Our 8 year old and 11 year old sons both do independent reading each night as part of their school requirements and will also read of their own accord on weekends. It can sometimes be a challenge to keep up with age appropriate books that they will find interesting.
The children all received a number of books at Christmas time and we have just been to the public library, so we are okay with books for the next few weeks (longer for the 8 year old), but I have been doing some research to find some new (for us) books, to keep a steady supply flowing into the house.
I have found a number of new series which I think the boys will like, so I then went straight to my online library account and reserved the books. I now have 28 reservations sitting in my library account. As they are new or obviously popular titles, for the majority of these reservations I am 4th or greater in queue. It will be a number of months before some of them are ready for pick up, but that is okay as it will help to have engaging books becoming available through out the year.
Naturally these books can be read by either girls or boys, but I have specifically collated this list below with boys in mind. Here are some of the series of books that we hope to get through this year. Note that I haven’t read any of them yet, so the descriptions below are based on the information that I have gathered. Click on the thumbnail of the book, to head to the books website.
1. Battle Boy – Charlie Carter
In the sci-fi genre, the series revolves around Battle Boy 005 also known as Napoleon Augustus Smythe. Napoloen is an 11 year old boy who operates as a Human Data-Collecting Device. As such is involved in all sorts of battles, time travel and naturally has plenty of gadgets.
2. Dragon Blood Pirates – Dan Jerris
Central characters Owen and Al are mysteriously transported through time, ending up in the middle of the sea. They befriend pirates aboard The Booty and need to help solve the mystery of Dragon Blood Island and wokr out how to get home. Lots of pirate lingo!
3. Grubtown Tales – Philip Ardagh
“You won’t find Grubtown on any maps. The last time any map-makers were sent anywhere near the place they were found a week later wearing nothing but pages from a telephone directory, and calling for their mothers. It’s certainly a town and certainly grubby – except for the squeaky clean parts – but everything else we know about the place comes from Beardy Ardagh, town resident and author of these tales.”
The most recent book in the series Grubtown Tales: Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky, won the 2009 Roald Dahl Funny Prize.
4. Beast Quest – Adam Blade
An evil wizard has enchanted the magical beasts of Avantia – only a true hero can free the beasts and stop them from destroying the land. Is Tom the hero Avantia has been waiting for? You can download the first chapter of the book on the website, so you can test out whether your child may like this series.
5. Roald Dahl Whizzing Box Collection
My 8 year old recently received a box set of 15 Roald Dahl books. Some we had read previously as we had borrowed them from the library, but there are a number which he is yet to read. My personal favourite is Matilda! The Roald Dahl website also has interactive games and other activities.
6. Conspiracy 365 – Gabrielle Lord
Although I have no trouble getting my 11 year old boy to read, I know that this is not the case for all boys. I think this is a great concept to encourage boys to read. One book in the series is to be released each month this year and with promo videos like this, I can see why it took me three bookshops before I could find a copy on the shelves! The January and February editions of Conspiracy 365 are out now.
7. Samurai Kids – Sandy Fussell
Sandy Fussell is Sydney based and Samurai Kids is her first series of books. The series revolves around Niya Moto who is the only one-legged Samurai kid in Japan, famous for falling flat on his face in the dirt. None of the samurai schools will teach crippled Niya, until an offer arrives from the legendary samurai warrior Ki-Yaga, sensei of the Cockroach Ryu.Together with the other Cockroaches, Niya must defeat the fierce Dragons Ryu at the Samurai Trainee Games.
8. The Name of This Book is Secret – Pseudonymous Bosch
“This is the story of a secret, and also a secret story. This is the story of Cass and Max-Ernest, two friendless eleven-year-olds who come together to solve the age-old mystery surrounding a dead magician and the clues he left behind.” The Name of This Book is Secret was the winner of the 2009 Sakura Medal (Elementary Chapter Book Section).
CROSS OVER FICTION
9. Tomorrow Series – John Marsden
The Tomorrow Series is internationally acclaimed series written by Australian author John Marsden. In June last year Screen Australia announced support for five feature films based on the books.
Somewhere out there Ellie and her friends are hiding.
They’re shocked, they’re frightened, they’re alone.
Their world has changed, with the speed of a slamming door.
They’ve got no weapons – except courage.
They’ve got no help – except themselves.
They’ve got nothing – except friendship.
How strong can you be, when the world is full of people trying to kill you?
10. The Everest Series – Gordon Korman
They come from all across America to be the youngest kid ever to climb Everest. But only one will reach the top first. The competition is fierce. The preparation is intense. When the final four reach the higher peaks, disaster strikes — and all that separates the living from the dead is chance, bravery, and action.
Our boys have agreed to write some reviews for me through out the year as they make their way through the books, so I look forward to sharing those with you too!
And if you have made it all the way to the end of this post, here is a special treat. My kids and to be honest I have also loved the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. The movie is being released in America March 19 and here is the trailer.