Spring Break Reading: New Graphic Novels for Ages 7-14!
March 14, 2023 § Leave a comment
Today, I’m kicking off a few posts to help you gear up for Spring Break. Whether you’re staycationing or jet setting, a change in routine and a lack of homework can be the perfect chance to (re)engage kids with reading. Maybe you have time for a family read aloud. (I’ll have suggestions in Thursday’s post.) Maybe, while you’re all sharing a tiny hotel room, you can mandate quiet reading time before bed, a chance for you to model your own reading as your child snuggles in beside you with their own book. (A person can dream, right?)
As always, links will take you to Old Town Books in Alexandria, VA, where I’m the kids’ buyer (thanks for supporting us!), though I’m very happy for you to support an indie closer to you if you have one you love.
First up are my favorite graphic novels released in the first three months of 2023! Your kiddos should have no problem diving straight into these, a mix of realistic fiction, superhero lore, comedic horror, inspiring stories, and nail-biting non-fiction.
Before we get started, there are a couple titles not below that will likely pique the interest of your readers. First, the third in the Batpig series (ages 7-10) comes out later this month; our family are huge fans of Rob Farrell’s wildly clever series, and I believe it to be one of the best (and most underrated!) “things to read after Dog Man.” While we’re on the subject of hooking readers with humor, you’ll thank me for mentioning that the hugely popular Investigators series (also 7-10) has a new spin-off, titled Agents of S.U.I.T., which focuses on Mango and Brash’s eccentric co-workers. Oh, and did I mention the new Hilo is out?
Without further ado, the titles below are arranged from youngest to oldest, so if you have middle schoolers, scroll to the end!« Read the rest of this entry »
2022 Gift Guide: The Middle-Grade Books (Ages 7-14)
November 22, 2022 Comments Off on 2022 Gift Guide: The Middle-Grade Books (Ages 7-14)
Ask me what installment of the Gift Guide is my favorite to write, and the answer will always be the middle-grade one. These are the stories that have my heart, the same types of books that once made a reader out of me. As an adult, even if it wasn’t my job to do so, I’d still read them, because they’re that good. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to try some of the titles below as family read alouds, or simply read them before or after your children finish them (which, by the way, your kids will love you for).
Whereas “middle-grade books” used to mean stories exclusively targeted at ages 8-12, today’s category is increasingly broadening to encompass young teens as well. The result is a kind of Venn diagram of stories. There are stories intended for kids in the middle years of elementary school, which tend to be lighter and faster paced. And then there are heavier, more nuanced stories written for readers who are entering or already tackling the middle-school years. In today’s post, you’ll find plentiful recommendations in both these younger and older middle-grade categories, and they’re presented here in ascending order.
Regardless of where on the spectrum these stories fall, they are exceptional examples of storytelling, with rich language, complex characters, and original twists and turns. For as much as they entertain us, they also make us think about the world around us in new and interesting ways.
2022 has been another banner year for middle-grade books—so much so that the titles below were all published in the second half of the year, many in just the last few weeks. In other words, this is not a “best of 2022” list, because if it was, it would include A Duet for Home, The Last Mapmaker, The Marvellers, Those Kids From Fawn Creek, Zachary Ying and the Last Emperor, Cress Watercress, and Jennifer Chan is Not Alone—all of which were featured in my Summer Reading Guide earlier this year.« Read the rest of this entry »