When I visit with kids and parents about my own books, I’m often asked about books I recommend to young readers. I usually mention my own books first. Because, you know, books about cybernetic llamas don’t sell themselves.
But I do have several other suggestions of books for kids in roughly the same demographic as my readers. I decided it was high time I shared them:
1. Double Vision (Reading Level: 6th Grade and up)
Described as “James Bond for kids,” this series of books keeps the adventure and surprises coming at a rapid pace. The author, F.T. Bradley, has been a big help to me in my own writing endeavors.
2. Captain Underpants (Reading Level: 3rd Grade and up)
If I had to name only one book that got me into reading as a kid, it would be Captain Underpants. The misadventures of the two boys who transform their principal into a bombastic, briefs-wearing superhero has been beloved by kids for over twenty years, and the books were recently made into a movie.
3. Redwall (Reading Level: 5th Grade and up)
I started reading the Redwall books in sixth grade and devoured them like a starving poodle devours cupcakes. The books focus on small forest creatures such as mice, squirrels, and hedgehogs, who live in a medieval society. They go on epic quests, fight intense battles, and desperately try to defend their precious Redwall Abbey.
4. Treasure Island (Reading Level: 8th Grade and up)
There’s nothing wrong with the classics. Written in 1883, this book features adventure on the high seas, a treasure hunt, and an island full of mysteries. Treasure Island created many of the pirate tropes and traditions still seen in books and movies today and features some of my favorite characters in literature.
5. Two Dogs in a Trench Coat (Reading Level: 3rd Grade and up)
Though it hasn’t yet been released (the first book is set to come out next year), this series about two dogs who don a trench coat in order to follow their boy into the human world promises to be a lot of fun. One Scholastic editor recently described it as “the soul and essence of a Looney Tunes short [written] into a middle grade book.” I’m inclined to believe him.
6. Books based on movies, television shows, etc.
One of the best ways to get into reading is to read books based on franchises you already enjoy. Many movies and other media also have book adaptations. For example, there are mountains of Star Wars books, most of which are a lot of fun.
Feel free to email me for more reading recommendations, as these are really just the tip of the iceberg.