Books for Ages 7 to 10
WILD TIMES AT THE BED AND BISCUIT, by Joan Carris. Ill. Noah Z. Jones
This is the sequel to Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit, which came out in 2006. The main characters are still Ernest the overly-earnest mini-pig, Gabby the elderly, irritable mynah bird, Milly the sweet teenage pussycat, and Sir Walter the Scottie puppy, but Grampa has taken in a few wild things. While the wildlife shelter is dredging its pond and rebuilding old cages, Grampa’s in charge of the shelter’s ailing animals. First is Zeus, a male Canada goose who was found with an arrow going in one side of his neck and out the other (based on a true story here in my NC county); second is Old Man Musky, a truly grumpy muskrat with a badly infected foot; and last is a pair of starving fox kits, whose mother was killed before they learned how to hunt. As Ernest, Gabby, Sir Walter and Milly interact with the wild things, they see how different wild is from tame. Unfortunately, Sir Walter is entranced by the romance of being wild and free, which creates trouble for everyone.
Coming in January 2011: MAGIC AT THE BED AND BISCUIT, the story of an evil chicken.
BELL'S STAR, by Alson Hart. Ill. Ruth Sanderson
Horses + beautiful illustrations = a winning book. The growing colt, Star, explains how he perceives the world as he grows close to Katie, the girl who teaches him how to race. Katie’s father shows him how to pull a plow, and one day he and Katie save a girl who’s drowning in a fast-moving stream. The girl, Eliza, is a runaway slave, trying to join her mother and father. Historical fiction, closely based on reality, blends well with this tale of a horse and his human family. Other books in this wonderfully illustrated Horse Diaries series include Elska, by Kathy Hapka, Koda, by Patricia Hermes, Maestosa Petra, by Jane Kendall, et. al.
CHOCOLATE FEVER, by Robert Kimmel Smith
Henry Green adores chocolate, and that is what he eats, for all meals and in-between meal snacks. The result of his obsession is that one day in school he breaks out in chocolate spots, noisy spots that pop as they appear. Of course, they’re pure chocolate. Even Henry thinks this may be too much of a good thing, and so he runs away. Henry’s bout of chocolate fever and the tale that follows make a story that’s just as much fun now as when it was first published in 1972. Also try The War With Grandpa (multiple award winner), and Jelly Belly.
JUST GRACE, by Cherise Mericle Harper
This enjoyable book led to a series, beloved now by lots of readers. Grace is narrator here, and having decided that her special power is empathy, she’s always eager to “help out.” Some of the helping works…and some of it doesn’t, but it’s all funny. How welcome, given the depressing, weighty books that clog the shelves! Parents will get a kick out of Grace’s observations about parents in these books—realistic parents who aren’t perfect at all, but wholly believable. Other titles include Just Grace Goes Green, and Just Grace Walks the Dog.
HOW OLIVER OLSON CHANGED THE WORLD, by Clauda Mills.
First, this is a biased review. I love Mills’s books and her sense of humor and her self in person. We are friends. In this story, Oliver and his class are making solar system dioramas in science class and preparing for a sleepover at school when they will view the sky through telescopes, play some space games, and enjoy a movie. Oliver tries not to get excited because his parents probably won’t let him go to a sleepover. When they begin working on his diorama, readers see how over-involved his parents are! Somehow, Oliver has to work out a number of problems, which he does with the help of Crystal, his friend and science partner at school.. This was a 2009 Blue Ribbon Book (BCCB) and an ALA Notable Book.
- ROXIE AND THE HOOLIGANS, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
- Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing and More by Jack Prelutsky, Ill. by Chris Raschka.
- Henry and The Kite Dragon by Bruce Edward Hall, Ill. William Low.
- Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe.
- Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and others) Left Behind by Jacob Berkowitz.
- Books for Ages 7 to 10
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