What’s The Ten-Year-Old reading this week?

Oh my goodness, it feels like forever since I’ve done one of these. I may have failed to tell you about The Ten-Year-Old’s reading life, but that life has been rich and full of books nonetheless.

Let’s see if I can remember how this works.

Planet Tad by Tim Carvell

What the book’s about: Written by a former head writer for The Daily Show, Planet Tad describes twelve-year-old Tad’s seventh grade career, one hilarious blog entry at a time.

Will Tad grow a mustache? Get girls to notice him? Survive his summer as a hot dog? Ever learn not to feed his dog nachos? You’ll have to read his blog to find out.

Why The Ten-Year-Old likes it: “It’s like a gateway into his emotions.”

Who would like this book: People who like to laugh, as well as middle schoolers trying to figure out how other people their age deal with their surging emotions.

Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road) by Kate Klise and Sarah Klise

What the book’s about: Former best-selling writer Ignatius B. Grumply moves into the old house at 43 Old Cemetery Road hoping to find a cure for his decades-long case of writer’s block. Instead, he discovers an abandoned eleven-year-old named Seymour, his cat Shadow, and a ghost named Olive, who is outstandingly upset about the fact that she never managed to publish her own set of children’s stories.

Why The Ten-Year-Old likes it: “What makes the storyline so interesting is that this grumpy old author didn’t have emotions. He shut them off, and when he lost his emotions he lost his ability to tell stories.”

Who would like this book: Readers who like their ghosts to be more like Caspar than The Shining. Reluctant readers may be charmed by the fast-paced narrative and the liberal use of drawings, newspaper clippings, and manuscript entries to tell the story.

Bonus: 

I can tell my daughter’s growing up because her emotions have been all over the map lately, in a way I haven’t seen since she was a toddler. I can’t help but wonder if she’s been reading these books because she’s trying to sort out what this emotional turbulence means and how she can get a handle on it before it whirls out of control.

Of course, when I asked her, she denied it. “I don’t try to figure out the moral of the books I read, Mommyo. It’s one of the reasons I get into so much trouble with my teachers.”

Related Links:

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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