Category Archives: reading

Best Boy Books in Historical Fiction: The Great Trouble

Does your son dream in black and white? Does he look for danger and mystery in everything he sees? You may have the next great detective on your hands. If your son is interested in mystery novels then this novel is a great choice.  The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson brings together mystery and history. It is an excellent way to not only keep your kids interested in reading, but also keeping them interested in reading and learning. 

Set in London in 1854 the book follows Eel, an orphan, and a “mudlark” he searches the river Thames everyday for things to sell so he can afford food. Like most vagrants he is constantly on the watch for a quick shilling, something to eat, and to steer clear of other vagrants. Fisheye Bill Tyler is the nastiest vagrant there is, and he is after Eel. Eel must do everything he can to keep safe, which becomes increasingly harder in August when Cholera comes to Broad Street. It is spreading quick, but Dr John Snow has a theory that can help to stop it. Eel and his best friend Florrie are trying to help Dr. Snow. This fun and intriguing tale of mystery and history will keep your boys turning pages as fast as they can.

The great trouble

Now your son can learn about the past while keeping his brain thinking fast and quenching his thirst for a great mystery. Check it out now at your local library or find it in stores. You and your boys will not be disappointed.

 

Great Books for Your Middle Schooler

We love books. We also love sharing books with our kids, and with your kids too! Reading is such an important part of life. A great love of reading can change how your child sees the world, and how they learn from it. That is why it is important to nurture that love for reading, which isn’t always easy for parents. One great way is to understand what kind of person your child is, what their likes are, what their personality is, and most importantly what their reading level is. If you choose a book too advanced for them it can intimidate them and make them afraid to read because they do not fully understand what they are reading and they don’t like feeling lost. If you choose too far below their level they can get bored and choose not read because it is not fun or thrilling.

To gauge some of these things you need to know how they are doing at school. Meet with their teacher and see what their reading level is this year. Or you might even want to see what it was last year, so that you can see if it is growing and changing each year. You can also check your child’s reading level by doing an at home reading competency test. Tutoring Parents has a great tutorial on how to gauge your child’s reading competency. The tutorial is simple to follow and can be applied to any age group.

Once you know your child’s reading level you can start thinking about books that will impress them. Think of their hobbies, their personality, and the things they think about being in the future. You want to pick things that they have an interest in already, but that doesn’t mean you cannot introduce them to new things. Here is a fun flowchart that will help you think of different ideas, and maybe help you brainstorm some of your own.

Flowchart:

Books for your middle schooler

Now it’s time to head for the library or the local bookstore to pick up some books for your middle schooler.

Best Boy Books: When Friendship Followed Me Home

Preteens and tweens can be very difficult periods of development, not just for our kids, but for us as well. There seems to be a gap that develops between parents and their kids during this important step in development. Many of us remember it well, after all, we went through it as well. Only this time, we are on the other end. You know which end, the end that has no idea what anything feels like. Haha. Yep. We know nothing, again. I remember being a tweet and wondering what my place in the world was, would be, and how to navigate it. I remember my parents were NO help and just did NOT have a clue what I was going through. Many don’t you ever wish you could backpedal and fix everything? Hindsight is 20/20.

When Friendship Followed me home

But now we are on the other side. We know it i survivable, we even have a few tricks up our sleeve. But no one wants to hear that. So instead we try to throw our two-cents in when we can. In as many ways as we can without being caught. This is one of those ways. This book, When Friendship Followed Me Home, is about Ben, a young boy that is so absorbed in his routine and his life of sci-fi-fi books and foster homes that he doesn’t feel a connection to anything. But too something, or someone, is going to reintroduce him to the world of people, love, and family. The story follows Ben on his journey with his new friend(s) and along the way we learn more about Ben, his trials and tribulations, and those of his friends going through the same time period in their lives but with a very different journey. The books shows how parents and kids interact, how kids interact with their peers, and it shows unconditional love. While we cannot promise that it holds some special secret to dealing with your tween or preteen we can tell you it will open up a world of conversations with them, and perhaps give them a better understanding of their own journey.