Young Adultish Book:
I just read an incredible book by Kevin Henkes (Yes, the man who wrote Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.) It's called Olive's Ocean, and it was so good, I couldn't put it down, and I wanted to read every word. That is a rare thing nowadays.
Boy book for Middle Graders:
The Tale of Despereux by Kate DiCamillo. Okay, not everyone loves this book, but I do, and my mom and I read it out loud to Calvin and Lucy over the past few weeks and they loved it too.
Do NOT get the movie-tie in novelization. I can't believe Kate DiCamillo allowed this. She must have been drugged.
Girl book for Middle Graders:
Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm
And for older guys:
Nicholas Pipe by Robert D. San Souci
This is an awesome book! Out of print, but you can get it used or at the library. My kids--ALL OF THEM (except Flannery who is only two)--loved this book. Even Mary at ten and Shaemus at four.
A word on age levels. This is so tough. So much of it depends on reading level and interest level. Young adultish is supposed to be 12-18, which is a ridiculously large age range. Middle Grade is supposed to be 8-12, again a ridiculous age range. Most of the Middle Grade books should be okay as read alouds within the 8-12 age range, though some (like the Tale of Despereux) could be read aloud to younger kids. But many middle grade books wouldn't really be read by most kids until eleven or twelve. You'll have to look at the books yourself to decide where your child is at. And I hope everyone reading this blog is still reading out loud to their oldest kids as much as possible (providing they will let them). I won't go into all the reasons for this, but reading aloud should continue forever! It will get them reading books they wouldn't normally read, like The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, which, in my opinion, is one of the best mysteries ever. In the world.
Well, onward and upward!