Category: What My Kids are Reading

What My Kids Are Reading: September 21, 2018


Ghosts   Henry and the Chalk Dragon   Hilo Book 4: Waking the Monsters

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted about what my kids are reading, and that’s mainly because they’ve been reading longer chapter books. I don’t want to post the same books week after week! But they’ve now made it through enough that I can start recommending books that they’ve loved again! Instead of separating this post by age, I’m just going to get right into the books!

Ghosts

My 9-year-old read this one and loved it so much that he re-read it again and again and asked if I could buy him ALL of Raina Telgemeier’s books! Ghosts is a graphic novel about a girl named Catrina, who has just moved to Northern California, and her younger sister, Maya. Catrina isn’t thrilled about being in a new town, but the weather is supposed to be better for her sister’s health: Maya has cystic fibrosis. When a neighbor reveals that their town is haunted by ghosts, Maya wants to meet one, and Cat has to decide what she will put first: her sister or her fear of ghosts. This is a wonderful story, and I am so happy that a character with CF features prominently! CF is an often misunderstood disorder, and I love that this book has made it accessible for kids. I highly recommend this for strong elementary readers or middle schoolers.

Henry and the Chalk Dragon

We read this book together after Sarah from Read Aloud Revival recommended it on her podcast. What a creative, fun book! Henry Penwhistle draws pictures all the time, including on his bedroom door, which is a giant chalkboard. One day those chalk drawings all come to life and follow him to school, wreaking lots of havoc along the way. I love that this book is so imaginative and encourages kids to create all kinds of art, not just coloring inside the lines. It also gently addresses important issues around friendships, adults who won’t listen, and how to be yourself when people don’t always understand why. Plus, Henry’s town is named Squashbuckle. Please read it, if only for that!

Hilo Book 4: Waking the Monsters

An alien robot boy crashes to Earth and befriends two earthlings. That’s probably all you need to know that this series is a HUGE hit with kids, especially my boys. They both (7 and 9) love this graphic novel series about Hilo (the alien robot) and his friends, DJ and Gina. In between Hilo learning how things work on Earth, they battle monsters, aliens, and the occasional monster alien robot combo. This is a fantastic, funny series that I think would work well for a lot of ages, as well as for reluctant readers!

What My Kids Are Reading: End of School Gift Edition!


 Stink Series       Endling 1: The Last

The school year (in Texas) is finally over and we are more than ready for summer! Well, maybe not the heat, but we’re ready for fun, summer sports, and, of course, reading for fun every day. Every year I like to give my kids a few fun outdoor toys to celebrate the last day of school and I always include a couple of books as well. (And as you can see, I also stock up on sunscreen-that’s about 10% of our current supply . . .) It’s a little harder to buy books for my kids now, because they really like to choose their own, but I think I picked some that fit their reading personalities, and they were excited to get started on these!

Stink Series
I picked this series out for my 7-year-old. He loves being read to, but when he reads to himself he always goes for funny books. Captain UnderpantsThe 13-Story TreehouseGalactic Hot Dogs . . . you get the idea. This series is written by Megan McDonald, the author of the Judy Moody series, and it’s about Judy’s younger brother, Stink. They’re beginner chapter books, and Stink kind of reminds me of my 7-year-old: a good kid who somehow gets into trouble, has a bossy older sibling, and loves being silly and funny. There’s a also a comic strip written by Stink within the books, which is a great addition if you have a kid who loves graphic novels. My 7-year-old has already finished the first book and is ready to read the second and he loved it!! As in, he chose to sit and read this book over playing with race cars at his big brother’s basketball practice. I’ll be buying the rest of the series as soon as he finishes this set!

Endling 1: The Last
I had no idea that Katherine Applegate had a new book out, so I grabbed this up the second I saw it. When I saw that it’s the first in a new series, I got even more excited-my 9-year-old and I love series, and this one sounds perfect for him. My 9-year-old really likes reading books with a lot of adventure, peril (of the kid-friendly variety, like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson), and relatable characters. This series sounds exactly right for an adventure-loving reader. The series is about a group of fantastical animals who behave like humans. One in particular, Byx, believes she is the last of her kind and sets out on a journey to find a new, safe home, and to see if she can find any more of her species. Along the way she gets into trouble, but also finds allies and uncovers some secrets she wasn’t planning to find. It honestly sounds amazing, and I might read this one to my 9-year-old . . . because I want to find out what happens to! It feels a little bit like Narnia and The Golden Compass series too, so I would suggest this for fantasy lovers as well.

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What My Kids Are Reading: Teacher Gift Edition!


The Boo-Boos That Changed the World The Caper of the Crowned Jewels (Secret Agent Jack Stalwart) My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Cinderella

I received a free copy of The Boo-Boos That Changed the World from Blue Slip Media and a free copy of My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Cinderella from the author. All opinions are my own! (And I bought additional copies of both books with my own cash money!)

Well, it’s that time of year! Teacher Appreciation, end of year teacher gifts, and feeling extra grateful for how much our teachers have done throughout the year. One of our teacher appreciation gifts was to add to each teacher’s classroom library. Can you guess how excited I was about this??? I think this is a wonderful idea, and if you’re like me and try to give more practical gifts to teachers throughout the year, books are great. These are the books I gifted to my boys’ teachers, and I truly think they’re all great books.

For Our First-Grade Teacher

The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!)

I love non-fiction books for kids that are actually interesting and fun, and this one is fantastic. Who knew the history of Band-Aids could be so interesting? Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson in the 1920s. His wife was extraordinarily clumsy, and he needed to come up with an easy way for his wife to cover her wounds while he was at work. Using supplies from his job, he created a rudimentary version of what we now know as Band-Aids. His boss thought it was a great idea, and dedicated Johnson & Johnson technology to improving it. This is a perfect book for elementary aged kids, and a great read-aloud for teachers!

For Our Third-Grade Teacher

The Caper of the Crowned Jewels (Secret Agent Jack Stalwart)

My 9-year-old picked this book out at Murder By the Book in Houston, and it is SUCH a great series!! Each book takes place in a different country, and the beginning of the book reads like a secret agent file about the case and includes history and interesting facts about the country. This is the third book in the series and takes place in London. Jack has to figure out who has stolen the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London, and even gets to meet the Queen. This is an easy chapter book, and while my 9-year-old reads these pretty quickly, he still loves them because they’re fun and adventurous. If you know your child’s teacher has a thing for the royals (Don’t we all??), this would be a great addition to his or her classroom library.

My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Cinderella

This book might be my favorite of the bunch, and as soon as I finished reading it I ordered it for my son’s teacher. Seriously. (And I’ll be buying it and others in the series for other kids.) The Rotten Stepbrother series takes fairy tales and turns them on their heads, and I love it. In this one, Maddie’s stepbrother Holden ruins her report on her favorite fairy tale, Cinderella, and embarrasses her in class. That night, they are magically transported inside the fairy tale, where everything has gone wrong. The prince thinks he loves the evil stepsister, Cinderella is stuck cleaning her stepmother’s house (and gets thrown into the dungeons), and Maddie and Holden both become characters in the story. They have to fix everything so that Cinderella gets her happy ending, or the fairy tale might stay cracked forever. This book is funny, witty, and really well-written. There’s something for everyone, and I think girls AND boys would enjoy this one.

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What My Kids Are Reading: New Orleans Edition!


Bayou Magic Who Was Louis Armstrong? Bedtime at the Swamp The Pirate Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans

When I visited New Orleans last month, I knew I couldn’t leave without bringing home at least one book for my kids. So of course I ended up bringing back 4! While I did visit the wonderful Faulkner House Books, I actually found these at a toy store in the French Quarter! The Little Toy Shop (This is not sponsored in any way, I just want to let you know where I found them!) had a surprising amount of children’s books, from beautiful editions of fairy tales to, of course, a good selection of New Orleans and Louisiana-based stories. It was hard to choose just these four, but I think the variety is pretty good, and the books seem perfect for a variety of ages.

Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

I picked up this book for the cover alone, but the story sounds amazing. Rhodes wrote the acclaimed Towers Falling and Ninth Ward, and I’m really excited to read this with my 9-year-old. Bayou Magic is the third in a trilogy of books about 3 separate girls visiting Louisiana during different times of crises. In in this one, Maddy goes to spend the summer with her grandmother in the bayou, and immediately loves the feeling she gets there. In between hearing her grandmother’s fairy tales, a possible sighting of a mermaid, and Maddy’s realization that she might have REAL magic, a tragic oil spill occurs. Maddy may be the only who can help. This sounds like an amazing book set in the South, and I have a feeling I’ll be picking up the first two in the series as well.

Who Was Louis Armstrong?

This one was a no brainer! My kids love the Who Was series, and I had to get this edition about Louis Armstrong. This book details Armstrong’s childhood in one of the roughest neighborhoods in New Orleans through his adulthood and famously successful career. I love learning about important people in history just as much as my kids, and he’s definitely an important person to learn about. He didn’t let adversity and severe racism stop him, and that’s a message that we can all learn from.

Bedtime at the Swamp

This is a really cute picture book about a little boy tromping through the swamp at bedtime. The little boy keeps hearing funny noises and isn’t quite sure what any of them are. It’s told in rhyme, and is perfect for kids of any age who like funny books with wonderful illustrations.

The Pirate Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans

A pirate? Swashbuckling through New Orleans? There was no chance I wasn’t bringing this one home for my 9-year-old. This is a real chapter book great for more advanced young readers or older readers, or to read with your child. It’s all about the pirate Jean Lafitte, his background, and what brought him to New Orleans in the 1800s. Some people loved him, some people hated him, and this looks like a really interesting book for any kid who loves pirates and their history!

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What My Kids Are Reading: 7th Birthday Edition!

In honor of my younger son’s 7th birthday, I’m posting his three favorite books (right now) today! He loves graphic novels right now, the sillier the better, and, of course, Harry Potter!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Because he’s my son, he loves Harry Potter, although not as much as my 9-year-old. I think it’s an age thing, and that he’ll be reading them on his own in a year or so. In the meantime, we’re reading the illustrated versions because . . . well, let’s be honest, don’t we all love illustrated books?? These versions are so beautiful, and make the series even more fun for young (and old) fans. He still isn’t super into long chapter books, so the illustrations help a lot. (Although I think the audiobooks might be his absolute favorite. Because Jim Dale is amazing.)

The 78-Story Treehouse

I know I’ve mentioned this series before, but I cannot recommend it enough! This is the 6th book in the series, and the 7th book (which is already out in Australia) will be out this summer. I used to not be a fan of graphic novels, but my kids have made me realize that they’re actually amazing for young readers. And a series about two boys living in a massive treehouse, with features such as man-eating sharks, a lemonade fountain, and a time machine? Yes, please! This is perfect for elementary-aged kids who need fast-paced books and engaging storylines in their books. This is the series that my 7-year-old (I cannot believe he’s 7!) can’t wait for the next book.

Galactic Hot Dogs 3: Revenge of the Space Pirates

Alright, y’all. This is one of those books that I raised my eyebrows at, starting shaking my head no, but my 7-year-old begged me for it so I said yes. It is . . . I’m not sure ridiculous is really descriptive enough, but I will say that fans of the Treehouse books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Dog Man will absolutely love. This series is about a boy named Cosmoe who is the captain of a flying food truck called the Neon Wiener. (Nope, I am not kidding.) He meets all kinds of interesting alien beings on his travels and gets himself into plenty of sticky situations. In this one, he is captured by space pirates during a hot dog eating contest. My 7-year-old would only eat hot dogs if I let him, so this series is truly perfect for him. It’s silly, funny, well-illustrated, and keeps his attention for far longer than I want to read about galactic hot dogs. If you’re ok with some slapsticky, borderline potty humor, this book is perfect for young to middle-grade readers who like funny adventure stories.

I can’t wait to see what books he loves next year!

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