I have a lot of readers at my house. I have teenage readers and middle grade readers and elementary school readers. We go through books quicker than we go through a package of Oreos. And with just as much voracity. It makes me happy, because I absolutely believe reading makes kids smarter, but also because I love to talk to my kids about the words they read. What they mean. How they make them feel. Which ones have become their very most treasured favorites. And so I’m here to share those favorites with you!
If you missed my list of Summer reading recommendations a few years ago, you can see it by clicking on the following link. We discovered many favorites that Summer, so you’ll see a few repeated here.
And now, our favorites:
The Book with No Pictures, by BJ Novak – The best read out loud book I’ve ever read. If you only have room for ONE new book on your shelf, pick this one. My three and five year olds laugh themselves silly and beg to hear it again the minute it’s over.
Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers
The Incredible Book Eating Boy, by Oliver Jeffers – Jeffers is a new favorite of mine. His stories are touching in simple ways and his artwork is fantastic. You can’t go wrong with any of his books but these two have risen to the top for my kids.
Mix it Up, by Herve Tullet
Press Here, by Herve Tullet – Interactive in the best kind of way, these two Tullet books are so much fun.
A Wish for Wings That Worked, by Berkeley Breathed – Recommended by my sister, Emily (as are several others on this list), I can’t read this book without crying. It’s a great Christmas story or anytime story, really.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce – Beautifully illustrated, there isn’t much not to love about a book . . . about books.
(*If you see this little asterisk next to a book? It means I know the person that wrote it and they deserve bonus points for being fantastic humans in addition to excellent authors. So. Support my author friends, yeah?)
*Almost Super, by Marion Jenson – Funny, funny book, great for reading out loud. Even Ivy stayed engaged with this one and begged for another chapter every night before bed.
The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate – Another great one for reading out loud. Very touching story.
Wonder, by RJ Palacio – Should be required reading for every middle grade kid, everywhere.
*A Night Divided, by Jennifer Nielsen – Lucy loved this one. About a family separated on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall.
*Mark of the Thief (Book 1) and Rise of the Wolf (Book 2), by Jennifer Nielsen – These are Henry’s new favorites. We love Jennifer Nielsen’s books at our house!
*Fires of Invention, Mysteries of Cove (Book 1), by J. Scott Savage – Sam started this the same night we brought a signed copy home from the bookstore. And then finished it. IN ONE NIGHT.
Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Lucy read this first, then brought it to me and wouldn’t give up until I’d read it as well. Great message, great story.
Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper – Another highly ranked favorite from Lucy and Sam alike. Which is saying something since Sam generally requires dragons or magic or huge explosions for a book to be a hit.
*Airships of Camelot: The Rise of Arthur, by Robison Wells – A kindle edition only, this book is every cool thing imaginable crammed into one story.
*The Farworld Series: Water Keep, Land Keep, Air Keep, and Fire Keep, by J. Scott Savage – One of Sam’s favorite series.
Revolution, by Deborah Wiles
The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin
Older (ish) Teen Readers
I can’t exactly call this category YA, because in the strictest sense of the genre, the books listed here aren’t YA. But they are books that my teenage son has enjoyed.
*Brandon Sanderson. The end.
Okay. I’m sort of kidding. (Not really.) But if you look at Jordan’s shelf right now, he’s definitely a Sanderson fan. (Once I pulled some strings and earned huge mamma bonus points when I had Sanderson call Jordan and talk to him about his books. During their conversation, Brandon said this to my kid: “Jordan, I started reading fantasy when I was your age and it changed my life.” Yeah, that was an awesome moment.) If Jordan had to list his books in order of favorites, it would probably look something like this:
The Stormlight Archives Series (The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance) – I’ve read these too and they are POWERFUL books.
The Reckoners Series (Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity)
The Mistborn Series
And finally a few others that have been enjoyed by one or multiple kids in the house that I forgot to add in the above itemized list:
The Michael Vey Series, by Richard Paul Evans
The Rangers Apprentice Series by John Flanagan
The Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling (Still going strong. Four of six have finished the series. Two more to go!)
Septimus Heap Series, by Angie Sage
Eragon, and the entire Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini
All things written by *Brandon Mull
I wish I could say this was an all encompassing list, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten some. I may amend and add more when the kids are home from school and can fact check my list. In the meantime, Happy Reading!