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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I try to read with my youngest son pretty much every night, and my oldest are already regular readers, but I don't feel like I keep up with children's literature as well as I did when I taught literacy classes or read to kindergarteners every week as a reading specialist. Still, every now and then I encounter a children's book that really makes me laugh/moves me/whatever. I read this one with Nathaniel a couple days ago...

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27...

Damn, it's funny, and it's a great story, too. What about you? Read any good kid lately? Or a long time ago?


message 2: by Jackie "the Librarian" (last edited Jan 07, 2009 02:53PM) (new)

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Have your boys read any Roland Smith, RA? A kid told me that Cryptid Hunters was the best book he ever read!

I also like the Gregor the Overlander series for ages 10 and up.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Roland Smith. Thunder Cave rules!


message 4: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I'll ask them, Jacks...thanks for the tip...right now the two oldest are obsessed with The Ranger's Apprentice series...


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Yeah, that's a great series, RA. I also like the series that starts with Magyk, especially for kids who aren't ready for YA books.


message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments I do mentoring a couple of days a week on my lunch hour at a school a block away from my office. basically it is just reading with some kids and helping them do their spelling. more about showing them someone cares, anyway seems we have been reading The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids books alot lately. not my favs but the kids seem to like them. my beef with some kid lit type books is the authors make the names of the characters hard to pronounce and they can't sound out weird ones. it hurts the flow when a kid is reading out loud i think. names should be more straight forward in those books.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Good point, Kevin. I personally hate Welsh names, and Gaelic ones, which get a lot of use in fantasy novels. If the author insists on using them, they MUST include a pronunciation guide. All those double f's and y's drive me crazy.


message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments silent letters, weird spellings and obscure names break up the rhythm of reading. most of the kids i work with are reading at lower levels than they should anyway and a funky name trips them up and frustrates them. onomatopoeia's do also sometimes.


message 9: by Heidi (last edited Jan 09, 2009 07:40AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments On a somewhat related note - I just found out that Mercer Meyer was born in Arkansas. Neato!


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments did i really write the word "onomatopoeia" ? sheeesh


message 11: by Heidi (last edited Jan 09, 2009 08:50AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments When my 7th grade english teacher was teaching us about onomatopoeia, she explained that it's a word that sounds just like the word... and said we could remember it by thinking of it as an Italian man trying to housetrain his dog.


message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments ok, i didn't get that. i must be really thick. guess i will go stare at a blank sodoku for awhile


message 13: by Heidi (last edited Jan 09, 2009 09:16AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments "Onna mahtta peeea" (Pee on the matt, dog)


message 14: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments You can spell out onomatopoeia to the tune of "Old McDonald" if you so desired.


message 15: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments AH HAHAHA! That's awesome, Logan. :)


message 16: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments peed on the matt flew right over my head and i just did the old mcdonald song out loud to no one in my office. E-I-E-I-O


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

That reminds me of the controversy over Britney Spears' new song. Her label made her change it from "If You Seek Amy" to "If You See Amy" because the original was too dirty. If you say it slowly, you maybe be able to see what it really is called.

As for kids lit, here are some of my favorite books off the top of my head with no rhyme or reason except for that RA's kids don't need to miss out on them:

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
This is a wordless graphic novel. Kids who can't read can "read" it! It's simple enough for real young ones to grasp with guidance, but actually tilts towards an adult graphic novel as far as interest level goes! It's funny and poignant. Really.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus series by Mo Willems.
Get all of them! Everyone likes them! They're so fun to read out loud.

The Scientists in the Field Series
Especially "The Tarantula Scientest," which follows one man through his work as an arachnologist. It's fascinating! And the photos are by Nic Bishop, who makes awesome books, as well.

Creature by Andrew Zuckerman
If this book is in your home, it will be looked at for hours by lots of eyes.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
I know you have boys, RA, but if read aloud, you'd hook them, I bet. This book is great. GREAT! And would open up lots of opportunity for discussion about things relevant to them and their personal lives. Plus. Do it for Harriet. She deserves it (trust me).

Yotsuba& Graphic Novels
This are manga books about a little girl/probable alien who moves to town with her dad. They are HILARIOUS! You have to read them backwards, though, so you get to do a brain thunk. These are funny!

King Matt the First by Janusz Korczak
An old classic that has recently come back into print. This book has it all. A boy king, in danger before his reign begins, turns civilization upside down! So important! Read about this author's life--he was basically a father of an orphanage and wrote this book for them. Must be read aloud!

Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
Autobiographic tale about when childhood Paulsen went to live with farming cousins while his parents were busy being drunks. Barn animal violence, nudie photos, colorful language...but still for kids! Probably just for your oldest at this point, RA.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
Better than his Newbery Medal winner. Timely, too, what with our country celebrating our first black president.

There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar
Author of Holes and Wayside School books, this is a story about a pretty fucked up kid who is going to school counseling and learning to let down his defenses. Stellar.

A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
These are hilarious historical fictions.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein
Have they not seen this, yet? Read this with them and then go see the new movie just made about his life.

The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
These are a bridge between picture books and chapter books. They're pretty funny. Author of Newbery Honored Because of Winn-Dixie and Newbery Medaled The Tale of Despereaux


Picture Books I love:
When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor
Who is Melvin Bubble by Nick Bruel
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Ivan the Terrier by Peter Catalanotto
The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman
The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Bishop
Big Plans by Bob Shea
Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
Smartypants: Pete in School by Maira Kalman

I'll stop, now.



Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Yay, Sarah! Great list! I love anything by Dav Pilkey, too, but I'm sure with three boys RA has already read tons of those. And Jon Scieszka.
Right, RA? You've read The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka ? And the The Adventures of Captain Underpants series?
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 19 comments Thank you, Tambo! I needed new kids' lit to read. My favorites are mostly 20 years old, with some obvious exceptions.

One author I've read recently that I'd recommend highly to any kid too smart for his/her peers is Walter Moers. As far as I can tell, only three of his books are available in English, but they're all just astounding, and appropriate recommendations for any kid who could handle the last couple of Harry Potter books. Smart, hilarious, and dark as all hell. I'd recommend reading Rumo first (engaging and amazing), then Captain Bluebear (probably the weakest, though that's only relative and it's still stellar), followed by The City of Dreaming Books (indescribable. Amazing. Breathtaking. It helps a little to know the world being described first, which is why I recommend the best last.)


message 20: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Thanks so much, Montambo! I'll give the list directly to the kids. Yes, they've read Stinky Cheese and Captain Underpants.

This weekend they devoured the new installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, and they're working through the Rangers' Apprentice series, too...

Thanks again, Sarah...you rock...


message 21: by Mike (new)

Mike (MJMorgan) | 38 comments I'm a stickler for the classics myself.

Sounder
The Call of the Wild
Where the Red fern Grows
101 Dalmations

OK so I'm a stickler for a dog story....there are others

Tales of a Fourth nothing(as well as its sequels, made me laugh even as an adult)
Roman the Pest
Henry Huggins
Runaway Ralph

I could go on but I think my old schoolness is shown through enough.


message 22: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23422 comments Mod
A few picture books I recently read and liked:

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness. Ness is an awesome artist. Her illustrations are so vintage 60s. And, she was for a time one of Eliot Ness's wives. How many people can say that?? Only three!

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes. Krommes's scratchboard illustrations, in only black, white, and yellow, are awesome, and the text is good too.

For older readers, I haven't read these recently but as a kid I loved the Encyclopedia Brown series.

I second Montambeau's nomination of Harriet the Spy. I think boys should read more books about girls, plus it's not just a book about a girl. It also has boy characters. And Harriet is NOT a girly-girl. She is quite frumpy.


message 23: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I LOVED Captain Underpants when I was a kid. He was THE SHIT.

Do kids still read Goosebumps?


message 24: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11459 comments My son (age 7, second grade) is working through the Captain Underpants books, but his true love is Diary of a Wimpy Kid.


message 25: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) My daughter loved THE MAGIC TREEHOUSE series, Captain Underpants, Poppleton, Frog and Toad, Ramona, and Harriet the Spy. I loved Where the Wild Things Are, Charlotte's Web, The Secret Garden, Alice In Wonderland, Goodnight Moon, The Paperboy, Chrysanthemum, The Kissing Hand, The Mitten, How Do I Love You, Parts, Stellaluna, Onions and Garlic, Milk and Cookies, The Gift, A Mother for Choco.... I loved reading to my girl!


message 26: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart I remember the Magic Schoolbus. I never got into Ramona, but I read all of Little House on the Prairie, even the prequels


message 27: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments the pettson and findus (i see they changed the names to festus and mercury in the english translation) books by sven nordqvist are genius. they're picture books, but i enjoyed and reread them for many many years, because the illustrations are excellent and have all of these hidden creatures and jokes in them. i'd still like them and even went to see a pettson and findus movie a few years ago. i also really liked holes by louis sachar.


message 28: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4033 comments I'm apparently the last one to figure this out but I'm reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle for the first time and I'm over the moon about it.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle as a kid.


message 30: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Beverly Cleary was always a favorite of mine. The fact that she was from No Po, like me, I thought was VERY cool.

I'm currently reading the Percy Jackson books, but I'm only about 1/3 of the way through book one, so I'm not sure what I think yet.

I've never read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle....


message 31: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Mrs Piggle Wiggle - good lord I read a lot of those over and over - very good books for kids.


Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) Amelia wrote: "Beverly Cleary was always a favorite of mine. The fact that she was from No Po, like me, I thought was VERY cool.

I'm currently reading the Percy Jackson books, but I'm only about 1/3 of the wa..."


Book 1 of Percy Jackson is not nearly as good as the rest of the books, so I'd encourage you to keep going. Riordan is not the best "writer", but he does have great comedic timing.


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in 3rd grade.

Sometimes I think I want kids just to read my favorite books to them. That's one of the best things about having a niece: roaring terrible roars and gnashing terrible teeth and dancing a wild rumpus.


message 34: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Exactly SP! Then, you can give them back and sleep in till noon!! :)


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