So, I'm feeling pretty stuck with the horrible name "we recommend," which serves as fair warning to anyone who is thinking of being ironic when titling something. This…service? idea? feature?… is my attempt to use my superpower—the ability to pick the perfect book for someone—for the power of good. (Though how you would use it for the forces of evil is not entirely clear to me.) Anyway, if you want in, here's the deal: e-mail me here and tell me a bit about the person we're recommending for—age, likes, dislikes, idiosyncrasies, favorite books, reading strengths, bizarre and little-known facts—and (when I get a chance) I'll post here with my pick. The real treat? You get the excellent recommendations of this group of extraordinarily generous commenters. And so…
Today's child is a 6 and a half year old boy, who's a fairly fluent reader caught between the world of picture books and beyond. He can read Danny and the Dinosaur without much trouble, but is showing a mother-irritating tendency to bring home Transformers and Pokemon books when brought to the bookstore. He loved the Mercy Watson books, and, for those of you who can figure out a way that this could work in, he has diabetes, so it would be kind of excellent to offer him something that took that into account.
What's the right thing?
Based on the Pokemon allure, I'm going with this:
They're good for beginning readers (though beware, there are some scary-ish things, and if he's a nervous guy maybe look further down) and they're truly interesting. Plus, lots of literary references that might draw him into other things down the line. Other ideas I had were Nate the Great, Henry and Mudge, and perhaps my own personal favorite, Poppleton.
But I feel uneasy, as though there's a perfect book for this young man somewhere, and I just don't happen to know what it is. If you do, put it in the comments, by all means!