the “what do you read?” give away


Today I am goofing off and stepping away from the mommy blog.

No pictures of my kids like this one

And definitely no silly stories like how Rhett(4) was warned when we bought bright orange shorts that in general orange is not a neutral and he wouldn’t be able to wear it with other bright colors like, for instance, red.   Oh, and when we bought him two new pairs of crocs it was my intention that he wear two shoes of the same color for a pair.   I am crazy and un-imaginative that way.

I do NOT have time for that kind of mommy blogger – ness!

Today I am asking YOU to give me some reading ideas.

Summer is upon me.   My boys’ last day of school was on Monday.

I need reading suggestions for:

  • 2nd grade boy
  • 4th grade boy
  • their harried 40 year old mother

I just LOVE a good book….and if you don’t read books, but have a good blog recommendation for me, bring it on.

To thank you for your help, I will be sending a randomly selected comment below to receive a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.

All you need to do is comment with some sort of reading recommendation and you will be entered to win.   The contest will close 5/18/10.

Easy, peasy.

And now I can get back to following around my children like paparazzi and blogging every word they say…


  1. For the second and fourth grader Frog and Toad, and for their harried mother I recently finished Koontz “Relentless” it was good. Oh and can’t go wrong with Goosebumps for the forth grader I think they between them and baby sitter’s club that is all I read for that year.

  2. I can’t recall 2nd grade and 4th grade. But, is 4th grade good for Harry Potter?

    And, for mom? What I have I read lately? The Janet Evonovich series with Stephanie Plum are pretty easy reads and fun.

  3. We LOVE the Diary of a Wimpy kid series… Harry Potter series… and of course Twilight series. I read TONS by Nora Roberts, and of course Stephen King is always a favorite!!

  4. For you Mom I recommend The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr., It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.

    The 39 Clues Books would be great for your 4th grader.

  5. What a fantastic idea!
    Now, let me think…. How about “The Calligraphers Daughter” for you, or any books out of the “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series by Alexander McCall Smith. They are FANTASTIC. For a blog, come by my place if you like:
    For the boys: Have they read “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs?”
    Happy reading!

  6. I recommend “The Heart Mender” by Andy Andrews and “My Heart Remembers” by Kim Vogel Sawyer. As for your 8 year old, perhaps he can get started on the Eragon series. My 10 year old started reading them when he was 9 and now can’t put any kind of book down. I don’t remember what 4 year old boys like to read, has been too long!

  7. For you – Charlaine Harris. Steamy vampire sex! Or Jodi Picoult – anything by her is great. I’m currently reading Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn for a blog tour and loving it.

    Maggie at tethered mommy dot com

  8. I have 3 boys also, ages 7 6 and 2. My oldest is an amazing reader and we have shelves upon shelves of books so here are a few of his favorites to read….Goosebumps, any of them and there are over 50 titles, Wayside school series, box car kids series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Captain Underpants books, …from the Black Lagoon books, magic Tree house series. check for most of these at your library

  9. Diary of Wimpy Kids for your 4th grader – I think a movie is coming out soon
    An oldie but a goodie for your 2nd grader – Maxi The Taxi Dog (ah the memories!)
    For you – Eat, Pray, Love

    Enjoy summer vacation!

  10. For the 4th grader try The Hunger Games or The City of Ember. For the second grader try the Lemony Snikett series.

    madamerkf at aol dot com

  11. The Mom Jen says:

    My 9 year old is reading The 39 Clues! He’s addicted, they come with “trading” cards and a whole cool interactive website! We also have a collection of Magic Tree House books that are really fun to read together, a touch of history and adventure!

  12. Hm…I haven’t read 2nd or 4th grader books in a while, lol, but I know my neice & newphew enjoyed The Werewolf Club meets Dorkula (2nd grade) & Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection (5th grade).

    As for an adult book, I’ve been reading the Dexter series books (Showtime show based on these book). They’re good books if you like the show & if you’re into fiction books. Hope you find something you like!

  13. Diary of a wimpy kid was a big hit around here as well
    also some to consider
    2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids by Amy Zuckerman and Jim Daly
    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

    for the mom…Janet Evanovich’s stephanie plum number novels are fun light easy read

    YAY for summer

  14. For summer camp, you can send Math and Reading Tuition class. I used to send my 3 grade son and find it so useful.. He doesn’t have any problem to read library books. They will give more homework to do at home. This is the best option for # 2nd grade boy
    # 4th grade boy and above.

  15. So many great suggestions already! I’m not sure exactly what age range this is but The Magic Tree House is a great series and you don’t have to read every book to understand whats going on. There is a girl series that goes with it I think it’s the Magic Trunk or something like that. Either way they’re great books!

    As for you…I just read a really fun chick lit book The Bachelorette Party by Karen McCullah Lutz. It’s a quick easy read and funny. I also love anything Mary Higgins Clark, Jodi Picoult {19 minutes, the Pact, or Change of Heart, I also like Faith} but you want to be careful with Jodi Picoult because if you’re anything like me it can get repetitive and you’ll end up guessing the end!

    Hope I helped!

  16. I read a lot. I read to my kids a lot. I read WITH my kids and grandbebes too, again, a lot! My 9-year-old boy is TOTALLY into the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series books. Depending on his reading level, your 4th grader may also like the “Land of Elyon” series books. One book that I would definitely recommend for both bebe boys if you don’t have it yet is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein – this is a good read together book. For yourself, it depends on what you like. I like a lot of genres, and even read my daughter’s YA books – Graceling and Fire by Kristen Kashore (I probably didn’t spell that correctly), the Immortal Series books (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass) by Cassandra Clare. Another YA series that is getting great buzz is “The Hunger Games”, which we don’t yet have, but is in our Amazon shopping cart for our next purchase. I just finished reading “The Heart Mender” by Andy Andrews, and it was a good read as well. One that has been out for a while, but that I TOTALLY enjoyed is “Cold Sassy Tree” by Olive Ann Burns.
    I could go on, but I hope these suggestions help. I do have two giveaways going on my blog, one of them is for “The Heart Mender” and one includes “The Giving Tree”, so maybe you can win and not have to buy! 🙂

  17. Okay…I have a son but he’s fixing to be 17. I have two girls (1st and 2nd graders) so I can’t help you there either. I can, however, tell you that for mom- the book I think you’d love to read is: The Hypnotist by M.J.Rose. It is amazingingly addictive, suspenseful novel.

    Oh, oh, oh…hold on. Yesterday we went to the book store and picked up “The Cartoon Clinic; the doctor will see you now” by Ben Cormack. There’s so many illistrations on how to draw (which all kids love to do) and was perfect for all three kids. Maybe your boys would like that.

    thanks for the chance to win. I need some new summer reads too.

  18. I have a few suggestions for you. There are some GREAT fun and educational (though the boys may not realize they are learning something) books called The Wright On Time series. The books are about a homeschooling family traveling the country. Each book focuses on a single state, the first three are Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. You can find out more about them here

    Then there’s Tilly’s Tales by Harry Porter These are “true” stories about rescued dogs. They are great books for younger kids as well.

    I have done reviews of each of these books on my book review site, plus there are a ton of other books that you, Mom, might like as well. Everything from sexy Fantasy romance novels, to spiritual books & cook books! 🙂 Hope you find something good there!

  19. 2nd grader: A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
    You: Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons for fiction. The Happiness Project for nonfiction.

  20. My son is currently in 2nd grade and his class has been reading some books that he really enjoyed. One is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Ronald Dahl. Another one is Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. My son also loves reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney.
    I have no ideas of suggestions for a 4th grader, but my son has a couple of Scholastic books that are chapter books for young readers. They are both books on Star Wars – Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace by Patricia C. Wrede and Star Wars The Last Of The Jedi: Underworld by Jude Watson.
    I love reading suspense, horror and mystery, like books from Stephen King, Tabitha King, and Dean Koontz.

  21. I loved the Twilight series…I am one of THOSE gals! I also am in the middle of reading Stephenie Meyer’s more adult book…”The Host”. I love “Hooway for Wodney Wat” for kids…it’s the cutest book!

  22. I would suggest anything by Jodi Picoult.
    Not sure if you saw the movie “My Sister’s Keeper”, but she wrote the book it was based on.

  23. Has your 4th grader read Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume? It’s a classic!!!

  24. You should try some YA for yourself! I suggest “Seven Tears Into the Sea” by Terri Farley! It is amazing! I’ve already read it twice and I NEVER read books over!

  25. I just read this awesome book Three Wishes. Loved it! And of course Just Let Me Lie Down is a quick and easy read. I also just got this book from a giveaway titled Jesse’s Girl. A real murder mystery kind of story. Not sure how good it’s going to be.

  26. How about the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for you all to read together? We read those as a family. Hank the Cow Dog is an oldie but goodie, as well as the RedWall series, but that depends on the reading level of your child…may be a little too old. Also, the Series of Unfortunate Events may be a good series to start.
    As for you, if you’ve not read The Help, that is def. time well spent. Mary Kay Andrews is a good author, although sometimes she has trash talk in her books that I”d prefer not to read…but the stories are cute.

  27. For the boys I recommend the “Series of Unfortunate Events” series. I read them myself when I worked at a school and I just adored them. The books are very entertaining and I love how the author sneaks in some great vocabulary words.

  28. Hm, I can’t recommend reading for your boys as my youngest can’t read and his sister reads things like Little Women. 🙂 I find that when I cannot think of something to read that I always have fun in the juvenile section! Pick something you loved as a child (such as the Little House on the Prairie series) or something that is new and “hip” like Percy Jackson & the Olympians or the Inkheart series.

  29. dont know if any of my suggestions will be original ones, but nevertheless, here ya go….
    2nd grader
    Anything Roald Dahl, Magic Tree House, Edgar & Ellen,

    4th grader
    Wimpy Kid, Ranger’s Apprentice series, Leven Thumps, The Secret of Castle Can’t, Milkweed

    The Help, Hunger Games/Catching Fire (these were written for teens, but most adults I know couldn’t put these titles down.), Jodi Picoult -all of ’em. Craig Ferguson’s American On Purpose.

  30. My kids are all about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series right now too. I think it’s kind of odd, but my daughter 8 loves it. Also Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Magic Treehouse series. I kind of like the last one as it is simple and educational.

    For Mommy I adore Jodi Picoult too. Also I like several Canadian authors. I loved Lemon by Cordelia Strube. There ae soo many good books really.

  31. Depending on the reading level of the boys:

    For the second grader– The “Magic Treehouse” Series was a big hit at my house. And if you’re okay with gender neutral or a girl protagonist, Junie B. Jones has one of the best first person narrators in all of elementary school fiction. Captain Underpants is hilarious, too.

    Somewhere between the two boys would lie The Boxcar Children.

    For the fourth grader– Madeline L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time” series is great, but might be over his head. Judy Blume’s “How to Eat Fried Worms,” “Fudge” and “Superfudge” are also perrenial favorites for that age. If he’s more advanced, in both content and reading, Gary Paulson’s “Hatchet” and Walter Dean Myer’s “Monster” are both amazing books. So is “The Contender” by Robert Lipsyte.

    For you, it really depends on what you like. If you like classical literature, or a little bit of silliness, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” made me cackle all the way through. Stephen King’s “The Stand” haunted me for weeks after reading it, and made me reevaluate a lot of things in my life. (And it’s the only Stephen King fiction I’ve been able to read.) If you like gritty war stories, there is none better than “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. And a surviving against all the horrible odds book is “Ellen Foster,” by Kaye Gibbons. And for all out laughter, Christopher Moore’s “A Dirty Job” was priceless.

    If you like non-fiction, “Wesley the Owl”, by Stacey O’Brien was (forgive the pun) a hoot and was really interesting and educational. If you like animals, it’s a must read– light and easy to read. If you like memoirs, “Angela’s Ashes” should be on your list too. If you like books on writing, Stephen King’s “On Writing” is an honest look at a writer’s life and what it takes to be a good one.


    I think the most amazing books I can recommend though, especially for parents, are “We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. That book was, from start to finish, absolutely heartbreaking on so many levels–as a mom, a wife, a daughter. Rarely do books stay with me for long, but that one has, because it’s a self-examination of her parenting from start to finish. A

    nd, non fiction, “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Foster Cline and Jim Fay has been beyond incredible for my family. Great advice and ideas for dealing with the munchkins.

    Oh… and for interesting blogs… look me up!!! <>

    I just started, but my life is never boring, and which means my blog won’t be either! I, too, am a proud mommy blogger, with both adopted and foster children, who have a wide, wide range of specialness.

    Happy reading!!

  32. i remember loving the indian in the cupboard, the westing game, and bridge to terabithia around 4-5 grade…

    best books i’ve read recently were 1 & 2 in the millenium trilogy–the girl with the dragon tatoo and the girl who played with fire. looking forward to book 3:)

  33. I saw your “shameless” plug on the B2B email. Your wittiness brought me here!

    I can’t help with the 4th grade boy, but.. for your son in 2nd grade, I highly recommend the Junie B. Jones books ( My son thinks they’re hilarious!

    As for you, check out the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I never read Koontz until Thomas came into my life, and now I’m hooked for good.

  34. I would recommend The Magic Treehouse books. My girls and their boy cousins love them!

  35. Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants are great easy reads, especially for your younger guy. A series that my son really enjoyed last year was the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. My son is about to finish 5th grade so I’m trying to remember what he read last summer…There is this series of books that are about bears…I think they are called Seekers. He still enjoys that series. But now he is trying to tackle my JRR Tolkien collection.
    Another one for your younger guy is the Magic Tree House series. Very popular with my son a couple of years ago.
    For yourself…I don’t think I would be much help. I tend to read only fantasy/sci-fi books. I’m currently plowing through my Dune series again and a local author that puts out a supernatural series called Greywalker. I also picked up Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris (the True Blood series on HBO is based on her books).

  36. The Hardy Boys are coming back with revised stories. They seemed to be geared for 3rd to 5th graders so your 2nd grader and 4th grader may like them.

    I love historical fiction so I really like Michelle Moran’s books. Nefertitti and Cleopatra’s Daughter we both wonderful. She also interviews other historical novelists on her blog which has led me to other fantastic books. This is how I discovered Pope Joan by Donna Wolfolk Cross which is simply fantastic.

    Michelle Moran’s site:
    Michelle Moran’s blog about new historical discoveries:
    Michelle Moran’s author’s interview blog:

  37. My girls always like the Captain underpants series, and for you: Twenties girl by sophie kinsella is a great light hearted read, and for something deeper try House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

  38. Ashley Darnell says:

    You have to check out ‘Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain.’ It’s hilarious children’s poetry – was just released – and is by a Dallas Author/Illustrator. — I think it’s on Amazon, too. My favorite is “The Eldest”- which is all about the differences between being the eldest child and the youngest — but the whole book is great. Barbara Vance (author) uses a lot of big words, so the kiddos learn,too. And its thick: like, 200 pages thick.

    Also, the Boxcar Children series — it goes back a while, but those are great!!

  39. for the 2nd grader you can’t go wrong with Frog and Toad, Horrible Harry (funny) and Flat Stanley.
    The 4th grader might really enjoy The Bridge to Terabithia and classics like the Black Stallion.
    For moms these days I recommend The Happiness Project, it’s a eye opener.

  40. If your boys like legos, I recommend the Bionicle books, my son read them and LOVED them! And for you, I HIGHLY recommend the Fannie Flagg novels…like the movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’, her other books wrap you up in the sweetest characters and hometown ever- very heart warming! Guaranteed good reading!

  41. With a 1st, 4th and 7th grader in my house, we often do audiobooks so everyone can partake of the same interesting stories. My boys like fantasy books, so favorites from audio listening are the Harry Potter series, the Charlie Bone series, and Keys to the Kingdom series.

    Honey for a Child’s Heart, A Landscape with Dragons, and the Read Aloud Handbook also give great ideas. Some books can be done as read alouds long before a child can actually read the text themselves.

    Most any book by Dav Pilkey seems to get my boys laughing.
    Tomie de Paola’s biographical series about his life as a young child was a great one, too.

  42. If you are into the whole vampire thing, I just got sucked into the House of Night series, and read the first five books in a weeks time. I am itching to get my hands on the last two. Also, Dean Koontz is my all time favorite, so anything by him is worth reading.

    As for kids books, I have a daughter ending second grade this year, and she loves to read books based on any Disney and Nick series, like Suite Life and Wizards of Waverly Place. (not sure if your boys watch these) She also loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

  43. For the boys The Magic Treehouse and Hank Zipper series are both terrific.
    There’s also a non-fiction series called Who Would Win that my boys love. It pits different animals again each other. Shark v. Great White, etc.
    For you, I’d recommend some Young Adult titles that play to any audience: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. Also It Sucks to Be Me and It Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley are fun.
    I have a YA book blog that you can get more info

  44. Sorry I am not much help for you boys ages as mine are younger and all I can think of is Judy Blume right now, but for you, if you want to get to know vampires there is the Sookie Stackhouse series (more adult than Twilight) or opposite end of the spectrum is Roses by Leila Meacham (Southern romance story, not a typical romance novel, but it includes lies and tradegy)

  45. I LOVE to read, it was one of the greatest gifts that my parents gave to me. Let’s see some good books…Brightest star in the sky by marian keyes, On the line by Serena Williams

  46. My recommendations –
    FYI – I read to my kids at night, separately. So, I go through a lot of kids books. Have found as they get older, reading for myself at night rarely happens. Probably reading 2-6 chapters a night from kids books does it. Some of my favorite books are YA (young adult) and my daughter is entering that stage now. Scary for me, but it has already led to some great conversations, which is the best benefit of reading to your kids at night.

    4th grade
    The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman (3 thumbs up – son, daughter & me/great read aloud too)
    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (3 thumbs up – son, daughter & me/great read aloud too)
    The Get Rich Quick Club by Dan Gutman
    Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things By Lenore Look
    Two-Minute Drill by Mike Lupica
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
    Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series* – The Lightning Thief (Book1) and series by Rick Riordan
    Swindle by Gordon Korman

    2nd grader – Stinky Series by Megan McDonald.

    Looking for fun ideas and activities for kids? I recommend “Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)” by Gever Tulley, it just came out a few months ago & may only be available at Amazon. Point is that some things we did as kids that were great learning experiences are considered “not safe” these days. With the proper supervision and tools, you can create some great learning moments. Love, love, love this and we are using this summer.

    For Moms (you) – if you haven’t read, “Everyone is Beautiful” by Katherine Center, it is my most recommended book. Her latest book came out last month, “Get Lucky” and I just started that. I also loved, “Next Thing on my List” by Jill Smolinski.

    I have a review on most of these at under Mom Books or Kids Books.


  47. Just finished House Rules by Jodi Picoult – awesome. I am 3/4 of the way Handle with Care by Jodi – another great read!!!!

  48. My daughter is 16 months so we are happy with the Cheerios book at the moment!

    For you, I would suggest The Reliable Wife. Just finished it and it was quite the story!


  49. Hm I don’t remember 2nd & 4th grade books and my lil one is only 4 mo old so I can’t help you there! But books for you… anything by Stephen King if you’re into that (Lisey’s Story is a recent one that was really good). Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (true story, takes place in Africa), Time Traveler’s Wife, Lovely Bones… 🙂

  50. For the 4th grade boy i would recommend the Harry Potter series. My daughter is just finishing grade 4 is just finishing them up.

  51. For the 4th grader I’d recommend “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snickett. And if he likes it there is a whole series, so it would keep him reading all summer. My son also loved the “Sea of Trolls” by Nancy Farmer at that age. For the 2nd grader I’d go with shorter books like “Encyclopedia Brown” or “Magic Treehouse”.

  52. My oldest is reading the Diary of a Wimpy kid series and the How to Train Your Dragon series now. He’s 7. They are challenging for him, but not difficult.

    I just read a couple books by Kaye C Hill – Dead Woman’s Shoes and The Fall Girl. Great reads! Detective stories in a small modern day English village, well written and entertaining. I also recommend the Stephanie Plum series. If you like a more historic setting try Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher detective series set in 1920’s Melbourne. They are wonderful. Also John M Robert’s SPQR mystery series set at the end of the Roman Republic.

    I read way too many mysteries.

  53. Check out my book blog: for my book reviews. My recommendations:

    Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
    Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge
    The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry
    Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth
    Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck

  54. 1st/2nd grades (depending on fluency – my dd was hooked on these books in 1st whereas my son will just be starting them as he gears up for 2nd)= My kids love[d] the Magic Tree House series, Cam Jansen (kids mystery focusing on a boy with a photographic memory)

    4th grade = Narnia books, The Leanin’ Dog, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows (if the whole boy coming of age with a dog appeals, lol), Hatchet….

    As for you…hmm, I am not a trendy reader and tend to read things well after they are on the “book club” lists, but last year I LOVED The Girl With No Shadow (sequel to Chocolat – which I hadn’t read but saw the movie years ago) by Joanne Harris. Also, just started the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. It is faithbased (and this being my first time here, not sure if that appeals to you or not) and centers on Ancient Rome primarily, some other areas of the empire are involved as well. It’s really good!

    As for blogs – might I suggest my own? Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child, linked to my name above.

  55. *Any* Jodi Picoult book! I first read one of her books (Change of Heart) last March. Since then I have read every single once she has published. My favorites from her include: Change of Heart (but you’d need to read Keeping Faith first), House Rules, My Sister’s Keeper, Handle With Care, Plain Truth, Salem Falls… um you know – like all of them 😉

  56. I love Dean Koontz. I just finished “Your Heart Belongs To Me” & have bought “Breathless”, but haven’t started reading it yet.

  57. I have 2 girls (only one who really likes to read) & when she was that age (she’s 14 now), she liked the Junie B. Jones series, but I’m not sure many boys read those books. She also liked the Magic Tree House books (and they are priced very reasonable). Of course, you could always go to your local library, which has tons of books & if they are like my state (Mississippi), they will have a summer reading program, with weekly events featuring magicians, clowns, ours bring in the Snake Man, & it is all summer long, with refreshments.

    For you (mom), I would recommend anything by Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins-Clark or Sidney Shelton – these are my favorites. Some of Steven King’s books are good, but the last few I read were just so “way out there” that I didn’t really enjoy them, but his earlier stuff is good. And some of Nora Roberts & Danielle Steele if you like the romance-type books. And you can also check out books at the library from these authors & many more.

  58. I think I only have young girl book suggestions which the boys would DESPISE you (and me both) for.

  59. OK, may I first recommend that Cammie be the “expert” on this topic??? {grin} I’m requesting ALL her suggestions from the library as I type!

    Second, Sounds like most of the ‘typical’ reads have been listed. Although, I will add that around my house ~ especially during the summer ~ assigning a book is not always the most successful idea.

    So, in lieu of endless whining {& massive wine consumption in the evenings} I resorted to subscribing to a few magazines. Funny thing was, magazines that showcase their interests were a natural choice to pick up & read! {of course, I slip in there National Geographic for kids & other “educational” reading ~ heehee}

    Third, have you heard of I love his idea & concept! Also follow him @MrMLibrarian {BTW, might be a great partnership for B2B?}

    And finally, be sure to check out {} to find other great authors ~ my new fave is Amanda Eyre Ward, & of course I found her here!



  60. Ummm …

    You are Forever & Always my future expert on this topic!!!

    {insert inspirational music in background}



  61. I am currently re-reading the Lord of the Rings trillogy (30-somethingth time, actually ) :o)
    and my 11 year old daughter is on the second Narnia book…see a pattern here? Actually, I have been enjoying the Dickens classics ove the last few years, too. My girls enjoyed the Little House books…actually, 9 year old daughter is reding Farmer Boy…which I think your boys would like…it’s all about Almonzo when he was around 8 or 9 years old…a VERY different world, i’ll tell ya! How about Hardy Boys books?
    Can you tell I like the classics?
    Pax, E

  62. The Magic Treehouse series, Captain Underpants, we also have always done “big” family stories that we read together as a family- the Harry Potter series, Treasure Island, Moby Dick, How to Train Your Dragon (totally diff from the movie but fabulous as well), Balto, hmm brain is fried now but there’s a start.

  63. Amelia Bedelia books are ALWAYS a favourite, at any age, as they are easy to read, fun, and very educational! The book teach kids about how words can mean two different things to two different people.

    For your 4th grader, I’d recommend Black Beauty (an older classic), the Hardy Boys Mysteries, and the Chronicles of Narnia. Also, this is a good age to introduce him to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

    Terri aka GeorgiaMist
    outofthemist @ gmail .com (remove spaces)

  64. Crystal Warren says:

    Last year I started reading to my 2 youngest kids at bedtime every night..they are older now (8 and 10) and I used to read to them when they were little so I decided to restart the bedtime story tradition only with “older books”. We now have read almost the entire Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and my kids absolutely love them!! My oldest has already read them all (but he still sneaks in at night to listen to me read..not sure if he wants to hear his momma read or just stay up a little later…but I don’t care either way!). My kids actually will jump into bed at night to hear the next chapter in Percy’s adventures. Before it was a war of wills to get them all in bed on time!! The series is really actually very good. They’ve made a movie (of course) out of it and after we saw the movie all of my kids said they liked the books better (Yeah…go books!!) So that’s my recommendation to them!! You’ll be surprised how much both you and they love it!!

  65. I don’t know about a reading selection for the young boys, since I have an infant daughter, but for you, I would DEFINITELY check out anything by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They’re awesome!

  66. When my son was that age he loved the Goosebumps series. My favorite book is Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge and mostly anything by Nicholas Sparks.

  67. For Boys, the Percy Jackson series, The Keyholder series by Debbie Dadey (LOVE THESE!), Peter and the Starcatchers (my son LOVED all these books, and the author, Ridley Pearson, is going to be the featured author in a week or so on Books on the House for Kids/Teens : with his Kingdom Keepers series which is in collaboration with Disney corp and takes place at the Disney parks!!!… They are FUN).

    Let’s see, for you? Uh, Hasta la Vista, Lola? ( by, uh, a local writer ;), I Scream, You Scream (by Denton writer Wendy Lyn Watson), anything Agatha Christie…

    OH! Have you read Sarah Addison Allen? LOVE her books. In fact, she’s offering autographed copies at my friend’s (NY Times bestseller Brenda Novak) online auction to raise money for diabetes research (… I host a page there with lots of great books. It’s under The Naked Hero. Debbie Dadey’s books are there, too). Sarah’s books are The Sugar Queen, Garden Spells, and The Girl Who Chased the Moon. Magical realism and lots of fun.

    I could go on and on…. 😉

  68. I love to read, never go anywhere without a book. I also hate smut in any form so I read Young Adult fiction great story lines no smut. Better yet, after I get done reading them my kids can read them. Win Win. The Pendragon series was amazing, right now I am reading Percy Jacson and the Olympians series and it is very good. Hilari Bell is a great author your fourth grader would like these.

  69. You conned me into commenting from B2B – you have to read Nicholas Sparks and Anita Shreve (even though they focus on east coast scenery, the stories are captivating) if you haven’t already! I have little guys, so I don’t know as much about 2nd and 4th graders – sorry!

  70. Great Idea! I actually host a meme called “Feed Me Books Friday” and moms recommend 1-5 of their favorite children’s books every week! It’s totally fun and a great way to make a fabulous library list while meeting new mom bloggers.

    I’ll have to make mention of you in this weeks post to give them a chance to win too!

    Hank the Cowdog would be fun! They have the books on CD and tape and I think all 3 Yes! all… No, make that all FOUR of you would laugh yourself silly listening to Hank solve his mysteries. You need to experience Hank Holly!

  71. Just read “Look Again” by Lisa Scottoline and it was AWESOME!!! I second the Jodi Picoult rec. Have read all of them…if you read too many in a row, they can seem formulaic (big word!) but they are very enjoyable.

    For the kids, Magic Tree House, Berenstain Bears, and Capt. Underpants were big hits in my 2nd grade classroom.

    I can’t believe your kids are out of school! When do they start? July???

  72. I have nieces and nephews and godchildren in every age range imaginable, and I love taking them to the bookstore, I could probably go on an on so I’ll narrow it down to three choices for each!

    2nd grade boy:

    1) Could You? Would You? by Trudy White (Kane/Miller, 2007).
    This wonderful book allows children to imagine the things they would do if they could. This is a story everyone can relate to, no matter his or her background. 89 pages
    2)Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog
    by Pamela S. Turner, illustrated by Yan Nascimbene (Houghton Mifflin, 2004).
    Based on a true story, this touching tale pays tribute to a dog named Hachiko, who waited for nearly 10 years at a Tokyo train station for his master, who never returned. Also tells about the bronze statue in Shibuya Station in Japan and the festival that is held every April, honoring this incredible canine
    3)The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (My personal fave!)
    by C.S. Lewis, illustrated by Pauline Baynes (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1950).
    Classic fantasy story for kids. Parents need to know that the plot and writing, although superior, are somewhat dated, and the art is small and simplistic. The language is simple but precise, and the main characters act valiantly to help save Narnia from the White Queen’s enchantment (though one is initially caught under her sway). Contains bits of British culture and Christian allegory. 208 pages.
    Read the complete review on the Common Sense Media Web site.
    Publisher’s Recommended Reading Level: Ages 9-12, Read Aloud: 8-10, Read Alone: 10+.

    4th grade boy

    (1) Crickwing <-My nephew read this one a little younger than the suggested age/grade, he loved it, bugs go over big with boys!
    by Janell Cannon (Voyager Books, 2005).
    This is the story of an unfortunate cockroach named Crickwing, called this because of a twisted wing earned when fleeing a predator. Crickwing finds he has a talent for food presentation: He is a food sculptor! He builds his creations out of roots, leaves and petals, and then eats them…when he can. Crickwing is constantly thwarted by lizards, ocelots and food-stealing monkeys. As he watches thousands of busy leaf-cutting ants, he wonders, "Why isn't anyone bothering these little twerps?" Thus, a bully is born. Crickwing harasses the ants until their Queen orders him to be captured and offered as a sacrifice to the army ants. Luckily, kind leaf-cutters set him free, and he redeems himself by using his special talents to rid the leaf-cutters of the army ants once and for all. Cannon's illustrations are lush and invigorating, guaranteed to enrapture the most reluctant reader.
    (2) Shiloh <-By the way, my niece liked this one too, she took it after her brother finished it!
    by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Simon and Schuster, 1991).
    Nothing is simple in this taut, unforgettable drama. Kids love this edge-of-the-seat story of a boy going up against a really scary mean man to protect an abused dog. 144 pages. Newbery Medal Award.
    (3) The Boy Who Painted Dragons <-I have such a love of Asian art and design, I couldn't resist adding this one to the list
    by Demi (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
    Author/artist Demi has created another stunningly illustrated children's book, The Boy Who Painted Dragons. It's the story of Ping, a talented young boy who secretly fears the dragons whose images he paints. As he attempts to hide his fear, he covers every possible surface with brilliant golden dragons. When asked why he paints them, Ping lies and says, "Because I love dragons! … He is the spirit of life. He is the secret force in nature." The book reads like an ancient folktale, carrying timeless spiritual messages about inner strength and facing one's fears. It also puts a literal spin on the expression "pearls of wisdom" ” the dragons live in heaven and collect pearls carved with words such as "Seek your heart," or "Dare to be great." Demi's gold-tinged illustrations are dramatically beautiful, combining paint and ink with Chinese silk brocade.

    mom (ah last but not least!)

    (1) Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant. I found the premise fascinating and the book doesnt disappoint, I could never imagine living my life 100% mandated by someone else's suggestions daily. Even after reading the book, I couldn't imagine participating in this kind of project but it was a fun read. It leaves you wondering if the author's husband has a brother, because finding a man that patient with that kind of sense of humor seems more like a fairytale than reality! LOL

    (2) I'm in the middle of Achieve Anything in Just One Year

    (3) My favorite and a year to year *re-read* 'Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy' by Sarah Ban Breathnach

    oh and my blog has a monthly book club which returns in June, Living Oprah is actually the title that will be reviewed & given away! LOL

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  73. I’m a 5th grade teacher of ALL boys. While your children are younger than that age group, I think I’ve got a couple good recommendations. A-Z Mystery books would be fun for the 4th grader. The same characters are in each of the books (A-Z, just like the title suggests) and the go through little mysteries that they, of course, always solve in the end. If you’re OK with books on CD, The Lightning Thief is wonderful. The person that reads is easy to listen to and I haven’t met a boy (or girl) that didn’t enjoy the book. Don’t forget about some classics like James and the Giant Peach! 2nd grade: Magic Tree House is fun and there are great picture books like The Important Book or the Frog and Toad series.
    🙂 Enjoy the summer!

  74. My almost fourth grader likes the Spiderwick Chronicles, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, graphic novels: Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack, and she has been listening to the Percy Jackson series on CD. She also likes Beverly Cleary – forget Ramona for your boys, but maybe they woudl like Henry and Ribsy?

  75. Funny enough I am getting my master’s in literacy so I have a few NEW book recs! Masterpiece by Elise Broach for your boys. Oh it’s such a clever story and mystery taking place in NYC. I’m thinking it may be appropriate for both of them.

    For you, I highly recommend The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, it’s historical fiction and one of the most brilliantly written books i’ve ever read!

  76. I’ve had my 10 year old son in a summer reading group for three years. A few of us Mom’s wanted to keep our kids reading over the summer and thought it would be fun to have a book club for the kids. We pick one book a month, then meet in someones backyard for discussion and a project relating to the story. It’s been a great success and the kids really look forward to it. We start in May with a meeting of book ideas. Everyone shows up, with a list of titles they want to read. Some of our reads have been Andrew Clements Frindle, No Talking and the Report Card. We kept the stories pretty gender neutral, due to the fact that we have both boys and girls in the club. Last summer we started on the 39 Clues series, which has been awesome!
    As for Mom, anything by Jodi Picoult and I just finished the Time Travelers Wife and I loved it.

  77. Mindy Howard says:

    You said the magic words! B&N Gift cards are my weakness. I’d do anything to go to my happy place for FREE! My 9 year old read and loved the Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. My 7 year old devoured all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Both Hugo and Wimpy Kid are graphic novels, so I think they’re a good fit for boys 🙂 I am a sucker for Philippa Gregory and her historical fiction, especially the tudor novels. I’m reading The Other Queen, about Mary Queen of Scots. Have also recently binged on every Lee Child novel starring Jack Reacher in a row! He’s a retired MP who drifts around with his own brand of vigilante justice–a very cool hero, imho.. Happy reading!

  78. I LOVE books, but I listen to most of them on audio book lately – driving in the car, or just when I’m cleaning in the house! One I recently enjoyed is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. Because this book is made up of letters to and from members of a small community it was a gem to get on audio! All the letters are read by different actors, and it is a delightful sweet stirring story- that made me appreciate what it must have been to listen to radio in bygone days! For family entertainment on audio book I would really recommend the Harry Potter series. The man that reads the books is so talented, and makes the story come in alive in a different way then the movies.

    For straight adult reading I’ll recommend two books by the same author -Audrey Niffenegger. She wrote “The Time Traveler's Wife” which is very different than the movie made based on it. It had me laughing out loud in public, and crying in public too. A really romantic, love letter to humanity. I also enjoyed her second novel “Her Fearful Symmetry” although it is a very different type of book from the first, a bit more mystery and slice of life book.

    Hope some of that helps! I’m looking forward to reading what other people recommend since I need a new audio book soon! 🙂

  79. For you, I would suggest Jodi Picoult – shes a great author. I also just finished “look again” by Lisa Scottoline. It was really good!
    For your boys, I don’t have any suggestions, my boys are 4 and 20 months so we’re not there yet!

  80. For the 2nd Grade boy child, may I suggest 777 Great Clean Jokes. This has our 2nd grader rolling in the halls.

    For the 4th Grade boy child, may I suggest anything by CS Lewis. Nothing like good old-fashioned science fiction to stir the imagination.

    And for the tireless, Mommy-blogger who needs a break from being the paparazzi, I impart to you 1000 Days in Tuscany. I would give you more info than that, like author or whatever, but I think my two munchkins have taken the book and are using it as a Barbie bed somewhere in their room.


  81. This is hard, because I have girls (4th and 5th grade). When my younger was in 2nd, she loved Junie B Jones. Books by Andrew Clements, like Frindle are great. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life is a good read, but might be a little old, as are the Harry Potter books. My younger daughter, a real reader, said the Magic Treehouse books.

  82. For the second grader: My second grade boy loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and he loved the Junie B. Jones books (if your son didn’t already read those in first grade). He says the Wayside School books are good, too.

    For the fourth grader: I volunteer in our school library and the Damian Drooth, Super Slooth books are very popular among this age group, as well as the Klooz series.

    For you…I would suggest Dorothea Benton Frank. She creates wonderfully fun characters and crafts entertaining tales about them, all set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Fun reads! And if you enjoy really ‘clean’ humorous tales, try Philip Gulley’s Harmony series. DO read them in order. Gulley is a Quaker minister and his main character is a Quaker minister in the town of Harmony. You will ‘know’ almost every character he writes about! I constantly caught myself thinking “Oh, that’s just like so-and-so!” : ) Great stuff!

  83. I second the Hardy Boys suggestion. If you haven’t read it yet, how about “The Help”? It is awesome.

  84. They’re not new books, but you can’t go wrong with the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel for an adult choice! For the boys…(I am desperately scanning my mind for books from my childhood)…AHA! Encyclopedia Brown books are fun and interactive, and SO boy-friendly. Hope this helps! 🙂

  85. I just finished a series of books called “The Kanner Lake Series” by Brandilynn Collins. I stumbled across them at the library and finished three of them in three days. Of course, I totally forgot about my kids and homeschooling them. I am now searching for the fourth book and may have to break down and go buy it. Hope you find some good reading.

  86. I’m on board for the Wimpy Kid books and Beverly Cleary books are always great. My favorite is The Mark of the Lion by Francine Rivers the (3 books) series changed my life, really! Have a fun summer read no matter what you pick.

  87. I am reading Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann and will be part of a blog tour coming this week.Also read Corked and Without Hesitation recently.My boys are 7 8 and almost 9 .My oldest likes R.L Stine but they can be a little graphic.MY younger boys enjoy reading Harry Potter and other fantasy type books and adore Highlights and Lego magazines.

  88. When choosing a book you have to be interested in some kind of book. You just cant pick up just any old book and read it.

    For me i like vampire book, Fairy books, Romance books, Adult books.
    Some Books i have read are
    The City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare – It has demons and special half angle’s
    The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – Yes it is vampires but totally different then the Twilight books.
    Wicked Lovely Series – By Melissa Marr – about Fairy’s and different courts
    If you are into adult books just message me and i will let you know which one i like as well.

    For the boys i would say the Percy Jackson books are great , my four year old love when I read them to him.
    As well as the Harry Potter book.

    I have a review up in my archives on the Wicked Lovely Books.

  89. For you and your oldest, check into Margaret Peterson Haddix. I found her stuff when my oldest was around your son’s age. He’s just the right age to enjoy her “Shadow Children” series.
    She’s also got the first 2 books done in a new series that he will probably love. (“The Missing”)

    And I found that I loved everything she wrote. I know they’re written for tweens/young teens, but they’re still good and quick reads.

  90. I love recommending books! AND I love Barnes & Nobel! 🙂

    For you: “7 Habits of a Healthy Home” by Bill Carmichael, “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, “The Hottest State” by Ethan Hawke, “Power of a Woman’s Words” by Sharon Jaynes.

    For the boys: any and all Dr. Seuss, any and all Shel Silverstein, Aesop’s Fables, Highlights magazine, National Geographic for kids magazine, biographies on their favorite people in history and of current times (actor? inventor? politician?)

    Happy reading 🙂

  91. Hi! I know exactly how you feel about books – they are my best friend! It is def a great thing to keep those boys reading and interested in the great world of imagination through them… Here is a list of book I thought of for them:
    1. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
    2. Socks
    3. Freckle Juice
    4. Maniac Magee
    5. The Romana Quimby Books
    6. Your fourth grader may enjoy the Chronicles of Narnia if he hasn’t already 😉
    7. Fudge
    Most of these are by Beverly Cleary – they were my favorites when I was a kid – they are chapter books, so if they are too advanced maybe you could read a chapter a night with them before bed? Take an adventure together!

    Now for you – I too love books and these are my faves:
    1. The MItford Series (so relaxing and fun to read)
    2. Pride and Prejudice (classic of course)
    3. Anything by Kristen Biilerbeck – she is such a “chic” girly writer – great books!
    4. The Scarlet Thread – Francine Rivers – wonderful read!

    Hope this helps – if you haven’t read them all already that is! When all else fails head to the local library and start browsing! My son loves doing that on a lazy day 🙂 Have a great day!

    Megan McGhee – Meg’s “Mom”iors

  92. Well, we’re still in SkippyJon Jones territory, but I’d think the 4th grader is almost certainly old enough to get started on Harry Potter, and for the 2nd grader, I’m partial to Encyclopedia Brown (and always will be). For you? Well, I’m probably not a great person to ask — I’ve been catching up on the classics. But if you want some good classics to read, let me know. I’ve been kind of blown away by all this old stuff that’s been around for ages but can still get to me.

  93. For you: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, The Sookie Stackhouse vampire mysteries by Charlaine Harris (totally mindless reading, but fun).

  94. Sue Curtis says:

    For Mom…Anything at all by Jodi Picoult.

  95. I love Jodi Picoult books. I just started her new book, I’m 5 chapters in, and it’s good. Prior to this book I read the Lovely Bones.

  96. HappyCampers says:

    There are two chapter books that we read in our Sonlight curriculum this year that Reese loved. The first was LittLe Pear…about a Chinese farm boy who gets in all sorts of troubles. I didn’t care much for the book but Reese loooved it and remembered a lot from each chapter. The second is called Follow My Leader…about a blind boy and his guide dog. Reese really related to they boy and that book led us on a whole discovery about Braille. I think the boys would like both!

  97. Oh I love summer reading time. For the 2nd grader, I definitely agree with the Beverly Cleary recommendations. Her “Henry” and “Ramona” books had me laughing out loud as a kid. For the 4th grader, Percy Jackson is my niece’s favorite right now. Some oldies but goodies (I think anyway) are also “Encyclopedia Brown” series and “The Great Brain.” Or for a more Texas flair, there are the “Hank the Cowdog” books by John R. Erickson. And for you, I could go on and on, but I’ll limit it to: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer, and “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins.

    Happy reading!

  98. For your 3rd but going into 4th grader (sorry I’m personally not ready to up the grade yet!) I’m recommending anything by Andrew Clements, or Hank the Cowdog, both found at your local library for free!
    For your 1st/2nd grader Magic Tree House adventures and Geronimo Stilton.
    For sweet Holly – Karen Kingsbury is the best!

  99. My 12 year old (girl) loves the Gregor The Overlander series. My 9 year old likes Clementine, Clarice Bean, and the Junie B series when she was a bit younger but these may be more girlie recommendations. They both also like the Mysterious Benedict Society series, and the author Michael Scott’s series The Alchemist and of course HP.
    For you – I suggest authors Lisa Lutz, Cecelia Ahern, Mary Kay Andrews, Charlaine Harris, Katie MacAlister, Stephanie Rowe, Ellen Byerrum, Mercedes Lackey.

  100. Liz Nelson says:

    The Book of Awesome

  101. I can’t resist recommending books, so here I am (via Twitter). My kids are much younger than yours, so I’ve got no good recommendations there, except that I remember loving Peggy Parrish mysteries Encylcopedia Brown around 2nd grade, and Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys around 4th grade. Apparently, I really liked the mysteries.

    For you, I have some good recommendations. I don’t know what your reading interests are, but here are some I’ve really enjoyed:
    -The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield: a very compelling read
    -American Gods, by Neil Gaimen: Some Twitterers are doing #1t1b (one twitter one book) this summer, and the read is American Gods. I’ve read it previously, and it’s really incredible. I’ll be rereading this summer.
    -The Blessing Stone, by Barbara Wood: This book came out many years ago, but I always recommend it because it was so fascinating!
    -Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin: My fav book ever!

    The book I’ve gotten a lot of recommendations on and am reading next is Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian.

    Good luck finding some great reads!

  102. for boys: ANYTHING GA Henty. I LOVE these books and I’m a girl. LOL.

    The latest books I’ve read that I’ve loved:

    Non-fiction: Friendship for Grown ups

    Fiction: Water for elephants

  103. Wow easy peasy is right one issue u didnt say what u normally read well if ur a classic type of person i am fond of tom sawyer n huck fin
    those are always nice for the kids as well they migt be a little young u could always read it too them. Another of my faves is the percy jackson and yhe olympians.

    As for u if you like mysteries there are some really good paranormal mysteries like whats a ghoul to do by victoria laurie and then theres romance books like im the vampire thats why by michelle b. ( forgot the full last name) and if ur in to fantasy u can always check out mercedies lackeys 500 kindoms series.

    I hope u have a wonderful summer with ur boys 🙂

  104. Tami Wyatt says:

    I like to find writers who have many books in their collection so if that is what you enjoy I would suggest all of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. They are all fun and easy, yet captivating. (I just found out that Hollywood is set to make a movie out of one of the books and they’ve cast Katherine Heigle in the staring roll. Huge mistake. Anyone who’s read these books knows Sandra Bullock is the obvious choice!)

    And second suggestion…Jacqueline Mitchard is an amazing writer. I have really enjoyed everything she’s written but “12 Times Blessed” is my favorite.

    I didn’t take the time to read all 100 of the comments on this subject so if I’m repeating something someone else wrote then I apologize in advance!

  105. Dude, Where’s My Spaceship by Dan Greenburg is the first in a series of boy adventure books for your second grader.

    Fourth grader, 2030; A Day In The Life Of Tomorrow’s Kids by Zuckerman and Daly. Fun things in this story for your smart 4th grader to wonder about.

    Yes, the Barnes gift certificate DID catch my attention. But it’s not about me, because I’m a giver.

  106. Book Nerd says:

    I am delurking to recommend a great book to you. I just finished reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett and it was so engrossing I just couldn’t put it down. I have a blog recommendation as well. You should go visit Daily Diatribes…it’s laugh out loud funny, much like your own blog. I don’t have kids (yet) so I don’t have anything to contribute on that front. Sorry!

    BTW, this is the first time I’ve ever commented on ANY blog before and I read several.

  107. Jacqueline says:

    Cheaper by the Dozen
    Witch of Blackbird Pond
    Johnny Tremain
    Narnia Series
    Lemony Snicket series
    Boxcar children series
    Hardy Boys
    Harry Potter series
    Magic Treehouse series
    Stuart Little
    Ramona and Henry series
    Hank the Cowdog series

    Sister of My Heart by Chitra Divakaruni
    March, Year of Wonder and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
    the Boleyn series and the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory

  108. I don’t have any recommendations for your sons because mine is a little younger, but I love to read Donald Miller. He has a great and sometimes funny perspective on religion and Christianity.

  109. Victoria S. says:

    For you I suggest any book by Christopher Moore, you will laugh your butt off!

  110. 2nd grader – Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series
    4th grader – L’Engle books (A Wrinkle in Time & all others)
    You: The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
    The Red Scarf – Furnavall
    The Burning Times – Kalogridis
    The Footprints of God – Iles
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
    Kill Me – Stephen White
    Life of Pi
    Anything Vonnegut
    The Alchemist – Coelho
    Labyrinth – Mosse
    Mister God This is Anna
    Eating Animals – Foer
    That should keep you busy! =)

  111. 2nd grader: Captain Underpants (my SIL says they are soo great)

    4th grader: Narnia series

    Mom: Unspeakable Journey, Beaded Hope ( i reviewed both and interviewed the author of unspeakable journey on my blog) and my fave classic: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  112. Magic Tree House for 2nd graders – it’s just the age of the characters in the book.
    If you enjoy fantasy/sci-fi, try out The Night Watch (translated from my native Russian). I am somewhat biased, but it’s really fascinating series.

  113. Delurking to say…I recommend “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak and “The Hunger Games” and then “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins. I also second the recommendations for the Stephanie Plum books and anything by Christopher Moore.

  114. My favorite summer reads are from Dorothea Benton Frank. Great beach books with titles like “Isle of Palms”. Most of them are in paperback now. The coolest thing about them is that the characters jump from book to book as ‘cameo’ characters. Enjoy!

  115. For you : Story Sisters by Alic Hoffman
    House Rules : Jodi Picoult
    Summer sisters Judy Blume

    4th Grader Tales of a 4th grade nothing and then all the books that follow

    2nd grader the Magic tree house books

  116. My little guy is only 3 so I’m not sure what to recommend for the kids except a couple of classics that I loved as a youngin’.
    The BFG by Roald Dahl
    The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, or The Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

    For you?
    The Alchemist
    Eat, Pray, Love
    Anything by Douglas Adams

  117. Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder for 4th grade and the Stink books by Megan McDonald for 2nd grade. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen for you.

    For a great list of winning chapter books, be sure to check out the School Library Journal’s Top 100 Children’s Novels Poll…sure to be books for your kids on that list.

    Also, more suggestions here:

  118. The Narnia books could be a great summer series for the boys!

    For you, if you have not yet read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, it’s fantastic.

    And for lighter (and hilarious) reading, check out the blog and any of the books by its author, Jen Lancaster. She’s fun and irreverent without being crude.

    A nonfiction read that I recommend to all moms is “The Unhealthy Truth” by Robyn O’Brien.

  119. My daughter is younger than your boys, so I don’t know what they would like. I always enjoyed the Beverely Cleary books at their ages, though.

    Some books I love include The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Kitchen God’s wife by Amy Tan, and for a nonfiction pick: Blink (or anything else) by Malcom Gladwell. Hope you get some good ideas from all the comments!

  120. Hi! Don’t know if 4th grader is easily scared but The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is awesome! It’s really not that scary except for the beginning. My 5th grader liked it and it didn’t scare her.

    Also, The 39 Clues series is awesome. About a pair of siblings that travel the world to solve a mystery and along the way you learn about things from different countries and histories and cultures. I loved them!

    As for the 2nd grader, it’s been too long for me to remember what is good for that age group.

  121. Oh and you’re sweet to offer the gift card to a random winner, but it’s not necessary. Unfortunately for others, I love sharing my opinion! Good luck with summer reading!

  122. My absolute FAVORITE book of ALL TIME for children is “Flat Stanley.” The best part about the books is that you can make it a learning lesson on why it’s okay to be different, and the advantages of being different. You can also create “Flat Stanleys” and carry them around with you, taking photos of your travels for a nice summer scrapbook. You’ll have as much fun as your kids do! =)

  123. My son is 7 and has been reading the Lightning Thief series. He really likes it. Before that he finished the Chronicles of Prydain series and loved that. We have Hoot and have read others of Carl Hiaasen’s children’s books too. I bought an Encyclopedia Brown set but DS hasn’t started it yet.

    I could go on and on with books for you. I have my entire reading list for last year on my site. This year I’ve enjoyed The Help, Little Earthquakes and Her Fearful Symmetry. I’ll read anything by Elizabeth Berg, Adriana Trigiani and Joshilyn Jackson.

  124. Well I like Dr. Oz’s books! My son who is now a fifth grader has always been into the sci-fi books like the Goosebump Series that has been a favorite all through elementary school. He also likes to collect and look at…not sure how much he reads it…but the Guinness World Records Books and the Ripley’s Believe it or Not that come out each year. He also read the Magic Treehouse book series. In the last two years he has been interested in the Mike Lupica books about baseball…like Miracle on 49th Street, Heat, and Batboy. He also has shown some interest in history books like the bio of Ab Lincoln. Now my little one likes SkippyJon Jones…thank goodness they come with a cd to read it to him…cause I don’t speak with a spanish accent very well!

  125. My 7 and 9 year olds love:

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    The Spiderwick Chronicles
    The 39 Clue Books
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    The Swiss Family Robinson
    The Chronicles of Narnia
    Thornton W. Burgess – books like “The Adventures of Reddy Fox, The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel” etc
    Peter Pan
    Mary Poppins

  126. I teach third grade so this right up my alley!

    For the second grader I would recommend the Geronimo Stilton Series. They are bright and colorful and a lot of fun. My class LOVES them!

    Captain Underpants is also a favorite. The pages in my classroom copy are litterally falling out.

    Shel Silverstein poems are great and appeal to boys in that age group.

    Don’t be afraid of non-fiction! It is as important as novels and often more popular with boys. The Scholastic Book of Records, The Scholastic Book of Lists, etc provide hours of entertainment!

    The new favorites in my classroom this year is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series. That might work for the fourth grader.

    For mom, I have a thing for Irish and English chick lit myself. Marian Keyes is my favorite author there.

    Happy reading!

  127. I’m a retired teacher. Here are a list of the books I think your precious little men would love to read and to have read to them this summer. You will enjoy reading them as much as they will. I know I did when I read them over and over to my classes for 30 years!

    All of the books from The Black Lagoon Series by Mike Thaler. There are over 25 in the series starting with “The Teacher from the Black Lagoon”, “The School Nurse from the Black Lagoon”, “The Principal from the Black Lagoon”, “The Bully from the Black Lagoon”,etc. (note: each time you say “from the Black Lagoon”…you must use your deepest, scariest voice) The pictures are priceless….and the boys will want to read them over and over!

    All of Robert Munsch’s Books…are a must!!! Again, the illustrations are priceless and being the artist that YOU are….you will adore his books! There are probably 20 or more! Some of my favorites are: “Purple, Green and Yellow”, “David’s Father”, “Stephanie’s Ponytail”, “Wait and See”. And….the classic….”Love you Forever”. (this one is about a mother and her son….and when he grows up) Note: you have to sing the little song that she sings to him….and he sings to her…..just make up a tune. My class cried every year when I read this one.

    All of “The Dumb Bunnies” books by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Sue Denim. Again the pictures are priceless…and so is the humor. Your boys will have you reading these over and over and they will read them again and again. There are 4 starting with the above mentioned one….and “The Dumb Bunnies Easter”, “Make Way for Dumb Bunnies” and “The Dumb Bunnies Go To the Zoo”.

    All of “Tacky the Penquin” series. Can’t say enough about Tacky and the lessons your boys will learn from these books! Tacky is written by Helen Lester….and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Again you will be so impressed with the pictures. There are many Tacky books. (this sounds funny) There are also lots of other books by these two. Over 16 titles in all. Your guys will love all of them….and so will YOU!

    Now for you.

    Considering your wonderful sense of humor….I think you would just have a hoot of a time with these 2 books by Haven Kimmel:
    “A Girl Named Zippy ”
    and the sequel
    “She Got Up Off the Couch”
    She has also written one about a little boy that your guys would love called: “Kaline Klattermaster’s Tree House” It’s about a 3rd grade boy who lives in a treehouse with his 2 very cool older brothers and 100 puppies. (that’s Kaline’s fantasy world) — “it’s really about a sweet, sensitive, creative boy dealing w/change and finding his own quirky voice”.
    There are also many other books by Haven Kimmel if you like her style.

    Also…..if YOU haven’t read “The Pillars of the Earth”…and the sequel “World Without End” by Ken Follett……both of those kept me glued for awhile last summer.

    Now…..hope I’ve given you something to read and smile about for this summer!!! Whew!! Enjoy!!!

  128. Good books for 2nd-4th grade (depending on reading fluency, most likely for 4th grade): E. Nesbit’s *Treasure Seeker’s* series, also *Five Children and It* or *The Wouldbegoods* (all Nesbit). Perhaps also Judy Blume’s *Superfudge*. For 2nd grade, the Magic Tree House books might still hold interest. If mysteries are of interest the *Alfred Hitchcock’s Three Investigator’s* series is probably at 4th grade level, and *Encyclopedia Brown* is good for 2nd grade.

    For you: fascinating non-fiction = *Ghost Maps* or *The Professor and the Madman*. For fiction, I LOVED *Drood* and *The Girl in Hyacinth Blue* and *In the Time of the Butterflies*. By the way, none of these books is anything like any of the others. Happy reading!

  129. For the 2nd grader: Frog & Toad – The Collection Box Set. Totally a childhood staple.

    For the 4th grader: How to Eat Fried Worms ( and Chocolate Fever (

    For the weary mom who’ll only survive the summer by reading in her bathroom: The Life of Pi ( or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ( OR One Hundred Years of Solitude ( – after that one you might be running back to your noisy brood!

  130. Do you love to giggle with your kids. Do you appreciate good humor and fun writing with a subtle but not preachy lesson thrown in. Then don’t walk…RUN to your local library and check out as many Junie B. Jones books as you can by Barbara Park. My kids and I have been reading these aloud to each other for years…starting when they were in about kindergarten. They are now 11 and 13 and we just read one the other day and about laughed ourselves silly. They are just some of the most delightful books out there for kids. A great summer goal (in this English teacher’s opinion) is to try and read the entire collection, which won’t be hard because they are short little chapter books just right for your age group. Happy reading!!! And p.s. Pick me! Pick me! 😉

  131. Angel Pritts says:

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are GREAT. Lots of subtle humor for the mom, and very non-preachy lessons for the kids. My Weird School books by Dan Guttman are also really funny and silly, and a very easy but entertaining read. For Mom, I agree with the earlier comment about Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games books. They are fab.

  132. Here’s what the daredevil (7) loves:

    Bones (graphic novels)
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    Spyderwick Chronicles

    I also recommend this website: for more on encouraging boys to read.

  133. For the kids: The Chocolate Touch, Freckle Juice, Encyclopedia Brown, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Choose Your Own Adventure

    For You: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Enrique’s Journey, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

  134. I just read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series. I recommend it for all of you.

    I also really like Jen Lancaster and Bill Bryson for adults and Gordon Korman for kids.

  135. I’ll second Ashley’s comment…”Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain” is an incredibly fun collection of children’s poems! I bought a copy from the author’s website (– and got a free “Suzie Dictionary” (the author scatters challenging words throughout the book and the dictionary is a great tool for the kids — and for Mom). Highly recommended!!!

  136. Whoo hoo! Psych Mamma had the winning comment randomly selected through the wizardry of

  137. Best you should change the blog title the “what do you read?” give away to something more better for your webpage you make. I liked the blog post all the same.

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