Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Books for Kids: Part III

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Here are books for middle grade readers and older kids. A lot of these I can recommend for adult readers, they’re really very good (and with online ordering, you don’t have to skulk into the kids section, feeling like a creep who doesn’t belong).

Part I – Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
Part II – Pre-Schoolers and Middle Grade readers

The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai by Francois Place

I don’t think there are words for how much I adore this book. The story is delightful, but even more, the pictures are gorgeous.

A young boy, Tojiro, lives in Edo, and sells cakes for his uncle (both his father and mother have died) on the streets on that great city. It is while selling his cakes that he meets and comes to know a grumpy old man–the old man mad about drawing.

Did I mention how much I love the drawings in this book? I adore these drawings.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Most fantasy and comic fans are already aware of Neil Gaiman, and many of those already know he also writes kids books. But there are people out there (I’ve met one!) who haven’t read any Neil Gaiman, and haven’t had the pleasure of reading his books.

The Graveyard Book starts out with a terrible murder, a hand on a knife in the night, but with the worst out of the way, you can then move onto the story, which is the tale of Nobody Owens, who lives in the Graveyard and has been raised by ghosts.

Yes this is, in fact, a kid’s book, and it’s also delightful.

McBrooms-Wonderful-One-Acre-FarmMcBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm by Sid Fleischman and Illustrated by Quentin Blake

I had a subscription to Cricket when I was little and I was always so very happy when one of these stories would make an appearance. The stories themselves are marvelous tales, and Quentin Blake, who also illustrated stories for Roald Dahl, draws marvelous, wonderful, delightful pictures.

Little (Grrl) Lost (2007) by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is one of my favorite writers. I don’t think he’s ever written a bad book–at least I’ve never read one, and I own and have read a LOT of his books. He writes a lot of young adult stories, but this is younger than that. It’s the story of Elizabeth, a Little who has run away from home, and TJ, a normal kid, who has had to move to the city from the farm where she grew up.

Despite their obvious differences, they become friends, and help each other.

That sounds stupid, my description, but it’s really a great story.

Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride & Joy by Brian K. Vaughan and Illustrated by Adrian Alphona

This is a comic, and I’ll be honest, I absolutely LOVE this series–right up until Brian K. Vaughan stopped writing it. The next book was okay, and after that, I just gave up.

But the story-lines written by Brian K. Vaughan? They are absolutely marvelous.

A group of kids discover that there parents are evil. As in, really evil. As in super-villains. So they run away, and slowly discover their own powers and skills.

Oh, you’ll want a box of tissues. Just a fair warning.

The Amulet of Samarkand The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

Nathaniel is an apprentice. A magician’s apprentice. Which is nowhere near as glamorous as it sounds.

When he conjures a djinn, to help him get revenge upon a more powerful magician, he gets far more than he expected. This is book one of a trilogy, but you can read this book and don’t have to read the rest of the trilogy.

But I bet you’ll want to.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This is another book that is officially part of a series, but you can read this book by itself and don’t have to read the rest of the series if you don’t want to.

Gen has been wasting away in prison when the King’s scholar, his mage, decides this thief is precisely who he needs to recover a precious treasure. As they travel to where the mage believes the lost treasure can be found, the tell stories, and bit by bit learn about each other.

This is an absolutely amazing story. It may be written for younger readers, but it won’t feel like that as you’re immediately sucked into discovering just who Gen is and what the magus wants to recover.

Again, if you click through to Amazon and buy one of these books, I get a penny or two, which may eventually add up to a free book for me!

Categories: Kids
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