In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday and Read Across America Week, I polled my kids for some of their favorite books.
Without saying, there's the Dr. Seuss library, ranging from "Oh the Places You'll Go" that I received as a college graduation gift to "Green Eggs and Ham" which my son can recite verbatim.
Chester, by Melanie Watt (also, Chester's Back and Chester's Masterpiece). Melanie Watt has attempted to write and illustrate a children's story, but we'll never know what it was about because her cat, Chester, has taken over the pages with his own red marker and rewrote her book. The series cracks up my first-grader.
The Mysterious Benedict Society (series) by Trenton Lee Stewart. Four children are selected from hundreds who take a special gifted-student test and are set on a mysterious mission on a secluded island. They have only each other and their own unique talents to figure out what the mission is and to complete it successfully. We meet the children in book 1 and want to follow them through each successive adventure. We've read it, we've listened to it on tape. The story is enjoyable for all ages, the length and reading level are a good challenge for late elementary and early middle school.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The movie is out now, but we haven't seen it yet. With beautiful pencil-drawing illustrations and a twisting, captivating story, this is another one good for kids across different ages and grades. Hugo secretly goes about fixing a Parisian train station's clocks so that no-one will discover he is living there alone. Selznick also has a new book, WonderStruck which we are currently reading.
The Anybodies by N.E. Bode about a girl who has been switched at birth and finds some mysterious adventure when she is switched back to her "real" family. Its a fun book, not too serious, despite this premise.
The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Also now a movie, the tales of Poseidon's son are a favorite of my oldest daughter. I think she's read them all at least twice. I like the idea of class story (Greek mythology) meets modern day for a thoughtful, intriguing book for young teens.
I know as soon as I put the last period, my kids will say "hey, you forgot to put XYZ book" so this list is hardly inclusive of all the good books they carry around and read over and over. But it's a good start.
Happy reading and enjoy your green eggs & ham!