Ms Xie Shi Min's 5 Favourite Books!
I’m Ms Xie and the June holidays are about to start! The holidays are a great way to catch up on the reading you missed out on because you were studying very hard for the exams, right? However, some parents have told me that their children do not like to read, and have asked me for book recommendations. While collating this list, I took the need to get reluctant readers started into consideration and so my list will include one comic book series too.
Here are five of my favourite books which are suitable for the 9 to 12-year-olds!
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
If you like fantasy and Harry Potter, you will like many of the books written by Diana Wynne Jones. Today, I recommend Charmed Life, which is the first book of the Chrestomanci series. In this book, the siblings Eric and Gwendolen Chant go and live with the Chrestomanci, which is the governor of all magic. Gwendolen possesses magical powers and goes all out to commit mischief in the house. When her mischief goes too far, her brother Eric must learn to stop her.
Alactraz and the Evil Librarians series by Brandon Sanderson
If you’re feeling down and feel that you cannot do anything right, then this is the book for you. Alcatraz, who is an orphan, is good at breaking things. Due to this, none of his foster parents have ever wanted him, making him depressed. However, Alcatraz soon learns that he’s actually the descendant of a Smedry, a family that has dedicated their lives to ridding the world of evil librarians. It’s the first book in the series and is full of action, adventure, and a lot of silliness. I can see a lot of boys liking it, but I think girls will enjoy it as well.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Another one of my favourite books is Front Desk by Kelly Yang. In this book, Mia Tang and her parents move to the United States. Her parents are unable to get a job as they do not speak English or have their qualifications recognised. They end up working as cleaners for a motel, while Mia works the front desk and studies at the same time. Mia encounters bullying at school and had difficulty with English. She also has to use her smarts to outwit the mean adults she encounters at the hotel as well as her parents’ boss, Mr Yao. This story shows her perseverance and resilience in a time when her family is struggling.
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
If you love looking at pictures, then this comic series is for you. Emily and Navin move to a new house after their father passes away. Once they settle in, Emily finds an old amulet and puts it on. Soon after, her mother is grabbed by a monster and the children have to do everything they can to save her. Even though it is a graphic novel, you will find vocabulary such as “sizable” and “populous”. Who says that comic books cannot improve your English?
Unbearable by Paul Jennings
If you have a short attention span, then short stories are for you. Although Paul Jennings has written many short story collections, this is the one I recommend. In one of these stories, the main character’s parents promise not to criticise his table manners in front of his father’s boss. However, the plan goes awry when the kid plays a prank on all of them. Jennings’ other short stories are just as enjoyable and you will be yearning for more.
So that’s it! These are the five books that I recommend for June holiday reading. Do you have any books to share with your fellow readers? If so, leave them in the comments below!
Be kind, be curious, and I will see you again soon.
This is Ms Xie signing off.
Ms. Xie is an English Teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. Her best subject has always been English and she's been writing ever since she could hold a pen. Her first book, Dragonhearted, was shortlisted for the Scholastic Asian Book Award in 2014 and published in 2016. It was also shortlisted for the Singapore Book Awards in 2017. She also won the Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award in 2018.