Welcome to another month in this year’s Reading Adventure! For April, my girls are reading books from living authors.
I try to give my kids a wide variety of reading material throughout the year and I always include books by contemporary authors. One benefit to this is the fact that they can reach out to the author if they were touched or encouraged by the book. Our book club wrote to Kate DiCamillo once and she sent them a lovely postcard. They were incredibly excited to receive a personal note from a favorite author.
If your middle schooler doesn’t normally read contemporary novels, have them give one of these a try.
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Books Written by Living Authors That Preteens/ Teens Will Want to Read
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mattie Cook is a 16 year old living in Philadelphia in the late 18th Century. Mattie’s life is turned upside down as the yellow fever epidemic spreads. Like most residents, she flees and later returns to a much different city, as a competent young woman.
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Based in Coconut Grove, Florida, this funny story revolves around middle school kids trying to save owls from losing their home to a new pancake restaurant.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Dozens apply, but only four are chosen from the ad looking for “gifted children looking for special opportunities.” Follow along as the tweens use their own abilities, working together to solve clues, to hopefully defeat the criminal mastermind determined to take over the world.
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Despereaux Tilling is a mouse like no other. He is in love with the Princess, Pea. Chiaroscuro, a rat living in the dungeon, longs for light. And lowly serving girl, Miggery Sow, desperately wishes to be a princess herself. Their three stories intersect in unexpected and humorous ways.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
This story takes place in Long Island, New York, during the turbulent time of 1967. Holling Hoodhood, a typical 11-year-old must spend Wednesdays with Mrs. Baker as the other kids attend religious classes. During their time together, she forces him to read and discuss Shakespeare, which he hates, but he ends up liking their time together once he realizes just how special this teacher is. By the end of the book, readers will see amazing growth and change in Holling.
They look like fun, don’t they? Definitely some of our favorite living authors.
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