Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme originally created by Lainey, and now hosted by Sam. You can read more about it on the Goodreads page. This week’s topic is on the top 5 children’s book I loved and would recommend!
I think as a kid we all felt like our future held infinite possibilities and we could do anything we wanted, be anyone we wanted. Part of that is the reason why I believe children should read – to feed their imagination and spur their curiosity and wonderment of the world. Exposing them to different situations and ordeals via books will also, I believe, make them more prepared for the real world. I’m so grateful to my parents for encouraging me to read and ultimately nurturing a love for reading in me, and I hope this is still something that parents nowadays (and in the future) will continue to do!
Anyway, moving on to my top 5…
1. The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
The Magic Tree House was probably the first book/series that introduced me to the concept of fantasy, and it was also likely the first book that sparked my love for adventure. For ages 5-8, the series follows young siblings Jack and Annie as they travel back to the past and all over the world. In the first book, Jack and Annie discover the treehouse filled with magical books. Using these books, they can travel back to different historical eras. They soon meet the wizard Merlin, who sends them on missions everywhere. From the Amazon to Egypt to Japan, and from the period of dinosaurs to the medieval ages to the Great Depression, Jack and Annie witness and experience all sorts of historical events and cultures. I think this is an amazing series for children to learn and realise that the world they live in is even more complex, beautiful and full of history than they thought.
2. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Ahhh Maximum Ride… It doesn’t have the best covers, but this is the one childhood series I actually still have all the books of. No doubt, the first few books were better, but by then I was already too into the series and characters to properly spot a flaw in the later books. The Maximum Ride series is about a small group (flock) of 6 kids who have wings on their backs. Yep, you read that right.. they’re 98% human and 2% bird, and they can fly. They’re clearly the (more successful) products of genetic experiments, raised as specimens in cages in labs and all that jazz. Not fun. Mercifully they’ve successfully escaped thanks to one of the nice scientists who ‘adopted’ them, but when he disappears they find themselves again being hunted by the people who created them. This series slowly evolves from them trying to escape, to trying to assimilate into the world and live their lives as normal kids, and then trying to save the world with the other ‘products of genetic experiments’ while avoiding the mad scientists who get crazier and more psychopathic with every book. Okay I know I don’t sound excited about this series at all, but it’s just that I’ve moved on and I feel like cringing whenever I think about how I gushed so much about these books. I loved this series because of the flock’s rapport and compatibility; there’s a lot about friendship, loyalty and betrayal in this series, with an added bonus that they’re all pretty bad-ass characters. As a kid I really treasured this series up till my early teens, so I still think it’s a great idea for pre-teens/tweens to try this one out!
3. Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz
The Alex Rider series is a spy-kid thriller about 14-year old Alex, who after his parents’ death was raised by his uncle. But when his uncle dies, Alex learns that his uncle was a secret agent at MI6 who died on his mission. He soon realises that his uncle’s strict training of him – learning multiple languages, self-defence, … all sorts of skills you wouldn’t expect a young teenager to know – was for a reason, and Alex is thrown into the world of a secret agent. Alex is super smart and probably a genius for his adeptness as a spy, but of course as a kid the world was my oyster – I didn’t realise the extent of how unrealistic it was and simply loved how adroit Alex was. The books are fast paced, exciting and innovative – thrilling stories, a bad-ass yet relatable character and cool unthinkable gadgets. What more could a kid want? Good for pre-teens/tweens!
4. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
I wish I could remember more of what this book was about, but this was so long ago that I can hardly recall anything except for the emotions the story overwhelmed me with. So I’ll just go the easy way out and use the goodreads synopsis:
kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shining Glittering. That’s how Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason and so are people’s eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare, and it’s Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow, but when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering — kira-kira — in the future.
5. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume
This is a little like a children’s version of chick-lit. But that said, I think this can be a pretty helpful book for children (mainly girls) as it shares about insecurities, self-consciousness… all the pains of growing up and entering puberty. I loved this book because it was very relatable, and it was this book that got me ‘speaking to God’ for comfort as a kid. However, this book definitely doesn’t preach so if you’re a non-Christian, don’t worry – like I said, I’m not a religious person but I still enjoyed the book and who knows, you may start to understand better why some people turn to God or religion for solace.
Honourable mentions: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
(Sorry this is a pretty bad post, I was really tired and too lazy to edit but I wanted to get this done in time).