Friday, March 27, 2009

Great Books for Young Readers

With summer just around the corner, it's time to start thinking of books for summer for those young readers. Here are some excellent choices from the many middle grade novels out there.

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson Series

These action-packed novels feature the young hero Percy Jackson, half Greek God courtesy of Poseidon, and his friend AnnaBeth, half goddess courtesy of Athena. Together they battle to save the world today from all kinds of threats from the still existing ancient Greek Gods. Mythology has always been a draw for kids of all ages, and Riordan's adventures pull students in immediately with the first chapter of each book. Chapter one in the Thief is titled, "I Accidentally Vaporize my Pre-Algebra Teacher."
  • The Lightning Thief
  • The Sea of Monsters
  • The Titan's Curse
  • The Battle Of The Labyrinth
  • The Demigod Files
Joseph Delaney's The Last Apprentice Series

Thomas Ward is twelve years old and the seventh son of a seventh son. As such, it falls to him to become the apprentice to the local Spook who fights evil and evil creatures. In Revenge, he becomes friends with Alice, the youngest of a witch family, and this complicates his learning because the Spook imprisons witches in a pit to keep them from hurting others.

Each book ends with the current journal entries of young Ward.
  • Revenge Of The Witch
  • Curse Of The Bane
  • Night Of The Soul Stealer
  • Attack Of The Fiend
  • Wrath Of The Bloodeye
  • The Spook's Tale and Other Horrors
John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice Series

Readers meet fifteen-year-old Will who is chosen to be apprenticed to the mysterious Ranger (a modern day spy) in this medieval series. He must learn how to move around the kingdom without being seen, fight for his life only when there is no other choice, and recognize dangers to the kingdom and its people. His enemy from Battle School presents his first challenge. Lots of adventure lurks between the pages.
  • The Ruins Of Gorlan
  • The Burning Bridge
  • The Icebound Land
  • The Battle For Skandia
  • The Sorcerer Of The North
All of these series are suitable for readers in the Fifth grade and up (even adults!). They are lively enough for children as young as seven or eight if read aloud.

And don't forget about Guinevere: On The Eve Of Legend due out in April 2009. Further details will be forthcoming.