Three Books That Deserve More Hype
While I’m sure some are talking about these books, I think they deserve even more hype. They have made my summer reading a treat! All three are quite different, although I would suggest them for the same age range: 4th-8th grade. They would be excellent additions to your classroom library.
1. The Inventor’s Secret (Cragbridge Hall #1) – by Chad Morris
Time travel books often follow the same predictable plot, rarely bringing anything new for readers. This book is a triumphant exception to this pattern. Chad Morris’ first book in the Cragbridge Hall trilogy (all three are now available) brings the reader into the year 2074, where an invention called “The Bridge” can bring the past into today’s classrooms. But can people reverse this and head back into the past themselves? And if so, what are the consequences? The two protagonists, Abby and Derek, have to deal with this possibility and figure out how to keep this technology out of the wrong hands. Students who enjoyed Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or other fantasy series will latch on to this book.
2. The Thickety: A Path Begins – by J.A. White
If writing time travel books is difficult to do well, writing something truly scary is almost impossible. Doing so in a children’s book? Unheard of. In The Thickety: A Path Begins, J.A. White creates an isolated dystopian town where Kara, daughter of a convicted witch, struggles to escape her past. While this sounds like a typical storyline, this book’s appeal comes from Grace, Kara’s rival, a girl who seems sweet but is truly evil. The scenes with Kara and Grace begin as intense and end as terrifying. Students who are looking to branch out from Goosebumps or other scary stories would love this book.
3. The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez – by Peter Johnson
You might guess this book focuses on Benny, a twelve-year-old boy who loves exploring new words and phrases. You’re right, but it’s the secondary characters that drive this book. Benny’s dad loves scaring Benny’s friends in hilarious ways. Benny’s older sister Irene, unlike the typical older sister character, truly loves her brother and shows it. Claudine, the smart girl in class, has a vulnerable side and always keeps the reader wondering. Benny’s buddies, his brother Crash, the “hot” teacher, and Irene’s unusual boyfriend make each scene in this book entertaining and real. A great book for boys who have become interested in girls (or want to be), Peter Johnson’s book definitely belongs in your classroom library.
Enjoy these suggestions! Let me know what you think!