Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Four-year-olds, coffee cake, and awesome middle grade books
My three-year-old just turned four years old. We let him pick his own cake at Costco and he chose...
Cinnamon coffee cake!
Random, right? It had this pretty drizzled frosting on top, which I think is why he chose it. But it just goes to show that you can't predict what kids will like.
If you are a parent of tweens or young teens, then you know the challenge of finding age-appropriate books that your kids actually want to read. Some kids, like the nine-year-old girl who seriously asked Robert Pattinson to please bite her, seem to jump straight from Fancy Nancy to Twilight, missing middle grade altogether. And when I hear about my twelve-year-old niece reading The Hunger Games, it makes me wonder:
What happened to Harry Potter?
What happened to Percy Jackson?
The Mysterious Benedict Society?
The Name of This Book is Secret?
The Fairy Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm)?
I'm sure you can name several other middle grade gems from this decade. If not, I highly recommend you check out From the Mixed-up Files of Middle-Grade Authors!! They have links for parents on how to get your kids to read, awesome book lists nicely categorized for easy searching, and the latest middle grade news and book releases.
It's an amazing gift to be able to share the joy of reading with our kids. There isn't a single age-group that literature misses from picture books to early readers to middle grade to young adult. And there is something your kids will love. It's just a matter of knowing where to look, letting them choose from age-appropriate options (your discretion, of course), and, yep, trial and error.
My four-year-old son might like the cinnamon coffee cake he picked. He might not. But once we cut that cake today, we'll find out. And if he hates it? There's always ice cream.
Have you read any amazing middle grade lately? (We're loving some Mysterious Benedict Society.) Any of my writer friends working on a middle grade idea? (I've always wanted to write a fairy tale adaptation of Snow White or Beauty and the Beast.)
p.s. We're giving away a pre-order of BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY over at Operation Awesome today! Not middle grade. It's historical YA, and the video trailer on Amazon.com made me cry.
Brilliance by Katrina L. Lantz at 10:32 AM