Sunday, June 30, 2013


Reading is FUN!

You know it - I know it. . .
But can you convince that older kid? 


Reading is the original
Magic Carpet Ride
to adventure!

Yeah! Yeah!  But this kid left
Magic Carpet Rides behind a lo-o-o-ng time ago.


Some teens and preteens need

Others need the RIOT ACT!

YELLING is useless, mate. . .



So, how do you HOOK
your child on summer reading
A parent must be

*Note your kid's interests, passions and hates.
*Then, research books that tie into all three.

*A little lie can work wonders. . . especially if it is about a book that is about to be banned, and you state your child MUST NOT read it.  This only works if you REALLY know your child, and you have chosen the book well.
* Buy a Kindle Fire (or similar), and state that only those in the family who read ONE BOOK a week get to use it.
* If he/she has a crush on someone, enlist their covert help. They tell your little darling that reading is COOL, SEXY and  super RADICAL.

* If all else fails, bring out the BIG BUCKS!  Think Chinese or South American, and your qualms will fade like a pale sunburn!
Tell your kid that reading can earn money, them extra privileges, movie viewing time,  freedom from certain hated chores, and even MONEY - but only if several books a week are read.

Enough with the subversive strategy.

Now for some

Yet I feel so frustrated! 
If I add one more book I fear my blog will EXPLODE!

So, I have to make do with this tiny sample of what's out there, able to lure your reluctant (aint gona read Mum!)
kid into the Magic Carpet Ride of his/her life!


I have collected these book reviews and recommendations over many months.  There are hundreds more where they came from


Click Pinterest Maven
for more titles




REVIEW - Cloneward Bound by M.E. Castle.  When Fisher Bas cloned himself, he never dreamed his double, Two, would escape to Hollywood to find the actress he believes to be his mother. High tech gadgets paired with non-stop action appeal to the adventure lover.

REVIEW of "The Spy Game, " a new book by J D Holiday. Recommended!!

101 Chapter books to read to kids while they grow up - SUPER list!

I was wowed by Taconi and Claude from the first chapter. Margot Finke has written a gripping story that weaves Aussie language and vivid tales of Medicine Men and tribal customs with an adventure that boys and girls won’t be able to put down.

REVIEW - The Farwalker’s Quest - A middle grade adventure that grabs you
and doesn't let go. 

20 First chapter books for early readers ages 5-9: mystery books and detective stories

The Raven Boys - YA fantasy. First in a series. I listened to this as an audio book. Wow. A great cast of characters including heroes, anti-heroes and serious villains. The Raven Boys

The Ballerina and The Moon - Written and illustrated by Irene Zevgolis. A heart warming story about a passion for ballet and friendships.

REVIEW - Did you know that Julie Andrews is an author in addition to being an actress? My students loved her book, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. It makes a terrific read aloud that will keep your students hanging on the edge of their seats! 

Delightful! A wonderful read for any child.
Awesome Agy Wilson is author as well as illustrator. 

REVIEW - Personal Effects - by E. M. Kokie - Why I like this book: E. M. Kokie has written a courageous and beautiful debut novel that is complicated and compelling. She delves deeply into the anger, pain, and grief of a 17-year-old trying to make sense of his brother’s death 

A LOVELY REVIEW for “The Revenge of Thelma Hill,” ( Kindle, Nook, Smashwords etc.) 
by award winning writer Donna McDine. Read REVIEWS on Amazon: 

"Floors" by Patrick Carman - Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel. The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets.

REVIEW - Beware of the White by Kai Strand.  This new middle grade novel has some intriguing surprises. It is the first in her new series, The Concord Chronicles

REVIEW of "Holler Loudly," by Cynthia Leitich Smith  by New York Times best-selling  author Cynthia Leitich Smith. Cynthia’s fiction is noted for its diversity, humor, lyricism, imaginativeness, compelling action, and mid-to-southwestern settings. Please give this book a try if you have a loud, rowdy boy.

REVIEW-  "Twerp," by Mark Goldblatt - Julian Twerski isn’t a bully. He’s just made a big mistake. He has done something he is deeply ashamed of, something that goes against the grain of his conscience. When he returns to school after a week long suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal. 

Max Elliot Anderson writes awesome books for young boys.
Try any of his books and your boy will LOVE it!!

Debut author Leo B. Kennedy wrote "Devlin and the Greedy Ferret." Leo has written a very entertaining and fast-paced book with quirky and fun characters. He proves that young adults with autism can find success in the world, including the field of children’s literature. His book is not about autism.

REVIEW - Tell the Wolves - Wow. You'll laugh. You'll cry.
You'll get seriously ticked. An amazing YA novel.

40 Banned Books to Read at your Own Risk- GO ON. . . you know you want to!
Your kid will fight you to read these babies.

by Karen Cioffi , illustrated by Aidana WillowRaven -  "Walking Through Walls" is a fantasy chapter book based on an ancient Chinese tale, providing a magical adventure. Fun for children and adults alike.

The Borrowers, by Mary Norton - AWESOME Read!  

Even the most reluctant reader should find
a title here to HOOK their interest.


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques



  1. Wish I could read them all - and I'm only a kid on the inside.

  2. Margot, you crack me up! Your strategies are wonderful. Especially love the Kindle Fire temptation. And what a wonderful surprise to find my book on your wonderful list. Thank you so much! Enjoy the heat :D

  3. Margot: My stepson is really into graphic novels. (He is 12). This summer, I decided a new strategy to fight the reading battle. I'm letting him choose all his books, each week, and usually he is reading in the car before we even get home. (from the library). But do you know any good resources for graphic novels or for finding out what novels (like THE LIGHTNING THIEF) have been turned into graphic novels. He has a few reading issues, so I think these books help because 1.not so overwhelming 2. give him more cues about what is going on 3. aren't baby books. :) Any recommendations would be great (or website with recommendations). Or maybe I should start one. . .

  4. Kai and Janet, thanks for your kind words. My husband is wonderful (cooks does our huge garden and the laundry) but does no want to wait around all day while I try to sell books at a fair or book table somewhere. I do not drive you see, and my hip and knee would stop me in any case. I am getting old from the neck down!!

    Margo, I will look into graphic novels and let you know. Boys particularly like them I know.

    Margot Finke