Family Book Club Picks
Now that we've officially hit the dead of winter, I'm sure you're wracking your brain trying to figure out what to do with your kids that'll keep them occupied and entertained. While I'm always on hand to offer my faves in the movie and TV department, I bet you didn't know I'm a voracious reader too. The only problem is, I've got a touch of obsessive compulsiveness when it comes to my reading habits. I don't read for months at a time and then whenever we go away on vacation, I try to cram in 3-4 books at a time.
Fortunately, my daughter has been bitten by the reading bug too and now that she's a tween, that means we can actually start reading books together. Yes, I am well aware that would mean I'd be crashing the young adult section of Barnes & Noble but truth be told, I'm all about books filled with mystery, romance and high school angst.
If you're on the lookout for books you can read right along with your kids, then check out a few of my favorite picks...
Twilight - Now that my daughter is in the fifth grade, Twilight mania has officially begun. After she recently received the book as a holiday gift, my daughter was instantly hooked and even convinced my husband to order a cardboard cutout of Taylor Lautner for her bedroom (what we won't do for our kids). If you've been hiding under a rock (like me), then here's the premise of the book series - a teenage girl named Bella moves to a new town with her dad and meets a brooding lab partner named Edward who is secretly a vampire. Miraculously, he's managed to keep that piece of personal information from everyone he knows...that is until he falls head over fangs for Bella. Nuff said.
The Mother Daughter Book Club - My own mom recommended my daughter read this book about four sixth-graders who sign up for a book club where they're supposed to read "Little Women" with their moms. The four girls include Emma, an aspiring poet whose librarian mother started the group; Jess, Emma's best friend, who lives on an organic farm; Cassidy, a tomboy whose favorite sport is hockey and the incredibly popular Megan. After breezing through Mother Daughter Book Club, I was ready to pick up "Little Women" and read it again from cover to cover. I'm still trying to convince my own daughter to do the same.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Both of my kids can't get enough of this silly book series by Jeff Kinney about you guessed it, a wimpy kid who writes about all his experiences at school, home and everywhere in between. What I love about the books is that it gives the reader the chance to interact and even conjure up their own stories along the way. And of course, my kids love the potty humor - no, there's no profanity - just lots of boogers and other slimy words that'll get a certain seven year old chuckling from the back seat of my SUV.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - Here's another personal fave of my daughter's who managed to tackle the 13 book series while she was in the third and fourth grade. Reader beware: these books are filled with scary tales about children, who, you guessed it - face one unfortunate nightmarish tale after another. Surprisingly, my daughter never experienced sleepless nights as a result of Lemony Snicket, but if you have a child prone to bad dreams, then be forewarned.
The Lightning Thief Book Series - If your kids are hung up on tales of an ordinary kid with an extraordinary past, then this is the perfect book series for them. When average student Percy Jackson can't seem to focus on his school work or control his temper, his mom confides he's actually the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. Of course, this piece of news immediately causes Percy to ditch school and head to the Underworld (wouldn't anyone drop out if they found out they had ties to a Greek God) and adventure follows him every step of the way.
Disney Digital Books - If you have younger children, check out what Disney Publishing has to offer. The site offers more than 500 books for children of all ages and reading levels. There are also look and listen titles; a story builder so that kids can create their own stories; an age-appropriate dictionary and reading certificates to encourage budding readers. Click here to sign up for a free trial which will give you access to seven digital books. You can also purchase a monthly subscription for $8.95 or annual subscription for $79.95 which gives you access to more than 500 books. Plus, each subscription covers up to three children in your household. Best of all, it's PC or Mac compatible...gotta love that!
Well, I better run - time to catch up with my daughter and crack open Twilight before she finishes it and moves on to the next book in the series...For those of you who aren't avid fans, that's New Moon to you!