It's We Recommend, in which we use our superpowers to find readers the perfect book. Got a kid who needs a recommendation? Write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments.
Ah, we're back. It's been a while since we've had a We Recommend, and this one will challenge and perplex you, in the best possible way. Also, it comes from someone you have all been successful with in the past. But now he is (as we all are, inevitably) older and more complicated. Like so:
His reading is quite voracious and I have exhausted my list of ideas from my own childhood. He is 9 next month.
He has enjoyed all of the Harry Potter books and has read them independently (although the last couple I think had a lot of material that went over his head content-wise). He's currently racing through the Lemony Snicket series, and absolutely loving those.
He's not much into fantasy stuff, sci-fi or war. He loves anything to do with language (adored 'The Word Spy') and is keen on maths and music at school. Loves a good story.
Here's where I am caught: he loves Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket, but is not into fantasy, sci fi, or war. But...Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter? These are not realistic fiction by a long chalk. So I think we have a case of maybe he likes things that he thinks he doesn't like? At any rate, what matters is what will work, and so we can look at the books he enjoyed and from that we can deduce: he's a word kid. And he likes funny things.
I think we can all take a moment to meditate on how delightful these attributes are. And then we can try to think of things that will fit for the young gentleman, while not scaring him off with any wizards on the cover. I toyed with Septimus Heap. I considered Artemis Fowl. I even thought about Terry Pratchett, to whom he will make his way some time soon. But in the end, I went way WAY back, to the book all humorous word-lovers should spend some time with at one point or another.
Unless I have completely misread this young person, this should fit the bill nicely. It's funny! There's word play! It's awesome!
But of course, I might have misread him completely. Oooh, and should I have said Holes? I should probably have said Holes, right? Or Sideways Stories at Wayside School? But don't let me sit here torturing myself: please, in the comments, offer up some ideas, and possible alternate reads of his wishes, and get the kid something great to read!