Kid Lit: What’s Hot from the Eyes of an 8-year-old

This is my first post on my new website. Yay! I hope you like it. Before moving to the topic of books, I would like to point out that navigating WordPress is more difficult than brain surgery. I should know, I was a brain surgeon in a former life. That’s why I have such steady hands. After watching many YouTube videos, spending hours in front of my computer, and issuing many, many swear words I have decided that my blog looks slightly less than heinous and I’m ready to share it with the world wide web. I still have lots of tweaking left to do, but if I have to watch one more unhelpful video on featured images I’m going to scream. I realized it’s time for my motto in life: good enough. Hopefully I’ll get it looking the way I want in the near future and have a few more readers to boot.

Alrighty, today I thought I’d take a moment and discuss kid lit, more commonly known as juvenile fiction. I realize that most people probably don’t give a rat’s behind about juvenile fiction, but it’s a commonly overlooked, diverse genre with many talented authors. Now please don’t confuse juvenile fiction with young adult fiction. The main difference between the two is that my 8-year-old daughter reads juvenile fiction and I read young adult fiction. You might be laughing, but there would be about 5 major motion pictures released per year if it wasn’t for YA books. Kids being forced to fight each other to the death, having to choose a faction, running through a maze, vampire love, your boyfriend has cancer, your girlfriend lives in a bubble…people eat that stuff up. I’m still waiting for them to make a movie out of the book where abortion has been out-lawed, but your parents can choose to have your body “unwound” or basically harvested for spare parts when you reach a certain age. That one might have gone a little too far (I’m not joking…this book is called “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman. It’s actually really good. Creepy, but good). Anyways, kid lit is more appropriate for kids in the elementary/early middle school age group. My daughter, Lilly, has slowly moved into this genre over the past couple of years. The girl loves to read. She’ll stay up for hours at night, if we don’t catch her, devouring books. She won’t read just anything, of course. It has to have the right hook and at least a few illustrations. Here are some of her favorites:


Jaden Toussaint. The Greatest by Marti Dumas
Why Lilly likes it:
“I like this series because it’s very funny and also it’s about this kid that goes on all these adventures. There’s this one book that’s my favorite: book three. It’s also very interesting. If you get bored, just read that.”

Why I like it:
I’m always on the hunt for books with diverse protagonists. Exposing my children to positive images of minorities is important to me. Jaden Toussaint is African American, has crazy afro hair, and is insanely smart. You wouldn’t think that a book about a five-year-old would appeal to a third-grader, but it works. Like most of the books on this list, this is a series. It’s cute, funny, and incredible witty.

The Amulet Series by Kazu Kibuishi
Why Lilly likes it:
“I like Amulet because it’s all about action and there’s lots of magic in there. It’s about this girl that goes to her great grandpa’s house and she discovers there’s an amulet that has special powers. Her mom gets taken and Emily, the main character, has to find a way to get the mom back. They make some friends on the way. This is scary to read for 3 or 5-year-olds. It might give them nightmares. It does not give me nightmares. The amulet is really cool and what cool stuff gives you nightmares?”

Why I like it:
This is a really compelling story filled with tons of action and adventure. I love that it has a really complex plot that draws you in and forces you to finish it before you put it down. It’s important to have those experiences as a reader.
Junie B. Jones by Barabara Park
Why Lilly likes it:
“The most important thing about Junie B. Jones is that she’s a really funny girl. She uses words that are not even words like sqeakyish.”

Why I like it:
I don’t. It has made up words and Junie B. has terrible grammar. I don’t care if she’s only in the first grade.  I do like that it gets my kid reading. At least there are only 28 books in the series. Lilly’s already read them all, most of them more than once.


Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Why Lilly Likes it:
“I like Dork Diaries because it’s about this girl that has a lot of crushes and drama. She also has this mean girl in her school who is actually pretty popular. Nicki, the main character, is not that popular. She talks about her friends and her life.”

Why I like it:
This is basically the girl version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which Lilly also loves. Much like DOWK, it’s pretty dumb, but has a surprisingly high lexile. These books are longer than what she normally reads, so it’s pretty impressive when she finishes them after a couple of days.

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2 thoughts on “Kid Lit: What’s Hot from the Eyes of an 8-year-old

  1. The first two sound great! My six year old is just on the verge of readiness for chapter books on her own and I think she’d be into these. We’re reading the second Harry Potter aloud right now, but I’ve heard it might be best to wait until she’s a little older to get much further into the series. I didn’t like Junie B. Jones either; she has an attitude that I don’t really want to encourage.

    1. Yes, parenting is all about give and take! I’ve tried to get my daughter into Harry Potter, but she wasn’t really into it. We might have to wait a couple of year for that series.

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