I have found one of the joys of being a parent is rediscovering books through the eyes of a budding reader. I remember the excitement of cracking open the latest Babysitters’ Club edition and curling up for hours devouring every last word. While my boys prefer the Wimpy Kid to the antics of Kristy, Claudia, et al., my heart still sings when they tell me they “just can’t put their book down”.
Here are a few Middle Grades and Young Adult books that both you and your children may enjoy:
- The Nest by Kenneth Oppel – My oldest son’s (age 11) favorite book is Oppel’s The Boundless, a mesmerizing novel that dances the line between reality and fantasy. The Nest is in the same vein, just creepier. (That’s my opinion. My fearless son didn’t think it was scary at all. Of course.)
- Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks – I am of the opinion that kids nowadays are nicer than we were. Perhaps it is because they are influenced by better literature. After all, those Sweet Valley Twins could be a bit bitchy, don’t you think? Anyways, this one will make you feel good without feeling lectured to. My youngest (age 8) liked it so much, he read it twice in a row.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – I heard this book was banned by some school districts so I had to read it. I am wild like that. There is profanity and some older themes (sexuality, alcoholism, etc.) However, this coming-of-age book, set on a Native American Reservation, immersed me in a culture I should know more about. I could have easily included this title on my list of Books to Make Sense of the Madness. (Note: My children did not read this. It is most appropriate for high school and older.)
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – My oldest told me I HAD TO READ THIS. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the book was actually a poem in disguise. Beautiful prose and beautiful story line.
- Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce – The Big Nate series is my youngest’s Babysitters Club. He reads and re-reads and re-reads yet again. Why not? The fun storylines and graphics will make you forget momentarily that you are a grown-up.
How does this worker-bee/soccer-mom/rickety-runner find time to read 50 books a year? This is my secret.