these books are geared more towards late second or third grade up to fifth or sixth grade, unless otherwise noted.
*Book cover from Goodreads.com
This story of an unlikely hero with big ears is a read I recommend for any fans of Kate DiCamillo. It is a bit heavier than some of her other books (length and vocabulary-wise), so it is better for the upper elementary crowd. I have to say it was interesting to read it before I saw the movie, but it matched up well. I like to have the story in my head before I see it. I make that a rule for my own kids also. We read it and THEN watch it. It is cute and has some nice lessons about friendship and bravery and good and evil. It is not my favorite DiCamillo title, but it is definitely worth the read! She came to Pittsburgh this month, and it was neat to hear her talk about how she got the idea for the book (a friend's child) and her writing process.
This book is a new release for October, and I think it would be best for more advanced third graders up to fifth graders. I was lucky to get a chance to read an advanced copy, and I could not put it down. Max and her brother Carter are in Hamelin with their father while he researches a new book. The brother and sister are sucked into the world of the Piped Piper and the children he led away with his magical flute so many years ago. It is a mix of modern, old world, and fantasy as they explore how to leave the Summer Isle where they are all being held prisoners.
I thought this book was a great mixture of fantasy and adventure, and it had some interesting characters and a twist at the end that will bring you back for book 2!
*Picture of cover art from Goodreads.com