I love talking about children’s books almost as much as I love reading them, and the conversations that these reviews have sparked have been such a joy to take part in. It is so much fun to hear your opinions of the books I review, and even more, learning what your kids are reading and recommending. I recently sat down with my own boys to ask them what books they would recommend to kids their age, and their lists were long, fun and even a little surprising. I asked my ten-year-old son Ronan to contribute to today’s post and he was happy to offer his “Ten Books for Ten-Year-Olds.”
Before I get to his list, I want to tell you a little about this reader. Ronan was born with a book in his hand. I know, it sounds crazy and the nurses said they have only seen it happen a handful of other times, but there he was, clutching his copy of The Bus Stop and demanding hourly readings (and feedings, he demanded hourly feedings too). He moved onto Mo Willems and Kevin Henkes and then we blinked and he was finished with The Magic Tree House series. Then Harry Potter. He is never without a book. Ever. He’d rather be reading than almost any other activity in the world. I’m sure his first tattoo will be of the literary sort and he’ll probably get married in a library. I’ll let him take it from here.
Hi, my name is Ronan. It was hard to come up with this list because in the literary world I have read nearly one percent of all books written (that’s my estimate but it’s on the Internet now so it must be true). The following list are not necessarily my favorites (though some are), but they are books I hope your ten-year-old will enjoy just as much as I did.
Because of Mr. Terupt (Rob Buyea) – A heartwarming book about a group of fifth grade kids who are not all alike. Throughout the year, they learn more about themselves and how to solve conflict because of their great teacher, Mr. Terupt.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (Chris Grabenstein) – A funny, interesting and quick story about a group of kids who are trapped in a tech-heavy library and must escape in order to win a grand prize. It boils down to the conclusion before you know it and leaves you wanting to read it again.
The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook (Joanne Rocklin) – When a family’s cat gets sick, Oona tries to keep her little brother Fred in good spirits by telling tales of the fives lives the cat has already spent, while simultaneously trying to hide the identity of the cat’s true owner.
Flora & Ulysses (Kate DiCamillo) – A silly book about a girl that saves a squirrel that is sucked up by a super vacuum while the owners were vacuuming their lawn. They proceed to have lots of adventures about a cat, a family that hates squirrels and SPRINKLES!!!!!
Harry Potter (J.K.Rowling) – If you haven’t read this series, you are missing out on life.
Jake and Lily (Jerry Spinelli) – Jake and Lily are twins that share a connection that begins to fade as Jake meets new friends and Lily feels left behind. I liked the way the book alternated chapters between the twins.
Liar and Spy (Rebecca Stead) – A depressed boy that has moved into an apartment from his house with a bed made out of a fire escape must work through problems and figure out the history of the mysterious boy in his building, Rammed Safer.
Merits of Mischief (T.R. Burns) – This is a great book for people who want a funny, quick read and also love trouble-making. After an unfortunate incident involving a substitute teacher and an apple, Seamus Hinkle is sent to a reform school that teaches kids how to be professional trouble-makers.
Rain Reign (Ann M. Martin) – This book is about an autistic girl living with her father who doesn’t know how to raise a girl like Rose Howard. When a hurricane comes, she loses her dog Rain and goes on a search to find her but ends up finding something more.
Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt) – When Winnie finds a pebble-covered spring in the woods, a boy tells her not to drink from it. They become friends and she discovers his amazing secret.