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KidLit Advisory

Every book its reader.

February 6th, 2008

Strong girl fantasy and new books for school? @ 09:02 pm



Very glad this group is here. Right now, I'm hoping for your help with 2 things:

1) Any suggestions for fantasy with strong female characters like Robin McKinley (Hero and The Crown/The Blue Sword) and Diana Wynne Jones (Howl's Moving Castle) or Terry Pratchett (Hat Full of Sky/Wee Free men)? This is for my eldest daughter (age 9) she reads furiously, tends to daydream and is a tad young for her age.

2) This one may be a bit broad, but our homeschool program's library has money that must be spent on books before the end of the fiscal year. What really great *new* books (say published since 2006) would you recommend for 4th-10th graders?

Hope I can return the favor soon!

Books on CD @ 07:54 pm


I have copious amounts of flying ahead of me as my family meanders its way aerially from NC to Tucson. My experience with equally long road trips by car is stories on CD (we like the Barefoot Book series) and then as we grew books on cd were a lifesaver.

We have Paddington Bear read by Stephen Fry but it's exhausted by this year's journeys.
We also have Junie B. Jones as an X-mas gift, but I'm not sure what's been heard and what's not.

I thought about the first Harry Potter, but I'm not sure I am ready to plunge into Pottermania yet. I'm kind of waiting for a peer to initiate that as will surely happen.

My thoughts so far are Stuart Little (if there's a good version).
I hope to read Charlotte's Web aloud tweenst now and then, but I could wait if there's an amazingly read CD of which I am unaware.

Stories with anachronisms don't do so well around here. Emily loved The Lion, The Witch and The Warddrobe, but I lost her to British culture of the time early in Prince Caspian.

I could also use two suggestions. The journey there and the journey back.

February 5th, 2008

(no subject) @ 10:35 pm

Hi everyone, what a great community. I am also here by way of penelopesque. :)

I'm looking for 2 categories of books.

My 3yo is reading voraciously, and I'm having a difficult time finding books for him to read that are challenging in terms of the reading level but not over his head in terms of content. For example, he read an Amelia Bedelia book the other day and did fine with the words, but didn't really get any of the jokes about "dressing" the turkey, "dusting" the furniture, etc. He's been reading stuff on the order of the Henry and Mudge books lately, Frog and Toad, Little Bear - any ideas for next steps?

We're also always looking for bedtime read-aloud books. The Winnie the Pooh books are absolute favorites, and we've also recently enjoyed the Boxcar Children, Pippi Longstocking, and the original 1940's Thomas the Tank Engine stories. What else should we try?


February 4th, 2008

(no subject) @ 03:30 pm


Ooh, I am so excited that penelopesque pointed me in the direction of this community. We are a family of bookheads and I am always looking for recommendations. My daughter has just turned 7 and loves reading fiction about other girls. She especially likes the Judy Moody books, Charlotte's Web, Little House in the Big Woods, and is kind of outgrowing the Junie B Jones books. She also is drawn toward American Girl books, and for reasons of my own, I would prefer to minimize what I call the American Girl "death grip" phenomenon. So far, so good. She has read a bit of the Golden Compass and likes it but I think I'm looking for something a bit less advanced, reading-wise. So, I would love recommendations of books about girls her age, can be realistic or fantasy, and I'm also interested to hear of books about girls from different backgrounds than ours--different countries, time periods, cultures, etc (her dad is French and I'm Scottish filtered through a long line of rednecks; we live in New York, although we are moving to Asheville, NC this summer).

Thanks for starting a great commmunity!

February 3rd, 2008

Inaugural post. @ 09:10 am


Good morning, folks!

In the interest of getting the ball rolling in this community, I'm going to post a couple of book recommendations. I don't know if I'll make a habit of that, since I really want to match the recommendations to the needs of the readers, but I guess we'll just play it by ear.

1. Great Joy, by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Batram Ibatoulline.

I know that nobody's looking for Christmas books right now, but this one is still hanging out in the "new books" section of the Wicomico Public Library children's area, and the beautiful illustrations caught my eye. Then I saw the author's name, and I had to pick it up, because I've never met a DiCamillo title that I didn't like. This one didn't break the pattern. It's a "true meaning of Christmas" story in which DiCamillo shows her customary restraint and leaves the important messages unsaid (or told by Ibatoulline's glowing portraits of early twentieth-century life).

A young girl can see the organ grinder on the corner from her bedroom window, and wonders aloud to her mother where he and his monkey sleep at night. Her mother assures her that he must sleep somewhere, but the girl learns otherwise. The story of how she invites him into her family is poignant, but never heavy-handed, and it makes this title stand out among the yearly blizzard of Christmas books.

2. Baby Can, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Maxie Chambliss.

Continuing the theme of gentle messages, Bunting's book explores sibling rivalry from the point of view of a new baby's older brother. At first, he competes with the baby for their parents' attention, but by the end of the book he has grown secure enough to become the baby's mentor and biggest fan.

KidLit Advisory

Every book its reader.