Monday, June 23, 2014

My Eight Year Old's Top 5 Book Recommendations

Each summer we sign up for the summer reading program. The local library gives gift certificates to Dairy Queen when you're halfway through the program, a free book at the end, and there is a bonus section now. Drum roll..... If you make it to 900 minutes you are entered to win a bicycle, a helmet, and a bike lock. My boys are itching to win. Especially since our second born has in the last two days decided to start riding a bike. He's not *quite* there, but almost!! So. Excited.

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

This book is by E.B. White, (the same author who wrote 'Stuart Little' and 'Charlotte's Web'). I don't think he can write a bad book, because although 'The Trumpet of the Swan' is not as well known, it is by far our favorite. It's really wonderful. It is all about a little boy named Sam who discovers a pair of trumpeter swans and their nest. After saving the female swan from being attacked the swans trust him and allow him to watch as their eggs hatch. Sam develops a bond with the youngest swan who happens to be mute.  This is an excellent book for boys and girls alike.

#3 My Father's Dragon trilogy, by Ruth Stiles Gannett

This trilogy starts with 'My Father's Dragon', then 'Elmer and the Dragon', and lastly 'The Dragons of Blueland'. These books are very short. You could read them all within a week or two of sittings. The books are silly - full of talking animals, far fetched schemes, and ideas such as dreams are made of. It is about a little boy who sets off on a journey to save a baby dragon who is being held captive on the mysterious "Wild Island". The island is full of fearful beasts and dense jungle. This trilogy is idea for ages 4-8. The chapters are short and the story is light hearted.

#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.

1 comment:

  1. These are all new to us, so really interesting. We'll have to get hold of some copies. Thank you.


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