We Recommend—Something Other Than Encyclopedia Brown

This feature, in which we recommend books based on what you tell us in an email, is going to be around throughout our summer vacation. I am trying to catch up on all the kind people who have been patiently waiting for a recommendation.  If you have specific questions, needs, or desires (my child is a reluctant reader who loves carnage but hates cats) send it to us here, and we will do our best to recommend the right book for you. And, as always, please don’t hesitate to put in your own recommendations!

And now, a boy!
This young man (he’s in 3rd grade) is going to shock you: he did not like Encyclopedia Brown.  His mother is looking for a series (she mentioned the Wayside School books, and Hatchet, as well), but isn't sure as to what will really capture his interest, and be engaging (not to mention at the right reading level).
Well, we think that she’s got a great idea in the Wayside School books, which are completely excellent. What else? How about this?


Pandering? Sure. Immature? But of course! Right on target? Absolutely. We say: there’s nothing wrong with pleasure. And if he’s into silliness and mystery together, he might take a look at Chet Gecko as well.

12 thoughts on “We Recommend—Something Other Than Encyclopedia Brown

  1. As you probably already know, I LOVE Captain Underpants! When I taught third grade we read Hatchet out loud and then handed the sequels to the kids. What about Sign of the Beaver? And, The Narnia series?


  2. These may be a little dated, but how about the Great Brain series? And the Alvin Fernald books? (Gosh, I loved those and so did my daughter.) And Homer Price?


  3. ‘My Side of the Mountain’, perhaps?
    Any of the Bruce Coville books? Specifically ‘Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher’, ‘Jennifer Murdley’s Toad’, and ‘The Skull of Truth’.
    Have YOUR girls read the Bruce Coville books? I recommend them to everyone. I fell in love with them in third grade, and still re-read them at the age of 21.


  4. Similar are the “Rover Chronicles” by Roddy Doyle. The word poop is used (a lot), but my son found them hilarious. We had them in an anthology – the individual titles that we have read are “The Giggler Treatment”, “Rover Saves Christmas”, and “The Meanwhile Adventures”.


  5. Definitely the Bruce Coville My Teacher is an Alien series; he’s also got a bunch of that are not within the series.
    How to eat Fried Worms (though I know it’s not a series).
    Judy Blume’s Fudge series
    The Indian in the Cupboard series (Lynn Reid Banks).
    Strongly suggest most of Roald Dahl’s books; though they aren’t a series, they’re fabulously engaging and interesting for that age. (try James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, The Twits, Danny the Champion of the World, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)


  6. The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks series by Nancy McArthur. My younger brother thought they were the best books ever for years.


  7. Is he too old for “Time Warp Trio”? We’ve just started looking at them with my 6-year-old, so I don’t know, but I love his sensibility (discovered him through “The Stinky Cheese Man”).
    I also loved “The Great Brain” books, though I liked Encyclopedia Brown too, so maybe that’s not for him. But in the same vein of troublemaking boys from an earlier time, what about “Soup”? I don’t know about a series, but there are other books about him, and he’s written a lot so if he likes that, there would be more choices to look at.


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