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Middle Grade Reading: a preview

August 24, 2009

I cut my son’s hair for the first time, yesterday. He looks like a little adult.

What, pray tell, us, Pam, does that have to do with books?

Oh please, everything.

My mom tells this story, occasionally, about driving down the road one day. At a light, she looked into the mirror and saw her daughter, then seven, sitting cross-legged and bespeckled, in the back seat, nose three inches deep in a book. She said she felt like she was looking through a time machine, catching a glimse of what her daughter would be like on her breaks home from college.

She was completely wrong. I no longer wear glasses because I continually misplace them.

Ok, maybe that’s the only difference. While avid young readers don’t always grow up to be adult readers, I think that trend is changing. I’m not knocking Twain but the world of middle grade reading has become something completely different than it was in the dark ages. (Again, sorry Mark. you were feisty; I’m sure you can handle it.) It has always been a challenge, at least the media tells us so, to get our boys to read. I think that with the advent of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter and others that is changing a bit but you can never be too careful.

I would like to be well versed in Middle Grade books when Kai hits that age so I know titles to casually suggest. Being a little bit ahead of the game on this one can’t be a bad thing and also, I am often caught by that same feeling that threw my mother off. He will, I am sure, be headed to college any day now, most likely making this face:

kai face

This is a very long introduction but here is the point. I am participating in a challenge as I haven’t in a while. Linda @  http://www.bambireads.blogspot.com is holding a Middle Grade Book Challenge. There is a challenge for 12 books and a challenge for 25. Since it is a year long challenge and I can kill two birds with one stone by reading these to Kai (yes, I know he’s only 18 months. He’ll live.) I think I’ll go for the longer one. We’ll see how I do.

Here are the rules:

Guidelines for the Middle Grade Book Challenge
1. Anyone can join.
2. Read 12 middle grade novels (Challenge 1) or read 25 MG books (Challenge 2). You can read comics too, or listen to audio books. These can be in any language. You don’t have to make a reading list now; you may select them as you go and you’re free to make changes to your list.


3. The challenge begins September 1st, 2009 through August 31st, 2010.


4. You can join anytime between now and August 31st, 2010.

5. When you sign up with MckLinky right below, you will be redirected to another page. Type in your name, followed by the name of your blog. [e.g.: Linda Ellen (Bambi Reads)]. Then type in your blog’s URL. Please follow these instructions or your link will be removed.

For the moment I am in the list making process. I know that the list will, most likely include:

CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins

TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo

HOOT by Carl Hiaasen

PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS BOOK 1: THE LIGHTENING THIEF by Rick Riordan (if I like it, there are four more but I won’t commit until I’ve scoped out the scene)

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle (Yes, I’ve read this multiple times on my own but never to Kai)

WHEN YOU REACH MY by Rebecca Stead

So that’s my list for the moment. I don’t want to put too much down in stone because i am sure I’ll discover things over the next year. If you have anything to suggest, as always, let me know


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5 Comments leave one →
  1. jpetroroy permalink
    August 24, 2009 3:22 pm

    Oooh yay! This is so up my alley. I just read, and loved NEIL ARMSTRONG IS MY UNCLE AND OTHER LIES MUSCLE MAN MCGINTY TOLD ME by Nan Marino.

    Other suggestions:

    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly is supposed to be amazing and is next on my TBR list.

    Half Magic by Edward Eager

    The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey – Trenton Lee Stewart

    Flygirl- Sherri L. Smith (more YA, though)

    Walk Two Moons- Sharon Creech

    Bud, Not Buddy- Christopher Paul Curtis

    Number the Stars- Lois Lowry

    The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman

  2. August 24, 2009 4:39 pm

    Hi Pam,

    this is the most entertaining “challenge” post I have read so far. Thank you for the laughs and chuckles. =)

    I’ve read the Tale of Despereaux before the movie was even made and I enjoyed it. I hope you will too. I hope to read the 39 Clues series, or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series too.

    That picture of Kai still has me saying “aww”. I hope you’ll have fun with this challenge. =)

  3. August 24, 2009 7:21 pm

    What a face! He’s adorable!

  4. August 27, 2009 8:12 pm

    “so I know titles to casually suggest”

    that made me giggle 🙂

    p.s. loooooove the kai picture!!!

  5. September 4, 2009 11:43 pm

    I’m giving away a copy of The Tale of Despereaux. Do you have a copy yet? Swing by when you have the time.=)

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