Maegan’s Summer Reading Log #2

The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey twins are actually two sets of twins that are all brothers and sisters. There is a boy and a girl in each set of twins. The older set of twins’ names are Nan and Bert. The younger set of twins’ names are Flossie and Freddie. I really like the name Flossie.

This story is about the twins helping an old lady named Mrs. Marden to find her valuables before her house was going to be smashed down. It was going to be smashed down because it was so old. So this story is a mystery, which is my favorite kind. I think all the Bobbsey Twins books will be mysteries.

Mrs. Marden used to have a cat, and she had to give it away to a friend named Mr. Ryan. The cat runs away and goes back into Mrs. Marden’s house. It gets into the chimney. When Freddie and Flossie rescue the kitty out of the chimney, they discover a metal box with Mrs. Marden’s valuables inside.

There is another boy named Danny who plays tricks on all the twins. So they decided to play a trick on him! The twins took a stuffed kangaroo of Flossie’s and then put a hot water bottle that was filled with hot water into the kangaroo’s pouch. When Danny opened his desk at school, he thought there was a real kangaroo inside. It was so funny.

In this post, Robin asked questions, Maegan talked, and Robin typed.

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Ryan’s Summer Reading Log

Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson

This weekend I finished reading Shell Game, which is book five of the Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson. In this series five teenagers are elected to be DHIs, which are Daylight Hologram Images. This means they are holographic guides to tourists in Walt Disney World; but that’s not all they are! The truth is that this program was devised by the Disney Imagineers in effort to stop the Overtakers…or all the Disney Villains such as Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula the Sea Witch, etc. from committing crimes and doing evil things.

The main character, Finn Whitman, goes to sleep one night and while he is asleep, he is awake in the Magic Kingdom as a hologram. Finn and the other four DHIs have many scary adventures that take place in Walt Disney World after dark fighting the villains.

By the 5th book, Shell Game, the DHIs have become known as the Kingdom Keepers. In this story, the Keepers board the Disney Dream ship, which will be the first cruise ship to travel through a new area in the water. There were many other boats whose captains wanted to be the first to do this. The Keepers soon find out that every single Overtaker is on board this ship and that they have now created their own DHIs, but the Kingdom Keepers manage to shut down the Overtakers’ DHI server. Because of an upgrade in DHI technology, the Kingdom Keepers can now become holograms when they are awake. This helps them to escape many bad situations, because they can just walk through the wall!

In a shell game, a person puts something, like a ball, under a cup with two other cups beside it. A person watching the game observes as the cups are moved around quickly and then has to guess which cup is now covering the ball. In this story, there is somebody aboard the ship who is not supposed to be there – a stowaway placed by the Overtakers. He is hiding in an empty stateroom but keeps moving. The Kingdom Keepers try to find which one of the empty staterooms he is in but they just can’t seem to locate him, and so it is like a shell game.

This book was good because the mystery was really well done. It kept me wondering what would happen next. It was also very exciting because in several parts things happened that made me think the villain would win, but then the hero did. There are funny parts and that keeps the story bright. This series will be most fun to read for kids who have been to Walt Disney World.

Recently I heard Ridley Pearson speak at an authors’ event called the Mega Awesome Adventures, which also featured Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer. This event inspired me to start reading this series. Mr. Pearson loves to talk about his books and seems to have neat inside connections at Walt Disney World. He has been allowed to preview attractions before they open and is allowed to be inside Disney World after dark, which helps him write his stories. He has an awesome job!

Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

The Amulet is a series of graphic novels. There is very little text in this book, so it is really like a comic book. The Stonekeeper is about Emily and Navin, a brother and sister whose father recently died. They had to move to a new house because they couldn’t afford their old one. On the first night of being in the new house, their mother is captured by a monster with tentacles! They follow the monster into the basement and through a secret door into another world. There, they find a mansion in the middle of a lake. They go to the mansion and find their great grandfather, who gives Emily an amulet. An amulet is a special stone with powers, and Emily’s amulet is supposed to help her find her mother. Emily and Navin try many times to rescue their mother, but they fail. When their great-grandfather dies of a sickness, the robots who were working in his house become Emily’s property. At the end of the book, there is a cliffhanger when they turn the house into a vehicle and go up a mountain!

I am very much looking forward to reading the second book to find out what happens to Emily and Navin. I hope they find their mother. I recommend this book for grades 3-6 and I think boys or girls would enjoy the story. The illustrations are fun and scary.

In this post, Robin asked questions, Ryan talked, and Robin typed.

Robin’s Top Ten Young Adult Novels

Robin’s Top Ten Young Adult Novels

#1 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park is a wonderful, smart example of how really good young adult literature is still being written every year. Set in the 80s, Eleanor and Park begin their awkward relationship in silence, with her reading his comics surreptitiously on the school bus, where they are stuck sharing a seat. But then Park holds his books open a little wider, takes longer to turn the page. Next he leaves her a stack. And then comes…drum roll, please….a mix tape. How authentic and so very 80s can you get? Park and Eleanor are both misfits who end up fitting well together. They soar, they dip, they smile, they cry, and of course, they make out whenever they are alone.

References to both classic literature and classic rock left this reader wanting desperately to meet Rainbow Rowell for coffee. I think we’d have a lot in common. Rowell remembers what it is like to be a teenager, and that’s why she tells it all so well. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

#2 Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Anne Shirley desperately wants puffed sleeves on her dresses, to be called Cordelia, and to be loved. Get to know this quirky heroine and Prince Edward Island, and make sure you have a box of tissues by your side. Many sequels follow, and the PBS television show is also quite satisfying if you fall in love with her.

#3 Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

This absorbing, compulsively readable, award-winning book is the quintessential young adult story about a teenage girl with real problems. After her Dad is murdered, Davey’s Mom uproots her and her little brother from their home on the Jersey shore to live in New Mexico with relatives. The friendships she develops and the choices she makes ultimately help her deal with the rage and sadness she feels so deeply. Will she ever be able to move on? Davey Wexler, in the flesh. Enjoy her.

#4 The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

I read this book in 24 hours and fell in love with it “the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” This tender story of two teenagers with cancer who meet at support group and fall in love feels genuine and will break your heart. Tissues required. “Okay? Okay.”

Green’s other young adult novels, such as An Abundance of Katherines, were readable and worthwhile, but ultimately disappointing after Stars. My very well-read niece Jamie, who is entering the 8th grade, refers to Stars as Green’s “magnum opus.” A nice reference on her part to our beloved Charlotte’s Web.

#5 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The first installment of this popular young adult series touches on many themes: independence, activism, and first love. It’s not great literature but it is a great story of survival, and also an important commentary on the modern fascination with reality television. Just how far are we willing to take things to entertain ourselves as a society? This novel will also make teenagers question how independent we really are in the land of the free. Friends of my son were reading this in fourth grade, but I really don’t recommend it for the middle grades, unless as a parent you are really interested in discussing the story with your child. It’s not a challenging book but the themes are mature and it is best left for grades seven and up.

Completing the trilogy is a must; Catching Fire is the second installment and it is good, but the third book is a real disappointment. You can almost feel the editor leaning over Collins’ shoulder telling her to hurry up and finish Mockingjay, as main character Katniss Everdeen continuously passes out and wakes up in hospital after a major time lapse. Kind of lazy storytelling, but you’ve gotta know how it all wraps up!

#6 The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Outsiders is a must-read for every teenager. It is a bit of a period piece, taking it back to the early 60s division of American Midwestern social hierarchy that cut groups into two sides: preppies and greasers. This moving story is complete with crushes across social boundaries and a very sad tragedy at the end. The characters are engaging and likeable, and the 1983 movie adaptation is decent with a lot of familiar faces from the 80s silver screen.

#7 A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

It all begins on a dark and stormy night.

30+ years ago this Newberry Medal winning novel was a real stand-alone as an early introduction to science fiction for children, and it was also published during a time when there was almost a complete absence of strong young female characters in children’s literature. Aside from time and dimensional travel outside the universe to planets unknown, this book also touches on themes of love on every level: between parent and child, siblings, and friends. Recommended for 6 graders and up, especially if “wild nights are your glory.”

#8 The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Although ultimately I feel this book is a young adult novel to read on paper, it is really appropriate for all ages and makes a wonderful read-aloud. Our whole family listened to the author (of Glee fame) read this on CD while on a long road trip, and we all loved the story, the creativity, and the characters. The Land of Stories series takes a modern twist on classic fairy tales, giving the heroes and heroines new life and personality. The second installment in the series is equally pleasing.

#9 Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Although not technically a young adult novelist, the late Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors, and her books helped me to bridge the gap between young adult and classic fiction. I first read this book at the end of high school in anticipation of the upcoming movie adaptation starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell, on whom I had an enormous crush. As you might imagine, eventually I got over the actor, but the experience opened the door to a lifelong love of Maeve Binchy’s lovely stories.

As is the case with many of Binchy’s novels, Circle of Friends takes place in Ireland, which is as much a character in her stories as the people she writes about. This one traces the lives of childhood friends Benny Hogan and Eve Malone all the way up to their placement at University College Dublin, where they become friends with the glamorous Nan Mahon. It’s a lovely tale of friendship, trust, and some heartbreak in mid 20th century Ireland.

#10 The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Stephen King is another mainstream American author who does not technically write for young adults, but some of his novels helped me to bridge the gap between young adult and classic fiction. I’ve always had a thing for something a little scary, and this story is a great introduction to the horror genre if you or your son or daughter have a leaning in that direction. This is definitely different from his usual stuff; not so much of the supernatural (although there is some) but more focus on a young girl’s psychological will to survive.

Nine-year-old Trisha McFarland gets separated from her Mom and her brother while on a hike, and spends days wandering the deep New England woods all by herself, with only a battery-operated radio and a staticky transmission of the Red Sox game for comfort and company. She’s a big fan of the Sox relief pitcher, Tom Gordon, and she fantasizes that her hero will save her. King is a great storyteller who writes with rich and vivid detail. You might want to put on some bug spray before you read, because you will swat away invisible mosquitoes while you lose yourself in this amazing tale of survival.

Robin’s Top Ten Early & Middle Grade Chapter Books

#1 Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant

This book was introduced to me earlier this year by my friend Jenn Ryan, who recommended it as a wonderful read aloud. She was spot on. Maegan and I loved the unlikely friendship between a dog, a squirrel, and a hermit crab.

#2 Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

All of the Ramona books are wonderful and I read them over and over again as a child, but this one is my favorite. Life isn’t easy for Ramona, but you grow and change with her as she learns that although things don’t always go your way, they turn out all right in the end.

#3 The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl

It’s hard to choose just one Roald Dahl novel for a top ten list, and I had a particularly tough time deciding between this one and Matilda. I feel better having mentioned them both. My husband would select a third title: Danny, Champion of the World. There, now he feels better, too. Dahl’s humor is a little dark but his language is wonderful and the storytelling is without equal. In The BFG, a little orphan named Sophie is snatched from the window of her orphanage in the middle of the night by a big, friendly giant. Their adventures will delight the whole family. Makes a great read-aloud.

#4 Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

This series changed the world of children’s literature more than fifteen years ago, and it is easy to see why. Rowling’s magical world leaps off the pages and creates a stunning landscape for the imagination. It’s tempting to allow advanced early readers slip through the walls at Platform 9 ¾, but this is really best saved for ages 9 & up. I cried through the last pages of the final book, not only because they were sad, but because this series that I love so much was coming to a close. The Boy Who Lived will live in your heart if you let him in.

#5 Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume

This book is tangentially related to the popular Fudge series. Sheila the Great is tough as nails on the outside but really, she’s afraid of her own shadow. When she goes to spend a summer in a town away from her comfort zone, she makes new friends but will she be brave enough to show them her true colors?

#6 Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe deClements

This was one of my favorites as a kid; I read it over and over and feel like the characters are real kids from my childhood. Barthe deClements tells it like it is – how kids can be cruel to one another as well as how they can be true friends. If you like the character of Elsie Edwards, stick with this author and find out how she grows up with How Do You Lose Those Ninth Grade Blues? as a young adult selection, followed by Seventeen and In-between.

#7 The Babysitter’s Club: Kristy’s Great Idea

I read the entire series in grade school, and of course all the super special editions as well! As a 2014 parent it is interesting to think about how much independence and responsibility Kristy Thomas and her friends take on as they start their babysitting business together.

#8 The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White

Louis is a trumpeter swan, but not only is he not able to trumpet joyfully, he can’t make a sound. The sweet story of how he overcomes this handicap is a must-read, especially for Bostonians.

#9 Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

This delightful story of Mr. Popper the housepainter and his house full of penguins will delight children of all ages.

#10 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Misselthwaite Manor, a secret garden, and a boy locked behind closed doors. Need I say more? Dive into this wonderful, enchanting classic.

Maegan’s Summer Reading Log

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Stanley Lambchop is a regular boy until one day a bulletin board falls on top of him and makes him flat. He is about my size except he is only one inch thick! He learns there are a lot of things you can do when you are flat, like slip under doors, be a kite for someone, and mail yourself in a giant envelope.

I have my own Flat Stanley I can take around with me this summer. I wonder where we should take him?

Grimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays Late  by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Cinderella is just starting at Grimm Academy. She finds out that the lockers they have are actually trunks that stand up the tall way!  She makes three new friends: Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White. Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater’s pumpkin gets lost, but the friends find a map that shows where the pumpkin is going. If it jumps over a certain wall, it would be in “our” world and not the Grimm Academy world. The mystery is continued to the next book, which is called Red Riding Hood Gets Lost. I can’t wait to read it.

Ivy & Bean Take the Case (#10) by Annie Barrows

I love Ivy & Bean. They didn’t like each other at first but now they are friends. In this story Bean watches a mystery TV show and the girls decide they want to make their own mystery TV show. They do not make a TV show in the end but they are happy anyway because they thought it was fun just pretending to have their own show.

In this post, Mom asked questions, Maegan talked, and Mom typed.

Robin’s Top Ten Picture Books for All Ages

#1 Paul Meets Bernadette by Rosy Lamb

It’s not where you are in life that matters, but who you have beside you.

#2 Tuesday by David Wiesner

All of David Wiesner’s books are wonderful illustrated tales without words. It would make an excellent writing exercise for any age to have students write captions for the pictures. Tuesday tells the story of flying frogs in the middle of the night.

#3 Animalia by Graeme Base

The illustrations in this book take my breath away. It is a lyrical, fantastic alphabet book and so much more.

#4 Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know It All by Peter Catalanotto

An explanation of questions, answers, and what it means to be right.

#5 Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

What could be funnier than a bunch of literate cows turning Farmer Brown’s life upside down? It’s mutiny in the barn.

#6 Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds

This book is meant to be shared with someone you love on a red-letter day, but I say don’t wait! Share it with someone today.

#7 Slightly Invisible (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

Do you know how to catch strange and tricky creatures? If not, you must read this definitive manual.

#8 The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

In which wit and words save a tiny mouse from a dreadful fate multiple times. Little eyes will become big and round when this is read aloud.

#9 How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet

If your friendly and lovable dragon had a price on his head, would you give him up to the king?

#10 Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

Maegan and I both love Scaredy Squirrel. His planning skills are enviable; however, what they say about the best plans of mice and men also applies to squirrels.

Maegan’s Favorite Books

I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten like my brother did. Here are my favorite books:

#1 The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

I really like mysteries. In my mind I picture the scenes in the story as foggy and dark.

#2 Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird has crazy outfits and I  love the funny stories she tells every day. Also, she is in second grade and I will be in second grade soon.

#3 Charlotte’s Web by EB White

Charlotte is my favorite character in this book. She is so smart and she saves Wilbur. She shows how to be a really good friend.

#4 The Witches by Roald Dahl

I like this book because when my Dad reads it to me he does a funny accent. I love the way the Grand High Witch uses a V sound for Ws…she is the Grand High Vitch!

We also watched the movie of this book and the Grand High Vitch is very scary!

#5 Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton series

I love these books because the characters go on many adventures. The pictures are really funny and make the story so good. I like Thea because she is brave. My favorite thing that happened in one of these books was when robots went crazy on the moon.

#6 My Weird School series by Dan Guttman

Miss Daisy is Crazy! was the first chapter book I read all by myself for a book report in first grade. Not all the teachers are ladies. There are some men and some ladies. So far I have only had ladies for my teachers.  I noticed that all the rooms of the crazy school  are wacky. The principal’s office even has a punching bag in it! I would not like to go to this school because it sounds too crazy for me but I still like to read about it.

#7 Usborne Illustrated Fairy Tales

This is my favorite book. I read it all the time. The illustrations are beautiful. Sometimes fairy tales can be a little scary or confusing, but they are not scary in this book. My favorite story inside this book is The Swan Princess.

#8 Rainbow Magic fairy series by Daisy Meadows

These books have colorful covers. The stories are adventurous. Kristy and Rachel, the girls who help the fairies, sound very nice.

#9 Miss Suzy by Miriam Young

This is my Mom’s favorite story to read to me and I like it because she likes it. Miss Suzy is cute.

#10 Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel is so scared to leave his nut tree. He thinks things will happen to him – he thinks there are sharks in the river! But when he jumps out of the tree he discovers he is a flying squirrel! There are other Scaredy Squirrel books if you like this one.

#11 Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

Little Owl is just so cute. His eyes are bigger than his whole head. I think you should read it.

#12 Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton and Eric Puybaret

This book has beautiful pictures and I love to sing the song.

#13 The Unruly Queen by ES Redmond

In the beginning, the main character is a wild devil queen but by the end she realizes she needs to be more polite.

#14 Verdi by Jannell Cannon

Grammy & Pop Pop gave this book to Ryan but I’m the one who likes it. Verdi is a cute snake and he does cool figure eights in the air!

#15 Bedtime is Canceled by Cece Meng and Aurelie Neyret

This is a really fun story and I wish bedtime was really canceled. The parents were not too happy about it in the story.

Ryan’s Top Ten

#1 Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

This five-book series has action, mystery, and humor all in one.

Percy Jackson is twelve years old. He lives with his mom and stepfather, but he does not get along with his stepfather. One night while driving in the car, Percy and his mom and his friend Grover are attacked by a minotaur, which is a creature that is half man, half bull. The minotaur is wearing some tighty whitey underpants! It is very funny. Mrs. Jackson is banished to the underworld and Percy is knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a place called Camp Half Blood. Here Percy learns that he is a demi god, the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. He also learns that his friend Grover is a satyr, which is a half man, half goat! Camp Half Blood is the only safe place in the world for demi gods and other interesting creatures. There are many others like him and Grover. Together they make friends and enemies and go on the first of many quests with their friend Annabeth, who is another important character in the series.

Readers will laugh through the whole first book, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and soon be asking for the second.

#2 The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

This book is a bit more serious than the Percy Jackson stories, but that doesn’t mean the whole book is solemn. The Hobbit is a story of a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins. The first chapter is a very funny scene in which twelve dwarves and a wizard unexpectedly show up at Bilbo’s cozy home and disrupt not only his dinner and his house, but the rest of his life. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to go on a quest to the Lone Mountain in search of a treasure and to defeat the dragon called Smaug.

I loved this book because there is so much action and it is funny and exciting. This story shows readers that you must show courage in order to know your true self. Bilbo did not want to leave his cozy home, but in doing so he learned that he does love adventure and being out in the world. I can’t wait to read the Lord of the Rings series, but my Mom won’t let me yet.

I also really like this graphic version of The Hobbit because it gives more images.

#3 Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

Is there a person in the muggle world who does not know the Boy Who Lived?

This series is about a boy who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin who hate him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. He has an unhappy life until his eleventh birthday, when a giant named Hagrid shows up and gives him a letter accepting him to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry Potter is a wizard! This was the first very long book that I read.

The whole series is great because you get to know all the characters so well. I don’t like them all but the ones I do like feel like old friends. Harry’s birthday is the same as mine, July 31. This summer when I turn eleven, I hope an owl brings me a letter from Hogwarts.

#4 Warriors series by Erin Hunter

Recently my Mom told me that there is no such person as Erin Hunter!These books are all written by different authors under her name. This is called ghostwriting.

There are a lot of different Warriors series. The one I read first was about warrior cats who lived in different clans that all fight each other. It’s kind of like a civil war when people fight inside their own country. Each clan has its own leader and the leader’s name has the word “star” at the end. So in the book The Power of Three, the leader of the clan is Firestar. This is another series where you get to know the characters very well but I also like that every chapter is narrated by a different important character. This helps the reader to see the story from different perspectives.

The special edition books really help the reader understand the history of the clans and get to know the characters in more depth. Beside the Warriors series about cats, “Erin Hunter” also writes similar ones that feature other animals such as bears and dogs but I like the cats’ series best.

#5 Wereworld series by Curtis Jobling

This is a series recommended to me by the people who work at our favorite bookstore, The Blue Bunny. They really know what I like!

Wereworld is supernatural and sci-fi, which I obviously like, but it is different because it is about a boy named Drew who just happens to be a werewolf. The world he lives in is ruled by werecreatures. It sounds like Drew would be scary but he is a good guy. There are also werebears, werelions, werepanthers, etc. It is a really neat world to read about. One night he is attacked by a wererat and his mother is killed. Drew runs away because when his father returns home on this terrible night, he assumes that Drew is the one that killed his mother. Drew is rescued by two members of the Woodland Patrol, which is kind of like the police. After many adventures and other stories, eventually Drew becomes the leader of his country.

The message of this series is not to give up because even though Drew suffered many losses during his life, he eventually became a great leader and person with friendship and love in his life.

#6 Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

This is a classic series that my Mom gave me to read last summer when I was entering fifth grade and I loved it. The first book is called The Chronicles of Narnia and there are seven books altogether. This series is about two brothers and two sisters who accidentally discover the enchanted world of Narnia one day when they were hiding in their wardrobe during a game. During this series, the children go back and forth between Narnia and their home in England. They love Narnia but they can’t plan to go there. It always happens by accident. They have many adventures in Narnia and wish they could stay there forever. Narnia time is 50 years to one year on Earth/real time, so whenever they return to Narnia it is always different.

There are three Narnia movies so far and I like them but they don’t follow the books and the books are better.

I love Narnia because it shows children becoming leaders and that makes me feel like I can do anything even though I am just a kid. It would be cool to live in a place where anything is possible. Wait, maybe I already do.

#7 How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowl

I first learned about this series when I saw the How to Train Your Dragon movie.

My whole family loves Toothless (the dragon) and Hiccup (the boy). I was excited to find out it was a book series. Even though the books are pretty easy for me to read now, I still love to read any new ones that come out. I recommend this series for 3rd & 4th grade, or maybe really good 2nd grade readers.

Hiccup lives on the island of Berk and is the son of Chief Stoick who is the leader/chief of the Hooligan tribe. This tribe trains dragons for hunting, fighting and riding. This is different from the popular movie. Right from the beginning of the movie, the humans fight and kill the dragons and only start to train them at the end. Pretty much any book with dragons in it is good by me. Kind of the way I feel about Dr. Pepper. If a restaurant serves Dr. Pepper, I like it.

#8 Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate is a graphic novel. This means it is like a big comic book. I also like to read the Big Nate comic in the Sunday paper.

Nate is a middle schooler who is not very smart, gets a lot of low grades, and is hated by his homeroom/social studies teacher. I do not look up to Nate but I do like him because he is very funny. Nate’s best friend, Teddy, is also very funny but he is actually a good student. These books are always good for having a laugh or when you want something that’s not too serious.

#9 Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

This is another graphic novel, which again means it is like a comic book. This one has more text/reading than Big Nate.

The wimpy kid’s real name is Greg Heffley. He gets himself into a lot of trouble and awkward situations during his time in middle school and early high school. Gret and Rowley are each other’s only friends and try to help each other through school and social situations.

Greg’s older brother Rodrick isn’t very smart and is a bully to Greg all the time. Greg also has a younger brother named Manny who drives him crazy by doing things like drawing on Greg’s bedroom door with permanent marker. I think Greg loves his Mom and Dad but he gets annoyed at them because he thinks they are overprotective.

The movies are good but my Mom thinks Greg is not a nice person and treats Rowley very badly. But it’s not that way in the book.

A few years ago I got to meet Jeff Kinney at The Blue Bunny and he was very nice!

#10 The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

This three-book series is written by the same author as the Percy Jackson books, so of course it is good.

The main characters are Carter and Sadie Kane. They are brother and sister but were separated after their mother’s death. Carter lived most of his life with his Dad and Sadie spent most of her life with her grandparents. They are kind of normal, regular people before one Christmas they go out together with their father and visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. They see the Rosetta Stone and their father suddenly begins some weird chanting and the stone blows up. Whoa.

When they wake up in the rubble, they find they have strange powers. Two Egyptian magicians summon a magic portal and transport Carter and Sadie to the capital of Egypt. Their father has disappeared. Again, I say, whoa.

Once in Egypt, Carter and Sadie find themselves in an underground city filled with yet more Egyptian magicians. And for a third time, I say, whoa. Their mission becomes to prevent an Egyptian snake-god from eating the sun. Yes, correct. Eating the sun.

I like the Kane Chronicles because it is very creative and filled with new ideas. I also like learning about Egyptian mythology. There are a lot of “whoa” moments in this series. It is quite a page-turner.