Self Proclaimed Book Nerd
I am a self proclaimed book nerd. Before having children I would read 1-2 larger chapter books a week. Now a days I am lucky to read 1-2 a month! Growing up, well lets be honest, still today, my favorite Disney princess is Belle from Beauty and the Beast because I relate to her love of books. Although I own 100 or more books, I am always taking any and all book recommendations. Today I am here to share my top 3 books, not just for kids but also fiction and nonfiction for adults too.
1.Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault
This is a go to when my girls were learning their alphabet. It is such a fun way to get to know the letters and an easy one to memorize when they are learning to read.
2.Bob Books Set by Bobby Lynn Masten
This was one a friend of mine recommended to me to help teach my girls to read. Apparently, this series of books have been out since 1976! They have 11 or more box sets each with different reading levels. We started with the Beginning Readers book set #1. It comes with 12 small books. All the sentences are short with 3 or less letters in each word so kids pick them up super easily. We just started these with my second daughter this last year of preschool and she has at least 4 of the books memorized.
3. Unicorns are real by Haley Hatam.
Unicorns are super popular in my house. When I saw this book on a trip last summer I knew I had to buy it. It’s a cute book about what unicorns are made of and what they like to do.
Young Readers/School age
1. Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott
This one is a short chapter book series about Eva Wingdale, who along with her owl friends, learn different lessons about jealousy, asking others for her, and apologizing when they you hurt people. It’s written in a diary format which my older daughter thought was so fun!
2.A Narwhal and Jelly book series by Ben Clanton
This is a short chapter book series about a “go with the flow” narwhal and his best friend Jelly who is more serious one of them. They both love waffles and going on adventures together. The chapters are written in graphic novel form and include 3 stories per book.
3. A Terrifying Taste of Short and Shivery retold by Robert D. San Souci
This one has 30 “spooky” stories from around the world that San Souci retells. Each story is about 5-6 pages long. It has some illustrations in it and according to my 8 year old “it’s not super scary.” She loved to take this one on road trips where she could pick it up in the car, read one or two stories and go back to playing with her sister.
I want to preface this by saying we are just starting to get into these a little bit ourselves. They are still a little bit over my daughters’ reading level but I am not one to say no when my oldest says she wants to borrow one from the library to try. I felt a little lost on this one but thanks to an Instagram friend, who is also a youth librarian we were able to pick a few.
1.Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
This was one my daughter gravitated toward at the library. It’s about a crime fighting police officer who is, you guessed it half dog and half man. The author also wrote the Captain Underpants books but we haven’t really been a fan of that series yet.
2. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
This is one I’ve seen all over the internet when it came out in 2017. It is a novel about an oak tree named Red, who is the neighborhood wish tree. The people in the neighborhood make wished by writing them on a piece of cloth and tying it to his branches. It tells the important lesson how not everyone is kind to others and how to deal with that. I love when books, especially for children, include special lessons in them.
3. Betty before X by Ilyasah Shabazz
This novel was written by the daughter of Malcom X and Betty Shabazz. She writes about the activism she did starting at age 11 in Detroit, Michigan. She also talks about how Betty worked with the organization called Housewives League that helped with local businesses owned by African Americans. I feel like this novel is still important for everyone because there is still so much racism and unrest in America.
Although they are technically written for teenagers, studies show about 50% of readers are adults. I am in my early 30s and half of my reading is in this genre.
1. Love and other train wrecks by Leah Konen
This novel is about a 24 hour romance between 2 teens who happen to meet on a train that has broken down in a snowstorm. This was such an unbelievable love story because who really falls in love in such a short time? However, it was so easy to get swooped up in the “meet cute” romance that I couldn’t stop reading it.
2. We are Okay by Nina LaCour
The main character, Marin, is in New York in her college dorm during holiday break. Her friend from back home in California comes to visit her and Marin must explain to her why she hasn’t kept in touch and why she doesn’t want to go back home even for the holiday. It is a story about loss of loved ones and the ones that were left betraying her.
3. Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
This novel is the first of a science fiction series. An organization called Babel Corporation recruits the main character, Emmett Atwater and 9 other teenagers to train to travel to the planet of Eden. On Eden, they will mine a material called Nyxia that is worth a lot of money back on Earth. This book gave me Enders Game by Orson Scott Card vibes with the way the teens had to battle each other for the promise of money and fame to the expense of adults.
1. The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn
This is a short story about a fake psychic who is good at figuring out what her clients want to hear, that is till she meets Susan Burke. Susan believes the house her family moved into recently has a troubled spirit living in it and wants it gone. This was one messed up, creepy book. Gillian Flynn is the queen of dark and twisted stories.
2. The Devil’s Eyes by Jennifer Loren
This is a mafia romance novel about Kayla, who loses her sister Braylin and she is left to avenge her death. She meets Nick who has “alluring devil’s eyes.” She needs to get Nick to get her revenge and it leads to her falling for him. This book came out in 2013 and I have fallen in love with the series! It is not your typical Harlequin romance. It has action, drama, the battle between good and evil along with some pretty good romance too. (Little note: not safe to read with children)
3. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
This novel is about 4 children; Cathy, Chris, Cory and Carrie Dollanganger, who are forced to live in their grandparents attic so her recently widowed mother can get the fortune she will receive when her very ill father dies. V.C Andrews made me the book nerd I am today. Her books were so out of the norm that I was finding in my teenage years and I couldn’t get enough.
I just recently gotten into non-fiction thanks to my book club members picking some. I also think I am more apt to read them if I listen to them in audiobook form read by the authors. It keeps me invested more.
1. The Stranger in the woods:The extraordinary story of the last true hermit by Michael Finkel
This is a true story about a man who survived in the woods for 27 years. He broke into nearby cottages, only stealing what he needed to survive. This book was fascinating because I can’t imagine living alone with no one to talk to for a quarter of my life. Also, cold weather is not my friend and apparently Maine has rough winters. It is amazing he never died of hyperthermia. This is also a good recommendation for any man in your life. My husband, who isn’t much of a reader, really enjoyed this one.
2. Talking as Fast as I can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham.
I really only knew Lauren Graham from Gilmore girls and I loved her as Lorelai Gilmore. Reading this gave me more insight into her life before and up to the second installment of the show. I love learning about other people’s lives especially famous actors I grew up watching.
3. Stiff: The curious lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
I gravitate to nonfiction that I am able to learn something from. I always say if I could afford it I would be a professional student. When I was searching my Libby app for a new audiobook and stumbled on this book about what they do with human cadavers I had to check it out. Mary goes in-depth with her research and what is done throughout the whole process, sometimes I would get a little queasy especially when she describes what they do with the bodies when they use them for forensic science research.
I hope this list has helped you find a new book to read with your child and also pick up for yourself. I am always open to other recommendations if anyone has them please share! Happy Reading!