Thursday, May 27, 2010

What my kids are reading.

I was a major bookworm as a kid. Seriously, I even have this friend from elementary school that I reconnected with as adults, and she has these memories of coming over to ask me to play and I'd always say no because I was reading something, which didn't really compute with her. But anyway, Deoxyribonucleic acid ain't just a spelling bee word, because my nine year old son is not just an avid reader, he's a vacuum. He hoovered his way through all seven books of the Harry Potter series last summer -in about 8 weeks total.
I was both overjoyed and suddenly panicky when I realized that summer that his reading appetite was so voracious. It was glorious to see him so excited to get a new book, or reach a new chapter, or understand a new character being developed. I worried at first that some of the themes were a little too dark for an eight year old, and educators may say Erickson's theory would agree, but he handled it pretty well and we talked it through when needed. But then there was a little warning lamp that started glowing in the back of my brain - Uh oh, what's he going to read next? After book seven, what I am going to feed the beast? We can't exactly go back to Encyclopedia Brown now.

So one afternoon I swung by the school librarians desk. She gave me a whole list of books and authors appropriate to age and reading level, especially for boys who like series.

Before I start listing them here, let me just point out that the school librarian is the most undervalued warm body in the entire building of most elementary schools. They do not just obsess over the Dewey Decimal system, they know everything about what your child should, could, or would read. Seek them out whenever you can.

Anyway, a not very comprehensive but good jumping off place for boys (and some girls may like these, too, I don't know, I only have boys) in 3rd-5th grades who enjoy series books with modern characters:

  • Harry Potter, JK Rowling
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians
  • 39 Clues
  • Artemis Fowl
  • Stormbreaker series - Anthony Horowitz
  • Warrior series - Erin Hunter
  • Redwall series - Brian Jacques
  • Tucker series - Paulsen? (Inkheart, Eragon)
  • Charlie Bone - Jenny Nimmo
  • Keys to the Kingdom - Garth Nix
  • Avi is an author with lots of books at this age range, not necessarily series builders though
My seven year old likes to read, too, but is really only in it for the snuggling in mommy's bed. Some of his favorites, however, include the now classic Magic Tree House series, Jigsaw Jones series, Bunnicula (and others by James Howe) and Hank the Cowdog. For the record, Hank the Cowdog is, I believe, the best damn audiobook series for kids available.

No comments: