I Love Reading: 6 Books & 6 Authors to Hook Your Child to Reading in 2016

The holidays have absolutely flown by and I hope everyone has had a good break! Christmas is only 3 days away and 2016 is fast approaching too. Some good news to share with everyone for 2016: My family and I will be welcoming one more bundle of joy next year and I will also be working on an Oral guide for upper primary pupils in 2016. Due to these new commitments, I apologise in advance for the slower pace that this blog is going to have. However, I will still be trying my best to post up tips that are practical and helpful at least once a month! Thank you for your support and understanding (:

The Lil' but Mighty blog is going to resume today and I am going to start by continuing my "I Love Reading" series. Instead of writing about how to make reading books more purposefully in this post, I will be recommending a list of 6 books written by 6 different authors. The reason for doing so is that books make excellent Christmas presents and even if you do not celebrate Christmas, I think giving your child an exciting and interesting book as a motivational gift for 2016 will be a great idea too!

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The list of books and authors below have received great reviews from their readers, some of whom are teachers and children; and some of these books are prize winners as well. The best part is that they can all be found in our libraries (: Do a search at the National Library Board's catalogue and you should be able to locate them. Hence, for parents who would prefer borrowing books or to let your children sample the book before buying it, you can always access these books from the library.

I have included the recommended reading level for the books as well but do note that they are just an indicator and not to be strictly adhered too. If your child is an advanced reader, feel free to let them read something which maybe pitched for a higher grade. Bear in mind that reading is not just for learning about writing but very importantly, enjoyment too! Hence, even if your child is past the recommended reading grade for the book but is a reluctant reader, let him or her pick any book below that interests them just to grow their love in reading.

Are you ready? Here we go!

1) Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (The Fudge series of books)
Recommended level: Primary 3 and above  

Judy Blume has been writing children's books since I was a child and until today, her books are still funny, real and relatable to a child reading her book. "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" is the first book in a collection of five books that revolve round Peter Hatcher and his little brother, Fudge. Other books in this series include "Otherwise known as Sheila the Great" and "Superfudge". 

Summary from the back cover:

"Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think that Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he does. What will the tiny terror do next?" 

Pick up this great read from the Book Depository now!

2) Frindle by Andrew Clements
Recommended level: Primary 3 and above

By Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements is a popular author whose books have successfully hooked many young children with his humour and interesting storylines. "Frindle" is his debut novel in 1996 and has won numerous awards across America. The story is easy to read and flows well through the chapters. Its main character, Nick is one who is not a rebel but enjoys trying out new ideas, sometimes at the cost of breaking rules. I definitely would want to be a child in Nick's class, just to see what new ideas are up his sleeve. Other hot favourites by Clements include "No Talking", "Lunch Money" and "The Landry News".

Summary from the back cover:

"He really just likes to liven things up at school --- and he's always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learnt some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever... the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there's nothing Nick can do to stop it."

Pick up this great read from the Book Depository now!

3) Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Recommended level: Grade 4 and above

By R. J. Palacio

Wonder is a book that I have heard so many people talk about! I remembered that it was one of NLB's recommended books when they did an assembly talk in school a couple of years ago. The story is told from the perspectives of several characters including Auggie, the main character, a 10-year-old boy who is born with a facial deformity, Auggie's sister, her boyfriend and others. I like that it is not just a well-written book but one that helps children (even adults) to learn about empathy, friendship, understanding and being yourself. Other books by Palacio in this series includes "Auggie and me" and "365 Days of Wonder".  

Excerpt from the first chapter: Ordinary

"I know I am not an ordinary ten-year-old kid, I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids won't get stared at wherever they go."

Pick up this great read from the Book Depository now!

4) The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (Series)
Recommended Level: Primary 3 and above

Star Wars fever is here! I thought it is quite the perfect time to introduce this book to your children especially if he or she is a fan of Star Wars given that the movie is all the rage now. Or if your child enjoys reading journal-style storybooks like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this series of books by Tom Angleberger will definitely be a hit for them too! What makes it even more fun is that there are origami instructions at the back of the book to make the origami Yoda or other characters in the series.

One thing to take note of is that in this very first book, certain vocabulary like "You weirdo. Bejeezus. Crap." were used and parents may wish to remind children about the use of such language during writing. The good news is that from the second book ("Darth Paper Strikes Back") onwards, the language improved significantly and many parents have shared how their reluctant readers were hooked, even 12-year-olds. 

Summary from Book Depository

"In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, Tommy assembles this first case file in the blockbuster bestselling Origami Yoda series..."

Pick up this great read from the Book Depository now!

5) The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (39 Clues Series)
Recommended Level: Primary 4 and above

Rick Riordan is the author of the famous Percy Jackson books and other fantasy books for young readers. If your children have been hooked on his books, this will be an exciting series of mystery books to introduce to them. In the "39 Clues" series, each book is actually written by a different author while the plot and main characters are constant. Hence, this is also a good chance to introduce different authors to your children. As a mystery with multiple clues surrounding famous people, the adrenaline and fun factor are definitely present for the readers and make it an addictive read.

Summary from the back cover:

"What would happen if you discovered that your family was one of the most powerful in human history? What if you were told that the source of the family's power was hidden around the world, in the form of 39 clues? What if you were given a choice - take a million dollars and walk away... or get the first clue? If you are Amy and Dan Cahill, you take the Clue - and begin a very dangerous race."

Pick up this great read from the Book Depository now!

6) Holes by Louis Sachar
Recommended level: Primary 4 onwards

By Louis Sachar

A Newbury Award and National Book Award winner, Louis Sachar's book, "Holes" is full of suspense as readers follow the main character, a wrongly-accused boy named Stanley, to a juvenile detention centre where he had to dig holes to build character. However, there is more to it than meets the eyes as the hole-digging is merely part of the agenda of the warden with snake-venom-painted nails. Not only is there action, there is also humour as readers unravel the mystery behind it all. Other well-received books by Louis Sachar include "There's A Boy In The Girls' Bathroom" and a follow-up to "Holes", titled "Small Steps".

Summary from the back cover:

"Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A horrible curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing- great-great-grandfather and continues to curse the Yelnats through the generations. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center. Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day, digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there is an awful lot of holes. But what could be buried under a dried up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humourous tale of crime, punishment and redemption." 

Pick up this great read from the Book Depository now!


I hope that this list has been useful and that starting your children's new year with a good book that will hook them may just grow them into more avid readers. Whether it is to improve their linguistic abilities or just in cultivating a love for the language, reading is definitely one of the essentials for a child to learn English!

If you are thinking of growing your library of children books, you can view our recommended list by our lil' ones and teachers. These are children books we love, and once you have read them, you will fall in love too.