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99. Recommendations for Young Readers – Part I Multi-part episodes of...

Multi-part episodes of young reader recommendations. Thank you!

This week, Jane’s recommendations based on her daughter’s reading enjoyment and their experiences with books together. Then, I’ll be on next week with my recommendations. In both episodes (possibly three depending on editing time), I’ll feature your recommendations as well.

Before I get to the book recommendations, I also wanted to highlight a couple of book-focused charity initiatives. We subscribed to the PJ Library, which sends monthly books that focus on Jewish themes to children until they’re about 8. Some areas extend the program a bit longer, but our PJ Library, which was coordinated by the JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ, stopped the program at age 8. Each month both of my children would receive a book – or sometimes a CD of music – that was about Jewish children, holidays, cultural history, and similar themes. Getting a book in the mail once a month: BIG AWESOMENESS.

Also, if you’re looking for local book initiatives in your area, you might try First Book, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, both of which aim to get books into the hands of young readers. If you’d like to recommend other programs that increase childhood literacy, please email me.

One last thing: Jane mentioned the Newbery Award, and you can find the complete list of winning books from 1922 to the present on the ALA website.

Ready? Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

The Wind in the WillowsBrer RabbitThe Secret Garden

Where the Mountain Meets the MoonThe Year of the DogThe Year of the Rat


The One and Only Ivan

The School of Good and Evil

How to Train Your Dragon - Spirit AnimalsMagic Treehouse

The Ordinary Princess Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C Wrede

The Legend of Zelda books

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer >The Amulet graphic novels

Garfield comicsDiary of a Wimpy Kid

Captain Underpants

Ranger’s ApprenticeThe Brotherband Chronicles

The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMannThe Warriors series by Erin Hunter

Sonic the Hedgehog graphic novelsHiro’s Quest seriesSecret Agent Jack Stalwart series

Alex Rider graphic novelsPokemon books!

hoot Carl Hiaasenflush Carl Hiaasen

Tortall series by Tamora PierceSherwood Smith’s “Wren” books (Wren to the Rescue is the first)

The Summoning - Kelley ArmstrongThe Boxcar Children

The Little House on the Prairie seriesThe Maximum Ride series by James Patterson

Harry Potter

The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesSpiderwick Chronicles

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyThe Mysterious Benedict Society

Percy jackson seriesKane Chronicles

Junie B JonesThe Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block

The Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffreyDingo by Charles DeLint

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C. Wrede Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Pit Dragon Trilogy by Jane Yolen

And just wait – next week, we’ll have more!

Book Straddling the Line

Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton’s latest addition to the Play-by-Play series, STRADDLING THE LINE—on sale now from Berkley!

Trevor Shay has it all—a successful football and baseball career, and any woman he wants. But when he finds out his college mentor’s daughter is in trouble, he drops everything to come to her aid.

Haven Briscoe has finally landed a dream job as a sportscaster for a major network. But she hasn’t been able to move past the recent death of her beloved father, and it’s affecting her career. A plum assignment following the daily life of sports superstar Trevor Shay might be just the inspiration she needs…

Trevor will do anything to spark life back into Haven, including letting her into every aspect of his world. The chemistry between them flames higher than one of Trevor’s home runs and faster than his dashes to the end zone. But as they grow closer, Haven stumbles onto Trevor’s closely guarded secret, one he’s hidden his entire life. And despite his protests, now it’s Haven’s turn to put everything on hold to help Trevor. Will he let her in and trust her with a secret that could blow his professional and personal world apart?

The music this week was provided by Sassy Outwater. This song is called “Room 215” and it’s by the Peatbog Faeries from their CD Dust. You can find them at their website, or at iTunes.

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle and on Stitcher, too.

What did you think of today’s episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that’s where you hang out online. You can email us at [email protected] or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-DBSA. Please don’t forget to give us a name and where you’re calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. ms bookjunkie
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 10:45:20

    There’s a Kids’ Sale going on at Audible, for anyone interested…

  2. Anna Richland
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:46:33

    Many favorites on the list – except Junie B Jones. Everyone hated it in our household, b/c we knew no one of that age who still spoke in the babyish incorrect terms employed by the narrator. She annoyed us all no end.

    I intended to write in an add a couple other favorites before the podcast and never got around to it – but we enjoyed reading THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY (Siobhan Dowd) (the author died around the time of publication, from cancer, and we regret there will not be other books. The narrator is a boy with Asperger’s who is solving the mystery of a cousin’s disappearance from a car on the London Eye).


    ANYTHING illustrated by RAINA TELGEMEIER! Smile is great, and she’s done a graphic novel adaptations of THE BABYSITTERS CLUB! Seriously. Hits all age groups from advanced second grade readers to middle school (=Drama). Smile was recommended to me for my daughter by a romance blogger/librarian (Juju at Confessions of a Librarian in Training) and now my daughter is on the library waitlist for everything Telgemeier has ever done (well we bought several too). Clearly nothing romance readers like more than cultivating young readers. Just like this podcast!

    Lots of Sunday comic strips have collected editions – Calvin and Hobbes, of course, but my child also liked the Foxtrot collection b/c it features a family. We have a bunch of classic Peanuts collected, which I admit to finding dull, but my 8 yr old loves (just like her Garfield, which drives me bonkers). And gah, the Smurfs. There are SO MANY Smurfs comic books out there. The anthologies (1 and 2) are the best bet, b/c a lot of the single-story comics turn out to be illustrated young child editions if you’re not paying close attention when you reserve them from the library. If your kid runs through all the smurfs and you can still see straight, Peyo had a short series called “Benny Breakiron” that my daughter also liked despite the vehicle themes and boy orientation.

    “WHATEVER AFTER” series (messed up fairytales, older sister and young brother have to set things straight) by Sarah Mlynowski. Read in order. They managed to pry my daughter away from her graphic novels, so that’s a recommendation.

    Also highly recommend – mentioned it elsewhere – the Young James Bond series by Charlie Higson in audiobook. SILVER FIN (man-eating eels, people) was terrifying. And the narrator was yummy British voice. Scared the kids too much to finish (10 and 8 yr olds), so I had to complete it on my own, quite happily.

    E. Nesbit classics – THE RAILWAY CHILDREN (audiobook – full cast audio so many narrators play the parts) – and then the series that begins with Five Children and It, goes to The Phoenix and the Carpet and then The Amulet. Shamelessly and quite well ripped off (he even gives E. Nesbit credit in his introduction) in Half Magic and all the following books by Edward Eager. Those are a little easier for younger kids to read on their own than the classics of E. Nesbit. I LOVE the Five Children and It audio book – so listen to it and then give the kids Half Magic to read.

    Younger kids might enjoy the VIN FIZZ books by Clive Cussler – YES, that Clive Cussler. He wrote a 3-book series for slightly young Middle Grade about … a brother and a sister, shockingly … who are very unsupervised and find a magic box that makes the toys you put into it become full size and work. So you put a toy plane in, you GET A REAL PLANE. There’s no learning that messing with magic is a bad idea (unlike E Nesbit), just straight up adventures, like you would expect from Clive Cussler.

    I think I have more kid books in my GR account, more kid audiobooks, a lot about kids and art, but I seriously don’t have the time to put all the books my kids read into GR… (oh, that was a pity brag, wasn’t it? But we’re all readers here so it’s ok, right?)

  3. Anna Richland
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 23:40:00

    Animal books for your daughter, Jane:

    Easier: the historical horse books (and now dogs) told from the animal’s first “person” POV throughout different time periods. The series is “Horse Diaries” and we loved #1, Elska, by Cathy Hapka (Icelandic pony in medieval period). #2, Bell’s Star, deals with rescuing a runaway slave, and Tennessee Rose by Jane Kendall is about a Tennessee Walking Horse during the Civil War. The series is written by a variety of authors, but we’ve liked them all. They are fairly accurate horse books with just the right amount of information and also have bits of interesting history.

    Higher Level: Jane Smiley’s young adult/middle grade horse books: A Good Horse, The Georges and the Jewels, etc. Loved by adults too.

    Series: Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (a great female character in Eilonwy, but she doesn’t get enough book time). Welsh mythology, timeless, and I think Lloyd Alexander was buddies with JRRT and CSLewis back in the golden age.

    And tonight my former reluctant reader just snuck 90 minutes with the latest “Whatever After”, mentioned above … so THAT’S a recommendation.

    Also we loved the audiobook of Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke (of the Inkheart series).

    Sorry for overwhelming the comments… I should have spread the love to SBTB too.

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