Friday, September 9, 2011

PLAY: Curl up with a good book.

When I was teaching fourth and fifth grade, my favorite question from most of my students was, "Do you have a book recommendation for me?" These kids kept me up to date on my reading. Reading juvenile fiction, that is. Some of my students were absolutely voracious readers and would fly through several books in a week or two. They would catch me off guard if I had taken a break from my forays into middle school literature because they would almost definitely ask what I thought of the latest book by Christopher Paolini or Brian Selznick. And, they would be shocked if I did not have an answer.

Since I have been staying home with my son, I haven't made quite as much time for the latest novels. I have reread several of my favorites, though. If you're thinking that it seems a little odd for me to write about books that elementary and middle schoolers are likely to read, hold on! Most of these books are as well written as adult literature, don't contain questionable content or foul language, and are quick reads. I love the feeling of finishing a really good book, don't you? Well, here are some books that you are guaranteed to fly through:

Heartbeat by Sharon Creech
A touching, uplifting story written in poems. If you've ever felt a soul-freedom in running, you will get this book. I read it during my planning time at school one day (Don't tell my principal!).

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The City of Ember (Books of Ember)
This science fiction novel centers around the survival of mankind. The domed city where Lina Mayfleet lives is crumbling all around her and she seems to hold the key to discovering what lies outside the confines of dimly lit Ember. This is a story of adventure and courage.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Inkheart Trilogy Boxset
A fantasy novel that begins in our normal, not-at-all fantastic world. Meggie discovers that her father has the incredible ability to read characters to life from books. She will discover why he has hidden this talent from her all her life and will be swept away into another world to rescue those she loves most. (I absolutely adore anything by Cornelia Funke--you can't go wrong.)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Peter and the Starcatchers
This prequel to Peter Pan will have you holding your breath in suspense and laughing out loud. It is a charming adventure that moves quickly and leaves you eager to pick up the next book in the series.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games
Perhaps you've heard of this post apocalyptic novel that has become a phenomenon. For a more mature audience than City of Ember, this novel will grip you from beginning to end as you watch Katniss fight for the survival of her family and life as she knows it.

Do you have a favorite novel from your childhood that you would love to reread?


  1. I agree... I love most of the books my kids read! Right now my fourth grader is working her way through the Allie Finkle's Rules series and I'm quite enjoying them. They're a great springboard to discussing issues that arise between friends and "frenemies" at this age.

    My son read The Hunger Games last year and really enjoyed it but I haven't caught up with him yet.

    Inkheart was made into a movie and that our family enjoyed watching, but I haven't read that yet either... so much to read!

    BTW, thank you so much for visiting my blog! It's so nice to "meet" you!

  2. Hi Ashley!
    Just want you to know that I've been following this blog for a few months and I love it!

    When I saw your post, I immediately thought of the Narnia books we read in 4th grade (remember Ms. Roby??). I recently reread a few and it's amazing how there is so much more depth to them then what a fourth grade mind can realize.
    Can't wait to take a break from adult literature and try some of your suggested books (although I've already read the Hunger Games triology- so good I couldn't put it down!).

    By the way, we'll be flying into Denver next week to go to Rocky Mountain National Park for a week. We sooo want to live out there but taking anual vacations to Colorado is the next best thing. Hope you're doing well and best of luck with New Baby on the way! (when are you due again?)

    Take Care,
    Nicky (Mark) Satkamp

  3. I took a children's literature class in college one summer and had a fantastic time. I completely agree--some of these books are written so well and with simple messages that it feels good to read them.


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