Reading Ahead – February 2009

Spring is coming, and so are the books. It’s hard to believe we’re starting to gear up for summer reading already. There are so many enticing titles in the spring catalogs. It will be fun to see what people send our way. In February, we got more chapter books than anything else.  Because there is so much fantasy/adventure out there,  books in other genres really stand out.

Easy Readers and Illustrated Chapter Books

swallow_her_prideDown on Friendly Acres Series written by Ronda Friend, illustrated by Bill Ross (Sunflower Seeds Press, 2008) These illustrated chapter books offer a story, humor, and recipes. Given the illustrations, varied type sizes, and themes, these look like they have potential for reluctant readers. (AR reading levels range from 3.4 to 4.8)

sword_of_ramuraiOraculous Tales: Sword of the Ramurai written by Becky Ances, illustrated by Ryan Wilson This looks very clever and engaging.  This is more than just historical fiction. Therea are pages  with facts about samurais, sword fighting, and Asian dynasties.  (Flesch Kincaid reading level 3.8)

Middle Grade and Young Adult

swallows_came_earlyThe Year the Swallows Came Early written by Kathryn Fitzmaurice (HarperCollins, 2009) The illustration on the front draws you in (young girl with her hands in the air as swallows fly by.  It also fits snugly in your hands. I like that in books for middle graders. (Flesch Kincaid readability level 4.6)

uncharted_watersUncharted Waters by Leslie Bulion This looks like  a great story for everyone, but it has several hooks that will make it attractive to reluctant readers. For one, the main character has just failed 7th grade English! This is a how-I-spent-my-summer kind of adventure. (Flesch Kincaid readability level 4.1)

sacred_scarabThe Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram The cover for this book reminds me of classic mysteries a la the Hardy Boys. The story, set in Egypt, engages the readers in helping our heroes by decoding some hieroglyphics.  (Flesch Kincaid readability level  4.9)

Picture Books

henry_heron1Henry the Impatient Heron written by Donna Love, illustrated by Christina Ward. Sylvan Dell Publishing always has creative stories wrapped around science lessons. The idea of learning patience is very appealing!  (Flesch Kincaid readbility level 4.6)