Ah, another episode of We Recommend, in which we attempt, by hook or by crook, to find the absolutely perfect book for people who write in. Got a kid in your life who needs a recommendation? Write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot.
Class! It has come to my attention that I need to pull it together a bit more in terms of getting on top of my happily growing list of recommendation requests. So let's see what we can do.
I need a book recommendation for my daughter who is almost 12 years old and in the 7th grade. It is for independent reading. It must be around the 7th grade reading level. She loves Nancy Drew…read about 13 of them, but it was not approved because the teacher felt it was too easy. Looking through the books I already have, I found The Diamond in the Window. I know she would like it, but don't know if it's too easy. That is what brought me to your website. Help, please!
OK, I am taking a deep breath here. Now breathing out. Relax.
Why? Because it pisses me off when teachers are quashing independent reading choices. This kid loves to read Nancy Drew! Why can't we help her out with that? Why must we try to find her something "on her level." I am beginning to hate levels.
None of this is the mother or the daughter's fault. So let's get over ourselves, shall we, and get to the matter at hand. All we know is that the girl is 11 and likes Nancy Drew. What shall we do?
First of all, I have no idea if The Diamond in the Window is too easy or too hard. I know I love it, and that's all I know. I say if we can talk the teacher into it, by all means go for it. It's a great book.
But what if it's deemed too easy How can we find something that the girl will love and the teacher will grudgingly accept? (Forgive me if I sound anti-teacher here, I truly don't mean to. I admire and respect the teachers my kids have had, I just get pissed off with our entire educational/cultural push for MORE, LONGER, MORE all the god-damned time.)
Here's what I'm thinking:
Yes, I'm just going with the mysteries thing. And I worry that it won't be a good fit, because Nancy Drew never had actual murders, just lots of peril. But you get the sense that maybe the teacher will think "Oh, it's a grown up book," and maybe let the girl chill out.
What do you guys think? Anything for a Nancy Drew-loving 11-year-old?