Friday, May 15, 2009

Children's Book Week: 5th-6th

5th – 6th:

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snickett: Though I obviously wasn’t reading these when I was in fifth grade, I would have been had such an unfortunate series existed. It’s one of those brilliant series that transcends all age groups. They are witty and complex enough for an adult, yet simple and entertaining enough for a young child.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret, by Judy Blume: So. Your mother was either too afraid to give you the ‘you’re going to sprout breasts, grow hair in unlikely places and bleed between your legs’ speech so she threw this book at you and ran, or she gave it to you but used too many gardening references that you had to go out and pick up this book on your own. Either way, you were a pre-pubescent girl. And you read this.

Though, for me this book was a little misleading. I was pretty sure my period would come quite quietly, displayed as a teeny tiny red dot on my panties. This wasn’t the case at all. I also wish I hadn’t done so many of those “We must” exercises…

Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling: Who else sells over 100 million copies of a book because she is somehow relatable to YA readers as well as Grandpas and Grandmas? I love books that have the ability to sell themselves to readers - that spark enjoyment of the story and a hunger for the words.

At the bookstore I once worked at, we had midnight Harry Potter release parties. The first one I ever worked was for the release of The Goblet of Fire. At this point, I worked in the café section of the store. We all dressed up in black, wore witchy hats and some of us wore Potter glasses, and other carried wands. The party was UTTER INSANITY! About a million Potters, Grangers and Weasleys showed up. A few McGonagills, a Hagrid here and there, and this guy in a complete wizard costume, with a creepy plastic mask head. He rode in on a motorcycle. Which was incredibly hilarious. The line for café snaked around the entire store. I didn’t see the end of it until 2 in the morning. TWO in the morning! These are people, parents, out with their kids! For Harry Potter! At two in the morning!!

But seriously. You know by five am we all already read the book. Right, you guys?

Everyone keeps hoping for another Harry Potter. And by that I mean, not a book 8, but a really good book, by another extremely brilliant author who has the ability to bring together such a diverse crowd that eats snacks until 2am. I’m not sure we’re going to experience something like that again in our lifetime. Which is what makes Pottermania a true phenom.

My Top Pick:

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi

I read this book about once a year. It was probably the first book that gave my system a true shock. A polite and proper young lady defies expectation and preserves her dignity by casting aside her upbringing and becoming one kick ass chick. Charlotte Doyle inspired me then. She continues to inspire me.

Find these books and more in the From Infants to Young Adults Bookstore! 

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