/04/10 04:14 PM

Thanks Minnie for the suggestions..I had forgotten about Edward Eager...we read a book a while back that DS5 liked...half magic I think. He thought it was pretty funny. Definitely will try some more of those. Headed to the library in the morning and quite excited about it. Looking on the online catalog tonight to plan out the trip. Somehow with a 5yo and 2yo you can't go in and then look for books. It doesn't work that way. : )
Posted by: intparent

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/04/10 08:04 PM

Several mentions of Enid Blyton early in the thread with comments that her books are out of print. Many are still in print in the UK; I couldn't let my children miss out on "The _____ of Adventure" series, so those we couldn't find from the library, I had a friend's "mum" buy in England and ship here. You can also purchase via Amazon UK (but you will probably have a foreign transaction fee, and call your credit card company before you order, or they may reject the transaction). Hefty shipping, but for a great book... And I think I picked up one or two used on the internet in the US.

Others my Ds really liked that haven't been mentioned yet:

Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan - About kids helping smuggle gold out of Norway on their sleds during WWII. The book blurb claims it is based on a true story, but I have been reading up on WWII in Norway and haven't found any references yet. But it is still a thrilling story. I think gifted D read it in 2nd grade, maybe.

Bill Bergson and the White Rose Rescue, by Astrid Lindgren (someone mentioned the other Bill Bergson book above, but this one is my favorite). A little scary, but very thrilling. One of those "kids on their own against dangerous grownup" stories. With a Scandinavian flair.

The Case of the Silver Egg, by Desmond Skirrow. About a club of boys in England who rescue a kidnapped scientist and his invention. The boys are obviously gifted, so our kids would find it an especially fun read smile

For picture books, our all time favorite was "I, Crocodile" by Fred Marcellino. It is a hilarious account of a crocodile brought back to Paris by Napoleon. Smart, sly, and funny.

For early teen girls: The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie King. It is about a 13 year old girl who becomes Sherlock Holmes' apprentice. Again, I think my D loved it so much because she is very like the gifted female girl in the story. There are several more in the series, but that is the one that D read until it fell apart.

And for those who mentioned the Moomintrolls -- D20 and I are going to Scandinavia this summer, and it is the 65th anniversary of the first publication of those books. We were trying to pick which ferry line to take from Helsinki to Stockhom, and the deal was clinched when we found out that Moomintroll characters are riding on the Silja line all summer. We didn't want to miss that!
Posted by: matmum

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/04/10 10:48 PM

Doesn't seem to be any shortage of Enid Blyton books in print here either.

Might be worth a look for those that are interested. I don't know how the exchange rate stacks up but I think it would generally be cheaper when compared to the pound.

http://www.dymocks.com.au/Search/results...Ntt=enid+blyton

http://www.thenile.com.au/search.php?s=enid+blyton

Posted by: kec

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/05/10 07:57 AM

My DS8 just finished the Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series by William Boniface and was disappointed that there was not a book four. They are fun and well written and the main character - Ordinary Boy - uses his brain to make up for the fact that he is the only one in town who does not have a super power. He has interesting discussions with others about such ideas as how is it he is considered ordinary if he is different from everyone else.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/06/10 08:21 AM

DS9 just read Redwall. He said it was not too scarey for him. He is a sensitive child. Are the author's other books with the mouse character about like this one?

Posted by: GM5

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/06/10 09:26 AM

Okay, I have been trying to make my way through this thread and found a couple of ideas for my GD who is 5, almost 6. She reads at at least 4th grade level and reads a lot of non-fiction, BUT for fiction still prefers books with a lot of pictures AND with animals as the characters. I'm going to try the Cat Club books and Scaredy Squirrell mentioned. Does anyone have any other suggestions for Picture Books with animals - she is also very sensitive so no tragic/scary story lines. She especially likes books with humor although not necessary. Thanks
Posted by: Lan

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/06/10 11:08 AM

Thanks for the great suggestions. I already requested some books from this thread.


DS8 is an avid fantasy reader. Here's the list of books he's read this school year. Sorry, can't give any reviews since I gave up keeping up reading with him.

Edge Chronicles
The Stoneheart Trilogy
http://www.amazon.com/Stoneheart-Trilogy...5745&sr=1-3
Dragons in Our Midst
http://www.amazon.com/Circles-Seven-Drag...5869&sr=1-2
Dragon Keepers Chronicle
http://www.amazon.com/DragonSpell-Dragon...5971&sr=1-1
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series
http://www.amazon.com/Alchemyst-Secrets-...6034&sr=1-3
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
warriors
Guardians of Ga'hoole
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Trouble at Timpetill
http://www.amazon.com/Trouble-at-Timpeti...6273&sr=1-1

The Roman Mysteries
http://www.amazon.com/Enemies-Jupiter-Roman-Mysteries/dp/1596430486/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

These books are between 4th to 7th grade reading level.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 04:58 PM

Hi, GM5!

Some picture books (generally below her reading level, though) with nice illustrations, animals as central characters, not sad or scary, and some funny...I hope some of these might appeal:

Chris Wormell, Henry and the Fox, George and the Dragon, Two Frogs (brilliant illustrations, easy text, peerlessly funny)

James Marshall, George and Martha books, Fox books (easy readers, very witty)

Barbara Reid, The Subway Mouse (really interesting plasticine illustrations--nice sweet little story about taking risks to make a better life for oneself); also The Golden Goose, and The Party (no animals in this one, though)

Jon Muth, Zen Shorts, Zen Ties, The Three Questions (reinterpretations for children of classic Buddhist tales, haiku form, and a Tolstoy story, respectively; nice watercolour illustrations; good for the thoughtful child)

David Wiesner, The Three Little Pigs (self-referential telling of the classic; hilarious and clever); also Tuesday has animal protagonists

Mary Azarian, Barn Cat (a counting book, but with gorgeous woodcuts--worth it for the pictures!)

Tim Wynne-Jones and Eric Beddows, Zoom at Sea, Zoom Away, Zoom Upstream (delicate pencil drawings, exciting and rather surreal adventures of an intrepid cat, in search of his missing uncle)

Paul Owen Lewis, Storm Boy, Frog Girl (two quite similar tales drawn from Kwa'kwa'ka'wakw themes of the relationship of humans to animals, and our responsibilities to the natural world)

Helen Cooper, Tatty Ratty (adventures of a toy rabbit, gone missing from his little girl--gorgeous pictures); Pumpkin Soup (three animal friends quarrel and make up; again, brilliantly imaginative illustrations)

Marjorie Flack, Angus and the Cat, Angus and the Ducks, Angus Lost (really for quite little ones, but very funny--good at bedtime)

Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, Ferdinand the Bull (a classic, with a great message about being true to oneself)

Ezra Jack Keats, Whistle for Willie, Pet Show, Hey Cat, Over in the Meadow (again really for littles, but sweet--I love the open-endedness of the stories and the textured feeling of the illustrations)

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale, Room on the Broom, Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, et al (these two are an industry, but the books are very clever and lots of fun)

Beatrix Potter's books of course are so beautiful, and a nice little size for small hands; the text in several of them is actually very advanced (The Tailor of Gloucester, for instance)

Kenneth Grahame, The Reluctant Dragon (not to be missed!)

Some chapter books with several pictures and animals as central characters (and much closer to her real reading level than the picture books I mentioned) that I can think of include a lot of the classics:

-EB White's Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan;

-CS Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe--a bit too scary at the end?--The Horse and his Boy is less scary, I'd say;

-Sheila Burnford's The Incredible Journey;

-Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows;

-not enough pictures, probably, but TH White's The Sword in the Stone is completely brilliant--much harder than 4th, though--a good read-aloud?;

-Carolyn Sherwin Bailey's Miss Hickory (the heroine is actually a doll, but interacts primarily with animals--slightly worrying at the end, but it all turns out all right, I always thought--and I read it a lot at that age);

-Thornton Burgess--I read several at her age and liked them well enough, but I find them really unbearable now--take a look and see what you think?

-Dick King-Smith wrote mostly animal stories (the Sheep-Pig, etc.)

-You already mentioned the Cat Club books--we have loved those here. Also The Voyage of QV66 (Penelope Lively)--but that one has not very many pictures.

I'll put my thinking toque on, and see what else I can come up with...

peace
minnie
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 05:10 PM

Well, I had a couple of quick afterthoughts:

-there are Margery Sharpe's Miss Bianca books, which I read a lot at that age--I reread one recently, though, and was surprised at how scary I thought it was (also rather twee, I'm afraid). You might preread one or two (The Rescuers is the first one) and see what you think.

-JP Martin's Uncle books are really rather fun (Uncle is an elephant), some pictures, not scary at all, quite amusing in a wry sort of way.

-A Cricket in Times Square is another classic. Garth Williams illustrations, and I'm forgetting the author for a minute--George Selden or something like that?

-Christie Harris's Mouse Woman books are terrific (retellings of traditional Haida tales).

-Hugh Lofting's Dr. Dolittle is an oldie but goodie (and there are editions out now that clean up some of the racist bits, thankfully-you may still want to preread, just in case).

-there's always Aesop's Fables, and Kipling's Just So Stories--lots of lovely illustrated versions of these.

-I haven't read it since I was a child, but isn't Eleanor Estes' Ginger Pye about a dog?

-my little animal lovers loved Farley Mowat's Owls in the Family and The Dog who Wouldn't Be (a boy is the protagonist in both cases, but the [true] stories are completely centered on his relationship with the animals in the titles)

peace
minnie
Posted by: Littlewisestone

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 05:53 PM

Does anybody know of a beginning chapter book/series (to read aloud) about horses? My daughter is really into horses and I think she'd enjoy hearing stories about them. They cannot be too advanced as she is only 3.5 yrs. However, her comprehension is somewhere between 3rd grade and 4th. Soo... if anyone has any suggestions... I'd appreciate it!
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 06:54 PM

Littlewisestone, I've not read any of these myself, but someone I know and love recommends Fidra Books' list for reprinted horse-book classics (www.fidrabooks.com).

Hope that helps!

peace
minnie
Posted by: NCPMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 07:07 PM

I posted this on another thread about books, but thought I'd share it here, too, might help people looking for specific books. Go to www.scholastic.com - click on the teacher tab, and then "book wizard", and you can search for books in many different ways. Check it out - it's cool ! smile
Posted by: GM5

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 08:54 PM

Minniemarx - thank you so much for all of the suggestions. I will be very busy searching out some of these - hopefully the library will have some of them. We go through a lot of books and this really gives me some great ideas.
Posted by: GM5

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/07/10 08:59 PM

Mia, GD5 and I read "Scaredy Squirell" tonight for a bedtime story and she absolutely loved it. Thanks for the suggestion.

One of her recent favorites was Groundhog Weather School - really cute!
Posted by: coelacanth

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/08/10 05:51 PM

My children, DD6 and DD8, just finished

Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman.

I read it too to make sure it was appropriate for my sensitive DD and it was not scary at all. The writing was very good (no surprise given the author), especially for a J book. I found the book a little on the girly side, but my DS said "Mom, are there any more books like this?"

This is not an animal or picture book, but good if you need safe well written novels for your precocious 6 year old.
Posted by: GM5

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/16/10 07:23 AM

Coelacanth - thanks for the recommendation - I'll check it out.
Posted by: Trillium

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/28/10 01:34 PM

Quote:
For early teen girls: The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie King. It is about a 13 year old girl who becomes Sherlock Holmes' apprentice. Again, I think my D loved it so much because she is very like the gifted female girl in the story. There are several more in the series, but that is the one that D read until it fell apart.


Has anyone read through the whole series? DD9 just read the first book, loved it, and I know she's going to want to read more. Is there anything inappropriate for a pre-teen that I need to be aware of as we work our way through the books?
Posted by: intparent

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/28/10 01:46 PM

I read them all (and am the OP about my D reading them). Eventually Holmes falls for her and marries her. But if I remember correctly, there is really no s** (sorry, posting at work smile ), I think a kiss is about it. Although I believe the book that happens in has Russell (the girl) becoming a heroin addict in the hands of evil captors, and Holmes rescues her. There are definitely scary moments in the books. My D was probably 12 when she read them. She is not a particularly sensitive kid in that respect, so it was okay for her. So it depends on your daughter. The newest one just came out yesterday, my D is begging for a trip to the bookstore!
Posted by: crazydaisy

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/29/10 07:05 AM

Val,

Has she read the Rainbow Fairy books?

My dd6 loved those when she was 4. They are pretty fluffy! No real need to understand complex social situation but enough pages to feel like a chapter book. There about a million of them, and you may tire of the plot, but she probably won't if she enjoys fantasy.

Now my daughter is into some heavier reading, although still very much into fantasy still.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 05/12/10 06:27 PM

Optical illusions : the science of visual perception / Al Seckel.

We just borrowed this from the library. I had a fun time looking at this with DS9. try it.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 05/26/10 12:05 PM

Just got this in the mail, looks pretty good for my 9 year old, but we'll see.
"Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham. I don't usually get too into his novels, but I thought it would be a good read for a kid who likes to argue (a lot).

Let me know if you've checked this out and like or don't like it. I have read a few pages and so far seems ok.
Posted by: Mama22Gs

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 06/03/10 07:22 AM

I just read a book review by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post for, "A Little Book of Language" by David Crystal. Might be interesting for those of your DC (and adults too) who are logophiles.

Quote:
Recognizing a winning concept, Yale has now followed Gombrich's history with "A Little Book of Language," by the eminent and prolific linguist David Crystal. Best known for the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and "The Stories of English," Crystal here writes for the true beginner, but does so with his usual clarity and authority, as he ranges from ancient etymologies to modern text-messaging. The chapters -- again 40 of them -- are made doubly engaging by Jean-Manuel Duvivier's frolicsome, highly stylized black-and-white illustrations


Here's a link to the full review:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/02/AR2010060204513.html

Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 06/03/10 07:52 AM

Well now, that looks perfect! Thanks a lot, Mama22Gs!

mm
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 06/04/10 04:45 PM

I've been meaning to mention these for a while, since the kids love them so! Mordecai Richler's "Jacob Two-Two" books are terrific reads for kids: there are three of them--J T-T Meets the Hooded Fang (McClelland and Stewart, 1975), J T-T and the Dinosaur (M&S 1987), and J T-T's First Spy Case (M&S 1995; they've all been reprinted in paper, first by Puffin, then by Tundra--they're still in print). I love when a writer I am crazy about myself has written kids' books too (and Richler's "Solomon Gursky was Here" is on my own personal all-time top 100 list!).

Jacob is the youngest (he ranges from 6 to 8 over the course of the three books) of a large family (who all have the same names as Richler's own children); he's called "Two-Two" because he has to say everything twice, because nobody listens to him the first time. In each story, he is in peril of one sort or another (from various authority figures every time--justice system, police, principal, government, etc.), but he cleverly solves his problems, sometimes with a little help from his friends (Child Power, comprising the Fearless O'Toole and the Intrepid Shapiro; and also X. Barnaby Dinglebat, Master Spy, Jacob's new next-door neighbour).

Richler's great gifts for fantasy and satire are everywhere in evidence here; they're laugh-out-loud funny (the "Dinosaur" book is particularly funny if you are up on Canadian politics of that era). If your kids like Roald Dahl, then I think these would also suit (I actually like these better, myself).

All three books are around 100 pages, and have excellent black and white illustrations (by Fritz Wegner in the first book, and by Norman Eyolfson in the other two). Grade Three-ish, Four-ish reading level, maybe?

Sorry, I'm feeling rather scattered today--that's not a very well-written review!

in pieces (!)
minnie
Posted by: Speechie

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 06/07/10 10:40 AM

Thought of another book that captured my imagination and was a fun read:
The 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois
A professor wants to spend a year sailing in his hot air balloon and crashes on the volcanic island of Krakatoa. He meets several families who live there in secret because of its rich diamond mines- very creative and fun!
Posted by: Mommyj2

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 06/07/10 11:24 AM

Originally Posted By: chris1234
Just got this in the mail, looks pretty good for my 9 year old, but we'll see.
"Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham. I don't usually get too into his novels, but I thought it would be a good read for a kid who likes to argue (a lot).

Let me know if you've checked this out and like or don't like it. I have read a few pages and so far seems ok.


We just got this too! DS9 is intrigued, but is reading that and Red Pyramid at the same time. I've browsed it and it looks pretty good. DS9 also really enjoyed the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson if your DS enjoys suspense.

Has anyone heard of the Alchemyst series about Nicholas Flamel? DS9 hasn't read them yet, but has shown some interest.
Posted by: Violet

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 06/28/10 08:12 AM

I know some great books for middle school, but I'm not sure if anyone will show interest yet.

One good book is "Much Ado About Nothing", by William Shakespeare. I found it in this giant book of Shakespearian romances, and saw a well-written romantic comedy by the bard himself. Much Ado About Nothing boasts a strong heroine, a great plot, and sophisticated jokes that gifted people could understand with their quick grasping skills. Here is a warning, though: it may be slightly too violent, and some sexual jokes run rampant. Overall, though, this is one of my favorite Shakespearian plays.
If you want a book that relates to giftedness, however, I would recommend Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (although you may have seen or heard this recommendation a multitude of times). The book is about a young boy named Ender Wiggin who, from a misdeed he does, gets awarded with the promise of a military camp. He goes through rigorous treatment, but that's all I could summarize (I'm not finished yet... blush). However, the story is rather interesting. If you want something that gifted kids to relate to while probing the complexity of war, this is for you!


That's all I could recommend today! See you on the other forums! ^^

Posted by: Violet

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 07/10/10 07:39 AM

This doesn't purtain to giftedness, but I would also recommend Silas Marner by George Eliot, which is about a man who leaves the town of Lantern Hall to settle in Raveloe because of persecution from fellow church members, including his friend, William Dane. When he first arrives in Raveloe, he wanted to help others out of the goodness of his heart, but now, all he wants is money. Its a good book, and if your child's lexile reading level is that of a twelfth grader, they'd find it easy to understand.
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/09/10 10:11 PM

Sorry not to have been on this thread for a while--we've lately mostly been reading either in French or classics that hardly need reviewing by me!

We read something very fun last week, though (all together first, and then each of Harpo and Groucho read it on their own): Polly Horvath's "The Pepins and their Problems" (ill. by Marylin Hafner, publ. Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2004, 180 pp.). Middle-schoolish reading level?? Dunno.

Mr. and Mrs. Pepin have two children (Petunia and Irving), a dog (Roy), a cat (Miranda), a cow (Nelly), and a very fine neighbour (Mr. Bradshaw). They also have a lot of problems (getting stuck on the roof, running out of cheese, losing their silverware, etc.), because they are not very practical, and the author invites readers to send her solutions (psychically!) to pass on to her characters, to see if they can get unstuck from whatever ridiculous situation they have found themselves in.

It's tremendously funny; Horvath has managed a lovely balancing act of making you care about characters who are just plain silly. The writing is deliciously wry, and it is amusing to have the constant interplay with the author, as she inserts herself repeatedly into the action. She also calls attention several times to the book as physical object and to the process of writing the book--it's Laurence Sterne for the younger set.

The lads were moved to write a fan letter when we finished (no small tribute from my one who doesn't love writing!). We've read another of her books (Everything on a Waffle), and have three more out from the library right now, so we're happily onto a new good thing here.

peace
minnie

Posted by: Val

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/10/10 11:15 AM

I bought a very cool book in the bargain books and Barnes and Noble last night. It's called Treehouses of the World (author: Pete Nelson). Here's a link on Amazon, but it doesn't show any of the pictures. frown

The author loves treehouses and build them for a living. He went around the world photographing the coolest ones he could find. If you like treehouses (I built one when I was a kid), you might like this book.

My kids want us to build them a treehouse now!

Val


Posted by: Bassetlover

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/10/10 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Violet

If you want a book that relates to giftedness, however, I would recommend Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (although you may have seen or heard this recommendation a multitude of times). The book is about a young boy named Ender Wiggin who, from a misdeed he does, gets awarded with the promise of a military camp. He goes through rigorous treatment, but that's all I could summarize (I'm not finished yet... blush). However, the story is rather interesting. If you want something that gifted kids to relate to while probing the complexity of war, this is for you!



Great suggestion. DD14 *loved* Ender's Game when she read it a few years ago, and liked one of the sequels, Ender's Shadow about as much. She read a few other ones but didn't like them as good as those two, but there are a bunch of different opportunities for sequels/prequels if your kid likes Ender's Game.
I will, though, warn that this probably isn't the best series for kids under 10-11, even if they are on the reading level. When DD was into the series I looked into it, and there is a lot of Brutal Violence, a few sexual themes (maybe more in the other books), and about every curse word known to man (once again, I believe this was more in ender's shadow). I know some parents are fine with this, and it is a *Brilliant* book (probably still one of my daughter's favorite books), but I just wanted you to be aware that this was a book intended for Adults in the beginning and therefore isn't the greatest for all kids, especially the sensitive ones.
Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/20/10 05:06 PM

Hi
Just got a great picture book about giftedness being different and joining in- Archibald Frisby by Michael Chesworth. It's about a little boy who is only interested in science and thinks he doesn't need to do anything else but learn and think, so his mom who thinks he should do more than that sends him to camp and he has a wonderful time, and makes friends, and his skills and abilities are appreciated. Just read it and DS didn't say much but he is pouring over it. I think it's really resonating with him in terms of not opting out just because you want to read and learn.

DeHe
Posted by: BWBShari

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/21/10 03:11 PM

I our never ending search for new books for DS7, I came across a copy of 20,000 leagues under the sea. DS loved it and has told everyone he knows that they should read it.
Posted by: Grinity

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 10/29/10 06:56 AM

I was recently chatting about my childrens//YA favorite books of all times. I will admit that some of these were 'read aloud' to DS14 at a much younger age, but I enjoyed and remembered them.

Lois Lowry books, such as:
1993 The Giver, winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal
2000 Gathering Blue
2004 Messenger
2006 Gossamer
or by Jerry Spinelli,
Stargirl 2000
Maniac Magee 1990
Loser 2002
or Bruce Coville's
Series
Magic Shop

The Monster's Ring. Aladdin (1989). ISBN 0671693891
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. Aladdin (1992). ISBN 0671747827
Jennifer Murdley's Toad. Aladdin (1993). ISBN 0671794019
The Skull of Truth. Aladdin (1999). ISBN 0671023438
Juliet Dove, Queen of Love. Harcourt (2003). ISBN 0152045619
Space Brat 2: Blork's Evil Twin
Space Brat 3: The Wrath of Squat
Space Brat 4: Planet of the Dips
Space Brat 5: The Saber-Toothed Poodnoobie
Rod Albright Alien Adventures

Aliens Ate My Homework
I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X
The Search for Snout (Aliens Stole My Dad in the UK)
Aliens Stole My Body

This batch is a bit tougher to chew:
Annals of the Western Shore is a children's book series by Ursula K. Le Guin. Each book has different main characters and settings, but the books are linked by some recurring characters and locations. Gifts won the PEN Center USA 2005 Children's literature award.[1] Powers further won the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Novel. [2]

It consists of three books:

Gifts, 2004
Voices, 2006
Powers, 2007

Here's one lovely enough to read aloud to the whole family:
Seedfolks (1997) is a novelette written by Paul Fleischman,
and by Gail Carson Levine, Dave at Night (1999)

The Phantom Tollbooth is a children's adventure novel and a modern fairy tale published in 1961, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, who wrote, A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears.

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time?
Love and More Love,
Grinity
Posted by: RobotMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/14/10 07:00 PM

I'm sure these have come up before, but DD7 and I are reading "George's cosmic treasure hunt" by Stephen and Lucy Hawking and she is eating it up.
It got her thinking so much that I now have to find an astronomy professor at the local university who is willing to talk to her about some of the ideas brought up in it because I do not know the answers to her questions, and I know that some of the questions don't have answers yet, but she's not willing to believe me that even the astronomers don't know some of the answers yet!
We already read George's secret key to the universe and she loved that one too.
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/27/10 07:41 PM

Has anyone read any of the books from the "Secret Series" by Pseudonymous Bosch
such as "If you're reading this, it's too late"
http://www.amazon.com/Youre-Reading-This-Late-Secret/dp/0316113689/ref=pd_sim_b_1

looks like an interesting series to read and wasn't sure what others thought and the appropriateness for a 6yo.
Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/27/10 07:56 PM

Shellymos
It sounds terrific! My DS almost 5 would love it so i hope someone sounds in about appropriateness. On amazon they relate it to lemony snicket which has too much stuff I am not sure mine is ready for. He does get afraid of things, but sometimes it's just that he can't stop thinking of them. I have sort of decided that right now for chapter books I can't move him up, he is loving the magic school bus chapter books, but the chapter books older than this all have inappropriate elements, school kid relationships he doesn't get yet or hasn't experienced. In the George books by hawking he was distracted by the great story and didn't pay much attention to the bullying. But in science books, I am, constantly looking for more depth in a format that still appeals to him visually. Wow did I get long winded for a I haven't seen it yet, but love the suggestion, sorry!!!

DeHe
Posted by: jesse

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/27/10 08:13 PM

Secret Series by Bosch is a fun read for kids. It depends if your child is bothered by talks of death or not and bad guys. My DC didn't like bad guys last year but we've introduced them a bit and this year, not a problem at all. Really enjoyed the series.
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/27/10 09:42 PM

lol DeHe, I can't figure out if DS is bothered by any of that stuff. He doesn't seem to be...but we haven't delved into certain things that I don't think he is ready for. Although he has read many books that I haven't yet. I just got him Phantom Tollbooth a couple days ago and he is almost done, and he is almost through the second book of the mysterious benedict society that he is reading with DH at night. We also read the george books and he really liked them a lot. We haven't read Harry Potter and some of those books though because I am not sure he is ready for that. It's so hard to know and I don't have time to read every book first.

Thanks Jesse, we may be brave and try it. Maybe I will order the first one and read it before Christmas and give it to him if I think it is okay. Is there actual death, or talk of death? Is there lots of violence?
Posted by: jesse

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/27/10 10:12 PM

shellymos, if he's read mysterious benedict society 1,2 then I'm thinking he'll be fine with the secret series. I think the benedict society books were heavier in terms of moral issues and possible violent scenes smile

there is an assumption of death and talks about it, but of course, the story has a twist. You'll enjoy reading it! smile
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/28/10 08:09 AM

thanks Jesse, I really don't know much about the mysterious benedict society other than the fact I read the first couple chapters on my own and a few chapters here and there with DS. He loves the series though. I am looking forward to reading a series with him. DH always gets the good parts : ) He has read the last couple books with him, so it's definitely my turn. I will have to check this one out. Thanks again.
Posted by: Chrys

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/28/10 09:46 AM

We just found the Eva Ibbotson books. They remind me of JK Rowling meets Roald Dahl.
Posted by: kcab

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/04/11 05:57 PM

Thought I'd revive this thread...

I read Count Down by Steve Olson the other day. I thought it would have been mentioned here already, but haven't found it yet in searches. It's a book about the Math Olympiad, specifically about the US team members on the 2001 Math Olympiad team, plus their team guide (a former team member). Much of it is musing on how a kid makes it to that level, what the personal qualities are that are needed to compete at that level in math. Each of the main chapters is titled with one of these qualities (eg. Creativity, Breadth..) and focuses on one of the team members. The musing on personal attributes and background seemed to me to tie into some of the recent discussions here (and elsewhere!) regarding parenting. Overall, I found it interesting but somehow a little less than riveting, not quite sure why that is - may have just been the number of interruptions around here. The problems that the contestants had to solve are given, with some information on one or more solution methods.

What I found most interesting were sections where math education was discussed, as well as the section on Melanie Wood's (the team guide) background.

Posted by: ultramarina

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/06/11 05:39 AM

Some favorites of DD, who is pretty sensitive and loves cats and fairies:

Cobble Street Cousins, Cynthia Rylant; 550/600 Lexile, VERY gentle and sweet. Girly. Her Lighthouse Family books are also great and good for both genders.

Fairy Realm series, Emily Rodda (590 L)--much better than the dreaded Rainbow Magic books

The Night Fairy, Laura Amy Schlitz (630L)--this is that extremely rare thing, a truly quality book about fairies...DD read it in one sitting, completely mesmerized

The Unicorn’s Secret series, Kathleen Duey (420-510L)--nice historicalish detail, gentle, easy

The Cats of Cuckoo Square, Adele Geras (4.1-4.6 BL)--great for the cat-obsessed, seemed to be of nice quality, sequels available

The Fairy Rebel, Lynne Banks (5th grade level?)--Banks also wrote the Indian in the Cupboard, but this one may appeal more to girls

Rumer Godden has many really amazing, special books that can be hard to find. DD really loved The Story of Holly and Ivy, The Fairy Doll, and Candy Floss. The Mousewife is also good, with a rather strong feminist message. Be cautious, though, because many of her adult books are about children and sometimes they get put in the kids' section when they don't really belong there.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/10/11 07:25 AM

Here's some books (with their animals)DD10 has read in the past year+

Guardians of Gahoole (owls)
Redwall (mice)
Warriors (cats)
Artemis Fowl (boy)

He needs a new series and I'm hoping for suggestions. He is sensitive. He did not want to read the Seeker Series because it has a polar bear. He said he likes the smaller animals. I'm not sure why??? Any series suggestions would be appreciated.
Posted by: shellymos

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/10/11 07:37 AM

I got DS6 a non-fiction book at the library the other day that I thought he would like. He LOVES it (you know the kind of book that they have to bring a flashlight with them so they can read in the car at night) smile

It's called "The kid who named Pluto: And the stories of other extraordinary young people in science." http://www.amazon.com/Kid-Who-Named-Plut...1900&sr=8-1

Stories include the following contributors:
Robert Goddard, who invented the science of rocketry.
Venetia Burney, the girl who named the planet Pluto.
Isaac Asimov, who wrote over 350 books.
Philo Farnsworth, a boy who invented television.
Mary Anning, a girl who was the first to find the fossilized remains of many dinosaurs.
Sarah Flannery, a girl who invented a new secret code.
Truman Henry Stafford, a boy who was a lightning calculator.
Emily Rosa, whose science experiment debunked a medical procedure.
Louis Braille, who invented the Braille system of writing for the blind.

Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/10/11 07:41 AM

Dear onthegomom,

I wonder if he would like one we just finished around here: Paul Glennon's "Bookweird" (Doubleday Canada 2008, 250 pp). The hero is Norman, an 11 year-old boy, who is obsessed with the Lochwarren book series (a quasi-medieval world of stoats and hares, battling wolves and foxes--somewhat reminiscent of what I think Redwall is like--I haven't read any of those yet).

He nibbles on a page of the latest Lochwarren book, and is transported into it, where all the animals believe him to be a seer, since he is so well-informed about their history! He later falls into his little sister's horse book series, his mum's hard-boiled police procedural, and his dad's Anglo-Saxon epic, before returning to Lochwarren. He interacts with the characters in all of the books, and worries that he is changing the course of the stories.

The premise was to me really very interesting, and the boys each liked the book very much, and are looking forward to the next one (Bookweirder, 2010, 246 pp); the third one is supposed to come out later this year (no word on a title yet, but I'm betting Bookweirdest, aren't you?) I didn't like some aspects of the story (stereotypical view of family life--tween with attitude, somewhat adversarial relationship with the parents at first, constant bickering with annoying younger sibling, etc.), but overall, it was quite a fun read for everyone. There are an irritating number of typos--hope the editing is better in the next ones.

peace
minnie

Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/11/11 10:12 AM

bump for above
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/11/11 07:21 PM

Well, let's see, OTGM...

I haven't read any of them, but I know plenty of kids who like Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing series (bats).

Would he like some of the E. Nesbit books? They're about children, but some have "critters" (the Psammead, the Phoenix, various dragons).

Oldies but goodies are some of the Albert Payson Terhune dog books. (Lad: A Dog is the one most people seem to know).

Is he too old for the Narnia books?

The Bunnicula series is likely too young for him, as is probably the Freddy the Pig series. Still, there are lots of both of them--and sometimes it's fun to read younger stuff.

Several of the Oz books might suit. There are some talking animals in the Tolkien books, too.

Would adult books like Animal Farm or Watership Down or The White Bone be too intense for him?

Does he like horses? There are lots of horse series, not all of them girly--I remember liking Mary O'Hara's books (My Friend Flicka is the first one). The Walter Farley Black Stallion series is very good.

Lots of animals in Rudyard Kipling, of course, though those are not series books.

Farley Mowat is grand (The Dog who Wouldn't Be, Owls in the Family).

The Cressida Cowell series that kcab mentioned earlier on this thread is fun (Vikings and dragons).

We all liked Christie Harris's Mouse Woman series. You might look for other volumes of folk tales, too (Aesop, Anansi, etc.).

Sheila Burnford's "The Incredible Journey" is great, but not part of a series. Other great talking-animal but non-series books are Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and The Voyage of QV66. Oh, and there's Lloyd Alexander's Time Cat, which is good.

Of course, the Tintin books all have Snowy (the dog). smile

Hmmmmmmmmmmm..........

ETA: Someone I know recommends Avi's Poppy series (I don't know them myself).

Another thought I had, though not quite in the same vein as most of the rest of these, are the James Herriot books.

Oh, I know, JP Martin's Uncle books (elephant).



Posted by: BWBShari

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/11/11 08:14 PM

My DS loved the Olympus series, loves anything Stephen Hawking and pretty much hates everything else! He thought Harry Potter was stupid and Artemus Fowle more so.

Every time I think I've found something, it's a bust! It's very frustrating as he really likes to read, but he's just to [SPAM] picky. I finally quit trying so hard and started on the classics. Surprise, he likes them, he's reading the Call of the Wild right now. He loved Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/11/11 09:43 PM

Thank you. I'm going to go thru these and see what I can find.

BWBShari-I know what you mean by not trying so hard. I wish he would take more effort with this. I certainly have tried to promote that.

Books help him relax and not be bored so that helps me, so I keep trying. It's so nice when he has a huge series to read and he is more content.

He Loved these too- Stephen Hawking, Avi's Poppy series, Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing. He has had interest in dragons. He read the Cowell books, but I think there is a new one.

He doesn't like dogs, and has never read horse stories. He won't go near oZ, alice in wonderland, narnia, Harry Potter,- something scared him with these I think.

He is just starting to learn about war this year and is excited. I'm not sure if I would want more of this or not. He needs things that are not too scary.
Posted by: Irisheyes

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/12/11 07:35 AM

I have not previously contributed to this thread, but I have read it with interest and ordered many of the books from our local library system over the past year or so.

I wanted to thank whomever recommended "The Familiars," by Adam Jay Epstein on this board. DD6 devoured it.

http://www.amazon.com/Familiars-Adam-Jay-Epstein/dp/0061961086

I remember it being mentioned as "...similar to Harry Potter, but not so scary."

It was a great read for dd6 who really loves the more sophisticated story line of Harry Potter, but can't get past her fears. And she's not just afraid of "He Who Shall Not Be Named." She's worried about Harry breaking rules, concerned that he will get kicked out of Hogwarts, etc. Basically, she does not easily handle reading about stressful situations or people in peril, physically or emotionally.

That being said, she is entering a new fascination with spies and spying and asked for me to get her some "spy books." I did put "Harriet the Spy" on hold and ordered an earlier mentioned math decoding book (she is a mathy kid).

Any other thoughts?

Thanks so much!
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/12/11 12:28 PM

Hi, Irisheyes,

My kids liked these:

Mordecai Richler, Jacob Two-Two's First Spy Case;

and

Janice Eaton Kilby, The Master Detective Handbook: Help Our Detectives Use Gadgets and Super Sleuthing Skills to Solve the Mystery and Catch the Crooks.

There are, of course, lots of kid detective (as opposed to spy) books: would she be interested in Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden or that sort of thing? Or in a more spy-ish vein, the MT Anderson ones are quite fun (Whales on Stilts, Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, Agent Q, etc.). My boys also really liked John Fardell's Seven Professors books--kind of James Bond for kids.

A historical spy story my kids liked was "Popinjay Stairs" by Geoffrey Trease (set in the reign of Charles II; Samuel Pepys is one of the characters! Fun and very well-researched.)

Hope that helps a bit!
Posted by: Irisheyes

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/12/11 03:12 PM

It helps a ton, minnie!

Thanks for your thoughtful (and prompt) reply!
Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/12/11 03:31 PM

Hi all
Love this thread! New favorite, just grabbed off the shelf at the library. The extraordinary Adventures of ordinary boy series, first one is the hero revealed. It's about an ordinary boy in superolis - he is the only one without powers.
Odinary boy

DeHe
Posted by: kec

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/12/11 05:50 PM

I am so glad someone else found Ordinary Boy. My DS9 has read the series three or four times so far. I read them to him at bed time as well and enjoyed them almost as much as he did. The title character, being the only one in town without a superpower, finds he must use his brain more instead of relying on a power to get through life. This leads to a bit of conflict throughout the series - at one point Ordinary Boy asks to learn about the history of the town and his teacher asks why he would want to do that - it is all in the past.

The only down side, as far as my son is concerned, is that there are only three books in the series smile
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/13/11 03:29 AM

Originally Posted By: BWBShari
My DS loved the Olympus series, loves anything Stephen Hawking and pretty much hates everything else! He thought Harry Potter was stupid and Artemus Fowle more so.

Every time I think I've found something, it's a bust! It's very frustrating as he really likes to read, but he's just to [SPAM] picky. I finally quit trying so hard and started on the classics. Surprise, he likes them, he's reading the Call of the Wild right now. He loved Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.


We have similar pickiness here, but maybe not quite so extreme. What is the Olympus series? Is that the same as the Percy Jackson books?
If not, please let me know, ds10 loves anything greek-myth oriented!
Also just curious what Stephen Hawking is good for that age...ds loved the secret key books but I was not sure what else might be appealing from Hawking. (at this age)

This one sounds great Minnie, I will check it out for ds...'bookweird', thanks for posting about it!

Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/13/11 07:08 PM

Originally Posted By: kec
The only down side, as far as my son is concerned, is that there are only three books in the series smile


That always happens to us too, especially when you get a book that just clicks like ordinary boy. I usually try then to find other books by the author but that only goes so far, we are waiting currently for the next calendar mysteries, Danny dragon breath, and a few more I can't keep track of!!

Is there anything DS9 liked as much? Preferable same emotional and scary level, trying to avoid the older stuff but its tough with DS5 reading so far ahead, why did they call him a nerd mommy, what does it mean? We picked up the max disaster books and he loves the graphics and the idea of alien eraser but it's also about a boy dealing with divorce, so for days, he was very concerned about our relationship!! So when I find a book which is interesting w/o being dumbed down but not dealing with stuff he isn't
ready for. Intellectually he gets it but it worries him because he chews over whatever he read, so try to avoid the tough stuff for now. He would so love harry potter and some advanced sci fi but way too scary most of the time. smile

DeHe
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/13/11 09:07 PM

Ordinary Boy looks like lots of fun, DeHe and kec, thanks!

I wonder if your kids would enjoy the Bagthorpe books by Helen Cresswell? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bagthorpe_Saga
There are lots of books in the series, about a large family with several "extraordinary" members and one "ordinary" one (the first book is called "Ordinary Jack"). There's more to Jack than there appears, of course; the children solve various problems very inventively. We've only read a couple of them (loved "Bagthorpes vs the World"), but possibly they might appeal?

mm
Posted by: CAMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/13/11 09:56 PM

OTGM-
Not a series but I think your animal lover would enjoy Nurk by Ursula Vernon (author of the Dragonbreath series). It's relatively short, but had a great story and I'm pretty sure it had a high lexile.

My son also loved "The Secret Zoo" which has a sequel coming out soon. It's got a touch of bad guys in it but mostly adventure and talking animals too!
Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 02/14/11 10:45 AM

Originally Posted By: CAMom
OTGM-
Not a series but I think your animal lover would enjoy Nurk by Ursula Vernon (author of the Dragonbreath series). It's relatively short, but had a great story and I'm pretty sure it had a high lexile.

My son also loved "The Secret Zoo" which has a sequel coming out soon. It's got a touch of bad guys in it but mostly adventure and talking animals too!


Thanks CA mom - tried last week to get Nurk from the library but it was "lost" I hate lost, its always good but not super well known that disappear. I checked out the Secret Zoo and it sounds perfect -a review said:

"This book, which is the first of a series, is a fast-paced mix of mystery and fantasy. There is enough action and suspense to keep the most reluctant reader entertained while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of friendship and teamwork"

He's not reluctant but I love when they say stuff about friendship. We have enough issues in pre-k that I don't want it in his books yet! Or if they have it, they tell how to deal with it!

DeHe
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/31/11 08:30 AM

http://www.nybooks.com/books/browse/all/?imprint=childrens

I found a few different books here. They are reprints from older books. DS has not read any yet. I thought they might be useful for someone else out there trying to keep up with their kid's reading.
Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/31/11 09:06 AM

ooh, this looks great! Perfect timing too, he's finished the 3rd ordinary boy and nurk is next in line. He's asked me what else the online people have recommended!!!

DeHe
Posted by: EastnWest

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/31/11 10:49 AM

Thank you for the time machine!

What a great blast from the past! I used to love the Bagthorpe books. Haven't thought about them in years. grin
Posted by: chris1234

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/31/11 03:45 PM

Originally Posted By: DeHe
. He's asked me what else the online people have recommended!!!

DeHe


Lol! that's great! laugh
Posted by: Chrys

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/09/11 01:39 PM

Reviving this thread... I just read this article and found a couple new book recommendations.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entert...ad-2250138.html

Posted by: DeHe

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/12/11 11:25 AM

A new favorite for the little ones. DS 5 and I both enjoyed it - a discussion of the alphabet rules, but also a teensy bit about political action, your place in society and how everyone has something positive about them. We liked it so much, I went looking for the authors' other stuff.
A Call for a New Alphabet
Posted by: MidwestMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/13/11 08:46 PM

Any suggestions for my DD10? She's into Greek mythology and has read the Percy Jackson series more times than I can count. She also liked the Myth-o-Mania series, although the books are so short that she flew through them. DD can read at pretty much any level, but prefers books in the 6th-8th grade interest range. I have Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths on my library waiting list, but I'm looking for more ideas.
Posted by: MidwestMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/15/11 12:09 PM

Thanks! I've added those to my library list (except for the Red Pyramid - I didn't think it was written as well as his other books, so I'm waiting to see if book #2 is any better before I get it for DD).
Posted by: Iucounu

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/15/11 01:02 PM

We have recently discovered a fun out-of-print Time Life series of children's books, the "Library of Curious and Unusual Facts". There are eighteen volumes on eclectic topics, from "Shadows of Death" to "Above and Beyond" (the latter is full of stories about people surmounting obstacles, such as a double-amputee mountain climber). They can be found in new or like-new condition for about $4 US each.
Posted by: nkh74

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/18/11 07:25 PM

My ds10 is LOVING "YOU: The Owner's Manual" by Dr Mehmet Oz and Micheal Someone. Its got great pictures and explains everything with analogies/diagrams and stories. But it doesn't dumb anything down. Tonight he read the section on "Hells Cells: Cancer". We are so out of fiction to read we have moved to nonfiction. He's also a science lover.
Posted by: MidwestMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/25/11 09:08 PM

DD10 really liked the Fire Thief. Thanks for the recommendation.
Posted by: beak

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 04/30/11 10:07 PM

I can't remember if I've shared this before, but I find this to be a very valuable resource, particularly for nonfiction and poetry.

http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/

She is currently on a tear for April (National Poetry Month), posting recommending poetry books for children in various categories: insects, family, cities, dinosaurs, more. Also a wealth of old posts and links to other great blogs.
Posted by: bh14

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 05/01/11 04:46 PM

Irisheyes... So glad your child liked The Familiars. I didn't see your post after I listed that book to try out but I just came across your posting now! DD still talks about how much she liked that book and she read it so long ago! I saw on their website that they plan to make a movie out of it! DD can't wait!

Posted by: bh14

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 05/01/11 04:50 PM

irisheyes... One more that DD loved (since your child liked The Familiars as much as mine) was The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes. I read it with her 2 years ago and it was SOOOO CUTE! It's about a girl who has wacky parents and her Dad has crazy potions and she takes one that makes her fly. She floated away to attend a boarding school she wanted to go to. It was really cute. I could see it being a kids movie someday! I enjoyed reading it with her!
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 05/07/11 03:17 PM

A good book we came across recently is Eve Garnett's "The Family from One End Street" (Frederick Muller, 1937; repr. Puffin Modern Classics 2010; 308 pp). Lots of pages, but generous leading and margins and good big print--it was well within Chico's (age 5 pretty soon 6) reach--maybe grade 3ish, 4ish, reading level? A very nice choice for an early "big" chapter book, in any case, with lots of charming line drawings by the author.

Garnett tells the story of the Ruggles family, Jo and Rosie and their seven children; he's a dustman and she's a washerwoman--money is very tight, but love is abundant and adventures and fun are everywhere. The children are extremely resourceful and enjoy a lot of freedom to explore; each child is the star of one chapter, while the final chapter is an adventure for the whole family (a long-awaited trip into London to see Uncle Charlie enter his cart horse--named Bernard Shaw!!--in a parade).

It's not a word I use often, but this book really is heartwarming--lovely and innocent and gentle, and just the ticket if you have a young one who's ready for a satisfyingly big book to read.

peace
minnie
Posted by: onthegomom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/03/11 04:05 PM

I just came across this list from a gifted school and thought it may be helpful

5th and 6th Grade Suggested Reading
•A Gathering of Days and others by Joan Blos
•The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Pen Wright
•Dragon’s Gate by Laurence Yep
•National Velvet by Enid Bagnoldi
•The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
•Saavy Ingrid Law
•The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
•Rules of the Road and any other by Joan Bauer
•Skellig by David Almond
•Silverwing Trilogy and any other by Kenneth Oppel
•When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
•The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and others by Christopher Paul Curtis
•The Angel Factory by Terence Blacker
•Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes
•Stargirl and Loser by Jerry Spinelli
•How about a Newberry book such as Holes by Louis Sachar, A View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, or And Now Miguel or Onion John by Joseph Krumgold

For the 7th & 8th grade reading lists, see the back of this sheet.
7th Grade Required Reading
•Boys: No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt
•Girls: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
8th Grade Required Reading.
•The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter.

7th and 8th Grade Suggested Reading
•Crossbreed or Incident at Hawk’s Hill by Allan Eckert
•Angel on the Square or Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
•October Sky by Homer Hickman Jr.
•Stand Tall and others by Joan Bauer
•Eldest by Christopher Paolini
•Inkspell, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
•Ithaka by Adele Geras
•The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger by Lois Lowry
•Among the Enemy and others by Margaret Peterson Haddix (science fiction)
•The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
•Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (great Civil War fiction)
•Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
•Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
•Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
•Kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata, Criss Cross Lynne Rae Perkins, When You Reach Me and other recent Newberys
•Lunch Money by Andrew Clements
•The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian
•The Pretties, The Uglies by Scott Westerfield
•Try a classic such as The Secret Garden or The Little Princess by Frances Burnett or The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings or Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
•Sink your teeth into an award winning adult-size biography such as Truman, John Adams, 1776 (by David McCullough) Helen Keller, the Story of My Life, Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington)
Posted by: islandofapples

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/03/11 04:27 PM

[SPAM]. I think I read it in 4th or 5th grade. (The girl does dance around the fire nude, though, and I passed around the book during lunch and scandalized the whole table.)

I don't know if it is a challenging book or not, but as a girl who felt like she didn't belong and wasn't seen for who she actually was, I really related to the main character.

W i n t e r - o f - F i r e - b y - S h e r r y l -J o r d a n
Posted by: islandofapples

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/03/11 04:32 PM

WHY THE HECK is it marking the title of my fave book as SPAM? I can't figure it out.
Posted by: AlexsMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/21/11 08:43 AM

Gunrunner Moon, available on Kindle for 99 cents, is a smart action-adventure, suitable for kids whose reading ability outstrips their emotion maturity. There's some violence and kids-in-peril; for younger kids, read the sample chapter available for free. I'd have no issue with my 8yo reading it.

Edited to remove the ability for someone who knows my IRL identity to trace me back here. I don't have particular concerns about people who know me here being able to figure out my real identity.
Posted by: aculady

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/21/11 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: islandofapples
WHY THE HECK is it marking the title of my fave book as SPAM? I can't figure it out.


It's the J O R D A N. It does the same thing with Robert J O R D A N.

It's figuring that this is a sneaker spam post.
Posted by: Licorice26

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 08/29/11 09:04 PM

Any thoughts on books for my DS6 who is able to read 3rd - 5th grade books but currently only loves Arthur's chapter books. I would like to get him to read on the next level which he clearly can but resists. :*)

Any help is appreciated!
Posted by: NCPMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/11/11 07:29 PM

Thought I'd bring this thread up, seeing as the holidays are approaching and people are looking for gift ideas smile
Posted by: minniemarx

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 11/18/11 08:59 AM

Just a couple of quick notes, NCPMom--I'm not spending much time online anymore, what with one thing and another...but it seems to me you have an 8 year-old boy, too, so here are some titles/authors of books mine has liked that I don't think I've mentioned here before, in case that helps with your shopping (I'm sure other people have lots of good suggestions, so this post is more by way of being a bump for you):

Noel Langley, The Land of Green Ginger (written by the screenwriter of the Wizard of Oz film, slapstick fantasy in the land of the Arabian nights, short, fun).

Alan Cumyn, The Secret Life of Owen Skye, After Sylvia, Dear Sylvia (epic little kid love story trilogy--nostalgic, warm family story, hilarious, sweet).

Eva Ibbotson--two sets of books--one for youngers (Which Witch? The Ogre of Oglefort, etc.) with supernatural characters, light, short (~100 pp), amusing; one for olders (Journey to the River Sea, The Star of Kazan, The Dragonfly Pool)--longer (~400 pp), more serious books, very well-developed characters, beautifully descriptive, thoughtful, excellent. ALL of Eva Ibbotson's books have well-delineated struggles between good and evil--the good always receive their just reward, and the baddies always get their comeuppance. Very satisfying, extremely well-written books.

peace
minnie
Posted by: aculady

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 12/23/11 05:54 AM

My son got this two days ago, and loved it:

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Fate-ebook/...8339&sr=1-1
Posted by: MidwestMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/12 11:16 AM

I'm looking for suggestions for DD8. The tricky part is that I have to be able to find the books in an audio format, preferably on CD.

DD generally prefers long books with a little magic. Her favorite is Harry Potter, and she's gone through that series many times. She thought the Lemony Snicket books were okay, refuses to read any of the Percy Jackson series, felt that the 39 Clues books were too short and simple, and enjoyed the Golden Compass. She's in the process of listening to Christopher Paolini's Inheritance series, which she likes almost as much as Harry Potter. I plan to introduce her to LOTR next, but I'm not sure what to suggest after that. I think she would enjoy David Edding's Belgariad series, but the library doesn't have that in an audio format. Any ideas?
Posted by: jack'smom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/12 01:07 PM

Maybe you should try again with Percy jackson- my son loves Harry Potter and loves Pery Jackson too. I guess (I haven't read it myself, LOL) it's sort of like Harry Potter with a Greek mythology twist. THe books are like 300 pages long too.
Posted by: MidwestMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/12 01:27 PM

DD8 won't read Percy Jackson because DD10 really liked it. smile I've read the series and think that DD8 probably would enjoy it if she let herself.
Posted by: jack'smom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/19/12 02:33 PM

Well, maybe you can start off talking about greek mythology and take it from there.
Posted by: Rocky

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/21/12 09:32 AM

@Licorice26
DS7 is kind of the same way. I looked in his desk this year and he had some Clifford books. He loved

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and it's sequel Darth Paper (I would definitely give these a shot)
WaySide school stories by Louis Sachar
Actually anything by Louis Sachar
Also the Fudge series by Judy Blume.

He likes his books short, jokey, with illustrations. This year is Danny Dragonbreath, and Horrible Science books.
Posted by: Rocky

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/21/12 09:36 AM

@Midwest Mom
What about a Wrinkle in Time? Chronicles of Narnia? Both are a bit older and should be available.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/21/12 09:48 AM

MidwestMom, try Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke.
Posted by: Lori H.

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/21/12 12:06 PM

My 13-year-old son who likes dystopian novels is reading Battle Royale.
Posted by: LNEsMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/22/12 10:08 AM

Midwest Mom, Rick Riordan has another series besides Percy Jackson called the Kane Chronicles, which is about Egyptian rather than Greek mythology. It actually exists parallel to the Percy series (the Greeks live in Manhattan, while the Egyptian stuff happens in the Bronx I think?, but they mention that Manhattan is off limits, lol) I prefer Percy, but maybe if she started with these she might then be interested in moving to the Greek series. Also, there is the second Percy series as well which talks about the Roman vs Greek versions of the Gods.

As a child, I also really loved (still do!) the Harperhall series by Anne McCaffrey. Those are shorter books but get you into the whole Pern universe which is several dozen books. The Dragonflight series is good, too, but does have some sexual content.

And a friend's son is reading the Fablehaven series, which I had never heard of and am going to try to find. It has great reviews on Amazon. Maybe someone here is familiar with it?
Posted by: MidwestMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/26/12 08:41 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. We've tried most of them, but I forgot about the Narnia books. I didn't particularly like them, but I expect DD8 to.

LNEsMom, I also really enjoyed the Harperhall trilogy, but our library doesn't have it in an audio form. frown I own all of the Anne McCaffrey Pern books and reread them every year or so.
Posted by: LNEsMom

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/26/12 07:26 PM

Originally Posted By: MidwestMom
LNEsMom, I also really enjoyed the Harperhall trilogy, but our library doesn't have it in an audio form. frown I own all of the Anne McCaffrey Pern books and reread them every year or so.


That's too bad that they don't have it. And I reread them frequently too! Was sorry to hear she passed away last fall. I still read her son's contributions to Pern, but it is definitely not the same. frown
Posted by: happyreader

Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? - 03/26/12 07:44 PM

How about "The Dark is RIsing" by Susan Cooper? It is available to download on audio (at least at our online library). There are 5 books in the series, but the first one is a little slow. The Dark is Rising is actually Book #2 and really picks up the action. There's magic and the age-old conflict between good and evil.