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Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff
The Matchstick Castle is full of pre-pubescent angst, eye rolls, and adventure. Most kids in the 10-12 age range will be able to completely relate to Brian. He feels lost in the shuffle of his family, is a mediocre student, and loves soccer more than anything. When his summer plans (lots of soccer, soda and friends) go awry at the last minute, he has to readjust his expectations and dreams. This book is written in an easy to read, conversational tone which will appeal to kids (and makes it easy to read aloud, which I am currently doing).
From the back of the book:
“Brian can think of a few places he’d rather spend his summer than with his aunt and uncle in Boring, Illinois. Jail, for example, Or an earplug factory. Anything would be better than doing summer school on a computer while his scientist dad is stationed at the South Pole….until Brian and his cousin Nora have a fight, get lost and discover a huge wooden house in the forest.”
My son, Judah (age 19), has been an avid reader since he was 4 years old. He read this when was home over Christmas break. Here is what he had to say.
“This was the perfect example of the classic ageless adventure novel. I would read this type of book as a kid, and today, as an adult I still love reading these books. It had all the right components, two kids who learn to get along, a strange but charming family, and plenty of adventure. I really, really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good read, and a book that can become both treasured and well read.”
For kids ages 3-6 I recommend the Tinyville Town books by Brian Biggs. Tinyville Town is a fun community full of caring people and comical disasters.
When something goes wrong the people of Tinyville Town come together and work out a solution. One of my favorite things about these books is the people come in a variety of colors and it you see men and women both doing important jobs (lady veterinarian, lady police officer).
The Tinyville Town books come in both board books and traditional hardcover.
And if you haven’t already read The Circle read it. This is one book I can’t stop thinking about…