When did you start to love reading? Can you remember the first book that did it for you?
Why, yes I do remember–so glad you asked! I was in third grade at my local public library with my friend Margaret (a bookworm and savvy reader a few years older than me). She thrust Lois Lowry’s Anastasia, Again at me so I shrugged and checked it out. I spent the rest of that afternoon on my front porch for hours happily lost in the book. I was a reader. And I haven’t looked back since.
Over the years, I have found that the phase of life in which you read a book affects your outlook on it. Have you ever re-read a beloved book only to find you now despise it? Have you discovered that you still love that same book but notice a lot of different stuff now? If you’ve grown up reading chances are you have many fond memories of the greats you read as a kid. In this line of thinking my colleague Meaghan Darling and I put together some recommendations of titles to try now based on what you liked when you were younger.
* The Witches by Roald Dahl â€“Beautiful Creatures (2010 Morris Finalist) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Some witches are good, some are badâ€”but all are powerful!
* How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell â€“ Eragon (2004 Teens Top Ten) by Christopher Paolini
An unexpected meeting. A new training partner. The epic tale of a boy and his dragon.
* Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Both focused on the Holocaust, the brave protagonists of each story secretly help a friend in hiding or in a concentration camp.
Finally, a book that celebrates the awesomeness of fan fiction!
Ramona and Frankie are strong, smart girls who find themselves in some pretty hilarious jams.
* Anastasia, Ask your Analyst! by Lois Lowry â€“OCD, The Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Mental health is important for a young girl!
* Coraline by Neil Gaiman — The Graveyard Book (2009 Newbery Medal Winner) by Neil Gaiman
Spooky settings, creepy characters, paranormal beings â€” oh my!
* Holes by Louis Sachar — Boot Camp (2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers) by Todd Strasser
Just a couple of â€œbad boysâ€ trying to escape unjustified hard labor.
* The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum —Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Dorothy like you’ve never seen her before! Oz is a dystopian society.
* Cinderella by Marcia Brown– Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
Features a crumbling castle, evil stepsisters, and witty dialogue– and bears a striking resemblance to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
* The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson — September Girls by Bennett Madison
Mermaid adventures for the modern day.
* Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie –Second Star by Alyssa Sheinmel
In this modern remake of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling sets off to find her missing surfer brothers, John and Michael. Set in California where all â€œflyingâ€ is done on surfboards.
* Joey Pigza Series by Jack Gantos —Carter Finally Gets It Trilogy by Brent Crawford
A comical look (laced with boy humor) at a boy trying to survive the school year.
* Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney — Miracle Wimp by Erik P. Kraft
Just two dudes trying to navigate the school scene. Doodles and diary entries galore.
Nancy had it all â€” mystery, espionage, intrigue, and great hair. Fast forward 25 years to modern technology and cyberstalking and you have the Gallagher Girls.
* Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine — Anna Dressed in Blood (2011 Reader’s Choice Nomination) by Kendare Blake & The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
With stories of ghost hunting and the Japanese legend that inspired the film The Ring, the spook factor goes up a notchâ€¦ or ten.
* Babysitters Club Series by Ann M. Martin — Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (2002 Best Book for Young Adults Top Ten, 2003 Teens Top Ten, 2005 Teens Top Ten, 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults) by Ann Brashares
Good friends, funny adventures, and great wardrobes!
Additional requests welcomed!
-Tara Kehoe, currently reading The Secret Place by Tana French, and guest blogger Meaghan Darling, currently reading This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl