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Children's literature: reading it, writing it, and loving it!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kid Lit Picks: Middle-grade

We all have favorites: favorite places, people, foods, traditions, games, sports, colors, ice cream flavors, etc etc etc. With the gift-giving season upon us, I thought I'd take the opportunity over the next few weeks to share with you some of my favorite kid lit; and since I'm particularly fond of middle-grade fiction (8 - 12 years-old), I'll start there. Here are ten books/book series that top my list but most definitely do not exhaust it:

Harry Potter - an obvious pick.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is an eight-book, fantasy meets sci-fi, series with cyber-savvy fairies, an underage criminal mastermind, characters you gotta love, humor, and plenty of action.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl - James escapes his solitary life as the only child living with two spinster aunts. He faces many dangers and makes new friends as he travels inside a giant peach with giant insects. The audio version, read by the author, is especially fun.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine - I can't resist a story based on my favorite fairy tale. In Ella Enchanted, Ella struggles against the curse to obey every order she's given.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - As a child, long before I'd ever heard of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I had imagined that one of the closets in my childhood home led into another world. Reading C.S. Lewis' classic series simply confirmed it. Sadly, I wasn't adventurous enough as a child to test my theory.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren - Pippi is definitely a glass-half-full kind of gal. Her mother watches after her from a "peep hole in the sky," and her father is away at sea. Pippi is sweet, fun-loving, and always up for an adventure.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - a brilliant little girl with parents who are quite the opposite and a headmistress who hates her. Matilda's life is challenging to say the least. Fortunately, she has the brains and knows just what to do.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin travel through space and time in search of Meg and Charles Wallace's father.

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black - The Grace children and their mother are forced to move into an old family mansion-one that hasn't been a home for quite some time. As the children explore the many rooms and the grounds, they find much more than dusty old furniture.

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder - The story of the Ingalls family as they survive and thrive and love and grow together in the untamed Midwest of the 1800s.

Happy reading!

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