Books as Gifts
2008 Buying Guide
Books for 8-9 year olds
We've selected 12 great books for kids in second to third grades to read on their own. You'll also find 10 additional recommended books that a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, babysitter, or friend can read with 8-9 year olds to pique their interest, expose them to more advanced vocabulary, encourage discussion, or simply to share quality time with a caring adult.
Books to read on their own
The letters of the alphabet come alive through the use of paper engineering including pop-ups, reflective pages and more. The result is a stunning, interactive, and sophisticated book.
Cam Jansen & the Green School Mystery
Cam (short for "Camera") uses her photographic memory to help solve the theft of the cans and bottles to be recycled to earn money for her school. This installment in the gentle mystery series features a particularly timely topic.
Joshua Tucker's best friend on the family farm is Semolina, a sassy and talkative chicken — at least with Joshua. A sneaky, hungry red fox puts Semolina at risk in more than one way in this satisfyingly old-fashioned story dotted with black/white illustrations.
Elephants of Africa
This large land animal is introduced through crisp, easy-to-follow text and realistic illustrations. Information presented will satisfy casual readers and is likely to inspire further reading.
Eve of the Emperor Penguin (Magic Tree House #40)
Annie and Jack find themselves in remote and frozen Antarctica in contemporary times on a mission to save a small orphan — and Merlin himself. Fact combines with fantasy though readers can learn more about the place and its inhabitants in a companion volume, Penguins and Antarctica: A Magic Tree House Research Guide.
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew about the Women and Girls of the American Revolution
This fact and fun-filled look at female contributions to the American Revolution provides a serious but lighthearted introduction to a range of known and unknown women. Affable illustrations include thought and speech bubbles.
Judy Moody Goes to College
When Judy struggles with math, her parents find a tutor at the local college. In typical Judy fashion, she tries to transform her world — and her friends' world– with laugh out loud results for readers.
Sharks: Biggest! Littlest!
They come in many sizes with different diets — but all sharks are covered with 'denticles' as a protective armor and are fascinating sea creatures! Full color photographs and crisp text briefly introduce them with suggested websites for additional information.
Silly School Riddles
These groaners play with words, like: "What member of the royal family can you find in your school? The prince-ipal!" Each silly riddle is accompanied by cartoonish illustrations to explain or just add to the humor.
Stichin' and Pullin': Gee's Bend Quilt
Poems piece together the story of the quilters of Gee's Bend in Wilcox County, Alabama. Though over a hundred years old, the art of quilting is alive and is now accessible through poetry and vivid illustration.
Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express
Judy Moody's little brother, Stink, helps find homes for rescued guinea pigs. Along the way Stink and his friends learn about caring for the critters as well as a bit about responsibility — with loads of laughs for readers along the way.
There's a Wolf at the Door: Five Classic Tales
A hungry but dapper wolf cannot get Alan, Gordon, and Blake (aka the Three Little Pigs) to open the door so he moves on. Readers will recognize the familiar tales retold and connected in the comic book style art and very funny text in an oversized format.
Books to read with you
Donovan's Double Trouble
Fourth grader Donovan (introduced in Donovan's Word Jar) learns to cope with the change in his favorite uncle (who lost both legs in the war), with having difficulty in school, and more — all's possible with the help of his supportive and involved family.
Never Kick a Slipper at the Moon
One of Carl Sandburg's original, quintessentially American tales for children (from Rootabaga Stories) explains why it's just not a good idea to kick a slipper at the moon. This illustrated telling will hold young listeners as they hear rich language best read aloud.
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out
From many voices and perspectives, over 100 authors and illustrators examine this multi-faceted American residence. American history comes alive for readers of all ages and with varying interests in this intriguing and unique compendium.
Dramatic illustrations depict a range of possible sabertooth cats, likely relatives to the cats that live today in the wild and in people's homes. How information about these extinct animals has come to light is clearly presented and is sure to pique curiosity.
Sandy's Circus: A Story about Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder — Sandy — had a vivid imagination and a fascination with the circus; his sketches of the circus became 3-dimensional. Vivid illustrations combine with an informal text to introduce a man whose art continues to inspire and intrigue.
Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World
Not all pirates did their dirty work on the sea and not all of them were men. The stories in history and lore of the Sea Queens are presented in an evocative format with bold illustrations, separating fact from fiction.
Dazzling illustrations combine with lyrical language to emulate a creation myth. Set in the Himalayan Mountains, this original tale dramatically explains why the sun and moon wax and wane and of friendship between a girl and the Snow Leopard.
The Rabbit and the Turtle
Newly formatted with explicit morals added and one of Carle's signature illustrations accompanies a fable credited to Aesop. The lively, colorful style of art is ideal for the short tales each with its maxim, sure to generate discussion.
The Runaway Dolls
Annabelle and her friend, Tiffany — both dolls come to life — soon learn that running way for any reason is full of pitfalls. The dolls' third adventure (The Doll People and The Meanest Doll in the World) is illustrated cinematically by a Caldecott Medalist.
Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World
Children around the world make wishes. Information about what makes a wish come true follows a short poem. Each tradition is placed on a double-page spread accompanied by jewel-toned illustrations.
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