Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Do Your Kids Read Independently?

While we're on the subject of which books are most popular with middle-grade readers, I want to ask you parents, grandparents, and anyone who is around children ages eight through thirteen:

What do you children read on their own, without the recommendation of an adult?

Do Your Kids Read Independently?

Do your kids have ideas of their own, or do their reading choices come from adults - their families, teachers, librarians, and so on?

Can We Create a List of Kids' Independent Book Choices?
I'd like to develop a list of what children says are their favorite, independently chosen books ,with one or two sentences from the children themselves as to what books they picked out for themselves and why they like those books. The list can, of course contain books that are published by small presses and "independent" publishers, and self-published, as well as books published by "traditional" publishers.

Free Book Offer
And I'm happy to give a complimentary copy of one of my own books to the first twenty children who help me with this project. You can find information about my books on this blog site and at the books' website:

Difficulty of Finding Selections of Books Kids Choose for Themselves
It's proving difficult (and maybe impossible) to find selections of books that kids have created for themselves without the recommendations of book buying adults and publishers. Even the annual Children's Choice Awards, are based on books donated by publishers. These awards are an annual project of the Children's Book Council and the International Reading Association, which request book recommendations from publishers. About 10,000 children across the USA are asked to choose 100 books from this donated selection. But again, the kids are not given a completely free hand to choose any books they fancy; the initial selection is made for them.  

What Do Your Kids Say?
I realize libraries, bookstores, peer pressure, adult monitoring - all these things -  influence a child's book choices, making an objective choice very difficult to identify. But let's see if we can come up with some interesting attempts at developing a true children's choice of books. And their comments on why they like these books (not why their adult book buyers like these books) would be invaluable.

Let's get a conversation going here. And don't forget the offer of free books to the first twenty kids who participate.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Goodreads Popular Middle-Grade Books—Part 2

The following twenty-five books continue the list began last week. They are the middle-grade books that are appear most often on Goodreads members' bookshelves, ranked in order of popularity.

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events series, #1) by Lemony Snicket

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter series, #6) by J. K. Rowling

Charlotte's Web (paperback) by E. B. White

Matilda (paperback) by Roald Dahl

The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society series, #1) by Trenton Lee Stewart

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl series, #1) by Eoin Colfer

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, #5) by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus series, #1) by Rick Riordan

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games series, #1) by Suzanne Collins

The City of Ember (Book of Ember series, #1) by Jeanne DuPrau

The Phantom Tollbooth (paperback) by Norton Juster

Number the Stars (paperback) by Lois Lowry

Wonderstruck (hardcover) by Brian Selznick

Princess Academy (Princess Academy series, #1) by Shannon Hale

The Tale of Despereaux (paperback) by Kate DeCamillo

Doll Bones (hardcover) by Holly Black

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy series, #1) by Jennifer A Nielsen

The Secret Garden (hardcover) by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, #1) by Jeff Kinney

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles series, #1) by Rick Riordan

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket series, #1) By Roald Dahl

The Outsiders (paperback) by S. E. Hinton

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, #1) by Rick Riordan

Inkheart (Inkworld series, #1) by Cornelia Funke

Tuck Everlasting (paperback) by Natalie Babbitt

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Popular Middle Grade Books on Goodreads

This week I'm posting the first twenty-five books in the list of popular middle-grade books on Goodreads. They are ranked by the number of ratings they have attracted.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, #1) by Rick Riordan

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter series, #1) by J. K. Rowling

Wonder (hardcover) by R. J. Palacio

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter series, #2)

When You Reach Me (hardcover) by Rebecca Stead

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter series, #3) by J. K. Rowling

The Graveyard Book (hardcover) by Neil Gaiman

A Wrinkle in Time (paperback) by Madeleine L'Engle

The Giver (The Giver Quartet series #1) by Lois Lowry

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, #2) by Rick Riordan

Holes (Holes series, #1) by Louis Sachar

The One and Only Ivan (hardcover) by Katherine Applegate

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter series, #4) by J. K. rowling

Liesl & Po (hardcover) by Lauren Oliver

Coraline (paperback) by Neil Gaiman

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (hardcover) by Brian Selznick

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, #3) by Rick Riordan

Breadcrumbs (hardcover) by Anne Ursu

Liar & Spy (hardcover) by Rebecca Stead

Bridge to Terabithia (paperback) by Katherine Paterson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter series, #7) by J. K. Rowling

Ella Enchanted (paperback) by Gail Carson Levin

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter series, #5) by J. K. Rowling

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia series, #1) by C. S. Lewis

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (paperback) by E. L. Konigsburg