It has been a good long while since I’ve shared a list of the books my kids are reading!
Since my kids were babies I have read to them each night before bed. My 7th grader seems to have aged out of this practice this year.
No, I don’t want to talk about it, but thanks for asking.
My 4th grader is still very much into this nightly routine. Thank goodness. I don’t think my heart could take both of them outgrowing this tradition at one time.
Here are the books he and I have read together recently that are worth recommending. He’s nine, but most of these books would be great for the 8 – 12-year-old range. These are also books that I enjoyed as well…and we don’t need to talk about my age.
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
A baby girl survives a shipwreck. She is raised by a stranger and has a wonderful, but unconventional life. However, the pull to find her birth mother, whom everyone presumed perished in the shipwreck, is strong.
That leads the girl, Sophie, on an adventure to Paris where she meets a group of kids called Rooftoppers. They are homeless children who live on the roofs of Paris. These children provide Sophie the help she needs to find what she’s always been searching for.
Katherine Rundell’s writing is almost poetic. She has a way of describing complex feelings in a relatable, yet poignant way.
Like this quote from the book…
“Mothers are a thing you need, like air, she thought, and water. Even paper mothers were better than nothing – even imaginary ones. Mothers were a place to put down your heart. They were a resting stop to recover your breath.” – the character Sophie, as written by Katherine Russell
My son enjoyed Rooftoppers so much that he told his teacher she should read it to his class!
We’ve read another of Katherine Rundell’s books, The Explorer, and you just can’t go wrong with her stories.
Atlas Obscura is making a second appearance on our reading list. It’s that good! Handy Husband just bought the updated version.
Atlas Obscura is what my son and I read when we are in between books and sometimes he picks it up on his own.
I thumb through the pages as fast as possible waiting for my son to say, “Stop!” Whatever page we land on is what we read. So far, we’ve learned about obscure places on every continent.
Now, I will say, this book doesn’t sugar coat things. It isn’t the kid version. Most of the places listed are benign ones that are a little offbeat or have some obscure historical or cultural reference. A handful of places listed are a little creepy and make you say, “These really exist?” You’ll have to decide whether or not learning about these places is appropriate for your child.
If you want the kid version, click here.
The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery by P.G. Bell
Imagine you are a kid and in the middle of the night, without any death or destruction, a train driven by trolls (yes, trolls!) shows up in your living room. What do you do?
Hop on board!
If you like the idea of a fantastical world, this is the book for you. It had wonder, adventure, action, and suspense. There was also a neat twist at the end where the bad guy turns out to be the good guy.
This book had a ton of action and really detailed scene descriptions, so it would make a great movie!
The only downside, if you are reading it aloud to your kids, is that it felt like a long read if you were only reading a couple of chapters every night. I think that’s because there are a lot of characters in the book and it flips back and forth between plot points. The plot points eventually merge at the end of the book to a satisfying conclusion.
Cold Cereal (Cold Cereal Saga) by Adam Rex
I have to agree with all the reviews that Cold Cereal has a fresh premise. Three kids and a leprechaun (of course!) end up needing to save the world from an evil cereal company.
See what happens when breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
If you are bored with books about Greek or Norse gods, then you’ll be glad this book incorporates Irish folklore and the legends from King Arthur’s time instead.
Books with gods and magic are often pure action and suspense. What I appreciated about Cold Cereal was that it had some humor too.
Cold Cereal is the first book in a three-part series.
The Science Comics books have made an appearance on our reading list before. The book about cats is one of the newest ones and was published in August 2019.
Even my 12-year-old daughter who LOVES cats learned something new by reading this book.
If you’re looking for a gift idea, any of the 20 books in this series would be a good fit for the 8 – 12-year-old crowd. The topics range from weather, to animals, to geology, to the human body.
A Boy and His Bot by Daniel H. Wilson
A Boy and His Bot is about a boy who stumbles into a world that is completely comprised of robots. Even the trees and bugs aren’t trees and bugs as we know them. They are robots!
Unfortunately, the robots are all set to be dismantled by an evil bot who has taken over. Code, the boy in this story, must do what he can to try and save them and find his way home.
This ended up being my favorite book on this list. It was probably my son’s favorite book too. It was filled with so many poignant moments, but it made us laugh out loud several times.
Here’s one of those poignant moments…
“It’s okay, Code. I’m not afraid. Each of us has to follow our own programming.“
“But it doesn’t make any sense!”
“I know. Sometimes things don’t make sense. It’s like when you humans fall asleep at night. It’s just a silly thing. But when it gets late, your eyes start to close…There’s nothing to be done.”
Code couldn’t bear to see his friend disassembled. After traveling all the way across Mekhos, it was unthinkable that they could fail now. There had to be some way out of this. But the Disassembly was here – it was happening right now.
Desperate, Code grabbed Gary by the leg and held on tight.
“I won’t let you go,” said Code.
Gary looked down at Code fondly. “It was you, Code, a delicate little human, who showed me how to be brave. You taught me that each of us must face our destiny -even if the outcome is uncertain. It’s better to do something than to do nothing at all.”
The Kane Chronicles, Book One The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
We are currently in the middle of The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan and my son is OBSESSED. That’s why I am mentioning it before we’ve even finished.
If you like Percy Jackson then this book will be right up your alley. In fact, Rick Riordan is the one who created the Percy Jackson series.
Also, I love books that appeal to both boys and girls. This one features a brother-sister duo who go on a quest to save their dad after he accidentally unleashes an Egyptian god while performing an experiment at The British Museum.
I’ve actually contemplated reading ahead in this book without my son because I want to know what happens! So far, I’ve resisted that urge.
That’s it for this round of books my kids are reading!
As always, I’m happy to learn about other books my kids might enjoy! Do share!
P.S. If you need to reference these books in the future, I have added the books from this post and others to my Shop page. If one is missing there, let me know.
Here are past posts on children’s books we LOVE:
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 11
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 10
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 9
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 8
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 7
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 6
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 5
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 4
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 3
- Books My Kids Are Reading Part 2
- Books My Kids Are Reading Now (Part 1)
- Two Children’s Books That Made My Eyes Leak – Cried my eyes out. Still my favorite books.
- Star Wars Phonics Books – These worked miracles at encouraging my son to read.
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