Hello, nocturnal readers!
Believe it or not, I've been known to recommend a book or two right here on this blog, but this time I'm the one asking for recommendations from trusted readers and friends. *gasp* My daughter Nika, who turned 8 in March, is a pretty advanced reader in her first language (which is Croatian). She reads well above her grade level and she really loves books, which warms my little heart.
Just recently, I challenged her to start reading in English, and let me tell you, she may take after her fatherin most other things, but she's her mama's daughter in that she never backs down from a challenge. But we're picky readers, she and I, and now we're looking for recommendations and ideas.
I've been reading to her in both languages from day one, but the first book she finished in English all on her own was Sideways Stories from Wayside School, which was a gift from my wonderful friend Flannery. She absolutely adored it, and the format (very short connected stories) made it easier for her to follow in a foreign language.
From there we progressed to Madonna's English Roses, which were surprisingly delightful. The first one was also a present (I doubt I would have bought it, I'm prejudiced like that), and the second she finished it, I ordered all the other books and we're currently going through them. For a girl of 8, they're about as good as it gets - funny, eloquent and educational. Whether Madonna herself wrote them is open for discussion, but the books are absolutely marvelous and the illustrations in the big, glossy hardcover edition are breathtaking.
Just the other day, I ordered a copy of Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver for her because I've heard so many great things about it. We'll see how she likes it.
Now, this is where I turn to you, my friends. I was never really interested in Middle Grade books, not even when I was that age, and I definitely wasn't reading in English back then nor was I educated in an English speaking country.
If you have any ideas or recommendations, something you stumbled upon recently or a childhood favorite, please share it in the comments. Nika and I will be very grateful.