Monday, April 15, 2013

More Best Reads

I decided that, since this blog is brand-new, I would put up a list of some of our favorite past reads.  These are some of the best books that I've read with my son and daughter. This will include the books that I loved, along with a few books that the kids loved more than I did.  Some of these are obvious picks that most people have already heard of, but I still want to mention them, just in case.  Moving forward, I'm going to try to specifically review most of the books my kids and I read together, but I can't go back and do them all!  

This will be a partial list and I'll add more posts like this one later.  The ages that I've listed next to the books are the "official" age ranges listed on Amazon.  Your kids might be ready for these books at an earlier or later age, of course.

So, here goes...

The Harry Potter Series - (Ages 9+) Okay, I can't write a blog about kids' books and not mention Harry Potter, right?  These books were fantastic for anyone who loves fantasy.  Or, really for anyone.  You almost can't go wrong. I read these back when they first came out and then read them all again with my son when he was in second grade (he's an advanced reader and the books might be a little scary for younger kids - they didn't bother him, but you've been given fair warning).  I'm looking forward to reading them at least one more time with my daughter - I haven't quite convinced her to pick the series up yet (she's 8 and I think the thick, final books in the series are a bit intimidating for her), but I know she'll love them when she finally does start in.  Definitely a 5 star series!

The Percy Jackson Series - (Ages 10+) This is another must-read for fantasy fans.  It follows a boy named Percy Jackson who discovers that he is a demi-god (his father is Poseidon) and finds himself fighting a battle of mythological proportions!  I love how the author turns some of Percy's "weaknesses" (he has ADHD and dyslexia) into strengths in the series and also how kids are introduced to mythology in a fun and exciting way.  There is also a companion series called Heroes of Olympus that is still underway. (Riordan has also written another series called The Kane Chronicles that features Egyptian gods, but I haven't read any of those yet - my son liked the first one, which is the only one he's read so far, I believe).

The Puppy Place Series - (Ages 7-10) I haven't read all of these (there are 31 of them!), but I believe my daughter has and she loves them!  This is the type of book that she will read again and again.  Any child who loves animals, will definitely love these.  Each book revolves around Charles and Lizzie Peterson as their family fosters a puppy and helps to find it the perfect home.  The books don't need to be read in order, so grab one if you see it!

Treasure Island - (Ages 10+) I read this book along with my son when he was 9. One warning that I need to give - the dated language is definitely difficult for a child (I even found myself confused in a few small parts), but the story is amazingly captivating. It took my son awhile to get through the book and we discussed it often so that I could be sure that he was understanding the details, but I'm so glad that we read the original rather than an "updated" version. Highly recommended!  (By the way, it might be worth reading an updated version of the book with a younger child to introduce them to the classic and save the original version for when your child is a bit older).

The Magic Tree House Series - (Ages 7-10 - but I would say younger) This is another series that most people have heard of, but that I thought I would mention in case someone hasn't found them yet.  Once again, I haven't read all of the books in this series, but my son has and the ones I have read have been great fun and educational as well.  The series revolves around two kids named Jack and Annie who find a mysterious tree house that transports them back in time to various time periods and locations.  These books are a fun way for kids to learn about many different historical periods.  

The Imagination Station Series - (Ages 6-9) This series is similar to The Magic Tree House series, except that all of the books are Christian-themed.  Once again, each of the books finds two children (Beth and Patrick) sent back in time.  This is a great series for parents who are looking for a way to share history with their kids from a Christian perspective.  One note - these books are definitely geared toward younger kids.  The language in the books is VERY simplistic.  Honestly, as an adult, I had a hard time reading the first few books because of this.  But, my daughter absolutely loved the books and I thought that they had a great message, so I would still recommend them.

That's all for now, but I'll add more later.  Right now, I'm reading The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin (which my daughter already finished) and I'll be posting a review of that book soon!

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