Sunday, June 14, 2009
Summer books are cool
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Trying to figure out which books will really connect with kids isn't easy. Every year thousands of new children's books flood the already bulging shelves and online offerings.
Fortunately, you won't have to hassle with that. Below, you'll find reviews of several new books from the current cream of the crop -- grouped by age.
Don't forget to also include regular visits to your local library, where you'll find loads of great books available to borrow. Many libraries also have summer reading programs your children or grandchildren might enjoy.
The bottom line is to keep kids reading every day over the summer months. Great books are lots of fun to read, and they keep young minds active and prepared to start the new school year.
Age 12 and older
"Secrets of Greymoor" by Clara Gillow Clark, Candlewick, 2009, 166 pages, $15.99 hardcover. Hattie lived with her grandmother in a fancy house in town. She had come there to get a good education. Her grandfather had lived in the Utica Insane Asylum since before Hattie was born and had recently passed away. No one talked about Grandfather very often, but Hattie had heard the rumors -- Grandfather had apparently squandered Grandmother's fortune and was a madman.
When Hattie intercepts a notice from the tax collector that back taxes are owed, she is desperate to find a way to help her grandmother secure the necessary funds to avoid losing everything. Perhaps Grandfather's notebook, written in a bizarre code, contained the key to a hidden fortune. Hattie sets out to crack the code and save her grandmother, but time is running out.
Beautifully written, with believable characters and filled with just the right amount of suspense, "Secrets of Greymoor" will appeal to girls and have them flipping the pages as quickly as they can.
Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children's literature. She can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.