I read a lot of kids' books. Our shelves are filled with classics, relics from my childhood. Sometimes I like a new book enough to buy it. Here are some recent favourites I added to our shelves.
The naming of Tishkin Silk is the first of seven books about a whimsical family that loves and creates and welcomes strangers and is full of tenderness and joy and loss and celebration. I received the whole Kingdom of Silk series as a gift and plan to keep reading and re-reading them and handing them on to my kids. Beautifully illustrated by Stephen Michael King. For ages 8 and up.
The dragonfly pool is my favourite of Eva Ibbotson's books. It starts in an eccentric English boarding school and ends up at a folk-dancing festival in Europe, where courageous Tally befriends prince Karil, defies Hitler and escapes war-torn Europe (as you do). Funny and fast-paced with a touch of stillness. For ages 8 and up.
When you reach me is a perfectly crafted mystery inspired by Ursula Le Guin's A Wrinkle in Time. It opens with a fist to the stomach and a shattered friendship, continues with a series of hand-written notes that seem to come from the future, and ends with...well, you'll have to read to find out. This Newberry award winner is a page-turner that lives on your memory long after the final page. For ages 9 and up.
First light is written with the same deft touch and sense of unfolding mystery as When you reach me. Instead of the gritty streets of Manhattan, this book is set in the haunting landscape of Greenland, where a scientist's son meets a girl from a hidden world and helps her rescue her people from a coming catastrophe. For ages 9 and up.
The Graveyard Book was about a boy growing up with ghosts in a graveyard, mentored by a vampire, encountering ghouls, and escaping the man who murdered his parents, you might doubt its suitability for children. But don't be fooled. It's a warm and witty book about growing up, and the ending leaves you with that sense of mingled loss and satisfaction that all the best books do. For ages 9 (depending on your child's sensitivity) and up.
Wonder is the story of a boy with a severe facial deformity who goes to a public school for the first time, and the growing relationships between him and the other children. Real, heart-warming, thought-provoking: it's everything you want in a book. You'll love this even if you don't usually read kids' books. For ages 10 to adult.
What about you? Have you read any good children's chapter books recently? Tell us in the comments.