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Fun Stories to Share!

I’ve talked a lot about how I like to read to my kids at night.  It started when my son was a toddler.  I used to tell him that he could pick three stories for bedtime and he would hand me The Little Engine that Could.  When I told him he could pick out two more?  “No!  I want you to read this one three times!”  I still hate that book…  Other favorites were There’s a Wocket in my Pocket, Goodnight Moon, and Guess How Much I Love You.  We kept reading every night when my daughter was born, and it is something that I still try to do even now that my son is sixteen and my daughter is eleven.  It’s challenging to find the time now that they’re involved in their various extra-curricular activities, but we find it most days.  Turns out they’re not too old to enjoy story time with mom, I think we all love to hear a good story no matter our age.  While I will still occasionally bring home a great picture book from the library, we mostly read chapter books now.  Below are some of our favorites from the last year, good stories that were enjoyable to share aloud and that were enjoyable for all ages.

homesickBenny’s dad is a hoarder – a seriously out-of-control hoarder.  Benny’s mom can’t take it anymore and leaves the small Missouri town for New Orleans – now Benny needs to deal with the situation all on his own.  When a local teacher enters the town in a contest for “America’s Most Charming Small Town” (maybe exaggerating a little – ok a lot – on the application) the town needs to deal with the junk pile that has become Benny’s home.  There is a great supporting cast of characters – a hippie starting a radio station, a teacher encouraging community service projects, a piano teacher, a classroom crush – that cause you to feel like you know and love the quirky people in this small town.  While reading this book we had a lot of laughs, moments where our hearts were breaking for Benny, times when we were holding our breaths waiting to see what happened next, and times when we were cheering him on.

Title: Homesick
Author: Kate Klise
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Pages: 192
Publication: Feiwel & Friends, September 2012

liarspyWhen Georges dad loses his job his family is uprooted and needs to move to a Brooklyn apartment in an unfamiliar neighborhood.  His mom is working extra shifts at the hospital to make ends meet and Georges is feeling depressed and friendless when he sees a sign for a Spy Club.  Encouraged by his dad, he signs up and meets Safer – a twelve-year old spy – who recruits Georges on his mission to figure out what nefarious deeds their upstairs neighbor, Mr. X, is up to.  Eventually, Georges becomes concerned about the morality of what Safer is asking him to do and frustrated with Safer’s moody demands.  As he begins to question Safer and his stories they begin to unravel as does their friendship.  The relationships in the story were great – Georges and his mom leaving messages for each other with Scrabble tiles, how he tries not to put extra stress on his dad, the way that Safer’s family takes him in, and ultimately, his friendship with Safer as he comes to an understanding of the truth.

Title: Liar & Spy
Author: Rebecca Stead
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Pages: 192
Publication: Wendy Lamb Books, August 2012

ungiftedThis story was hilarious, from start to finish.  Donovan is a decidedly ungifted troublemaker who may have finally taken things too far when an administrative screw-up lands him in the Academy for Scholastic Distinction.  If he can hide out there for awhile, maybe his other problems will blow over… plus, his parents are sooo proud!  As his new teachers and fellow students struggle to figure out where Donovan’s gifts may lie (how DID he get here??), he brings something new to the class – himself – his knowledge of “normal” life, video games, and YouTube.  The relationships between these students, their parents, and their teachers are consistently humorous yet insightful.  There was not an evening of reading this together when we didn’t end up laughing.  Mr. Korman – my kids are hoping for a sequel!

 

Title: Ungifted
Author: Gordon Korman
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Pages: 288
Publication: Balzer & Bray, August 2012

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2 thoughts on “Fun Stories to Share!

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Top Ten | Watching the Words

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