book reviews

out of the mouth of babes: 8 year old reading lists…

Prescribed reading lists for kids…Yep, I do them.

I require them to read particular books that I deem valuable, that I hope they will remember as part of their childhood memories, and begin to introduce good literature to their little minds.

I’ve gone back and forth on this idea, because when left to their own devices, they read. And they read good books too. I ask someone to read Pride and Prejudice, which is done grudgingly. Then she finishes her ‘work’, the prescribed reading, so she can read her own book choice: Little Women. Go figure.

Some kids like fantasy, or sci fi; some like classics with Laura Ingalls Wilder or Anne of Green Gables as primary characters. Different genres for different kids. To each their own.

Every kiddo is different, but hearing the book selection through the eyes of those reading helps in deciding what book is right for your kiddo.

Naturally, actual plot representation may not be correct, if I’m allowing my eight year old to share them with you…out of the mouth of babes, we gain lots of ideas for book selections.

Around the World in Eighty Days

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This guy, Phileas Fog, has a really fancy house. He goes to a meeting every day. He heard in the newspaper that it’s possible to go around the world in 80 days. If he does it, he’ll get 50,000 pounds of money, and 2,000 pounds of gold. Now he wants to do it.

When he goes to India, he hears that if a prince dies, then his wife has to die too. He tries to save a prince and princess from a burning fire and then they take the princess to Canada and take a boat to England. When they get home, they want to marry each other: Phileas Fog and the princess.

**Rachel really liked this book. It doesn’t hurt to have all those Usborne illustrations either.

Treasure Island

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I like these books because at the starting there’s a boy named Jim and he wants to tell the mayor of the city about this story that these people came into his apartment and stole stuff. He wants to find out who they are. He needs help.

They see there’s a pirates map because they opened the little package that was hidden at his apartment. Jim, the little boy, wanted to find the treasure too, but his mom would be sad. He goes with the mayors and says he’ll buy a very big ship and get captains.

Long John Silver and a parrot and Jim put on a show on the pirate ship.

They find the gold on an island that has a volcano. So they get the treasure, leave Jim behind and leave on the ship. Jim swims back home, safe.

This was an interesting book, and enduring. I liked that they were going on a pirate ship. Lots of people who like adventures would like this book.

**I’m sure most books can be found on Amazon. I found these at the local thrift store: a treasure I found.

Great Expectations

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There’s a boy named Pip, and he’s a young boy. There’s a guy named Magwitch, and he’s a burglar. At the start, Magwitch was trying to find if there was anything special at the graves. Pip came out to see what he was doing and Magwitch dumped him upside down and said if he doesn’t get him food and water, he would kill him. So he does, get the food and water, that is.

Pip’s sister is very mean to him. There’s an old lady that says that Pip should like a girl named Estella. He doesn’t like her at all because she’s mean.

Pip grows up and goes to London and learns to be a gentleman. He doesn’t know who has sponsored him in London, Mrs. Havisham or ??

There’s a guy named Joe Gargery, and he’s Pip’s uncle. He’s very nice. There’s Mrs. Gargery, he’s Pip’s older sister. She doesn’t like Pip.

In the end, Pip gets married to Estella.

I chose this book as one of my favourites, because it was really fun at the start. You don’t know what’s going to happen next, so you want to find out. The illustrations are cool too.

**These are classic stories for a reason. Dickens plays with plot, but develops characters in ways that only soap operas could share today. One day, when my kiddos read the original version, they’ll be familiar with the plotlines…or possibly shocked how long the original really is.

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