Random (but not really)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Books for Young Readers: Fewer Pictures

What is all this about books for kids?

Now we’re to books with fewer pictures and more words. Still for young readers, but these are chapter books.

Young Reader

Gail Carson Levine: Ella Enchanted (Female)

Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
Danny, The Champion of the World (1975)

Danny the Champion on the World was my favorite Roald Dahl book. So many things in this book stuck clearly in my memory.

I don’t want to send you to school quite yet. In another two years you will have learned enough here with me to be able to take a small engine completely to pieces and put it together again all by yourself. After that, you can go to school.

One day during intermission, I went to Mr. Snoddy’s study to give him a bill and Sidney Morgan came along with me. He didn’t come for any special reason. We just happened to be together at the time. And as we went in, we saw Mr. Snoddy standing by his desk refilling his famous glass of water from a bottle labeled GORDON’S GIN. He jumped a mile when he saw us.

I have to stop looking for quotes now, or I’ll end up sitting here reading the whole book.

Astrid Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking (1945) (Female)

Charles de Lint: A Circle of Cats (2003)

If you’ve ever talked to me about books for any length of time, at some point my love of Charles de Lint will come up. He writes primarily short stories, but he has also written novels, and even a kids book.

Of course it’s out of print, but I have a copy, and perhaps one day it’ll go back into print.

Sid Fleischman: McBrooms Wonder One-Acre Farm (1972)

As a child I had a subscription to Cricket, which was the most marvelous magazine ever. I read my first McBroom story in Cricket, and I fell in love with McBroom and his farm.

willjillhesterchesterpeterpollytimtommarylarry and little Clarinda!


Neil Gaiman: Coraline (2002) (Female)
Odd & the Frost Giants
The Graveyard Book (2008)

Neil Gaiman writes everything from picture books to comics and everything inbetween. Everything is good, but check before giving a book to a small person, to be sure you didn’t get a grown-up book. (That you should keep and read for yourself.)

Betty MacDonald: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (1947)

I came across Mrs Piggle-Wiggle at Central School and LOVED her. I think it was the upside-down house that I adored the most. Who as a kid didn’t lie with their head hanging off the sofa, wondering what the house would be like if everything was upside down.

Mary Norton: Borrowers

Scott O’Dell: Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960) (Female) (Non-WASP)
The Black Pearl

I honestly have no idea how many times I read this when I was young, but it was a lot.

Pam Muñoz Ryan: Esperanza Rising (Female) (Non-WASP)

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers.


Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning (1999)

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.


Maryrose Wood: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place:The Mysterious Howling (2009)
The Hidden Gallery (2011)

IT WAS NOT MISS PENELOPE LUMLEY’S first journey on a train, but it was the first one she had taken alone.

As you may know, traveling alone is quite a different kettle of fish from traveling with companions. It tends to make people anxious, especially when en route to a strange place, or a new home, or a job interview, or (as in the case of Miss Lumley) a job interview in a strange place that might very well end up being her new home.


Click through on any of the title (or book covers) to see the books on Amazon. (And if you buy, I get a few parts of pennies to build up towards a book for me!)

Powered by WordPress

This is text at the bottom of the page.