Dear Anita: My son is a fifth-grader at a gifted academy. His interests range from funny, witty, mythological, historical and animal-oriented books. Some of the books that he enjoyed reading were “Captain Underpants,” “Ungifted” and the “Harry Potter” series.
Dear Reader: I want to meet your son! What eclectic tastes in books! My “prescription” will foster his already diverse interests.
“The Girl Who Drank the Moon”
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If you like magic, witches, swamp monsters and simply enourmous dragons this is the book for you! I finished this a few days ago and it is amazing. It's a middle-grade story and it's beautifully written and magical. I'm not going to spoil anything so just read it! #thegirlwhodrankthemoon #booksrecommendation #bookstagram #fandoms
The first book that came to mind was last year’s Newbery-winning “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill. This clever, thought-provoking tale takes place in Protectorate, a village that has a strange and troubling tradition.
Every year the people choose and leave a baby as an offering to Xan, a witch who lives in the forest that surrounds the town. Before you delete me, I need to tell you the witch is very kind and quite misunderstood.
This is a story of magic, wisdom and love. If your son scoffs at a story with “girl” in the title, then you might substitute “The Witch’s Boy” by the same author.
The second book I suggest is the exact opposite: a realistic fiction by the oh-so-talented Kwame Alexander.
“The Crossover” is a novel told in verse. Yes, poetry!
This might be called a boy’s basketball novel by some, but that description would deny the heartfelt story inside this Newbery and Coretta Scott King Award winner. Your well-read son may start writing his own poetry after reading this gem.
“Flora & Ulysses”
My final suggestion is funny and unique. It is not a graphic novel BUT it is an “illuminated adventure,” as the author calls it.
“Flora & Ulysses” includes attention-grabbing illustrations at just the right places. The author, Kate DiCamillo, served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and she writes like none other.
Your child will enjoy meeting Flora, a true cynic, and Ulysses, a squirrel that got vacuumed up on her front lawn and lived to tell!
Let me know how these work out for that amazing reader you are raising! (And kudos to you for nurturing his love of books!)