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Recommended Children's Titles / Authors
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Charlottesville, VA
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On the show which aired in Charlottesville, VA on Sat, June 22nd Grant mentioned several Children’s Titles / Authors / Lead Characters he and his son particularly liked. He mentioned that he’d post his list along with any listener’s recommendations on the site. I’m very keen to see it; I’m have several young nieces, nephews, and friends I like to give books to as gifts. I don’t see anything on the site about this topic and am a little concerned that the last episode posted was from April. Perhaps I’m just not looking in the right spot on the site??? Is there normally a long lag time for content to be posted to the site? Thanks to anyone who has some info to share.

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My son really likes the Henry and Mudge books by  Cynthia Rylant. The stories always lead somewhere, have some sort of learning opportunity and usually has some humourous event involving Mudge getting everyone wet, eating cookies, or drooling all over the place.  

Ron Draney
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I too have been waiting for the forum to catch up with recent shows, but in the meantime I’ll offer a few suggestions for when Grant’s son is just a few years older (and those whose kids are already at the appropriate ages can use the references right away):

  • Seven books, beginning with Half Magic, by Edward Eager. Each book concerns a different group of children who stumble across some kind of magical charm or spell, and have adventures while dealing with the fact that the magic is just a little bit “off” (e.g., in Half Magic, the magic coin grants exactly half of what is wished for, so if a child wishes the group to be in Paris, the coin may send them to the middle of the Atlantic, or may send just half the group there, or maybe drop them off in some place with a name that’s just half of the word “Paris”). If you follow the whole series, you stumble across scenes where the current set of characters meet up briefly with the kids from the other books.
    I’ve been told that the style of Eager’s books is very similar to Evelyn Nesbit
  • The Diamond Cave Mystery by Troy Nesbit (no relation to Evelyn as far as I’m aware). There are undoubtedly others in the series, but I vividly remember reading this Hardy Boys-like story where the young heroes try to find a stash of diamonds by solving riddle-like clues discovered in and around an old Bible.
  • The “Alvin Fernald” series by Clifford B Hicks. Alvin’s a boy genius along the general lines of Encyclopedia Brown, and it’s Alvin’s Secret Code that first sparked my interest in cryptography when I was very young.

Others will undoubtedly occur to me, but I thought of all three of the above while listening to the segment that inspired this thread.

New River, AZ, USA
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If the kids are of a scientific bent, the Tom Swift series by Victor Appleton is still in print. Just checked Amazon and many are also available in e-book form. Tom was a scientific child prodigy, and each book centered around one of his recent inventions. Some were practical, others more sci-fi, but all were believable to me at that age (I read most of them in grade school). The story line centers less around the invention process, and more about the adventures it got him into. Never got too geeky. No equations or obscure jargon.


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