From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Books My Younger Siblings Like

I took two of my siblings to the library last night. I took my little sister S, which is fairly normal. She and I are the bookworms of the family, and I take her to the library with me a lot.

I also took my brother J. That was a miracle. It seems like he's been having a rough couple days and he's found himself with a bigger chunk of free-time now that basketball seasons ended. He came and asked me for a book to read which, you guys know, is about the best question a person can get. He was almost shy about it. It was pouring rain but my mom looked at me with a take-this-chance-and-run look and said, "Take him to the library before he changes his mind." Of course S wanted to come too, and we went.

So, okay. S is eight years old, right? I was picking out books with J while she walked through the kids section. She hurried up to me with one of those white hardcover abridged-for-kids books, Great Expectations. I said, "I'm impressed you picked Dickens."

She smiled and said, "This is the one she reads in Matilda, right?"

I told her yes, sort of, but that this wasn't the real version. She looked crestfallen for a moment and then asked where the real one was. "It's long," I warned her. She wanted to see it. So we went and I pulled out some shorter Dickens, but she wanted that one. So I gave her Great Expectations and she took it to the kids section and began to read.

Now, J. In the past, he has really enjoyed listening to the Harry Potter audio-books. He has also enjoyed the Redwall series by Brian Jaques, the Percy Jackson series, and Levin Thumps. But he is fifteen, and its been a while since I've seen him pick up a book for fun. I've recently kept audiobooks going in my car and on the occasions when I'm driving him somewhere or picking him up from school, if I haven't turned it to the radio before he gets in the car, he'll turn it for me, or put up a fuss until I let him. Last week I had playing in my car The Witches by Roald Dahl. Maybe I was just feeling particularly stubborn that day but when I picked him up from school I told him we were listening to the book and he couldn't do anything about it. Whether it was Dahl's delightful writing or the fabulously British narration, he didn't throw too much of a fit. The next time I picked him up the radio was on. He switched it to the audiobook.

Last night at the library, with the very helpful recommendations of my go-to book recomenderer, we ended up with The Graveyard Book and Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, and Enders Game. We'll see how it goes.

S ended up with Ingrid Law's Saavy rather than Great Expectations, but she'll get to Dickens eventually, I have no doubt. She has to finish Among the Hidden before she starts on Saavy, and she plans to finish all the books in the Shadow Children's series too.

Here's the quick-list of some books my younger siblings have read and loved.

Redwall, Brian Jacques
Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief, Rick Riordan
Leven Thumps, Obert Skye
The Witches, Road Dahl
Among the Hidden, Margaret Peterson Haddix
Bud Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis
Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar

What would you guys recommend, next time I rope my younger siblings to the library?

Sarah Allen


  1. Hi Sarah,

    I grew up with Blyton and E. Nesbit. It took my kids to introduce me to Roald Dahl.


  2. Way to instill in them the love of books, reading and libraries. Sometimes it just takes finding the right one. My son was never a reader, but occasionally I could interest him in books like Krakauer's Into the Wild. My daughter is a total book hound and has already about depleted our small-town library. Thank goodness for inter-library loans!

  3. Stargirl, Ella Enchanted, The Giver, Holes, the Uglies, the Secret Life of Bees, aTree Grows in Brooklyn, the Devil's Arithmetic and my all time favorite: Catcher in the Rye.

    I miss going to the library for books. Tell everyone hi. Miss you guys :)

  4. It sounds like you picked some great books. Ender's Game is a favorite of mine. I would suggest the Ranger's Apprentice series and the Brotherband Chronicles - both by John Flanagan - for your brother, and maybe Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George for your sister, although it might be too old. The Fairy's Mistake and the Fairy's Return by the same lady who wrote Ella Enchanted might be fun reads for your sister.

  5. My publisher (Solstice) has some very good YA titles in their stable, ranging from those in age of your sister to what I like to call high end (17+) YA.

    However, if you're looking for specific titles, Penny Estelle has a nice one called "Hike Up Devil's Mountain" and I enjoyed a high end YA called "Softly Say Goodbye" by KC Sprayberry.


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