It's time for We Recommend, in which readers ask for suggestions, and we try our very hardest to come up with the perfect book in answer (and then you guys come up with even more amazing choices in the comments). Looking for a recommendation? E-mail us! We're very agreeable.
I must admit, I embark on this We Recommend with my confidence much shaken. See, I really thought I had a superpower. People would come to my house, or we'd walk to a bookstore, and they'd want, or even need, a book, and with a few well chosen questions I would come up with the perfect book for their situation. L. went on her trip to Greece with Middlemarch and was so happy on the beach. G. headed to the Dominican Republic with The Golden Compass and you couldn't even speak to her until she finished it because she was transported. A dejected M. was comforted by the oceanic rolling of Master and Commander. They were all so happy! I felt I had some special skill! Not marketable, of course, or I wouldn't be me, but still! And I tried to use my power only for good, I swear I did. What went wrong?
First there was this, in which I feel that I utterly failed to find books to bring relief to a family in trouble. Then, when G. went to Asbury Park for the weekend, I sent her off with a book I loved, Lucky Us by Joan Silber—and it was a total dud. She couldn't even bring herself to finish it! Not that it isn't still an excellent book, but the subject matter just was too painful. My sure touch has deserted me.
So it is with great trepidation that I approach this next challenge. But back on the horse. Here we go:
My son is 5 1/2, and is reading fairly well on his own. He is in the middle of the Fly Guy series, which seem to be at a just-right reading level for him. He is in constant search for "big kid stuff", so he is THRILLED that he can read these easy chapter books on his own. I'm looking for more chapter books at about this level, appropriate for boys. The other caveat is that his first love is science – extreme weather, the human body, outer space – he can't get enough of it. His bedtime read-aloud choice is usually from his Children's Encyclopedia. He also loves adventure stories – he really enjoyed Pippi Longstocking and the My Father's Dragon series.
Let us admit, he sounds like a delightful gent. And he loves science. I must note that the subject line of this email said "Easy nonfiction for boys," but I'm just going to skip right over that, and just go for what seems fun.
At first blush, I thought of the Magic Schoolbus books. Because I LOVE them. But he sounds like he would be more comfortable with a book that looks like a chapter book, something really grown-up looking. And just for the heck of it, I'm throwing in two. First this:
And also this, about a kid who gets tiny and goes through all sorts of disgusting and excellent adventures. Diana loved it in 1st grade:
Silly. Fun. Science. It's all there.
But what do you guys think? No doubt, your touch hasn't left you.