I admit it. I’m leaving Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series off of this list because it’s hard to find folks who haven’t heard of them already. This list includes graphic novels and chapter books and one nonfiction book. (Don’t miss #12. It’s great.)
2. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (Ages 10-12, Grades 5-7) For a year I’ve been finding these all over the house.
3. D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri D’Aulaire and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire We have one myth-obsessed reader. I could do a lengthy post on various mythology based books alone, but I’m already 3 into this list.
4. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (Ages 8-12) I can’t figure out how to do the little tilda to correctly spell “Munoz” on this site. My daughter read this for her book club, and then read it again a couple more times.
5. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan (Grades 5 and up) (But my daughter and many of her 4th grade classmates love it, so.)
6. The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey (Grades 2-5, Ages 7-10) I have a second-grade-boy and a fourth-grade-girl, and they both get excited when a new one of these Bad Guys books appears in that Scholastic handout they bring home from school.
7. Mr. Pants: Slacks, Camera, Action! by Scott McCormick, illustrated by R.H. Lazzell (Grades K-3) I’ve mentioned this one before because my son chortled through it the first time and immediately read it again.
9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (teen/young adult) My husband heard a review of this on NPR I think, and he bought it. Then he accidentally left it on an airplane. I picked up another copy for him, and when I did, I had our daughter with me. She started reading it in the car and would not relinquish it until she had finished it. Then she read it again. It seems it might be intended for a slightly older audience than fourth graders, but too late now, I guess.
10. The Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey (Ages 7 and up, Grades 2 and 3) My kids tried Pilkey’s other big series, Captain Underpants, but didn’t really take to it. This one, however, has been a big hit.
11. The Secret Coders series by Gene Luen Yang (Ages 8-12, Grades 4-6) (Okay, but my 2nd grader really loved them, too.) A friend of mine told me about this series, and my kids sped through them and then turned around and sped through them again.
12. Animals of a Bygone Era: An Illustrated Compendium by Maja Safstrom (I can’t get the umlauts working on here, either; Maja’s last name isn’t spelled correctly.) My cousin’s kids picked this out for our 2nd grade boy, and let me tell you something: this is a GREAT gift. It’s nonfiction, and it’s full of interesting facts. My son kept reading aloud with astonishment, and I was sincerely interested. We all liked it so much, we bought The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, too, which is just as marvelous if not better. I really hope nobody misses these. They are terrific.