Monday, December 2, 2013

Books For Middle Childhood.

I promised this post a while ago and time is ticking rapidly toward Christmas so with no further delay here are my recommendations for books for middle childhood...you know...those lovely years during which you sleep and breathe like a real human.  Our children, mainly girls, are made up of a mix of personality types and levels of reading interest.  These books are all ones which I researched thoroughly before throwing them into Santa's sack.  I've left out the ones that were left unread or started and abandoned, regardless of the great content or upstanding role models featured.  This list is only comprised of what has actually worked in our family and most have been read by several of the children/teens.  I'm not guaranteeing that your child will love them...I'm just saying ours do.

In general, as a rough guide, I've loosely arranged them according to reading level but since I haven't read them all myself that's a rough guide.

Sorry about the quality of some of the pictures.

Here goes.

Firstly...some beautiful wordless novellas for the really reluctant or the really tired child.  These books by Andy Runton are filled with gentle kindness.  Santa is bringing some more this year.




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(by Lynne Jonell)



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I'm really delighted with the Alvin Ho series.  Our 8-9 year old son was a bit reluctant to tackle fiction and a lot of the age appropriate books in our house were a bit too girly.  The Magical Mix-Ups above were a good start but these stole the show.  He even asked me to order more from the series and we didn't see him for several days as he laughed his way through these books. Love them!



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He loved this too as did his next up few older siblings.
(by Ruth Styles Gannett)



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And this one too...


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(by Debi Gliori...more about her later.)
All our girls loved this series.


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This is an unusual book, the girls loved it...interestingly our eldest (17) tucked it under her arm one afternoon to kill a bit of time.  She has told me several times it's a great book.   Actually just because a book is geared toward a younger audience doesn't mean it won't be enjoyed by older children and even adults if it is well written and a good storyline.  Pie also features some lovely recipes...yum!


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Next up...have a look at this gentle looking lady- Maud Hart Lovelace.  Do you think she could grab and hold the attention, heart and mind of today's little ladies in opposition to all the electronic and hip (you know my so cool children told me that hip isn't really a hip word!! Seems I'm so with it I'm without it!!) entertainments available?  Well she CAN!! 


Check out the Betsy-Tacy series of books.  Written between 1940-1955 and now reprinted with the original illustrations.  My 11 year old has fallen in love with these books.  Thankfully it's a series so Santa will provide again.


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I'm willing to bet that these three books have probably been the favourite that have come in in quite a while.  Our girls simply love them.  I definitely recommend them.





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And I can say the same about this book by the same author.


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Some graphic novels for tweens  by Trina Robbins.  Our girls had great fun with these.  
They're a bit difficult to track down but inexpensive and a great light read.




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Trixie Belden is a series of girl detective books written between 1948 and 1986.  The first fifteen have been republished but some of them aren't too easy to find but you can get them second hand on EBay or Amazon outside sellers.  A really wholesome read.  


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This is a super book...so action packed and exciting.  I've read it myself and couldn't put it down.


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An oldie but a lovely read-aloud book.  I read The Family From One End Street series a few years ago for our middle ones, they really enjoyed it a lot.


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Now these books aren't in print just now but I've checked and you can get them second hand online. Highly recommend them.  A big hit in our house.


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All of our children who have read these two book have said they're excellent...


especially this one...



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Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster.  So gently romantic.  A timeless book.



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Now back to Debi Gliori.  This series is funny and slightly weird.  Our eldest read them after our very gentle middle child was a bit hesitant over whether to continue reading.  She loved them! Debi is a Mom of a large family and, knowing the mind of her audience, has inserted just the right amount of macabre to satisify middle-childhood blood-lust without being in any way inappropriate or scary.  Maybe not for the most tender-hearted though.  I used to take children for creative writing groups years ago.  It would raise the hairs on the back of your neck...no matter what guidelines we'd start them with their stories invariably descended into guts and gore much to their hilarity.  I'm not saying these books have those elements, that was just a side comment.


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Anything by Michael Morpurgo.  This is our older girls favourite book.


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We have a Jane Austen young lady in our house.  These are right up her alley.



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Now these books are the autobiographical story of the family supposedly featured in the movie of the same name.  To be perfectly honest, I do not know why the Galbraith family allowed their name to be caricaturised  into something which was the polar opposite of what they actually were.  Our girls are reading and loving these hilarious and uplifting books just now.



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I got this for our young teens a few years ago when they had just begun to experiment with make up.  It's a valuable guide with lots of very clear tips.  I see it on their dressing table very often.


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Finally, I decided to throw this one in at the end since I found it while I was rummaging for books this afternoon.  Our girls heard this guy give his testimony last year and got his signed book.  It blew them both away!! If you are worried that maybe your teens are straying a bit (or a lot) this amazing story reads like a gangster novel with the most unbelievable outcome.

John Pridmore.

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Well I hope that's some help. Which books have been a success in your family?  This list isn't much use to me as we already have them all.  Tips are always welcome.

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4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the list!

    I had emailed my aunt asking for suggestions for my cousin, and all the books were so dark and depressing {death and trauma in all of them!}. These are great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have the exact thoughts on children's literature, there's far too much darkness overall. I think books should uplift not drag down.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much for sharing your list. Our daughter has read many of these books and would agree that they are wonderful books. So many others that we have not heard of...put a few on hold at the library.

    ReplyDelete

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