Capability:Mom gave me her summer camp newsletter because there is a boy there who all the kids go to when they need a good chapter book recommendation. The kids think he is a kind of genius boy wonder that knows pretty much everything on the planet. I believe he is in middle school. He was kind enough to write up his chapter book recommendations for the newsletter and I have retyped it for you. I love peer-to-peer book recommendations. Who better to know what you will like than a kid your age??!
Book Reviews by a Middle School Boy
Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Okay, it’s not wonderful, rather light and fluffy in fact, but a good summer read. No thought-provoking subjects, but fun. Some heavy topics.
Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins
Again, fairly light and fluffy, but a bit deeper and darker. More for the older end of this age bracket. WARNING: some potentially disturbing imagery and events. You have been warned.
Dealing with Dragons series by Patricia C. Wrede
An interesting twist on a fairy tale, where the princess runs away to be a dragon’s captive. Hijinks ensue.
Free Men and sequels by Terry Pratchett
Set in England, a girl discovers that her younger brother has been stolen by the Queen of the Fey, and must embark on a journey with a tribe of little blue men to save her brother in this coming-of-age tale.
His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Probably better for older kids, but can be read on multiple levels. Can be interpreted as religiously offensive, but it’s a good story.
The Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve
In this post-apocalyptic tale, cities roll on wheels in a city-eat-city world. Dark and potentially scary.
Bridge to Tarabithia by Katherine Paterson
Beautiful book. Read it. Expect tears.
Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
ONLY the first three books: An imaginative sci-fi comedy. Best described as a “cross between The Boxcar Children and X-Men”. WHATEVER you do, do NOT read books four and five. Six, maybe. My favorite- it’s the equivalent of candy, bad yet fun.
1984 by George Orwell
Scary, depressing, and inappropriate in parts, this book plumbs the depths of psychology that are frightening and strangely beautiful at times. RATED R, you have been warned.
Unwind series by Neal Shusterman
Freaky and thought-provoking, this book is an interesting look at just how laws can be twisted. Again, scary as all get-out.
Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card
Classic sci-fi, brilliant plot- and one of my personal favorites.
Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkein
You’ve seen the movies, now read the books. I will acknowledge that the books are long, and, at times, rather dry, but they offer the best imagery that I’ve ever seen. Again, classic.
The Reformed Vampire’s Support Group by Catherine Jinks
An alternative view of vampires, and good for getting Twilight-obsessed fanboys to realize the error of their ways.
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Another alternative vampire novel. It’s good. Rated R, for creepiness and inappropriate content.
Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar
Realistic fiction romantic comedy. Atypical, sure, but a very good book. You will like it.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.