You’re So Money Monday

1350 1350_ () 1350 1350 Do you hear that sound? The one that’s looming large in my ears? It’s either a bomb about to go off or the sound of minutes ticking away towards summer, when the last bell rings at school and my boys come bounding out of the classroom, down the walkway and into the car. Where we will all scream and cheer and wave our arms in glee. And then, two minutes later, they will turn their heads to me, their fearless leader, and say “What now!”

The thought strikes me with simultaneous fear and delight.

I’m always very excited about summer, the slower pace, my boys all being here with me. But I’ll admit that every summer, the first few weeks are a bit of a roller coaster. It takes us some time to settle into the new routine, also for me to remember we actually need a routine, that we can’t just sit around chilling out all day everyday. But I do tend to take the first few days after school gets out to do, well, very little. And then I snap to, and remember that summer must be a healthy balance of fun, adventure, structure, learning and fun.

Which brings me to today’s topic: books!

Growing up, my siblings and I had required summer reading with our mother. She would have us pick out a book (or a series of books), read them, and then do a book report which we would then present to the entire family. I’ll admit that I have not implemented this as yet in our family, but I’m thinking this summer will be the perfect time. My boys are all at ages where this concept can really fly (though Henry will only be through the first few chapters of Humanae Vitae, so his book report might be a dud).

A few weeks ago, I asked the boys to start thinking about what book series they would each like to tackle this summer. Augie already had his picked out.

“Calvin and Hobbes,” was his quick reply.

Anyway, reader Denise asked me this very question last week, so I thought the timing is perfect:
Have you found any good books or book series for your boys to read?? My oldest is almost seven and just getting ready for chapter books, but every time we go to the library I feel lost. So many of the books for boys his age look junky or scary. I don’t need him to be reading only about the saints or anything, but I don’t want to have him reading too much that is questionable or beyond his scope.

What series’ have you found that are great for boys? Put them in the comments, and I think I’ll make a link list at some point this week. I’m going to add mine this afternoon. 1350″> ? . ,

1350

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really loved the “Little House on the Praire” books. I’m a former boy and I thought they were great.

  2. As a boy, I loved the Hardy Boy books, the Three Investigator series, and the Tom Swift books.

    Additionally, if you can find any of the Submarine Boy books, they’re great reads from the (I think) 1940s.

  3. My almost 9yr old loves the Hardy Boys series– the old one. There is a newer series as well, but he hasn’t read any of them yet…. he is working on the 50-some titles of the original series. But I would also love suggestions on good books for boys of this age group. I think he would love Harry Potter, too, but I’m still unsure if he’s old enough to read them yet.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait to hear the answers to this one! I have a 6 1/2 year old who can read pretty well, but it’s hard to find stuff that’s not too fluffy and isn’t trash but also isn’t too mature (in even good ways). Trashy books can be found on every library shelf, and tend to include things like scatological references, nasty behavior between characters, name calling, etc. But some of the older level books also can be too mature. For example, mysteries frequently involve solving a murder case, and I’d rather not have the whole focus of a book he’s reading be about the how’s and why’s of folks killing other folks. Leave that to myths and fairy tales at the moment.

    That being said, we have come across a few entry level chapter books that he’s liked. These include:

    The A to Z Mysteries by Roy Ron- fairly harmless, the dialogue is pretty bad in a cheesy sort of way, and the crimes are usually fairly benign ones.

    Andrew Lost in the… – by J.C. Greenburg. Again, not high literature. Quite a few 1-2 sentence paragraphs, cheesy dialogue, a bit of antagonism between the cousin characters, but otherwise seems fine. Although it does include a fairly intelligent robot that can’t use proper grammar- AARGHH! But we’ve actually used that as an opportunity to discuss grammar! Ha! My boy is nuts for time travel, robots, anything involving a vehicle, underwater adventures, and these books have all that.

    Narnia books are of course fine (though include killing and death at times, but with context and purpose other than crime), though they are a bit difficult and have longer chapters when compared with the others I’ve listed.

    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Camillo. This one’s got nice short chapters. It does involve a bit of darkness with rats discussing that their purpose is to torment prisoners and crush their hopes and such. But it’s a sweet but adventurous story.

    The Henry Huggins series, the Ramona series, other things by Beverly Cleary.

    Charlottes’s Web, Stuart Little (which is a bit different from the film, if I remember correctly).

    Dick King-Smith has written a bunch of books- I can’t vouch for all of them, but he read The Waterhorse and liked that. This is the same author that wrote Baby the Gallant Pig.

    I look forward to reading all the posts.

    Thanks for the blog!

    Chris

  5. The Matt Christopher series of sports books are always fun for boys.

  6. I think the majority of books for boys are either junky or scary. Dan Gutman is a good author for that age group and there is a series of books by different authors called “Childhood of Famous Americans” that my boys liked. The all time favorite is the Captain Underpants series and The Diary of the Wimpy Kid series…not the best “literature” but they do love them.

  7. Kristen says:

    The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne is wonderful for boys this age. My 7 year old son devours them and I’ve yet to find any others he likes nearly as much. I’ll be checking this list for more inspiration. But definitely check these out!

  8. Madam J says:

    My 8 year old is really enjoying the Boxcar Children By Gertrude Warner series. My 11 year old loves the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, and he is making his way through Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as well. I second the Narnia and Little House books as well. The Bobbsey Twins are very good as well as the Hardy Boys.

    For additional cartoon reading, there are the Tintin books by Herge ( detective stories), and the Asterix series by Goscinny.

    For now my mind is a blank with month-old-newborn-brain. But books are a favorite topic of mine, and boys are a second favorite (have 4 now), so I will be back on to read the suggestions, and may think of a few more to add myself.

  9. mamapajama says:

    Perfect timing for this post! I’ve been emailing back and forth with my oldest’s 2nd grade teacher to get a good list of summer books going.

    He has read all the Magic Treehouse books over the past couple of summers, and really loved them. They feature neat historical contexts and details about Emperial China, the Revolutionary War, the Titanic… which he would throw out to my great surprise at the dinner table!

    My oldest (now 8-year old boy) has also devoured the A to Z Mysteries and Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy and The Magician’s Nephew, Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, The Horse & His Boy, and just this week Prince Caspian from the Narnia series. Narnia is so wonderful. We read the Lion, Witch & Wardrobe first last summer by trading off my reading a chapter then him reading a chapter to me. It was really nice. It allowed me to help him with some of the difficult (or British) words and for us to talk about the Christian symbolism. (We referenced the Aslan – Edmond scene this year as he was preparing for his first reconciliation!) He has read the other Narnia books on his own since.

    We’re actually taking a train trip this summer & my husband and I decided that would be a wonderful time to let him read the first Harry Potter. The trick is going to be spacing those books out over many summers as the later books are much darker & I’d like him to mature before he reads them.

    Other suggestions I’ve been checking into include:

    • The Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka
    • Gregor the Overlander and its sequel, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins (I’m told these have a great anti-violence message)
    • The Encyclopedia Brown series
    • The Box Car Children series (though you do have the sadness of orphaned children)
    • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo
    • Christopher Mouse: The Tale of a Small Traveler by William Wise
    • Cricket in Time Square, by George Selden
    • Charlotte’s Web, Stewart Little & Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
    • James & the Giant Peach, Matilda, BFG, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
    • Chasing Vameer by Blue Balliett

    I can’t wait to see everyone’s suggestions!

  10. Hi,

    I grew up as a reluctant reader. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for boys 8 and up, that kids hate to put down. My web site is at http://www.maxbooks.9k.com and my Books for Boys blog is at http://booksandboys.blogspot.com
    Ranked by Accelerated Reader

    Max Elliot Anderson

  11. Jennifer says:

    I’ll put in another vote for A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy. My kids love these books. Good for the beginning chapter book reader and also captures the interest of the more advanced young readers, as well.

  12. Last summer, my son ran out of things to read other than Donald Duck comics (which are great; especially any by Carl Barks.) Anyway, our librarian took that as a personal challenge. She found us:
    the Chet Gecko series
    Homer Price and The Centerburg Tales, both by Robert McCloskey
    The Adventures of Ordinary Boy.

    My sons also love Encyclopedia Brown.

    And there’s also a website called guysread.com where you type in something you have liked and it gives you a recommendation. It is not perfect but has given us some good ideas.

    Does anyone else have to limit reading time? My oldest would do nothing but read and play video games if given the opportunity.

  13. As a former fifth grade teacher and obsessive reader, you hit on my two favorite topics, kids and books. Here’s a few that I have loved doing as lit circles or read-alouds, or that I just loved as a kid.

    *The Indian in the Cupboard -Banks
    *Superfudge -Blume
    *The Mouse and the Motorcycle -Cleary
    *The Watsons Go to Birmingham -Curtis
    *The Hobbit -Tolkien
    *Narnia books -Lewis
    *My Side of the Mountain -George
    *Ten Kids, No Pets -Martin
    *Eragon -Paolini
    *Eldest -Paolini
    *Bridge to Terabithia -Paterson
    *The Giver -Lowry
    *Tuck Everlasting -Babbitt
    *Holes -Sachar
    *Esperanza Rising -Ryan

    And my all-time personal favorites that I started out every year with was the Ember series- The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, and The Prophet of Yonwood. They are written by Jeanne DuPrau and fabulous, fabulous books for kids. My class hung on every word every year because they are just wholesome, well-written adventure stories. I would definitely recommend checking them out! I’m excited to see everyone’s lists.

  14. I hesitate to mention it, but since you already broke the ice with “Calvin and Hobbes” might I suggest *shudder* … The Far Side.

    At our house I often announce during their “planning stages” for an activity that “Calvin is NOT a good example!”

  15. My 9 year old son has enjoyed Roald Dahl books (and so have I!) and Magic Tree House. I can’t get him to even crack open any Hardy Boys.

    I was letting him read the Animorphs and Goosebumps series until I actually opened them and saw the “Oh my Gods” and “craps” which I hadn’t thought I needed to watch out for in childrens books. Now he wonders why they’ve disappeared from our bookshelves.

    He also loves Garfield, Peanuts, and Calvin and Hobbes which I think certainly qualify as reading, too, albeit light.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think the perfect book for a family of boys to read at the beginning of summer is The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer. It is about boys going to the library to stay out of trouble during the summer. Spud Murphy is the infamous children’s librarian they must face. Very funny!

  17. Anonymous says:

    My favorite series as a child were the “Great Brain” by John Fitzgerald.

  18. Matilda says:

    My son (a former 7 year old, now 10 years old) recommends Encyclopedia Brown, Magic Tree House, Narnia, Childhood of Famous Americans & Boxcar Children and also the books in an old Junior Classics Series edited by Mabel Williams and Marcia Dalphin printed by Collier and Son. The books in that series include Myths and Legends, Hero Tales, Stories From History, etc….

    As far as individual books go (not series) The Phantom Tollbooth, The Hobbit, The Father Brown Reader, and the Illustrated Classics version of A Christmas Carol.

    Hope these help!

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Brains Benton series. Hilarious, exciting mysteries about a pair of boy-detectives and their adventures. Written in late 50s/ early 60s- charmingly “vintage.” A favorite of my brothers!

  20. Anonymous says:

    The Adventures of Tintin are fantastic, even if they are in comic strip form. I’ve never seen them in a public library, though. It’s important to get the books singly – not the editions containing three of the stories, as the text is so small it’s a real strain on the eyes.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I add my votes to Stuart Little, The Hobbit, Narnia series, and Indian in the Cupboard series.

  22. Oh, yeah. I love this topic as well. 🙂 And since both my oldest boys BEG for more books to read all the time(especially during times when they happen to be grounded from their tv or gaming privilages)I want to THANK YOU for asking for suggestions. I’m planning on printing off many of them to go shopping at half.com. Here are a couple I haven’t seen in the comments yet. My two oldest boys are ages 11 and 12 1/2.

    -Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (a classic and exciting story about an early american boy who’s raised by indians–with a great message!)
    -The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr
    -Old Yeller
    -Where the Red Fern Grows
    -The Thinking Toolbox by Hans Nathaniel Bluedorn (This is more a book for you to use to help develop reasoning skills with your boys. We’ve started using it at mealtimes and it’s been fun)

    My boys have read most of the books listed by ‘Amanda’ and really liked them. We have a ragged set of the Narnia, Little House and many Hardy Boys books that they’ve read through many times.

    And(sigh)they also love Calvin and Hobbes.

  23. Almost forgot. Jim Trelease has a great book called, The Read Aloud Handbook that lists good books to read to your children. The best part is that Jim filters his selections the way a ‘real life’ parent would. Excellent resource!

  24. I agree with the above suggestions and would add:
    Hank the Cowdog (very good, very funny series)
    Geronimo Stilton (mystery solving, news reporter mouse)
    And also my sons got into the historical biographies and stories about American history and world architechture. You could also try a “research project” in a favored area.

  25. Margaret says:

    My 9 1/2 year old LOVES the Sisters Grimm books. He’s devoured the first 4 books in the series and is now not-so-patiently waiting for the 5th one to come out in paperback. I may end up just buying the hardcover to keep him happy! He also loves the Hardy Boys and has enjoyed the Magic School Bus, Magic Tree House & A-Z Mysteries.

  26. Anonymous says:

    We so enjoy reading, and it is a pleasure to recommend some of our favorites (I believe they fall into the “series” category)

    Freddy the Pig – read and re-read, listened to on tape
    Billy and Blaze (although technically not a series)
    Redwall books
    Hardy Boys – I recommend the ones written early on
    Chronicles of Narnia – a great read aloud – if that’s your “cup of tea”
    Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators – again, the books written
    early on
    Midshipman Quinn (published by Bethlehem books)
    The Tom Corbett series (an older set of books)
    The Rick Brant series (again, an older series of books)
    Tom Swift books
    The Bobbsey Twins
    The Happy Hollisters
    Tintin (a comic series originally written in French and translated into
    English – these are great)

  27. Anonymous says:

    For the elder boys:
    Rikki, tiki, Tavi*
    Captain’s Courageous*
    Swiss Family Robinson*
    Peter Pan*
    Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates*
    Prince and the Pauper*
    Journey to the center of the earth*
    The Time Machine*
    20,000 Leagues under the sea*
    Wind in the Willows*
    Legend of Sleepy Hollow*
    Rip Van Winkle*
    Your boys crave adventure??? These are GREAT books, guaranteed to be in your library….

  28. Sorry if I am a repeat here, can’t read all the comments right now. My 10 year old is really into Redwall, the series by Brian Jacques….

    🙂

  29. Anonymous says:

    Here are a few Dolin favs:

    – The Indian in the Cupboard, The Return of the Indian
    – Magic Tree House
    – Trumpet of the Swan
    – Stuart Little
    – The “We Were There” series on history (not politically correct, but very engaging)
    – Encyclopedia Brown
    – Illustrated Classics – very readable, very cheap at Michael’s. Tim’s fav was “War of the Worlds.”

    For the younger ones:

    – Frog and Toad
    – The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants
    – The Magic School Bus
    – The Littles
    – Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel

    Has anyone read the Fr. Brown for kids series? What about Frank Peretti’s books for tweens?

    – Kelly

  30. Anonymous says:

    definitely the Great Brain series; E. Nesbit’s and George McDonald’s books for children; the Indian in the Cupboard series; the Rats of Nimh series; My Side of the Mountain trilogy.

  31. Anonymous says:

    My friend has a Catholic book review blog especially for young people’s fiction: http://catholicbookreview.blogspot.com/

  32. At the store where I work we our big seller is an author named Carole Marsh. She has a number of different series, some for gr 1-3 and some for gr. 3-5. Most of the series are mysteries and take place in various parts of the US and other countries using factual information from those places. So you get adventure and learn something too. They are awesome books.

  33. Thanks Rachel, for putting this out there. I’m the Denise that asked the original question, so I can’t wait to see the completed list of ideas from everyone!!

    Keep ’em coming!!

  34. Okay, I am not a boy and don’t have boys (yet — we’ll see!), but I do have a younger brother who was and is an avid reader, so I have some ideas.

    The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary (I think this one is appealing to both genders.)

    Half Magic, by Edward Eager (and the books that follow — also appreciated by both genders)

    Books by E. Nesbit

    The Redwall Series, by Brian Jacques (I think these are much more boy-geared. My brother LOVED them and as an adult has all of them in hard cover.)

    The Wizard of Oz and the following series. Dorothy’s the main character, of course, but there are all kinds of exciting and fun other characters, action, adventure, etc.

    My husband also remembers with great fondness The Great Brain series.

  35. (frantically wrting)
    Great post, Rach!

    Saw your mom and dad at the “washy washy” place…
    Your dad suggested I roll the windows up when we went through, but it was bath night for the kids…..

  36. Melanie B says:

    For older boys Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series is great adventure reading.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I grew up with a brother who hated to read, but he would still devour his “Choose Your Own Adevnture” books. They’re a series of books that, at the end of each chapter, give you two options (Like, “Murray knew he was onto something, and that the bad guys had either gotten on the train or were still lurking around the station”,) and you either go to Chapter 7 for the train, or Chapter 9 for the station, or something like that. Basically the story changes every time you read it, and you really feel like a participant. I’m not sure what age group they’re made for, and I don’t think they’re sold at Barnes & Noble or anything like that. They’re really from the 1990s, but they do still have an “official website” that you can check out (www.cyoa.com) and they sell books online, but I think you’d be able to find LOTs of used copies at local used book stores/thrift stores or on half.com. I think they’d be great.

    And no, I’m not a shill for them, I just remember them as the ONLY books my brother was ever excited to read.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Even though the book has been mentioned previously, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a great book. Another book by Wilson Rawls is Summer of the Monkeys. They are both wonderful. I would recommend any book written by Judith Viorst or Patricia Polacco. Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco is part of the school curriculum in the district where I teach. The book lends itself to an enjoyable rainy day activity and teaches a good lesson. Happy reading this summer.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I’m a 7th grade teacher but I have also taught 4th grade, some great books are:

    The Poppy series by Avi – Avi has some more mature works too but this series is awesome, my entire class girls and boys in 4th grade loved them – these are also available on Book On Tape, and the narrator does AMAZING voices my kids loved to read along with them

    Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer is good although it would be more for your older boys, the first book has just been released in Graphic Novel form too

    Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
    Mr Revere and I by Robert Lawson
    (These are historical fiction told from the perspective of pets of Ben Franklin and Paul Revere – my brother and I both loved them growing up, again the books on tape are great!)

    Beloved Dearly by Doug Cooney

    The Indian in the Cupboard series

    From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

  40. Anonymous says:

    My son also loves the Magic Tree House series as well as Jigsaw Jones mysteries.

    A recent favorite of my 9 and 6 year old is Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. We are starting Superfudge next.

    Other suggestions:
    Stone Fox
    Walter the Farting Dog (Loved by all ages and…it is summer vacation after all!!)

  41. Katherine says:

    Of course I thought of some more after I click the post in:
    books by Andrew Clements

    Warriors is a popular series but I haven’t read them

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins

    Because of Winn-Dixie

    All of A Kind Family – this is a series about a Jewish family and great for teaching your children about Jewish traditions and the Jewish people for some interreligious information

    My Name is America series

    A word of warning about Konigsburg – some books are good but I would preview them -From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler is good and A View from Saturday but (Silent to the Bone – handles mature content)

    Awesome Catholic setting books – by Regina Domain http://www.fairytalenovels.com/ she retells Grimms Fairy Tales in a modern setting and weaves Catholic teaching and life into her stories, great for guys and girls, believe me there is enough action in them for the boys too – however there is mature subject matter this is more an older middle school book or just preview them

    Go to the Newbery site and especially the older Newbery winners are good.

  42. mamapajama says:

    The Scholastic site has a great search feature called BookAlike Search. You can enter a book that you / your child enjoyed and it will recommend other books in the same genre & reading level. You can find it at:
    http://bookwizard.scholastic.com/tbw/homePage.do

  43. I am an elementary school librarian. Here are my recommendations.

    Granny Torrelli Makes Soup and Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

    Any of the Betty G. Birney books, The World According to Humphrey Series, or The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

    Horace Splattly Cupcaked Crusader Series by Lawrence David

    Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Kinney (the rest of his name escapes me at the moment) and The Grampa and Wiley Series by Kirk Scroggs are really popular with the boys. I don’t know if these are too cartoonish for you but they are good for reluctant readers.

    The Tale of Desperaux as mentioned above is wonderful.

    I also recommend the A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy.

    Happy Reading!

  44. I can’t believe no one has mentioned them yet, but The Hatchet and The River by Gary Paulsen were two of my favorite books growing up. In fact, I just reread The Hatchet for fun since it was a rainy day. Even though I’m female I am quite the tomboy and I’m sure your boys would love them.

  45. Anonymous says:

    There’s a series that begins with a book called Peter and the Starcatchers. It’s about Peter Pan before Neverland. I teach and have 13 boys in my classroom of 18. We are chomping at the bit to have it completed before school gets out…they really like it a lot and it’s a series. So, they have a goal on which to work over the summer…

  46. Another former boy here. I always liked the McGurk Mystery series. They had interesting story lines. They also had lite but well done (not cheesy) character development in which characters apologized for their selfishness or befriended former foes.

  47. Anonymous says:

    The Moffats, Pippi Longstocking, Thornton Burgess animal books (these are really good for beginning chapter book readers, as the chapters and books are short), Miss Pickerell Goes to the Arctic, Freddy the pig series by Walter Brooks, Wizard of Oz series, The Door in the Wall, anything by Hilda von Stockum, Mrs. Pigglewiggle

  48. Philosopher Mom says:

    The Peretti books for tweens are awesome adventure material.

    For the younger set (an advanced 6 yrs. or a slower 9 yrs.) may also like the “My Father’s Dragon” series by Ruth Stiles Gannett. It has awesome illustrations!

  49. Annie M says:

    The Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Perfect for boys. Nice talking mice, otters, squirrels fight evil rats, weasels, and stoats with medieval weapons. The descriptions of their food is awesome: ginger beer, butter cup cordial, nutty breads. And good always triumphs. I really enjoy reading them myself.

  50. Christine C. says:

    The “My Side of the Mountain” series by Jean Craighead George, (3 books) is THE BEST boys’ adventure book series – about a boy who decides to make it on his own in the Adirondacks and catches and trains a wild peregrine falcon. Good, clean, wild fun! My 10yo son read them and is now thoroughly obsessed with all things survival.

  51. Hi!

    I’m a mom of five boys…the ones that are old enough are avid readers! I don’t know if it was suggested yet, but the Sugar Creek Gang is a wonderful series that would be perfect for your sons…as well as The Boxcar Children and then Hardy Boys etc…
    We really encourage the boys to read classics which they love…Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson, Captains Courageous as well as Just So Stories, and The Jungle Book all by Rudyard Kipling. What about Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer???

    It’s easy to let children read only comics or ‘silly’ books, but I find that similar to starting out feeding a baby only sweet foods ~ it makes it much more challenging to give them vegetables after that! 🙂
    Just my two cents 🙂

    Enjoy this wonderful time of exploring books with your sons!
    Laura

  52. Anonymous says:

    Two great bibliographies of books for children – Honey for Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt (if you look at amazon, scroll down for the oldest printed which is selling used for $2.50 – it has been reprinted recently and is still great but – hey – I like cheap!

    Second, Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson and Susan Schaeffer McCauley (Schaeffer as in Francis Schaeffer and L’Abri)

    Both of these give suggestions with descriptions in age graded and interest divided categories – I found a lot of forgotten treasured titles here as well as some new greats.

  53. Ecce Quam Bonam says:

    Hey Rach,
    I probably read every Childhood of Famous Americans biography ever printed before 1970. I also recommend, mainly for the older guys:
    – most of the Newbery Medal winners
    – the Master and Commander series by Patrick O’Brian (absolutely great adventure stories)
    – the Horatio Hornblower series
    – Where the Red Fern Grows
    – Captains Courageous
    – A Wrinkle in Time and other Madeleine L’Engle books (if they haven’t fallen out of favor as too weird)
    – Mythology by Edith Hamilton (perhaps an easier version or another summer’s project, but definitely not to be missed)
    – The Book of Virtues by Bill Bennett (in part or as a group read)
    – Rascal by Sterling North
    – a series call “The Best in Children’s Books”, which sadly, might well be out of print.

    I also recommend that you teach them to play dominoes and, for the older ones, spades, hearts or euchre that will develop their strategic thinking and divert them once they get tired of reading. My siblings and I (four of us) started doing this as pretty young kids in the evenings of long, TV-less summers at the coast. I believe it saved my mother’s sanity, and forever when she played, she always won.

  54. Magic Treehouse books. All three of my boys (7, 5 nearly 6, and 4)all adore them.

  55. Anonymous says:

    My 8+ year old son is an avid reader and an advanced reader as well. We’ve always had trouble finding content appropriate books for him. We have had luck with some of the old classics(he’s read the abridged versions):
    Call of the Wild
    Black Beauty
    Huckleberry Finn
    Tom Sawyer
    Treasure Island
    Oliver Twist

    He’s just started the “Warrior” books and really likes them

    Calvin and Hobbes is hard to pry out of his hands and his laughter over them makes it even harder

    I’m thankful for all the other suggestions now that summer vacation is almost here.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I use “honey for a child’s heart” as a reference for book lists. It is a great resource for parents. I pull it out whenever we venture off to the library. It gives age appropriate books, and it also give short descriptions of the books.