Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Track to Become the Next Rory Gilmore

My 11-year-old daughter has declared it official: She wants to read more books than any other kid in our town library's summer reading program.

Last Wednesday, I took the three Picket Fence Post kids to the library and she was the only offspring of mine interested in signing up for the summer reading program as she proceeded to check out a huge stack of books. Over the course of a week, she read voraciously and constantly. (I'd love to spend my days reading!) She consumed not just the library books, but tons of books from around the house. (We've got a lot of books.)

I attempted to support her in her efforts, suggesting other titles I thought she might enjoy, like one I adored when I was in junior high: Jane Eyre. I'd previously tried to persuade her to read this classic but she never seemed to cotton to it. After pressing her about the book last week, she told me that the language was difficult and that she really wasn't interested.

"No way," I said, as I started combing through the book shelves for one of my two paperback copies of Jane Eyre and prattling on about how I'd read and re-read this book multiple times in my youth. "Listen to this," I said as I read aloud from the first page. Going off of the look on her face, I backed off.

When she submitted her reading log to the children's librarian today, her tally was 60. We'll see if she can sustain the first week's momentum. Regardless of what she chooses to read, I love that she loves books.

Got any good book suggestions for my 11-year-old gal?


  1. The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman comes to mind. Also, has your daughter read the Madeleine L'Engle books that are the YA ones? Has she read Little Women (and all the rest of Alcott's books) already?

  2. I loved the "shoes" books at that age. Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, etc. all by Noel Stretfield. They're good, fun reads.

  3. There are lots of series by Madeline l'engle I think she'd like: a wrinkle in time
    Meet the Austins. Has she read chronicles of Narnia? Shipwrecked series? Everest series? Both about kids who have to fend for themselves.

  4. Love all these suggestions! Thank you! Thank you! Please, keep 'em coming!

  5. While I love Jane Eyre, it's a tough read. So is Wuthering Heights. Definitely the three series already mentioned - "Wrinkle in Time", "Little Women", and "Chronicles of Narnia". Also "The Princess Diaries" series by Meg Cabot.

    I was a big reader at that age, and remember riding to the library on my bike, stuffing my saddlebags (remember those?!?) with books, and riding home to sit in the shade and do nothing but read on a hot summer day. My favorites were "The Secret Garden", the "Anne of Green Gables" series. "Island of the Blue Dolphins", Nancy Drew series, and "All-of-a-Kind" Family series (by Sydney Taylor).

    Enlist the help of the librarian too - they usually have great suggestions.

  6. How about some works by Ursula K. Le Guin? From wikipedia:

    Annals of the Western Shore is a children's book series by Ursula K. Le Guin. Each book has different main characters and settings, but the books are linked by some recurring characters and locations. Gifts won the PEN Center USA 2005 Children's literature award.[1] Powers further won the 2008 Nebula Award for Best Novel. [2]

    It consists of three books:
    Gifts, 2004
    Voices, 2006
    Powers, 2007.

    I discovered these on the Young Adult shelf in the Westborough library, and would recommend reading them in order. I expect you can request them via inter-library loan.

  7. Tamora Pierce wrote a bunch of great books for kids with strong female leads, she has at least 5 or 6 sets with different story lines. I read them over and over as a kid. Start with Alanna the first adventure and go from there.

    My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
    The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
    Hatchet by Gary Paulson
    My father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

    Oh there are so many great ones for that age.