We Recommend: Is There Life After Katie Woo?

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.

 Here's another side of the story. Just as you don't necessarily want your super-reading 8-year-old to be reading about making out, so too do the not-as-ready-to-read-right-now 8-year-olds to be reading about, you know, bunnies.

This is how I found out about Katie Woo:

I am an elementary librarian
and I have two girls (third graders, but reading at the early second
grade level) who have read all of the
Katie Woo books, loved them and are struggling to find a new series. Any suggestions? I tried the series,
Max and Zoe, but that hasn't captured their interest.
Thanks in advance, for any
help that you can give me. They come to the LMC everyday looking for a
new book, so I hope I can offer something soon that they will like! I
want to keep them reading!
OK, people, they are coming EVERY DAY. Clearly, we have to do something. So I went and checked out Katie Woo. Here's what we're looking at:

Now I want you to take a look at those shoes, please. Those are some happening shoes. Those are the shoes that girl who is in third grade might want to read about, you know?

So, how do we find something that will be at a comfortable reading level for these young ladies, but will also be thrilling enough to keep them reading? My first thought was Iris and Walter (though—correct me if I'm wrong—isn't there a terrible movie about adult illiteracy with Robert DeNiro and Jane Fonda by the same name? I saw it on a plane 100 years ago). But then I worry, too, that those won't have enough pizazz. I want to offer these girls some pizazz. I guess they also might go for Fancy Nancy or one of those, but there needs to be some sass, is what I'm sensing. So, here goes: I am a little bit worried that the small type will stymie them, but at the same time: I think this might be love. Who am I talking about? Why, Babymouse of course.

I am not totally, totally sure, though, because nothing is worse than giving a kid a book that is too hard and turning them off.

So, librarians, teachers, parents, readers: what do you think? Got any sassy, exciting, easy-to-read books for a pair of young ladies? Apparently they need an answer soon.

16 thoughts on “We Recommend: Is There Life After Katie Woo?

  1. Definitely Babymouse.
    Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie.
    Marty Maguire (…reading level might be a stretch…but interest might push it/make it possible. I’ve had a similar 3rd grade go wild for Marty Maguire.)


  2. Met Matthew Holm at Portland’s Wordstock in October last year. Such a fun guy. He has to illustrate for his sister so it adds a level of intrigue to his process. Really can’t say enough about him and his work. Very genuine.
    Plus, my younger daughter loved these books when they first came out. L-O-V-E-D. Can’t go wrong with the whole Babymouse series.


  3. They might want to try the THREE STORIES TO READ TO YOUR… series: Three Stories to Read to Your Cat; Three Stories to Read to Your Dog; Three More Stories to Read to Your (etc.) — all by Sara Swann Miller , with wonderful illustrations by True Kelly. Wickedly funny (the story in which the cat has what s/he considers “a good day” is especially priceless) and just easy that some libraries put it in the “early reader” section, while others put it in with the easy chapter books. I do love a series that doesn’t insult the early reader’s intelligence or sense of humor!
    Of course what I really want to recommend is Ivy and Bean, but it sounds like these girls aren’t quite up for that yet, reading-level-wise. But maybe in a year or so.


  4. Ah, this made me think of good old Poppleton. What IS it with pigs? They are so appealing, and there are so many of them in kids literature. I feel I will soon have to do a Salute to the Great Pigs of Children’s Literature. I must make a note of this.


  5. Perhaps not now, but soon: The Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka, an entry-level graphic novel about a lunch lady with secret powers.


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