It's We Recommend, in which we attempt to match kids up with their perfect book. 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. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments.
You know what's nice? That so many people write in who say, "My kid loves to read and…." All kinds of kids—boys, girls, young, old, silly, fearless. It reminds you that as much as you hear and see about the world going to ruin, there is another side as well. Now let's see if we can help this young lady:
I have a daughter who is an excellent reader. If given the option to do anything it is always to read. I keep hearing conflicting information. From some teachers they say let her read whatever she chooses. This is what I have been doing. Others say the books she reads are fluff or dessert books not great writing or substance. Her favorite series is Warriors. Her current teacher says it is fine no big deal. I am just curious: am I holding my daughter back and not challenging her enough or opening her reading up enough. Or would I just be forcing it on her? She does read other series so she doesn't just limit herself but I think typically she reads books that are easier for her than she could read. The only issue is once she starts more challenging books they are scary or don't interest her. Even Harry potter and Lightning Thief seem scary. And she started The Name of This Book Is Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society but parts get scary and then she stops reading them.
OK, for the first part? The part where she wonders if it's OK for her to read whatever she wants? My answer is here, and it is always yes (so far—I suppose some intense porn habit might give me pause, but I have not yet encountered this). In fact, I am beginning to be highly suspicious of the very word challenging.
The scariness factor is something else. But I think it pretty much disappears if you let the kid read what she wants. When I asked Diana for recommendations, she said, "She's scared of The Lightning Thief and not Warriors? Why not?" And of course, I have no idea. I suspect it may just be she's not ready for it to be people who are in peril, only cats. And so I go with Diana's suggestion, which may not allay concerns that she's reading fluff but will likely bring her great joy, Guardians of Ga'Hoole.
I offer this up in the spirit of: don't worry, parent, you won't have to read it. But! It seems like it will fit the bill admirably. And there appear to be approximately one million of them in the series, though I can't vouch for the quality of the later ones (or these ones, exactly). I do think she will love them.
But help us out, readers. Do you have ideas for what other books might work for this reader? Put them in the comments.