Something old, something new, something borrowed, something…

That last clause is going to have to be “something from the Chronicles of Narnia,” because I don’t know that we have any blue books!

For this post, I interviewed an avid nine-year-old reader (aka my son) who is known for staying up until 11 pm reading a good book. However, he won’t read just anything (aka stuff his mom assigns) and has a pretty discriminating literary taste.

So here, in no particular order, are his four favorite books:

Something old: We have a neighbor who volunteers at local thrift stores and often shows up on our front porch with books for the kids. Sometimes these are great, and sometimes these go right back to the thrift store. However, one day he showed up with an armful of old books about great American heroes from The American Adventure Series (not to be confused with the modern series, with which I’m not familiar). These were published in the 1940s and 50s. These are the stories of “John Paul Jones,” a sea captain during the American Revolution and the Father of the American Navy. Others are “Dan Morgan: Rifleman,” “Davy Crockett,” “Chief Black Hawk,” “Fur Trappers of the Old West,” “Portugee Phillips and the Fighting Sioux,” “Cowboys and Cattle Trails,” and “Buffalo Bill.” I haven’t read all of them, and I imagine that some of them would run afoul of modern-day political correctness, but for a young boy these are the epitome of action-packed wholesome historical books.

Something new: Robots! What boy doesn’t love robots? “House of Robots” is by James Patterson (yes, the same James Patterson of the adult murder mysteries… but don’t worry, they’re fine). Here is the description:

The story of an extraordinary robot that signs up for an ordinary fifth grade class and changes elementary school forever is now in paperback!

It’s never easy for Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez to fit in, so he’s dreading the day when his genius mom insists he bring her newest invention to school: a robot he calls E–for “Error”. E not only thinks he’s Sammy’s brother… he’s actually even nerdier than Sammy. Will E be Sammy’s one-way ticket to Loserville? Or will he prove to the world that it’s cool to be square?
Something borrowed: We borrow Great Illustrated Classics books from the library because my son reads them so fast. His favorite is “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne followed by “The Call of the Wild.” These are slightly abridged versions of the classics with illustrations on every other page. These also make great read-alouds for younger kids.
And finally…The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” This was read under duress for a book club, and it just so happens that he — and his siblings — all ended up LOVING it. Imagination, adventure, and a great message combine for an enchanting book.



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