In Part One of this series, I gave reading suggestions for young children. In this post, I will focus on ideas for older kids. My hope is that you find books that capture your children’s imagination so they are more likely to keep reading.
One series that got both my boys excited about reading was My Weird School. This is a super silly series (say that three times fast!) by Dan Gutman. My boys devoured these books. I was grateful we found them, as well as other funny reads by Dan Gutman, at our local library because there are so many. This author also has a series that highlights the history of baseball in a way that my youngest finds interesting. Below is a link to all of Dan Gutman’s books. Chances are, if your kids enjoy My Weird School, they will enjoy anything he writes.
James Patterson is another author my boys have enjoyed. The great thing about his children’s books are that they can be appealing to both genders. My boys loved his Middle School series, while my friend’s daughter loves his Treasure Hunters and I Funny Series. Click the link below to find out about all of his many great series geared towards kids.
If your child is into mysteries, the A to Z Mysteries Series by Ron Roy is a sure bet. Click here to learn more:
Another great mystery series which also features a strong female lead is Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew. My friend’s other young daughter is a huge fan. Click below to find out more about this series written by Carolyn Keene.
For another series that may appeal more to girls, check out Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows. Again, this set of books was recommended by my friend’s daughters. They are avid readers and gave me so many wonderful suggestions to help me find books that girls would enjoy. Thank you for your help Madelyn and Anna!
When you are looking for books to suit your child’s interests, it’s a balance. You have to be realistic about what they enjoy reading as well as guiding them towards topics that may be outside their comfort zone. One of the best series to do that for my boys was The Kicks by Alex Morgan. Alex Morgan is professional soccer player that we first learned about watching the U.S. Women’s National Team play in the 2012 Olympics. The book series she wrote is about a middle-school girls’ soccer team and all the challenges and life lessons that go with it. I was able to get my boys to read this series because they respect Alex’s soccer skills and maybe find the way she looks appealing too (that is a blog post for another day!). Any way you slice it, Alex Morgan knows soccer and it’s a great way to introduce kids to gender equality issues and ultimately, how to believe in yourself. Click below to find out more:
These ideas are a starting point. As I wrote in my earlier post if you happen to get stuck, I urge you to reach out to the staff of your local library for ideas to get your kids excited about reading. I have also found that asking my boys’ teachers is another great resource for book ideas. Remember, not all books will be a hit (it still hurts me that my youngest doesn’t love Harry Potter….yet!), but keep trying and eventually your kids will find something that catches their attention. From there, anything is possible.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent