Want to further inspire your kids using subjects they are already interested in? I happened across a GREAT book at Goodwill called Great Books About Things Kids Love, and it helped me find some great books for my DS (10yo) that focused in on his interests. The books that I chose are mostly fiction because he has been able to find plenty of non-fiction on the subjects he enjoys, but the book does list both Fiction and Nonfiction choices. They have topics such as inventing, aliens, dinosaurs, cooking, math, art, etc… – you get the idea. The author also lists the number of pages in the book, the appropriate age range as well as the type of book (Picture book, fiction, nonfiction, biography, etc…)
Want to know some of the books that I recently chose for my son? Now keep in mind that all of these were chosen for their length (under 100 pages so designed to be a quick read) and the subject matter.
(Listed under Science Experiments & Inventions) This story is about an 8 year old little girl who loves inventing and does so with careful note-taking. Then a new boy arrives and they try to outdo each other.
(Listed under Zoo Animals and Others) This story is about a little girl that auditions for a play in her school, but the only part that she wants is the part of Tarzan. Luckily she has a yell that lands her the part, but the yell seems to be a magnetic pull to animals in the area. The night of the play is also the night that a circus is in town, so I’m hoping that my son finds this tale entertaining.
Troll with No Heart in His Body and Other Tales of Trolls, from Norway
(Listed under Folklore & Fantasy) This book was chosen because of the subject of Trolls and also because we are studying the location of the Nordic Countries right now. There is a warning that the book is not suitable for bedtime reading because trolls are not always the nicest of creatures.
Aliens for Breakfast
(Listed under Ghosts, Aliens, and UFOs) This story begins with a little boy named Richard who finds a tiny alien in his breakfast cereal. The alien is trying to warn Richard that there is an evil alien who has come to take over the earth. According to Books Kids Love, there is some funny dialogue.
Bad Guys: True Stories of Legendary Gunslingers, Sidewinders, Fourflushers, Drygulchers, Bushwhackers, Freebooters, and Downright Bad Guys and Gals of the Wild West
(Listed under Cowboys, Cowgirls, and the Wild West) Well, isn’t that a mouthful? While my son isn’t normally that interested in cowboys, I thought that the title sounded just interesting enough that it might draw him in. This is also one of the few nonfiction books in this batch.
Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic
(Listed under Explorers and Adventurers) This is another Nonfiction, but we love Mr. Popper’s Penguins so this Picture Book Biography seemed a good choice to find out more about the Antarctic. I do find it interesting that the book is listed as ages 6-10, but Amazon lists it as 4th grade and up. Hmmm….I suppose that we’ll have to make up our own mind when we read it. Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t allowing me to share the picture.
Sword of the Samurai: Adventure Stories from Japan
(Listed under Knights and Castles) My kids are both fascinated by Japan and of the Samurai soldier, so this seems like a natural book for us. There are 11 fictional stories that have martial arts woven into the tales.
Stories to Solve: Folktales from Around the World
(Listed under Brain Teasers and Riddles) This book contains 14 “mini-mysteries” that allows children the opportunity to stretch their brain and see if they can figure out the solution. The answers are listed on the following page. This author has at least 2 follow up books that we will look into if we enjoy this one.
What’s Cooking, Jenny Archer
(Listed under Cooking) In this book, Jenny Archer decides to start making her own lunch when she decides that she doesn’t care for what the school cafeteria is serving. Her friends like what she’s preparing so much that when they ask her to prepare theirs too, a business is begun.
(Listed under Games, Hobbies, Toys, and Magic Tricks) This is a fictional account of a little boy who loves Houdini and has a chance meeting with him. Houdini bequeaths a box to the boy that he discovers the meaning of after he is grown up.
As you can see, there are LOTS of categories hidden within the pages of this fabulous book. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have this goldmine when the kids were younger as the resources listed are for ages 3 – 14. I highly recommend this book as an addition to your bookshelf – it makes finding new books that interest them so much easier – even if just used as a jumping off point. So, Make sure to check out Great Books About Things Kids Love!