It's We Recommend, in which we use our superpowers to find readers the perfect book. Got a kid 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.
Ah, wholesomeness. I'm going to come right out and say, first, that this request is slightly complicated. I suppose, in part, because I do not feel that I am an entirely wholesome person. I mean to be, I do—but…well, before I get into it, read on.
I have an 8 year old granddaughter who is reading at roughly a 5th
grade level. She is currently reading the old Nancy Drew books (pre-cell
phone/computer – not the newer ones.) I am trying to find some books
for her that are 5th/6th grade level, but with age appropriate/wholesome
subject matter. Is there such a thing? I don't want anything with
kissing boys, divorced parents or major dysfunction.
Thanks for any help you can give.
On the other hand, avoiding kissing boys, divorced parents and major dysfunction in 5th or 6th grade might also be avoiding the reality of a child's life. On the other other hand (I have SO MANY hands), not everyone who can read at a 5th grade level is IN 5th grade, which is the whole point, is it not? This person is 8, she does not need to read about boy-kissing. Indeed, she probably does not want to. And on yet one last hand, a grandmother should be able to get her grandchild a book that she can talk about with her without blushing, and what makes different grandmother's blush is…well, it's different. Some will want to buy their granddaughters books about boys going through puberty so they can both squeal and scream, others will want to go more of the Adopted Jane route. And truly, I think both are pretty awesome.
So. Whatever shall we suggest so this granddaughter and grandmother can happily read and/or talk together?
What occurs to me mostly are books from the past. The Betsy-Tacy books are wonderful wonderful, and they grow and age with the characters, so they keep up as the readers grow older. But I want to think of something that honors the girl's interest in mysteries, while it also honors her grandmother's wishes as a book giver. Truly, every book I read as a girl (and loved!) is wholesome. Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Ballet Shoes…ah, it goes on and on. But I am going to go with my not always reliable gut here and go with more of an action-oriented sort of girl. A girl who is brave and true and wholesome and fun. That's right, Caddie Woodlawn.
I loved this book as a kid. I don't even know why, I just did, and all these strange small parts of it stay with me.
But I know that you most excellent people who read this blog can maybe do even better, right? Perhaps you know of another wholesome girl detective? Something else? Something to show a grandmother and her 8-year-old granddaughter a really good time. Put it in the comments, please!