The middle/tween years are difficult ages to buy for – I’ve been living this predicament for a while! The spectrum of taste and capability really comes into play on an individual level. For example, one child of mine almost exclusively reads nonfiction, the other is very… shall we say… selective… about choice. Sometimes they will listen to suggestions, other times they will run a mile the other way to avoid them. Still! I persist!
How to Outsmart a Billion Robot Bees ($10.90) is by Paul Tobin, writer of comics including Angry Birds, Plants Vs. Zombies and others for Marvel, Dark Horse and DC Comics. His name alone will be a drawcard for some readers and those new to his work will enjoy the story: a genius sixth-grader needs to save his town held to ransom by a baddie threatening to unleash sting-happy bees upon them all. Science and adventure together!
The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster by Sally Rippin ($16.75 – hardcover), the first in the ‘Polly and Buster’ series. You can listen to chapter one in this video:
Keeping to a similar theme as the above, our house does not lack in monster books. Reference books, mostly, which catalogue different kinds from different cultures around the world. If you’re buying for a child with similar interests, A Field Guide to Fantastical Beasts by Olento Salaperainen ($18.75 – hardcover) could be a good pick. The illustrations are lovely.
Another idea for the nonfiction-loving, perhaps slightly younger (6-8-year-old) in your life is The Curious Guide to Things That Aren’t: Things You Can’t Always Touch, See, or Hear. Can You Guess What They are? by John Fixx and Abby Carter ($14.95 – hardcover). Comprised of 26 riddles to foster deductive reasoning skills and creative responsiveness, this will be a good option for those readers who like to test themselves.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend ($12.50) is taking over a lot of the social media feeds and groups I follow – touted as a successor-of-sorts to the Harry Potter series, it is the story of a “cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world – but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination”.
Jessica can be seen reading from the book in the video below:
Do you find this a difficult age group to buy for? What are the children in your life reading at the moment? Do you have any hot picks for me?