I was in first-grade when I started reading my very first chapter book. It was Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. My mom and older brother praised me so much when they saw me sounding out the first chapter, that I read the same chapter, over and over again for weeks. At some point I realized that I could keep going and eventually finished it. I would love to pick it up and read it again because at that age I thought it was a pretty weird book.
Anyway, when I saw Holes (also by Louis Sachar) at the Salvation Army thrift store a few weeks ago I thought, oh how fun, and picked it up.
It's a good little story. I liked it. I could see Gage really loving it around fifth or sixth grade. I'm excited to read it to him when he's in the mood for a modern adventure. It has kind of a depressing undertone in the beginning, but I suppose that's all part of the story. It's the typical (but always compelling) coming of age adventure of a boy who has a family history of terribly bad luck. Of course, he triumphs in the end but only after a series of experiences and choices that help him grow and humble him, too.
So, yep. This one will stay on the shelf for Gage and his siblings to enjoy.
I had the advantage of having an older brother who loved to read, so when I caught the reading bug we already had stacks of good books. Redwall, The Boxcar Children, and the Hardy Boys were among some of the series that my mom had collected for him and then passed down to me. I was also obsessed with Nancy Drew for a couple of years and read every single book in the series. I think I was nine. I couldn't stand Bess but I had a huge crush on Ned. Oh, Ned. Why do you love the Titian-haired Nancy and not the chipmunk-cheeked Brookie? I pined over that dude.
Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for good children's books. A friend recently recommended that I buy the Rohld Dahl collection. Any other good suggestions? What were your favorite books and series as a kid? Do you still enjoy picking them up every now and again?