Sunday, April 24, 2011

Top 5 of Whitcoulls kids' top 50 books that I am going to casually wave under Mr 12 and Mr 13's noses in the hopes that they find their book mojo

List by Whitcoulls

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all."
— Jacqueline Kennedy

Mr 12 and Mr 13 were both reading and writing by the time they turned four years old. They ate books for breakfast, lunch and tea and they enjoyed them all. I remember, about eight years ago, on a family trip home to Wellington Markhiem and Jaxin sang the same song on the way down - and I'm talking an eight hour drive here, folks - over and over: 'A for apple - a a a, B for butterfly - b b b...' complete with actions. It would have driven me mad except that I remember how much they loved to learn. I think that may have been the last time they were excited about reading and writing because, somewhere during their time at school, they lost that. These days I barely see them read. Often I'll hand them books only to hear, 'I'll just watch the movie, thanks.' Slightly disheartening. Every now and then, though, in an effort to help them find their book mojo, I'll not-so-casually bring a few books home and leave them lying around where they'll find them and hope something catches their interest. Sometimes stuff does. Mostly it doesn't and then Mr 7 asks me to read them to him instead. This time around I've requested the top 5 books from The Whitcoulls Kids' Top 50 list. Yes, even The Wonky Donkey. I'm on a mission to help them re-discover books. Whether they want to or not :-/



Matilda / Roald Dahl ; illustrations by Quentin Blake
Matilda longs for her parents to be good and loving and understanding. But they are none of these things. They are perfectly horrid to her. Matilda invents a game of punishing them each time they treat her badly and she soon discovers she has supernatural powers. She applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security.

Geronimo Stilton series / Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo Stilton is the editor of The Rodent Gazette and lives in New Mouse City on Mouse Island and has adventures all around the world.

Cherub series / Robert Muchamore
A series of young adult spy novels about a British organisation named CHERUB (Charles Henderson Espionage Research Unit B) who uses teens as their intelligence officers.

The wonky donkey / words and music by Craig Smith ; illustrations by Katz Cowley
Presents a humorous song about a donkey. Ages 2+. "APRA Children's Song of the Year 2008".

Harry Potter series / J. K. Rowling
A young boy learns that he is a wizard of great importance.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Catalonia. Great to see you trying to get your boys back to books - it can be a tough job at their age! Here are some other suggestions for your young men. Some might be a little young - aimed at 10 pluses - but they are so good I didn't want to leave them out.

Millions
Frank Cottrell Boyce
A bag crammed with cash falls through the air and lands right at Damian’s feet. Suddenly he and his brother are very rich indeed. A funny, touching, brilliantly clever and utterly thrilling novel.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
John Boyne
Bruno knows his father is someone very important but he doesn’t understand why he can’t play with the children living behind the barbed-wire fence. A moving tale of two children on opposite sides of the Holocaust.

Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card
Ender Wiggin enters Battle School at the age of six. There his life is strictly disciplined by mind games and computer battles fought in deadly earnest. Instinct, compassion and genius make Ender a brilliant fighter. But as he trains, an alien invasion draws closer. Ender will be pushed to the limits of endurance, for he has a unique destiny.

The Power of One
Bryce Courtenay
This young readers’ edition of the bestselling novel for adults focuses on Peekay’s childhood. Born in a country divided by racism and hatred, Peekay learns that small can beat big and, armed with this knowledge, he resolves to fight injustice in his own country.

Henry and the Flea
Brian Falkner
Daniel has a special talent that gains him a place in the Warriors. The sudden rise to fame affects his life in many ways and he has to think hard about what friendship really means to him.

Salt
Maurice Gee
Hari vows to save his father from certain death as a slave. Pearl belongs to one of the ruling families. Together they will determine the survival of their people.

In the Sea There are Crocodiles
Fabio Geda
One night before putting him to bed, Enaiatollah’s mother tells him three things: don’t use drugs, don’t use weapons, don’t steal. The next day he wakes up to find she isn’t there. Ten-year-old Enaiatollah is left to fend for himself. In a book based on a true story, Italian novelist Fabio Geda describes Enaiatollah’s remarkable five-year journey from Afghanistan to Italy where he finally managed to claim political asylum.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon
A wise, funny and agonisingly honest book about one boy’s search for the truth. Christopher has Asperger’s Sydrome. When his neighbour’s dog is killed Christopher decides to write a detective novel based on his search for the killer. His quest uncovers more than one secret and forces him to confront a bigger world than he is used to. (Contains course language).

Stormbreaker
Anthony Horowitz
After the death of his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider becomes a superspy. His first assignment is to discover the secret behind the computers that a mysterious multi-millionaire is donating to schools.

Anonymous said...

Part 2:
In the Sea There are Crocodiles
Fabio Geda
One night before putting him to bed, Enaiatollah’s mother tells him three things: don’t use drugs, don’t use weapons, don’t steal. The next day he wakes up to find she isn’t there. Ten-year-old Enaiatollah is left to fend for himself. In a book based on a true story, Italian novelist Fabio Geda describes Enaiatollah’s remarkable five-year journey from Afghanistan to Italy where he finally managed to claim political asylum.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon
A wise, funny and agonisingly honest book about one boy’s search for the truth. Christopher has Asperger’s Sydrome. When his neighbour’s dog is killed Christopher decides to write a detective novel based on his search for the killer. His quest uncovers more than one secret and forces him to confront a bigger world than he is used to. (Contains course language).

Stormbreaker
Anthony Horowitz
After the death of his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider becomes a superspy. His first assignment is to discover the secret behind the computers that a mysterious multi-millionaire is donating to schools.

Silent to the Bone
E.L. Konigsburg
Branwell has remained mute ever since the night he called emergency services to say his baby sister had stopped breathing. When the au pair claims Branwell shook the baby he is sent to a correctional institution.

A Little Piece of Ground
Elizabeth Laird
Karim is a 12 year old Palestinian boy living in Ramallah. His school has been destroyed by Israelis and the family lives an unsettled life dominated by fear. All Karim wants is a little piece of ground on which to play soccer and have a little bit of normality in his life.

Tomorrow When the War Began
John Marsden
Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip to find that their country has been invaded by a foreign power. They become guerilla fighters to save themselves and their families.

Finn and the Big Guy
David Metzenthen
Finn doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence and prefers working with horses to dealing with people. When he starts work as stablehand at a large racetrack he learns how to think outside the narrow world he has inhabited until now. But there is something sinister going on at the racetrack, and Finn must find the courage to take a very unusual course of action.

Trash
Andy Mulligan
In an unnamed Third World country three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city. One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very mysterious. He decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong.

Anonymous said...

Part 3
Seeker
William Nicholson
When three very different teenagers are rejected by the Noble Warriors, an elite order of fighting monks, they follow their destinies together. Part one of a multi-layered fantasy trilogy.

The Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday
Garth Nix
Arthur is meant to die an early death but he is saved by a special key. Mister Monday will stop at nothing to recover the key, even if it means destroying Arthur's world.

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
James Patterson
Max Ride and her friends are only 98 percent human. When they escape from the laboratory the scientists are determined to keep them secret, no matter what.

Hatchet
Gary Paulsen
Brian is city born and bred. When his plane crash-lands in the Canadian wilderness all he is left with is a hatchet and a desperate will to survive. Can he make it?

Wolf Brother
Michelle Paver
Thousands of years ago, in a time of ancient darkness, evil stalks the land. Only Torak, a 12-year-old boy, and his wolf-cub can defeat it. An exciting adventure with elements of fantasy set in prehistoric times.

A Long Way from Chicago
Richard Peck
Joey and his little sister Mary Alice aren’t too excited about their first visit to Grandma Dowdel’s sleepy country town. However Grandma turns out to be a formidable old lady who has a great deal to teach them about life and death. Winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal.

Keeper
Mal Peet
When Paul Faustino interviews El Gato he expects to hear about the soccer star’s World Cup win. What he gets is the tale of a young boy growing up in the middle of a rain forest. A fascinating book that explores the politics of wealth.

Mortal Engines
Philip Reeve
Tom lives in London in a time when cities mounted on giant traction engines prowl the countryside. When he stumbles upon a plot to employ a shocking new weapon, Tom is thrown out of the city to die.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson: school troublemaker and demi-god. When monsters start turning up at school Percy becomes entangled in some Olympian intrigue and rivalry that could destroy the human race.

Holes
Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats comes from a family that has a history of bad luck, so he is not surprised to find himself at Camp Green Lake, a detention centre for boys. But Stanley’s luck is about to change. This novel is funny, surprising and suspenseful, with a thrilling ending.

The Bartimeaus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand
Jonathan Stroud
When Nathaniel, a talented apprentice magician, is humiliated in front of everyone he knows, he summons a powerful djinn to carry out his plot for revenge.