Well, I tried to make this picture a bit celebratory since we’re on Spring Break! (But really, when does school start again???) We have been reading a lot lately, but have been so busy with school and extracurricular activities that I haven’t been able to update you guys as much! But we have discovered some new-to-us series and just started a really fun buddy read!
Kate DiCamillo writes wonderful chapter books for older readers, but we’ve just discovered her Deckawoo Drive series, and it’s perfect for my first grader! He loves seeing recurring characters pop up throughout the books, and they always get into funny, ridiculous situations. (And for a former theatre major like myself, there are plenty of opportunities to give the characters fun voices when reading aloud.) In this one, Francine Poulet, animal catcher extraordinaire, is sidelined when a wily, ghostly raccoon refuses to be caught. Will she overcome her fears to catch the animal, or will she give up her career forever to work in a pet store instead? This is a great, easy chapter book for younger readers, or for older elementary readers who like a funny story!
Big Nate: Welcome to My World
Lately, my 9-year-old has been taking a break from the bigger chapter books he was reading (the 5th Harry Potter book really did him in) and has moved on to graphic novels for a bit. He discovered Big Nate and hasn’t looked back! Nate is a regular kid with bad luck, but he always seems to find a way to get out of it! His character is in 6th grade, but I think these books are fine for kids around 9 and up who love graphic novels and funny books!
What We’re Reading Together
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
This is my favorite of the bunch! We are doing a full family buddy read with Sara and her kids over at Meaningful Madness. The author of Hidden Figures (the adult book) wrote the book in two other formats: one for young adult readers and as a picture book. Our kids happen to be the same ages, so we are reading all three books together. We just read the picture book together, and my kids LOVED it. (My 9-year-old even tried to re-create Katherine Johnson from his many Lego minifigs, and drew on her glasses and everything.) This picture book format makes the story very accessible, without leaving out important information. The illustrations are beautiful, and it made all of us want to learn more about these amazing scientists. my kids were shocked at how much they had to go through as black women scientists just to get jobs, even though they were smarter than…everyone. This is an important story, and I’m so grateful that Margot Lee Shetterly has written in for everyone to learn!
We’re finally getting back into the swing of things after a long Christmas break and a long weekend made even longer by snowy and icy weather in Texas! It’s been nice to have a real winter, but I’m ready for warmer days now.
My kids are reading some fun books this week, and at least one of them will continue on for a couple of weeks! Let me know what you’re all reading this week!
The entire third grade at my son’s school started reading Charlotte’s Web together this week. I believe the plan is to read a chapter a day at school, with kids taking turns reading out loud. I’m reading along at home as well. A kind of forced buddy read, if you will. I haven’t read this book in a long time, and I really want to be able to talk about it with my son! This is such a classic book, and while I am not a fan of the ending (Charlotte is the only spider I will ever love), it’s fun to dive back into this world of Charlotte, Wilbur, Fern, and Templeton. My son really likes it so far, but he’s seen the movie and knows what’s coming, and his sensitive soul wishes the ending was different too. This is a great book for elementary and middle grade readers, with short chapters, a few pictures, and a good mix of easy and challenging words.
Horrible Harry in Room 2B
I bought this book for my 6-year-old in an attempt to find a series that he both liked and could read on his own. While he absolutely loves books, stories, and being read to, he is not the voracious reader that his older brother is. Which is fine, because I love a challenge. When I saw a series about a second grade boy who creates mischief (reminds me of someone in my house . . .), I knew we had to try it. My son LOVES this book and we will be getting the next few in the series. Harry, a good, fun friend to have, causes all kinds of trouble in school and loves to be silly. This book is perfect for kids beginning chapter books and who love funny books. And if you’re looking for a series about a male character (surprisingly hard to find sometimes) for your kids, this is a great one!
What We’re Reading Together
A Wrinkle in Time
I wanted to read this to my 9-year-old (my 6-year-old half listens to it while building Legos) so that we can see the movie together in March! To be honest, I wasn’t sure if he would like it, because the book is a little . . . weird. The writing obviously isn’t contemporary, and it is solidly science fiction. But he LOVES it. Every night he asks me to read “just a little more” when it’s time to stop, and he said it reminds him a little of Harry Potter. (I think Meg Murry, the main character, reminds him of Harry, Ron, and Hermione all mashed up into one, and of course it’s quite the adventure.) I don’t remember the last time I read it, and it’s been so long that I don’t remember much of the story, so it’s really fun for me to read too. I will say that I don’t like how often the word “moron” is used, and how many times people’s looks are referenced, but it just gives us another talking point. I’m starting to do some research on the deeper meanings of A Wrinkle in Time in case there are any simple enough to talk about, so if you have any pointers please let me know!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Yes, we’ve been reading this one for awhile! We took a huge break from it over the holidays to read other things, and we’ve listened to the entire book as well. But my 6-year-old is back to wanting me read it to him every night. Which means I have read and listened to half the Harry Potter series in the past 6 months. Twice. This will be round three, and I love it!
Well, it’s a new year, and with that comes…well, really more of the same when it comes to reading with my kids! I don’t have any specific goals for their reading, just that they keep doing it. I saw a great idea from Mom of Wild Things, and I’m going to try it this year for myself. She keeps a notebook and writes down every book she and her kids read together. I love this idea because we read A LOT, and I’m interested to see, at the end of the year, just how much we really do read together. The list may be getting shorter since we’re reading longer chapter books now, but I’m certain the number was well into the hundreds when I would read them a bunch of picture book every day!
Since we are still on Christmas break, we’ve been doing a lot of reading together, so this week I’m sharing two books we read together and one book that my kids keep out all the time and constantly reference.
I can’t wait to see what you read with your kids in 2018 too!
What We’re Reading Together
Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece
Thank you to the Kid Lit Exchange for the review copy of this book! I’ll start off by saying that we absolutely loved Fallingwater. It’s a picture book retelling of how Frank Lloyd Wright built one of his most famous houses, named Fallingwater. It’s simply written, but engaging enough that my 9-year-old was super interested and asked if we could buy our own copy to read again. I learned a lot too! Wright built this house on top of a waterfall, and the engineering that went into it is amazing. We watched a couple of short videos online about the house right after reading the book, and it made us all want to learn even more! Even if you think your kid wouldn’t be interested in architecture (I didn’t think mine would be), I highly recommend this book! They loved that it was about a real person and that the possibility of visiting that house is available. (Which also made me wonder why kids are so much more interested in non-fiction than adults…)
I learned about this book from Kate over at The Loud Library Lady, and it is a wonderful book. Most People is about how most people in the world are good, and even though there are some not so nice people out there, the good far outweighs the bad. It also briefly touches on how sometimes people who do bad things can change. (This is illustrated by showing a little boy stealing an apple on one page and apologizing on the next.) If your kids are asking a lot of questions about why some people do bad things, or they’ve seen something scary in the news, this is the perfect book to explain that a little bit, and to open discussions about people in the world and how you can do good things.
The Book My Kids Are Obsessed With
Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
My 9-year-old bought this at the school book fair before Christmas, and he and my 6-year-old read it every day. Every. Day. And this book is not playing around when it calls itself an encyclopedia. Whatever you want to know about Star Wars, down to the furniture used throughout, is pictured and described in detail. My kids are obsessed with it, and they both love to read it and then show me exactly which laser blaster thing each character uses and why. If you have a Star Wars fan in your house, this makes a wonderful gift! (If it’s an encyclopedia it’s educational, right??)
In honor of my son’s 9th birthday today, I thought I would post what his favorite books of 2017 were. (Don’t worry, I’ll have the adult version coming next week! This week has just been very kid-centric!) I asked him, and it took him less than 20 seconds to come up with these. When you know, you know!
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
We are about 3/4 through this book, and it’s already his favorite of the series. (Followed closely by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.) This kid is a die-hard Harry Potter fan, and one of my favorite things of 2017 has been to watch him become that fan. The fifth book is much darker than the previous four, but he’s been loving it, and lugging around my hardcover copy of it to school to read in any spare moments he has. If you have an 8-year-old who’s shown even the slightest interest in Harry Potter (or if you’re an adult who hasn’t read them yet), give them the first book and get started!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway
This is the newest in the Wimpy Kid series, and my son knew the release dates months before and was counting down the days. He read it in a day or two and declared it the best one yet. These books are silly, and probably slightly inappropriate, but when it comes to books I’m a little more lenient! This one also takes place during the holidays, so if you’re looking for a book to get for a reluctant reader, or a reader who doesn’t have the newest one yet, go for the Wimpy Kid books. I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like them!
This is another graphic novel, this time from the author of the Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey. It’s a comic, Dog Man, written by the two main characters, George and Harold, from Captain Underpants. As you might expect, this book (also a series) is silly, funny, and absolutely ridiculous. So of course my son (both of my sons, actually) love it. I’m glad that authors such as Dav Pilkey and Andy Griffiths are making reading fun for kids. It’s easy to get bogged down with all the books we think our kids “should” read, and sometimes that makes them think reading isn’t fun. Dog Man is definitely fun, and I’m sure we’ll be adding more of this series to our collection!
So that’s my older son’s list of favorite books this year! After his birthday and Christmas gifts, his TBR pile will get a little longer, and I’m interested to see what will be on his list of favorites next year.[Top]
Today I want to highlight another of our favorite Christmas books! My boys love the Fly Guy series, and Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas is great. The Fly Guy series, written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, is about a boy named Buzz and his pet fly, Fly Guy. Fly Guy and Buzz can understand each other and they go everywhere together. In this one, Fly Guy is frantically searching for a present for Buzz on Christmas Eve, and he runs into a strange man in a red suit in his house. He uses his ninja skills (which any kid will appreciate) to fend off the mysterious stranger, and still has to find a present for his best friend!
This book is super cute, and if your kid likes ninjas at all, they will love this book. It’s really great for beginning readers to read on their own as well, or for more advanced readers who are looking for a quick, fun book to read. If you give books as gifts for Christmas, this is a perfect one to gift. (I wrapped it up for my 6-year-old last Christmas!)