Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to welcome our friend, Erik from “This Kid Reviews Books” as a guest contributor with us today. Erik is here to share his recommendations for some great “back-to-school” reads!
First I’d like to thank Mrs. Cormier for allowing me to be a guest on Mother Daughter Book Reviews!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Erik and I created and run the blog This Kid Reviews Books. I am a 13 year old eighth grader and I have been blogging about books since I was nine. If you get a chance click over to my blog, www.ThisKidReviewsBooks.com or you can look me up on twitter @ThisKid_Erik or on FaceBook.
Since back to school is something that is on this eighth grader’s mind, I thought I’d share some back to school picks with you!
Erik’s Back-to-School Picks!
September is almost here and that can only mean one thing! Kids across the country are letting out a collective groan – BACK TO SCHOOL! If school hasn’t already started for you, it soon will be. Almost every school and homeschool curriculum has some kind of reading requirement for each semester so I have compiled a list of suggested school-themed books that are either on my to-be-read list or ones that I already have read and really enjoyed.
School for Good and Evil (trilogy) by Soman Chainani
This is a fabulous series about best friends, Agatha and Sophie. The friends are polar opposites. Everyone believes that Sophie, who is beautiful and loves pink, will be chosen to go to the mystic School for Good. Agatha, who wears black, unshapely dresses, and has dark, misshapen hair, is expected to go to the School for Evil. The friend’s worlds are twisted when the opposite happens. I enjoyed these books because Mr. Chainani really prompts deeper thinking about what is really good and what is really evil. I like how the characters develop through the series and Sophie and Agatha decide who they really are and what is really important in their lives. This series has the perfect amount of drama and mystery in it, creating the feeling of hopeless despair, and the need for a resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the story was depressing, but it really made you feel for the characters! It kept me hooked. Ages 10+
Spy School Series by Stuart Gibbs
The first book in this series introduces the reader to Ben, a middle school kid who wants to grow up and work in the C.I.A. The only problem with that is Ben is clumsy, nerdy and pretty much a walking hazard. Through a case of mistaken identity, Ben is recruited into a top secret school for junior C.I.A. agents. The series follows the bungling Ben as he attempts to finally be the kind of kid who saves the day. I haven’t read this series yet, but it’s on my to-be-read list. I’ve read some of Stuart Gibbs’ other books and his writing is enjoyable. Plus, I am a sucker for spy stories. Ages 8+
Wayside School Series by Louis Sachar
This is another series that is on my to-be-read list. This series of three chapter books were published from 1978-1995. It tells the tale of an odd school that is thirty stories high, with only one room on each floor but no nineteenth floor. The story is about the classroom on the thirtieth floor. It has thirty students. Oddly enough, all the books have thirty chapters too. This series sounds quirky enough to get me to read it, and judging from what I’ve read previously from Sachar, I am thinking I won’t be disappointed by it. Ages 8+
My Weirdest School series by Dan Gutman
The Weirdest School series is a continuation of the Weird School series by Mr. Gutman. The first book in this series, Mr. Cooper is Super, was published earlier this year. The series follows the antics of A.J. and his classmates at the Ella Mentary School. A.J. and friends are now in third grade. The teachers are still crazy, A.J. still hates school and the wackiness continues! If you haven’t read any of the Weird School books, you are missing out. Dan Gunman’s’ writing is spot on for a younger audience. The books are packed with humor and fun. The reading level is great for independent readers and older kids will get a good laugh out of the stories too. Ages 6+
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!, by Elise Parsley
As soon as I read the description of this picture book, I put it on my to-be-read list. The story is about a sassy little girl named Magnolia who is determined to bring an alligator into school for show and tell. But after the alligator starts acting up by disrupting the teacher and trying to eat other students, Magnolia starts to think it wasn’t such a good idea but now she has to get the alligator to leave! The illustrations in the book look like a perfect fit to the story. Ages 4+
If an Elephant Went to School, by Ellen Fischer
This is a neat picture book that takes a different approach to getting kids ready to go to school. It asks what an elephant would learn in school or an owl or a zebra. These animals don’t need to learn their ABCs! What would they learn? I like how the book gets kids thinking about learning and what they may learn at school in the coming year. It’s a nice way to get kids excited about school and learning. The illustrations in the book are well done too. Ages 3+