Here are some books that I would recommend for anyone – child, teen, or adult:
Incredible book told through the eyes of Melody. She has an amazing mind – photographic (how cool), but she can’t talk, walk – nothing. She sits in a wheelchair all day every day. It’s a story of her life and how she learns to cope with her disability. This book is a must share with grades 4 and up!
A slightly creepy book, but definitely still appropriate for grades 4 and up. A group of friends (2 girls and a boy) play imaginary games with dolls and action figures and they have a “Queen” who lives in a glass case. Slowly, this doll seems to “wake” and haunt one of the girls. They have to take this bone china doll back to Ohio and bury her where her grave is – apparently the doll is filled with bones and ash (eww!). The adventure that the 3 of them experience along the way is a good fun adventure and grows their friendship as they try to manage growing up themselves.
This has to be my favorite from the week for creepy books. It’s not a “stay awake all night otherwise I”ll have nightmares” kind of book, but it’s definitely weird. Jacob has heard stories from his grandpa ever since he can remember about how he (grandpa) lived on a magical island with other children that could do magical things (think bizarre circus tricks – lift heavy things, be invisible, and more). As Jacob grew up to be a teenager, he just figured the stories were just that, stories. That is until something happens to grandpa and Jacob is off on his own adventure of exploration and magic. Absolute must read and I will be adding this to my collection at school. Huge recommend for grades 4 and up! (oh, and it’s part of a series – this was book 1 – totally requesting book 2 as soon as I can – comes out 2014).
Very good book for both boys and girls. Perfect for grades 4 and up. Adventure, mystery, the Fountain of Youth – perfect combination. Ephraim is trying to find his way in life. He is a middle child with nothing special to claim as a talent. His father has just had a stroke and now they are moving to this town in Maine called Crystal Springs. They have an old family house there called the Water Castle. This home was built by his ancestor when he was trying to find the Fountain of Youth and had narrowed it down to that location. Ephraim tries to fit in at his new school, but he discovers that he isn’t as smart as he thought he was. Eventually he befriends two very unlikely people and they set out on a mission to find the famed Fountain of Youth and try to fix Ephraim’s dad from his stroke. A great read!
This book is more for 8th grade and up I think. Not that you can’t read it before 8th grade, just that some of the topics are a bit more mature. The main character, Laine, takes us through her memories of growing up with a popular best friend, Leah. Leah knows how to twist and turn people to do whatever she wants them to do. Laine has trouble fitting in and is very easy for Leah to manipulate. It is a great story of what teens go through sometimes when they just want to fit in. Again, more for the mature audience, but a wonderful read.
I really enjoyed this story. A perfect blend of mystery, kidnapping, magic, friendship, and learning about yourself, I can see why it was a Newbery Honor Winner. The hard part for any reader is that the chapters are not always told through the same narrator’s eyes. I find this writing technique a great way to keep the reader engaged in all of the character’s stories. This is a story about Clara, Lizzie Rose, and Parsefall. It takes place in London in the past (not sure what specific time period though). Clara is a well-off child and loves a good puppet show, so she gets one for her birthday. From there, the kidnapping and adventure begin. A discovery of who you really are and coming to grips with that, for both the children in the story and for the adults, it is a well-told, heartwarming story. A wonderful read to curl up with. One I recommend for grades 5 and up and for both boys and girls.