Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kid's Summer Reading Lists: Part 3/4

Well I am now over halfway done on the summer reading lists!  This week I am tackling the:

Glass of Wine After Five Mom List

I know most of you are intimately knowledgeable about this mom.  This mom knows their kids shouldn't loose all the good stuff they learned over the school year.  But let's face it, at the end of the day, as long as they are reading something you aren't embarrassed to mention to your friends, all will be well.

For this list I have selected fun books that will leave them smiling, but they have enough heft to feel like your kids accomplished something by reading them over the summer.

So get out there and get your kids reading a book.  And make it a page turner because you don't want your kids to loose all that good learning over the summer.  Oh, come on, relax and have a glass of wine!

Title:          The Lemonade War
Author:      Jacqueline Davies
Target: Grades 3-5
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
This story is about a brother and sister engaged in a good old fashioned lemonade war.  The crux of the story is which sibling can make the most money selling lemonade the week before school starts.  Evan is a people person, his sister Jessie is a math wiz, and between the two of them they figure out how to run a business.
Why I love this book: 
This book has real business lessons about profit margins, goodwill, location and value added. I love that it teaches kids basic business skills, without sacrificing an engaging story and believable characters.
The chapters are told from the perspective of both the brother and sister, so we get good sense of where each character is coming from.  The book tackles issues of pride, sibling rivalry and business ethics in a very readable manner!
Who this book is for:
Perfect for kids wanting to set up a lemonade stand this summer!  Because it is not a long book, it will not overwhelm a reluctant reader. My reluctant reader (who also loves math) picked this one out of a pile I had given him and was engaged until the end.  Great for any kid who wants to learn basic business concepts.
Final thoughts:
A fun read to introduce kids to basic business skills without sacrificing story!

To purchase this book, go to your local bookstore or click here to link to Amazon: The Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:          Gregor the Overlander
Author:      Suzanne Collins
Target:       Grades 4-8
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
Gregor and his sister Boots are innocently doing laundry in their New York apartment one lovely day, when Boots (with Gregor close behind) falls down a grate into the Underworld beneath the city.  The Underworld  is a place full of giants cockroaches, bats, spiders, rats and a race of interesting humans.  Well to Gregor’s surprise, he is part of a prophecy involving a war with the rats, so he must stay a fulfill his destiny.
Why I love it:
Let me start by saying, that much to my surprise, I loved the cockroaches and the rats the best in this book - not so true in my real life.  The humans were actually the least interesting part of this book, aside from Gregor, whom I grew to love!  I must warn you that the first 100 pages of this book is really set-up for the series, and I found it much less interesting than the last 200 when the story and the characters really get going.  So don’t lose hope, and I would encourage your child to slug their way through the beginning to a wonderful adventure.
Suzanne Collins is the author of the Hunger Games series and this was her first children’s book series.  It is definitely appropriate for elementary school, and while it is not as well done as the Hunger Games, it is still a great read.
Who this book is for:
Kids who love an adventure into a fantasy world with some surprising humor thrown in.
Final thoughts:
You will never look at your household pests in the same way again!  Whether that is good or bad is up to you!

To purchase this book, go to your local bookstore or click here to link to Amazon: Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Book 1) A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

Title:          Amos Daragon: The Mask Wearer
Author:      Bryan Perro
Target:       Grades 3-6
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
After a chance encounter with a dying mermaid, Amos, our hero, becomes the new mask wearer, a role that involves bringing balance to good and evil in this world.  His first challenge involves defeating a sorcerer who is looking for his skull pendant, which contains the egg needed to create a basilisk, one of the most fearsome mythological creatures!  Along the way he befriends a humanimal (a creature than can be either boy or bear) and must fight the Grogons, the descendants of Medusa.
Why I love this book:
I felt as though the book has two distinct parts, each of which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The first half, which sets up the story, involves telling folk tales of how Amos outwits those who are trying to control his destiny.  They reminded me quite a bit of stories I loved as a child and I think kids will really have fun with the riddles and logic that Amos uses to trick the bad guys.
The second half of the book gets us into the heart of the story, Amos fulfilling his destiny as the mask wearer.   It focuses on the friendships he forms, the quest ahead of him and the battles he must win. 
This story was originally written in French and so this US book is a translation.  The character development is a little weak, but the story flows well and there is lots of action.
Who this book is for:
A fun adventure book for kids.  There are quite a few mythological creatures in this book, so if that’s your child’s interest, they will be pleased to recognizing these characters.
Final thoughts:
An absolutely entertaining and engaging book!

To purchase this book, go to your local bookstore or click here to link to Amazon: Amos Daragon #1: The Mask Wearer  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog.

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