The local bookstore also has a reading program, which is much easier than the library's. You merely have to read 8 books, and write down who you would recommend the books to at which point you get to pick from a selected list of free books. Woohoo!
I decided to ask my 8 year old what his list of favorite books was. As a homeschooler, and an avid book collecter I was curious as to which books had stood out to him.
Here is Rowan's compiled list:
#5 The Cricket in Times Square, by George Seldon
This book is absolutely adorable. It is about a cricket named Chester who accidentally finds himself on a train that takes him out of his country home and deposits him in Times Square where he is discovered by a little boy who helps his parents run a newsstand. He begs them to let him keep the cricket and his parents reluctantly agree. Chester the cricket in turn makes friends with an unlikely pair - a mouse and a cat who have made quite the living for themselves in Times Square. It is heart warming and engaging. Each character is distinctly different and loveable.
#4 The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White
#3 My Father's Dragon trilogy, by Ruth Stiles Gannett
#2 Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater
This is another silly book about a painter who loves to read about Antarctica. He writes a letter to a polar explorer who he very much admires and ends up receiving an unbelievable surprise from him. A penguin! Before long however, the penguin becomes depressed. Mr. Popper seeing his penguin's health begin to wane inquires at the zoo what he should do and in the process ends up with another penguin. Before long Mr. Popper ends up with several more penguins as pets. He has to make an ice rink in his basement so the penguins will be comfortable and becomes quite the celebrity in his own town. It is quite the unlikely adventure, full of hilarity. My son laughed so much while reading this book.
#1 Socks, by Beverly Cleary
This book was so well loved by our oldest that once we were done reading it together he promptly picked it up and read it again to himself. Beverly Cleary has a wonderful way of spinning an engaging, witty, and colorful story. I remember loving the Ramona books as a little girl. Rediscovering her as an adult with my own kids has been a pleasure. Socks is a story written from the perspective of a cat who finds a home with a young couple who dote on his every whim. He is happy and contented to do whatever he wants, until.... the couple discovers they are pregnant. Socks doesn't understand why he is suddenly getting less attention than usual and proceeds to misbehave and lash out at his owners in some rather amusing ways. When the baby finally arrives it is (as far as the cat is concerned) the straw that broke the camel's back. He ends up being removed from the house whereupon he has several misadventures. The ending is sweet and lovely. It has my son and I feeling sorry for the cat, laughing at his antics, and rooting for him. We highly recommend it.