Today is Drop Everything and Read Day or DEAR day. What was your child’s first DEAR book? My little boy’s is Ninjago chapter books.
I think that when a book series is different and successful such that it creates its own mini genre that this is only a good thing. Just like Harry Potter which broke publishing notions that kids won’t read very, very thick books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series also got kids wildly excited to read. And though the lead character is a boy, girls were also reading this series in droves. I also think that the graphics helped to legitimize graphic novels from comic book status to it-counts-for-your-reading-log status. In any case, if your child needs more Diary of a Wimpy Kid but has read all the books, here are more options including some that skew younger and older.
What is the most surprising is how these books make us both laugh and laugh. They are really funny! Ok, maybe not the Ninjago series … that’s more action/adventure, but Dragonbreath, Alvin Ho, Frankie Pickle and Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever are snuggle up and crack up together.
To say that Grace Lin speaks to the Asian American experience is probably not specific enough and, simultaneously, also much greater than that. As a sensei (sorry, I’m half Japanese and this means second generation in Japanese), Grace speaks poignantly of the pushes and pulls between her homeland and her “Americanization” conflicts that stem from trying to find the space where she fits in and yet connects with her ethnicity. I especially love Grace Lin’s Pacy series. The Year of the Dog is where Pacy discovers her career path in writing and illustrating books. The Year of the Rat has Pacy dealing with big changes coping from the loss of her best friend — the only other Asian American girl in her class who moves away to California. In real life, this happens to Grace as well, and this best friend turns out to be her future editor!
The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books to young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!