Today’s recommendation is not for kids, but for their parents, teachers, and other adults who wish to recommend books, kids will love. It is a literacy “classic,” Nancy Pearl’s Book Crush (published 2007).
In the introduction, Pearl states, “I thought it would be fun for me and useful for parents, teachers, and other adults who lived or worked with children; to write a book devoted solely to great reads for kids and teens.” The book is divided into Part I, “Youngest Readers”; Part II, “Middle Grade Readers, ages 8-12”; and “Part III, Teen Readers, ages 13-18.”
As she ends the introduction, Pearl adds, “My hope is that you’ll find here hours and hours, days and days of wonderful reading for the child and teens in your life.”
Here is a sample from the many sections (Adventure, Goosebumps, Good Sports, Girlpower, etc.) aimed at Middle School readers, titled “Guaranteed to Grab You, Memorable First Lines”:
“I love first lines of books. I can’t imagine a better feeling than opening a book to the first page and coming across a line or two that is so compelling you just can’t stop reading. Here are a few of my favorites.
Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee begins, “I have been accused of being anal retentive, an over-achiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things.”
Deborah Wilds starts Each Little Bird That Sings with this come-hither line, “I come from a family with a lot of dead people.”
You get the idea, first liners that grab the middle school reader’s attention. I think this was my favorite age group and my favorite section within that group. Grab a copy of the book, be sure to have pencil and paper nearby to make lists, and soon you will be known for your “cool” recommendations. (You’ll also find some interesting books YOU will enjoy, I betcha’!