All three of our girls are avid readers and they often begin and end their days with stacks of books around them on the bed or on the sofa.
Our 9-year-old is a particularly fast reader and her current reading interests revolve around history, science, and mysteries. She is also quite an inventor so any book with imaginative components is typically a shoo-in.
When her dad was gone in Alaska in early June, she read about a book a day.
Her pace has slowed a bit since then (but not much!). She and her almost 12-year-old sister are now at the point where they are reading books that I haven't read. I still try to put books in their hands as much as I can, but I am happy to report that they both have excellent taste in literature.
I’ve listed the books that my 9-year-old has read or is reading this summer in alphabetical order by title. From the time I started a draft of this post to now, she has already surpassed this list. In fact, she is currently standing at my shoulder, aghast, "I've read way more books than that this summer." Touché.
***Watch for upcoming posts about what my other three kids (ages 1, 6, and 11) are reading. You can also find my summer reading list here.***
AMERICAN GIRL series
This summer, our 9-year-old read the entire Addy series (sad, but well-done) and is now working her way through the Kaya and Josephine series. I love that American Girl unlocks history for young girls in such a captivating way. In fact, I'm hoping that AG "returns to their roots" and debuts more historical dolls + stories.
COLD-CASE CHRISTIANITY FOR KIDS by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace
I don't remember where I first heard about this book, but the cover immediately made me think of my 9-year-old. She loves mysteries and frequently wears a detective coat. She also has LOTS of questions about the Bible, God's sovereignty, and forgiveness. For these reasons, I expected her to like this book - but she LOVED this book! Apparently there is another book in this series (God's Crime Scene for Kids) and I plan to purchase a copy.
DAUGHTERS OF FAITH SERIES by Wendy Lawton
According to the publisher, these books are different from most children's biographies because "these books are about little girls. They are not biographies of the entire life of the characters- these are stories about girls who made a difference while they were still young." The first four in this series of slim fictional novels are about Pocahontas, Anita Dittman (a holocaust survivor), Mary Bunyan (John Bunyan's daughter), and Mary Chilton (a passenger on the Mayflower). My daughter read "The Captive Princess" and said that she "liked" it, but has not moved on to the rest of the series. Since these stories each are about a completely new historical figure, there is no need to read them in order.
I SURVIVED THE JOPLIN TORNADO, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis
This is #12 in a series of # "I Survived" books - all based on actual events from history. My daughter sped through the book and I could tell it kept her on the edge of her seat. We picked up two others as part of a "free book" summer reading initiative at our local library, but I think I'd like to own more of this series. It can be transformative for kids to get a glimpse of hard times around the world - and to imagine themselves inside the stories.
IN GRANDMA'S ATTIC by Arleta Richardson
Originally published in 1974, this delightful book of short stories is set in the "Little House" era. Comical and charming, it's an especially sweet pick for young girls. I still remember the "hoop skirt/vanity" story from when I read the book as a little girl! ;)
MANDIE BOOKS by Lois Gladys Leppard
We picked up the first book in this series at the library and then a friend gave my daughter the next five books as a birthday gift. The series has been described as "children's historical mystery" and follows the life of a young orphan named Mandie Shaw. The story starts around the year 1900 when Mandie is 11-years-old. There are forty books in this series; the first was published in 1983 and the last in 2004. The author, who died in 2008, based the series on stories of her own mother's childhood.
SEW IN STYLE by Erin Hentzel and A KID'S GUIDE TO SEWING by Sophie Kerr
Both of our older daughters are taking sewing lessons this summer from their great aunt. It is truly a gift that their great aunt is sharing her skill and passion with them (more on that in another post, I hope). These two books - published by C&T Publishing - are great resources for new and aspiring seamstresses. "A Kid's Guide to Sewing" gives an overview of tools and basic skills (threading a needle, maintaining a sewing machine, etc), plus includes 16 project ideas. "Sew in Style" is specifically about making doll clothes for 18" dolls and it includes patterns. Both books have plentiful full color photographs for visual learners.
THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton
Published in 1952, this novel about a family of little people who live underneath the kitchen floor of an English country manor has had huge appeal with kids and adults. The story centers around Homily and Pod and their fourteen-year-old daughter Arrietty. Clever and creative, the title comes from the fact that these miniature people "borrow" from the "human beans" in the house above them. There are five books in this series and we own them all so I will be curious to see if Liv continues on to the next one.
THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE by Natalie Savage Carlson
Our daughter picked up this Newbery Honor winning book off our shelves (reminder: stock your shelves with LOTS of books and your kids will pick them up!). The book focuses on an elderly beggar in Paris, who ends up connecting with a mother and her three children (who have also hit hard times and are living on the streets).
THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD by Lynne Reid Banks
This is a book that I recommend all of the time to kids (and parents) because it is so fantastically fun and imaginative. Oh to have a cupboard that would transform your plastic toys to real talking people! It drives me crazy that there is not an appealing hardcover version of this book. The majority of copies that can be found in stores and online have the awful movie-tie-in cover.
THE TWENTY-ONE BALLOONS by William Pene du Bois
This is a lesser-known novel (published in 1947), but it is truly a wonder. An imaginative feast! A thrilling adventure! With science inside too! Somebody needs to make this one into a movie. Also, this is another book that deserves a beautiful and enticing hardcover version.
TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE by Jessica Day George
"Tuesdays at the Castle" is about a princess who lives in a castle that changes shape - creating new rooms, halls, and turrets at will. I began reading this one aloud at the beginning of the summer, but was detoured by our toddler. I'll likely pick it up again soon. There are five books in this series.
If you have an 8 to 10 year old, what books is he/she enjoying this summer?