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Registered Members => Book Talk => Topic started by: andracill on March 13, 2014, 08:50 AM

Title: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 13, 2014, 08:50 AM
My daughter is really discovering her love of books.  She's 10, and her reading has increased tenfold this past year.  She read Steph Blake's THE MARBLE QUEEN (and loved it), Kate Messner's MARTY MCGUIRE books (and loved those -- though she's now beyond them, sadly), and is currently halfway through Jennifer Gill's THE SECRET OF FERRELL SAVAGE (and loving it).


I'd say these all have a couple things in common:  they're realistic, contemporary, have strong characters -- and they have at least a hint of humor (often subtle). I'd love to know about other books that fit in this category to offer her.  Sadly, my familiarity with books extends to mostly YA, so I've felt a bit like she's on her own.  Any thoughts from well-read Blueboarders?  (And yes, if you have a book of your own that fits this, I'd love to hear about it!)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Mike Jung on March 13, 2014, 09:59 AM
Audrey Vernick's WATER BALLOON and SCREAMING AT THE UMP; anything MG by Lisa Yee, starting with MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS; Trent Reedy's STEALING AIR; Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich's 8TH GRADE SUPERZERO; Mary Lindsey's MY BIG SISTER IS SO BOSSY SHE SAYS YOU CAN'T READ THIS BOOK; Greg Pincus's THE 14 FIBS OF GREGORY K.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Helen on March 13, 2014, 10:03 AM
She might enjoy 'A Crooked Kind of Perfect' by Linda Urban  or 'Waiting for Normal' by Leslie Connor.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Barbara Etlin on March 13, 2014, 10:59 AM
VANISHED by Sheela Chari (mystery involving a musical instrument), TOUCH BLUE  and RULES (and probably HALF A CHANCE, which I haven't read yet) by Cynthia Lord.

I second the recommendation of A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT and would add HOUND DOG TRUE, also by Linda Urban.

THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary D. Schmidt (okay, it's set in the 60s, but it's a realistic, laugh-out-loud funny, novel about a kid and his relationship to his teacher, and how literature broadens his perspective on life.  Funny but deep.) Really, it's one of my all-time favourite books.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: jeanne k on March 13, 2014, 12:53 PM
I'll second Lisa Yee's MILLICENT MIN and the others in that literary universe. My daughter is 10.5 and sped through all of them in about a week.

She also really enjoyed anything by Wendy Mass (the 11 BIRTHDAYS series, A MANGO SPACED SHAPE, EVERY SOUL A STAR).
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 13, 2014, 02:18 PM
Wonderful recs -- thank you!  I've read a couple of Lisa Yee's books (those are good -- but I'm glad for the reminder, as I'd forgotten).  I also enjoyed Linda Urban's CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT, so that's another good reminder.  Some of these others sound great, and I'll be looking for them -- thank you! :)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: olmue on March 13, 2014, 02:54 PM
She's probably already read The Penderwicks, no? She might like some Gordon Korman--he has a zillion books out and they are realistic and funny. We really liked Schooled and also Ungifted. She might like Flipped, by Wendelin van Draanen. One of my favorite MG books of all time is Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It's VERY funny, and contemporary, and has heart, too. She might like Daddy Long-Legs (Jean Webster)--it was contemporary when it was written, anyway. The Healing Spell, by Kimberly Griffiths Little, or Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams. Or the Casson family books, by Hilary McKay. (Saffy's Angel is the first.) As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins (this one is much more plot-based than the slice of life on that won the Newbery). Any of Kurtis Scaletta's books, esp. the mushroom one or his latest, Winter of the Robots.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Vijaya on March 13, 2014, 05:26 PM
A terrific thread ... but what can I add? How about Richard Peck, Blue Balliet, Kate di Camillo, Laura Amy Schlitz. My daughter, who seems to have the same tastes as yours has loved KdCs and LASs fantasy. It was more magic realism.

But here are Marcia's book reviews: http://marciahoehne.blogspot.com/search/label/Book%20Talk Mostly MG. My daughter has loved almost everything from her list ... gee, maybe Marcia should do the book shopping for her.

Happy reading.
Vijaya
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Vonna on March 13, 2014, 06:38 PM
PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE by Cynthea Liu was a lot of fun, and I loved, loved, Meg Wolitzer's THE FINGERTIPS OF DUNCAN DORFMAN, about a bunch of kids at a Scrabble tournament (still MG, but a slightly older sensibility). I'm sure I could think of a few dozen more, but I'll also second THE HEALING SPELL, also with a touch of magic realism.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Barbara Etlin on March 13, 2014, 07:05 PM
HOOT by Carl Hiaasen.  :love4:
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 13, 2014, 07:32 PM
These are wonderful -- and I can't believe I forgot about Sarah's book (um, which I own)!  Thank you for the link to Marcia's page too :)

You all are amazing!
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Natalie on March 13, 2014, 07:36 PM
Great recommendations in this thread!

Others to note: MY BASMATI BAT MITZVAH by Paula Feedman, AFTER IRIS by Natasha Farrant, DRITA MY HOMEGIRL by Jenny Lombard, and THE LEMONADE WAR series by Jacqueline Davies. If your daughter is willing to try a bit of fantasy, I'd also recommend RULES FOR GHOSTING by Ammi-Joan Paquette, and Anna Staniszewski's MY UN-FAIRYTALE LIFE series.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: W. L. Decker on March 13, 2014, 07:54 PM
Hi Robin,


I remember when my daughter discovered fiction books! She too read quickly beyond her age and I found her reading YA books at 12. I tried to read everything before she did so I knew if the books were appropriate or not. However, "I" could not keep up with her. LOL She was reading Ellen Hopkins by 14 and I had not even been there yet.


As you probably know, SWEET TEA is a YA book, and it is "realistic fiction." The protagonist is 16. Maybe you can check it out and see if you think it is appropriate for you DD!


W.L.

Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 13, 2014, 09:09 PM
Even if it's not right now, she'll probably enjoy it when she's a bit older.  :)  (She's not like your daughter -- she's definitely reading close to her age, and she's not interested [yet] in the angst and romance which tends to come with many teen books.  But i'm sure it'll come...)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on March 13, 2014, 10:18 PM
I was just thinking of Natalie's FLYING THE DRAGON, and there she is, several comments above me.   :dancer
 
Lisa Schroeder's MG books are great, too (her cupcake trilogy, and she has a new girls' series coming out in May).
 
Has she read Kate Messner's other MG books?
 
Oh, and DUMPLING DAYS by Grace Lin is a cute cultural story.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: JennaWren on March 14, 2014, 03:41 AM
Adding any of Donna Gephardt's books too!
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Stephanie J. Blake on March 14, 2014, 07:19 AM
Thanks for the mention. :)

Your little cutie pie would probably like anything by Barbara O'Connor, especially HOW TO STEAL A DOG and GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE. Also, has she read NEIL ARMSTRONG IS MY UNCLE AND OTHER LIES MUSCLE MAN MCGINTY TOLD ME? That book is hilarious. Man, I love that book. There are the Ramona books, too. And Jerry Spinelli has a couple of good ones like EGGS and THIRD GRADE ANGELS
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: dinalapomy101 on March 14, 2014, 08:08 AM
So many of my favorite MG authors have already been mentioned here!
I would add:
Wendy Maass
Sheila Turnage (her TUPELO LANDING duo is hysterical and great mysteries!)
Jody Feldman (the GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES is amazing, and the sequel is coming soon!)
Anna Staniszewski's DIRT DIARY
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 14, 2014, 01:29 PM
She read (and loved) the GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES.  She's a bit too old for most of Beverly Cleary's books, and sadly, when she was at the right place to read them, she hadn't discovered her love of reading yet!

I'll look for Barbara O'Connor.  She loved Lisa Schroeder's Cupcake books too, but I didn't realize there were any other MG Schroeder books out?  We have CAPTURE THE FLAG by Kate Messner, and I just need to remind her of it (I think she'll like it, though).

All these names are wonderful -- now I need to start requesting them at the library in groups so she'll have a steady diet.  Thank you all so much!
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: HDWestlund on March 14, 2014, 01:37 PM
One of my favorite brand new books this year: HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL by Robin Herrera.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on March 14, 2014, 10:20 PM
Lisa Schroeder has a new 4-book MG series, Charmed Life. The first 2 books are coming out on May 27th, she said.
 
My favorite book by Kate (so far) is The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Sugar and Ice is great, too.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Natalie on March 15, 2014, 05:23 AM
ChristinefromCorona wrote:
I was just thinking of Natalie's FLYING THE DRAGON, and there she is, several comments above me.   :dancer



Thanks, Christine. :-)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 15, 2014, 12:09 PM
Hi, Christine -- I've read both the tween books by Kate, and if E likes CAPTURE THE FLAG (which I *think* is slightly younger?), then those will be next.  They're a little more angsty than I think she's ready for yet (even though they're not that angsty, really).

Again, thanks for all these wonderful suggestions -- I especially love all the BB books I get to find!
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on March 15, 2014, 10:19 PM
You're welcome, Natalie.   ::-)
 
I thought all 3 of those books are MG.   :eh2   (Maybe just because they're shelved in that section.)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: dinalapomy101 on March 16, 2014, 10:31 AM
Robin, how could I forget Lisa Greenwald? MY LIFE IN PINK & GREEN might be a good fit!
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 16, 2014, 12:35 PM
Thanks, Deena -- I'll look for it! :)

Christine, I haven't read CAPTURE THE FLAG, so it might be MG.  But the other two are tween (which I know because I've read them) -- since tween isn't necessarily separated, they're often found in MG areas.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on March 16, 2014, 10:29 PM
I think Capture the Flag (and the next book, Hide and Seek) are probably tween, too. And the action is so non-stop, it tired me out just reading about it.   ;)   
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 17, 2014, 08:35 AM
That's good to know -- I'll have to see what E thinks.  (She started CtF, but she's not that into heavy action...)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on March 17, 2014, 03:06 PM
Well, they're mysteries, so there's a lot of searching for clues, chasing and being chased.    :)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 18, 2014, 07:32 AM
Sounds right up *my* alley...but maybe not hers (she says she's still reading it, but she also started another book). ;)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on March 18, 2014, 10:21 AM
I remembered another good one from last year--Destiny Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice. 
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 18, 2014, 03:59 PM
Thanks, Christine :)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Mike Jung on March 18, 2014, 04:05 PM
You might consider Kristen Kittscher's THE WIG IN THE WINDOW.
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on March 18, 2014, 06:38 PM
Thanks, Mike -- I'll find it.  :)
Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: Jennifer D G on April 26, 2014, 05:39 PM
How have I missed this thread until now? Thank you for the mention, Robin, and I'm so happy to hear that E liked Ferrell Savage.

Has she read All Alone in the Universe? I would have loved it at that age.

Crooked Kind of Perfect is another favorite.

Has she read Tom Angleberger's books yet?


Title: Re: Books like Jennifer Gill's and Steph Blake's
Post by: andracill on April 26, 2014, 09:25 PM
I definitely need to look into your suggestions, Jennifer :grin3  Thank you, dear friend!