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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Engaging Books for Girls

Sometimes it's just a girl thing.  These are books that I feel girls will be drawn to.  If you have a boy that likes a good story and is open to the inner workings of a girl's brain, then by all means give them these books.  My classifications are purely meant to help you find a good fit with your reader and a story, and not meant to imply that only girls can read these books.

So this week I have selected stories that have entertaining female protagonists who are managing the issues that girls deal with on a daily basis.  My favorite find this week is the series by Grace Lin, author of the Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  This series is much less serious than her Newbery fare, but incredibly clever and insightful.  I would very much encourage your child to give it a try.

Title:       Dumpling Days

Author:   Grace Lin

Target:    Grades 4-6

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
This is the third book in a series about Pacy Lin, a Taiwanese American girl.  Despite being the third book, it is a stand alone story and you do not need to have read the other two.  Pacy and her family are traveling to Taiwan to celebrate her grandmothers 60th birthday, and they are spending a month there in order to lean about their culture.  However, Pacy and her sisters find that while it is nice to look like everyone else, it is difficult not being able to understand the language or the customs.  Pacy takes an art class, eats chicken feet (by accident) and finds that she can learn to love what is new and different.

Why I love this book:
First off, Pacy is such a real character that she felt absolutely authentic from the start.  More than a story, it actually felt like an account of the author’s life (which in parts it is.)  It was an absolute treat learning about Taiwan, and I felt at the end of the book that not only did I want to visit, but I absolutely knew more about the culture and customs of the Taiwanese.

This book is just delightful, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I am not Asian, I suspect that if you are Asian American, it will carry even more significance.   I also loved the small illustrations which are smattered throughout the book.  They are fun visual treat during the story.

Who this book is for:
It feels like it will be a better book for girls, especially ones who love reading about family.  Girls who like the Laura Ingalls Wilder books should be drawn into this more modern version of family life.

Final thoughts:
Loved the first chapter where the mom dresses all the sisters in hot pink pinafore jumpers so she can find them when they travel, only to see a photo of the author and her sisters in those jumpers on the back flap!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Dumpling Days (A Pacy Lin Novel) A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.


Title:       11 Birthdays

Author:   Wendy Mass

Target:    Grades 3-6

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Friends Amanda and Leo are born on the same day, and they have celebrated their birthdays together for ten years.  However, after a argument which starts on their tenth birthday, they haven’t spoken for a year.  This year, on their eleventh birthday, they have separate parties and Amanda can’t wait until the day is over because it feels terrible to celebrate her birthday without Leo.  But the next day doesn’t come.  Instead she wakes up and has to relive her  eleventh birthday all over again.  In this book Amanda has to figure out how to get tomorrow to finally come.

Why I love this book:
Wendy Mass is a terrific writer and this book is just a delight.  I love the concept that you can do your day over.  Amanda experiments with changes during the day, sometimes with great results and other times with terrible consequences, but it highlights the choices we make throughout the day and how they effect ourselves and others.

I also like a book where boy and girl are friends but there is no romance!

Who this book is for:
Fun book for most kids.  A Groundhog Day for the tween set.

Final thoughts:
There are a few things I wish I could do over about today ... oh well, live and learn.


To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: 11 Birthdays  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.



Title:       Small Medium at Large

Author:   Joanne Levy

Target:    Grades 4-6

Series:     No

What this book is about:
After being hit by lightning, twelve year old Lilah realizes she now has a  unique gift, she can talk to dead people!  The first ghost she encounters is that of her grandma Bubby who wants Lilah to help her father find a girlfriend (her mother is just remarried and her dad is really lonely!)  Ghost after ghost help Lilah make connections with those around her and help them find resolution in their lives.  Now if only her crush would invite her to the school dance, she is only twelve after all!

Why I love this book:
This book is simply a charming story.  Lilah is a “do the right thing” kind of gal, and I liked her immediately.  The book is also quite funny.  While some of the ghostly connections are about larger lessons in life, they also deal with the everyday worries of being liked and buying your first bra (a very funny scene that had me laughing out loud!)

Who this book is for:
It is a quick read at 208 pages and quite humorous.  The story is aimed at girls and I think most will really enjoy it!

Final thoughts:
That title kept confusing me until I read the story, now I just think it is darn clever.  Confused?  Read the book!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Small Medium at Large  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

1 comment:

  1. I liked Dumpling Days, too-- so much detail about Taiwan! I'm listing this post in my World Wednesday round up!

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