Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Archive for the ‘Books for Younger Readers’ Category

20 Books for Tween Boys Reading Up

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

One of our lovely users recently commented that while we had lists for tween girls who read “up”, we had no such list for boys. Although we hear about the tween girls reading beyond their level (and age-appropriate material), we rarely hear this about boys. (Scratch head here.) But – that doesn’t mean there are not super-reader boys out there in the same boat! In fact, there are probably LOTS of younger boys who read  “up”, too.

For these boys (and their parents), we Snoops have come up with a list of books that will challenge their minds while still being as close to age-appropriate as possible.

Parents, while browsing this list, don’t forget to read our Scoops to make sure these are a good fit for your child, and be sure to let us know if you have any titles to add  :-)

Happy Reading!

-Shannon, StorySnoop

StorySnoops Summer Reading–It’s a (Tween) Girl Thing!

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Summer is just about upon us!  When hear your first, “Mo-om, I’m bored,” don’t panic.  We have just the thing for you. You’re guaranteed to find something on this list to keep your tween girl engaged. Whether she likes fantasy, chick lit, humor, mystery, or dystopian, we have something for every taste. Also, be sure to check out our summer reading list for boys. And check back for our teen girls list, plus a list of classic summer standards.

Happy Reading!

-The Snoops

“Boy oh Boy” the StorySnoops Summer Reading Lists are here!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

School is almost out for summer!  When hear your first, “Mo-om, I’m bored,” don’t panic.  We have just the thing for you. You’re guaranteed to find something on this list to keep your son engaged, whether he likes fantasy, action, humor, sci-fi, or sports, we have something for everyone.  We’ve got both tween and teen boys covered on this list, and check our upcoming blogs to get the scoop for tween girls and teen gals.

Books for Tween Boys

Books for Teen Guys

Be sure to click on the covers to get the scoop on each book and check out our full list of Summer Reading for tween boys and teen guys.

Earth Day and Books

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Am I mistaken, or was Earth Day even a thing back when I was a kid?  I kind of think not.  I guess I was a kid a really long time ago though :-) I did a little checking on it, and it turns out that it was first celebrated in San Francisco (named after St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology) on March 21st, 1970. It is now celebrated in over 175 countries around the world, with the intention of increasing awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment and resources. I give a big thumbs up for anything that gives our younger generation an opportunity to think about what the Earth has to offer, and how to make it last for generations yet-to-come. So in the spirit of Earth Day this week, StorySnoops has created a list of books for teens and tweens that have environmental themes or environmentally conscious characters—just a little something to reinforce what they’ll be hearing about in school this week. Enjoy!

-Eden, StorySnoop

Old Stories With a New Twist: Today’s Thoroughly Modern Fairy Tales (and they’re not all just for girls!)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I have read a bunch of books for the StorySnoops site with the same kind of a premise – a refreshingly modern day take on a classic fairy tale.  Sounds girly and perhaps a little corny but no! These books feature a Cinderella who is more about empowering herself than she is about marrying her prince; or a brave outcast who faces the Snow Queen in order to save her best friend, Jack; or cousins Jack and Jill who, while on a quest, have many creepy and dangerous encounters in a book which is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying!

If your tween is interested in the new spin on an old classic, the “modern fairy tale”, here are some titles to try:

This list will get you started. We have a similar list for teens coming soon!

Happy Reading :-)

Shannon, StorySnoop

Tried and True, Judy Blume

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Helping out in the school library during my son’s weekly visit is such an eye opener.  Not much as changed in the twelve years I have been volunteering in there. The boys load up on war plane textbooks, graphic novels, and spooky story books, and the girls still love that Warriors series. Some of the books have changed, of course. I love that Wonder and My Life in Pink and Green now have waiting lists!

There is a very (very!) reluctant girl reader in this class who just has it in her mind she will not (or cannot? ) read. For months I have scrambled around, pulling books off the shelf with a ridiculous cheerfulness: (How about this? Or this?).  She would bring the books back the following week, and I suspect she probably never even cracked them open.

Then one day I handed her Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by good ole’ Judy Blume. An oldie but goodie if there ever was one. But there was a BOY on the front cover and she gave me a doubtful looked. She may have even rolled her eyes. But she took it.

This girl was the first one into the library the following Tuesday and exclaiming (I think as much to her surprise as mine) how much she loved it. Victory! When I told her that it was actually the first in a series, she could not believe her luck. She grabbed the next two books in the series and looked seriously conflicted when she came to check her book out.  You see, you can only check one book out at a time, and here she was with a stack of Fudge books she did not want to part with. What if someone checked it out and lost it? What if we put it on hold for her but accidentally gave it away? This poor fretful girl was literally petting her Judy Blume books. A book match was made. A reader was born. And a rule was broken – we let her check out BOTH books :-)

-Happy Reading!

Shannon, StorySnoop

Is it the hormones, or what?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Okay, so I’m happily reading along in a nice little tween book, and I’ve read quite a few of these now, so the general direction of the plot is usually not a surprise.  But before long, when the cute little troubled girl protagonist finally gets adopted by her former step dad, who, as it has been made abundantly clear, can offer her a better life than her unstable mother, I find myself sitting in my car with the book in my lap, sobbing—complete monster tears dripping down the face, nose running…sobbing!  At this point, I am really, really hoping that I don’t see anyone else I know in the school parking lot who might notice that I look like a puffy-eyed crazy woman!  And do I carry Kleenex in my car for just this sort of occasion?  Of course not.

Anyway, once I was able to collect myself, it occurred to me that I was completely losing myself over a book for a ten year old.  Yikes!  I am a forty-something gal, to whom these plot twists are rather predictable.  Books in the 9-12 year old category rarely have a truly sad ending (consider the audience—plenty of time for those books later), and yet, here I am crying my eyes out (and it’s really not the first time, actually).  Why???  In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a tendency to get a bit weepy sometimes in a nice coffee commercial, and I do love a good, trashy teen movie now and again, but I digress.

Maybe, to make myself feel better, I think that I’m crying because with my older, wiser view of the world, I can cry for the happy life that little girl will get a chance to have.  I can cry for the beauty of the step-parent who went above and beyond for a child who was no longer his.  I can cry for that poor mother, who even though she made a lot of mistakes, was still going to lose her daughter to another family.  None of these are thoughts the intended audience of ten year olds is likely to have, so maybe I have some adult insight that makes me cry.  Or maybe I’m just a sap.

-Eden, StorySnoop

Is it just me, or would you cry too? Waiting for Normal

Holiday book help found here!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The shopping season is upon us, and let’s admit it, even the most prepared shopper can use a little bit of help sometimes :-) We’ve already posted our Holiday Gift Guide, which includes many of our favorites from this year. But there are so many books to choose from. Maybe you are looking for an award-winner, or something named on a “Best of 2012″ list by a major book review publication–or how about those few books that fit into all three of those categories? Here are a few other sources that may provide just the inspiration you need to choose a book gift for a young reader in your life.

These immensely readable books have all been School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.

Love a good mystery? The books have either been nominated for, or won the Edgar Award for kids and young adults.

The Schneider Family Book Award is given to books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Kirkus Reviews has just added their favorite children’s books for 2012 to this list.

Perhaps you’d like a book for a tween reader featuring families worth reading about.

These YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults may not be 2012 releases, but they’ve got wide appeal!

How about a book for a teen guy who is a reluctant reader?

The William C. Morris Award winners and finalists are all celebrated first-time authors.

If you know a budding young chef, here are great books with a cooking theme for teens and tweens.

Celebrate baseball! Books about either playing or simply loving the game.

And after all that shopping, here’s a little something for you too: books for teens that will appeal to adults :-)

Happy Holidays!

-The Snoops

This blog’s for you Carly: suggestions for a girl who loves Wendy Mass…

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I saw my young family friend Carly today, and among other things, we had a nice chat about books–what she likes to read and what she is reading in class this year. And she asked me for some suggestions. She is an avid reader and likes books somewhat above her fifth grade level, like so many girls her age. She told me that she loves Wendy Mass, and prefers realistic fiction (though I was trying really hard to sell her on some fine dystopian or fantasy lit :-) ). I thought I would share my official StorySnoops reply to Carly publicly because she is part of a pretty large demographic of girls who have similar reading parameters. So Carly, for you and anyone else who shares your taste in books, here are our collective StorySnoops thoughts for books you might enjoy. These cover a wide range of subjects and all come highly recommended. A couple of them even push the boundary a little bit into the fantasy genre, just in case you want to branch out. And if anyone has anything else to add to this list, don’t be shy!

And of course, in case you haven’t read them all, here’s our list of books by Wendy Mass :-) You may also want to check out this list of books for Tween Girls Reading Up. So much good stuff to read, and so little time. Enjoy, Carly!

-Eden, StorySnoop

Black Friday Book Bonanza!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us!  Is it just us or does it seem like the holiday paraphernalia gets displayed earlier each year?  Do we really need to be able to purchase our holiday gift wrap before Halloween? But now that it’s Thanksgiving, we Snoops are getting in the holiday spirit. And to make your lives easier should you choose to jump into your shopping in a post-turkey-induced coma, we have pulled together our picks that are sure to be a hit with the tween and teen readers on your list, and even a few adults.

Books for Tween Boys

Books for Tween Girls

Books for Teen Guys

Books for Teen Gals

To see our full Holiday Gift Guide, click here for tween boys, tween girls, teen guys, and teen gals. And be sure to check out our list of books for teens adults might enjoy.

Happy reading!

-The Snoops