Ho-Ho-Ho! I thought about trying to wriggle down the chimney for this final book review for kids, but given that I had three series stuffed into my bag, I figured I wouldn`t fit through the flue. That`s right, three series. It was a tie for the twelve and over age range. These three authors, and their books, made it down-right impossible for me to pick one favorite over another, so I stopped trying and simply decided to run with all three since each deserves a recommendation. If you have a young adult in the house, and they`ve never had the pleasure of reading the trio of book sets coming along, do order them for your soon-to-be or already is a teen, because each series has unforgettable characters and stories that will thrill older kids as well. Okay, let`s get this literary jingle-bell hop hopping!
The Harry Potter Series
What can I possibly say about Harry and his buddies that hasn`t been said already? This is one of the best series of books that I`ve ever read, period. Ms. Rowling spins a wonderful and dramatic story centered on the young wizard, Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The world of Hogwarts School, the inhabitants and the villains are forever etched into our world and conscious. There is everything a reader would want in the Potter books. Action, adventure, scary moments, love, loss, drama, humor, dragons, magic, Quidditch ( A game played on flying broomsticks) Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and one of the most memorable bad guys ever to slither across the earth – Lord Voldemort. I`m not scared to say his name. And, if I recall correctly, the Potter books are accepted in the Accelerated Reader (Or AR for short) program that many schools participate in. A win – win for kids and parents alike!
The Percy Jackson Series
Ah, Percy. I do adore your series so. As does my daughter and many of her friends. I know, this may sound a little biased coming from me, but this series of books about the young demigod son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, may just eek past Potter for me. And here is why, aside from my obvious love of all things Greek. This series teaches as it entertains. And the kids won`t even realize that they`re learning, but they are! Rick Riordan, who has inspired me more than I can say in my own upcoming series of Grecian-flavored books, does a tremendous job of taking those dusty old Gods we were forced to read about in high school and breathing new and hip life into them. Do they use the term hip anymore?? Well, whatever term the kids use, these books are it! Percy, Annabeth (The daughter of Athena and a mortal man) Grover the satyr and all the kids at Camp Half-Blood will take readers on a chariot ride jam-packed with gods, monsters, pens that become swords, laughter, sadness, close calls and first kisses. And just like Mister Potter, the Percy Jackson books are also in the Accelerated Reader program.
The Hunger Games Trilogy
The story of Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year-old girl who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where the countries of North America once were, will move your tween - or teen - or even you to tears. Then, before your cheeks are dry, you find yourself cheering Katniss on as she steps in for her younger sister to participate in the Hunger Games, a yearly televised event where participants aged twelve to eighteen, from every district of Panem, engage in a battle where only one can survive. These three books will have you gasping, laughing, weeping and, at times, sitting in stunned silence. Written by Suzanne Collins, the trilogy moves through the story of Katniss, but also addresses the unrest that is bubbling up in the Districts that surrounds the Capitol. Katniss, Peeta, Gayle and Haymitch will become beloved friends as you race, and I do mean race, to turn the pages. The books have an incredibly compelling life-or-death plot. They are wildly entertaining and at times disturbing. I do wish to point out that the books deal with a very violent premise - teens forced to fight each other to the death to survive using whatever means are necessary. There is very little physical romance. I have seen some comments about the violence, which would probably be rated PG-13 nowadays, but I did want to mention that in case any parent may have qualms. I myself had no problem letting my daughter read them, but others may. The Hunger Games are also included in the Accelerated Readers program.
For more information on the AR program.
To find which books are on the AR list.
And that wraps up my Word of Mouth for Kids reviews. I hope they`ve helped folks find a book, or two or even three, for their children or grandchildren for the upcoming holidays. As you can tell I am an avid voice for reading to your children and encouraging a love of reading early in their lives. In this day and age of text talk and Twitter, where the attention span of kids seems to get taxed if they go over a hundred and forty characters, reading is more important than ever. So I`ll leave you with a quote from Ronald Dahl`s book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ that you may, or may not, agree with.
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray
Go throw your TV set away
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”