Recent Kids Reads

The One and Only Ivan By Kathrine Applegate

Recommended age: 8 & up

In a Nutshell: I read this book in one sitting on the plane ride to New Orleans back in March. A heartfelt story in prose about Ivan, a Silverback gorilla who lives in lowly conditions as a feature of a highway attraction mall, “The Ape at Exit 8”.  His confined daily life takes a turn when a young baby elephant, Ruby, arrives. Ivan, with fatherly affections for Ruby, comes to realize her life depends on him. Gary Schmidt said it perfectly in his quote of praise, “The One and Only Ivan will break your heart– And then, against all odds, mend it again.” A feel good book about how love can spark determination and hope.

Perfect For: The Jane Goodall wannabe and the spirited artist.

Fake Mustache: Or, How Jodie O’Rodeo And Her Wonder Horse (And Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election From a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind by Tom Angleberger

Recommend age: 8 & up

In a Nutshell: Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda and Horton Halfpott (which I’m currently reading) knows how to write books that kids want to read. I found myself snickering while reading Fake Mustache, his latest about an evil mustache, an unexpected friendship between an ordinary boy and a TV star has-been, and their quest to stop an evil mastermind in world domination.

Perfect for: The goofball, comedy lover.

The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence

Recommended age: 8 & up

In a nutshell: Yee-Hah!! I have this deep desire for country westerns to make a comeback. In a big way. Think John Wayne and Lone Ranger cowboy craze in the 1950’s. Caroline Lawrence debuts this beacon of light for cowboy culture with The Case of the Deadly Desperados. Dashes mystery, intrigue, and everything kids love about action books. Even the slang is pitch perfect. So much so that I feel I should warn those sensitive to language… the word “Hore” and is used a few times and in it’s truest form. The scandal! Just so that you are aware or in case you might want to read it first before recommending it to kids.  Other than that, this was such a fun book to read. Many thanks to Caroline Lawrence for sparking the western comeback!

Perfect for: Mystery lovers and those growing bored of ninja and wizard heroes, looking for the next big adventure to dive into.

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Recommended Age: 10 & up

In a Nutshell: Austin is autistic; that doesn’t mean he isn’t human. This is such a wonderful story from the perspective of an autistic boy about his dreams of becoming a writer and of having something he’s never had before.. friendship and acceptance.

Perfect For: The writer, storyteller, daydreamer.

Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski

Recommended Age: 10 & up

In a Nutshell: A bohemian fantasy with a strong female lead and a clock that controls the weather (and the world!), what is there not to like about Marie Rutkoski’s first novel, The Cabinet of Wonders? I thought the first couple chapters were a little on the slow side, but after that I couldn’t put this book down. Charming and exotic and jam packed with adventure to the very last page, reading this book was a treat.

Perfect For: The inquisitive inventor and the fantasy page-turner.


So, what have you been reading lately?

Anyone been making their summer to-read lists yet?


image sources: the one and only ivan, fake mustache, deadly desperadoes, anything but typical, cabinet of wonders



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  1. […] The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate […]

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