Wednesday, August 13, 2008

reading for kids

Warriors: The Lost Warrior Manga/Tokyopop edition, Erin Hunter
Ages 8-12, grades 4-6
So the first thing is that this is in graphic novel format, but there is nothing 'manga' about it. That completely aside, I'm not really interested in this story. It was amazingly popular with the 5th and 6th grade girls at my previous job (the regular format, that is). These cats take themselves way too seriously.

Clementine's Letter, Sara Pennypacker
Ages 7-12, grades 2-4 (main character and setting is 3rd grade)
Clementine is awesome, and I definitely see why kids and adults alike love her. Great books, appealing story, funny and realistic in an overall positive sense.

Leaping Beauty, Gregory Maguire
Ages 8-12, grades 3-6
This would make an excellent read-aloud for older grades (4 and 5), especially when studying fairy tales. I can imagine activities where the kids listen and draw characters based on what they are listening to. The vocabulary, sentence structure, and themes would make this a challenging book for all but the brightest and strongest readers. But a lot to interact with and read together and talk about - very stimulating and full of great vocabulary.

Dinosaur Trouble, Dick King-Smith
I'm not going to bother looking up the age range or anything because I just didn't like this book - dinosaurs work together to kill a t.rex that has been tormenting them.

Nate the Great and the Boring Beach Bag, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
grades 1-2
Pretty fun story, good vocabulary, lots of straightforward dialogue. A solid beginning reader.

I Love My New Toy!, An Elephant & Piggie Book, Mo Willems
Ages 4-8, grades k-2
Another solidly awesome beginning reader from Mo Willems - funny, pretty simple, great story and great characters

Medusa Jones, Ross Collins
Ages 9-12, grades 3-5
Would make a perfect Ancient Greece tie-in - Medusa Jones is a medusa, and has a centaur and minotaur friend - their other classmates are the kids of greek gods, and are vain and a little lacking in brains. They pick on Medusa and her friends until they all go on a field trip up Mount Olympus and Medusa and friends save the day. The greek gods' kids don't really stop picking on our heros, and Medusa, in a funny, inadvertent way, turns them to stone. A fun story with a lot of opportunity for discussion and research outlets.

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