Great Books for Kids (and the Parents that Love Them)

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

I will be honest and disclose that I often sneak more than a peak at my kids’ books and end up loving them just as much as they do. Below are some of my kids (and my) favorite books and book series.  We have a 11-year old daughter and a 9 year-old son, so their tastes are essentially different, but many of these book series they’ve enjoyed equally.  Remember, Christmas is coming, so grab the link and start adding to your Amazon wish list.

The Time-Traveling Fashionista
The moment I saw the cover of this book, I knew it was for my extra-girly, sparkle-loving daughter. I love the premise of this book series.  I love vintage clothing and fashion history, so the idea that a piece of clothing can take you back in time is too delicious to ignore.  From the deck of the Titanic, Cleopatra’s palace and Marie Antoinette’s court, you visit the style of the time with each page.  Beautifully illustrated, it is an unique way to sneak history into your child’s life.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney has my children entranced with the diary recollections of Greg Heffley.   I can’t tell how many times I’ve discussed Wimpy Kid release dates with other school parents. Released today is the 10th book in the series about the middle school student just trying to keep his head above the fray.  His misadventures, thoughts and opinions about how to be cool and fit in will keep everyone in stitches.

The Dork Diaries 
First, the heroine’s name is Nikki, so I knew she would be awesome.  It’s not a new tale-Nikki is entering eighth grade and she experiences all the anxiety of growing up, but her voice is so funny and accurate to the thought process of her age group that you can’t help but love her and her goal of upgrading her “not so fabulous life”.  The companion website is worth a visit (check it out here);  it’s a great, safe internet space for her readers featuring a tab for “The Dork World” and “Dork Stuff” as well as an “Ask Nikki” column for her fans.  Being a dork has it’s benefits.

Encyclopedia Brown
I added this to the list because this was one of MY favorite book series.  Encyclopedia Brown was the smartest kid I knew and I loved to try to help solve his multiple mysteries.  I was excited to know that E.B. was still around when my kids brought home a couple of books from the school library. Encyclopedia is a classic and I often wonder if my early detective adventures were the seeds for my obsessive predilection to the Law and Order TV show.

Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective
I heard of this book watching Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer on a morning talk show. A poor reader as a child, she suffered with dyslexia, but once she received the proper guidance, she began to love reading.  This mystery series is great middle school fun as Randi and her besties D.C. and Fudge combine their Bruce Lee obsession with mystery-solving prowess. The premise seems comical, but Ms. Spencer explained that she always wanted to be an actress, but thought she might become a detective if that career plan didn’t work out. The Ninja comes into play from her youthful love with Tae Kwon Do, which she admits to not being good at. I love that such a motley collection of interests and ideas can come together in one place.  It is beneficial to teach children that everything they love has value and makes them a more interesting individual. Randi and her fellow ninjas are a fun bunch for the kids to spend a weekend with.