Thursday, May 17, 2012

Girly books for your girl who needs more than just fantasy

Have a daughter who doesn't love big fantasy series? Or maybe she does, but she also likes quiet realistic fiction that is interesting but not too depressing?

I have a daughter like that. In her free time, she loves to read, but she doesn't want to read anything hard or anything sad or anything that takes a great deal of effort. This is occasionally depressing to me, but then I remember that I was that girl at her age, and in many ways still am.


Here are some of Mary's faves. They are not necessarily my faves. I will note when I have read them and adore them and love them, but count these as good summer reading suggestions for your ten to fourteen year old.

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
This is a special favorite. I adore this book. I reread this book. I love the lack of words, the white space on the page. I love the story. I love that the girl plays in an organ competition and her dad stays at home and gets certificates. And I love that it feels so real.
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The Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick.
Don't expect these books to necessarily make your daughter read Anne of Green Gables, but it might. Especially if you show them the movie first :) Actually, one of my favorite things about this series are the unusual books Frederick chooses to have the girls in the story read with their mothers. Yeah, she does choose Pride and Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables and Little Women, but she also has a book about the Betsy-Tacey books, and Daddy Longlegs. (Have you grown-ups read Daddy Longlegs? I really love that book. It's up there with Girl of the Limberlost and I Capture the Castle.)
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I also just realized she has a new book coming out in this series:
Wish You Were Eyre. I'm assuming they are going to be reading Jane Eyre, but that's pretty cool, seeing how Eyre is my last name :) I think we'll have to buy it.
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Here's a fairly comprehensive list of Mary's faves that she rereads regularly:
Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Haddix. 
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Just Ella by Margaret Haddix
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It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder
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(There's a sequel out for this.)
Wendy Mass books in general: Finally, Eleven Birthdays, Thirteen Gifts, Every Soul A Star, etc...
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The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O'Roarke Dowell (and the sequel)
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Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
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The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker
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And anything by Janette Rallison.

I'll be working on more summer reading lists for all ages over the next few weeks. Let me know if you have any ideas to add or any questions! (I need a summer reading list for myself.)

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