Books Suitable for Middle Readers
A Blossom Promise
The Blossoms and the Green Phantom
By Betsy Byars
Holiday House, 2008, $6.95 each
Who Stole Halloween?
By Martha Freeman
Holiday House, 2008, $7.95
One of the challenges facing parents with precocious readers is that when you increase the level of reading challenge, you often increase the adult content of the book.
Here are three books marketed for ages 8 through 12 that you'd be safe sharing with younger students as well.
Betsy Byars continues her delightful series on the Blossom family with "A Blossom Promise" and "The Blossoms and the Green Phantom."
The "Blossom Promise" is the most serious in the Blossom series, as the grandfather in the story suffers a heart attack. While other stories in the series stay light-hearted and keep the "three sugar cubes, please" method of writing going, this story faces the very real issue of aging and failing health; however, Byars expertly deals with the topic by keeping the rest of the story light. The characters are so sweet, innocent, and endearing that they far overshadow the specter of ill health.
"The Blossoms and the Green Phantom" continues the smilefest as the inventor in the family, Junior, utilizes air mattresses and garbage bags to create his own day-glo green UFO. The Blossom family rallies around Junior to make his creation work, and older brother Vern understands that even though his family is materially poor, they are rich in the eyes of his wealthier new friend, Michael.
"Who Stole Halloween?" is another installment in Martha Freeman's series on supersleuths Alex and Yasmeen, best friends and teeny boppers who fearlessly track the clues to find the villains in each story. In this story someone is stealing the neighborhood cats, and Alex and Yasmeen quickly figure out that the cat thief is stealing only cats that the thief feels aren't being properly care for. Through their network of community friends, the children are able to identify the catnapper and return "Halloween" the cat to its owner.
If you purchase any of these fun books for your eager readers, be sure to read them yourself. You'll enjoy sharing smiles with your youngsters as you talk about the ingenious plots.
Read more of Southern Pines writer Charlene Vermeulen's reviews at www.prudereviews.blogspot.com.
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