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Awesome Trips With Great Authors
It’s the cheapest, most awesome trip you can ever dream of taking your children on; the best gift you can ever give your children; a major investment in their future; and a key to a meaningful life. Reading makes a monumental difference in children’s lives. It’s the foundation for learning about life both in and out of school.
It develops invaluable analytical skills that helps children deal with issues and problems as they work out life’s most difficult lessons. Reading assures success in school and in life. Children who read a lot generally stay out of trouble. This long break from school is the perfect time to explore children’s books, and ensure that your children will return to school ahead of those students who didn’t read over the holiday.
Below you’ll find a list of authors with books that help young readers from eight to 14 work out challenging personal and social issues in their lives. These authors are known for writing high-quality, appealing children’s literature with all the elements of literature.
Most of these novels also qualify for high-interest/low-reading level so that struggling readers can enjoy these stories as well as good readers who just want a good book to read. If you have a child who has difficulty reading, you can help develop the skills he or she will need in school by reading to your children.
You get better results if you allow children to choose their own reading material. Young readers—and even teenagers—are generally not very experimental with their reading. They gravitate to a series or an author and stick there. Here are some of the best authors for young readers. These books are so well written even adults will enjoy them. They are some of the most popular authors in my library and represent cultures from all over the world.
You can find books by these authors in local bookstores. Also check out online bookstores like amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. Check the National Library as well.
1. Louis Sachar—This popular children’s author is best known for his novel Holes (which is also a movie). Holes is the story of a camp for wayward boys. Sachar also writes chapter books for readers from eight to 12. Check out Alone in My Teacher’s House, about the challenges a boy faces when he house-sits; Why Pick on Me?, which deals with bullies, and the sequel to Holes, Small Steps.
2. Andrew Clements—The Report Card, Frindle, No Talking—All of Clements’ books really push the envelope. In The Report Card, Clements’ heroine, a straight A student, decides to find out how people will treat her if she gets a bad report card. Frindle examines the meaning of language in a fun story about a boy who decides to start using the made-up word “frindle” to refer to a pen. No Talking is a contest between boys and girls to see who can stop talking the longest.
3. Lois Lowry—Lowry’s books like The Giver are usually read by students from 12 to 14, but she does have the Goonie Bird series for readers seven and up and a great novel for nine to 12-year-old girls called The Birthday Ball, about a young princess who runs away from an arranged marriage. This is a great book about loyalty and responsibility. Lowry’s books always explore issues of young people on the periphery of society.
4. Cynthia Kadohata—This author’s wide range of children’s books for readers 11 and up include Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam, about an army dog and Kira-Kira, the best book I’ve ever found to teach the concept of theme. Weedflower tells the story of a Japanese-American girl holding onto her dreams when she is placed in an internment camp during World War II.
5. Rick Riordan—The Percy Jackson series that begins with The Lightning Thief is a great way to get young readers interested in literature and Greek mythology.
6. Kate DiCamillo—All of Kate DiCamillo’s books feature animals with very human problems. Her Mercy Watson series is the best chapter book I know of for young readers who can begin to tackle this series at six. Among DiCamillo’s many books are Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and my favourite, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
7. Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver have a series of Hank Zipzer books that explore the social issues that children face in upper primary school.
8. Roald Dahl—These timeless classics from The Twits, and Witches to James and the Giant Peach inject some humour in scary situations.
9. James Patterson—Maximum Ride—A group of 14-year-olds with the ability to fly find out that their gifts come with responsibilities that they never dreamed of. This is very edgy literature for readers 12 and above, and of course young readers can grow into Patterson’s adult novels.
Ask your favourite bookstores about children’s books by Trinidadian writers. There are so many great children’s writers. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
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