This title is part of our summer of Great Family Reads. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. David R. Godine, 2010 (reprint; orig. 1930). 315 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended For: All ages (read aloud); ages 8 and up (independent read) Bottom Line: In this British children’s classic, the brave Swallows (four siblings)
The Trials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. Disney-Hyperion, 2016, 376 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom Line: This storyline of the series, which focuses on the now mortal god Apollo, is great in theory, but the first book is lackluster and inappropriate for younger readers.
The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice, by Andrew S. Chilton. Knopf, 2016, 279 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-15 Bottom Line: This lively tale combines a fairy-tale plot and likeable characters—even a likeable dragon—with philosophical musings. The Boy has nothing,
Little Dee and the Penguin by Christopher Baldwin. Dial, 206, 128 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: 8-up Bottom Line: Sunny and warm, this graphic novel combines a wildly implausible plot with distinct personalities—and lots of laughs. Little Dee, who appears to be about 5, lives happily with her park-ranger dad until
Last year we covered A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is readily available in numerous retellings, picture books, and even coloring pages. We chose this play because there was a local performance available, so we had plenty of resources to try to understand the story ahead of time. This summer, our best option was Henry V.