If Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein was available when I was ten, I may have slept with it under my pillow. It’s a book that understands what it’s like to love books so much that you feel “built” by them – and lots of kids welcomed Grabenstein’s character-filled novel into their hearts. In fact, the sequel, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics was one of the most popular titles in our spring book fair.
As I talked with kids about Grabenstein’s novels, I started wondering what other “books about books” exist for young readers. Immediately, I thought of the many picture books about books and libraries for young children, but what about middle grade readers? Lots of kids between the ages of 9 and 12 read voraciously and passionately. What books show them they are members of a special club – one with its own language and references and open to everyone who reads?
Here’s a list for your favorite young book lover….
The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein (A bookcase comes to life in this stand-alone novel by the creator of Mr. Lemoncello. Last week a student returned this one and said she “stayed up until 11:00 to finish it.” She stayed awake later than I did!)
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (Similar to the Mr. Lemoncello series, Bertman’s novel is about two kids who have to solve a series of book-related clues in order to crack the code of a game.)
Story Thieves by James Riley (I haven’t read the Story Thieves series, but reading the reviews sparked my curiosity. So far there have been two books about a girl who is half-fictional. She travels in and out of books looking for her fictional father. Cool premise, right?)
The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley (Sabrina and Daphne are descendants of the Grimm Brothers who go to live with their mysterious grandmother in a town filled with fairy tale characters. The kids who read the first book always ask for the second!)
Matilda by Roald Dahl (Matilda’s love of books to change her life is well known. The perfect book for a young reader!)
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (When twelve-year-old Meggie’s father reads aloud to her, characters literally come to life. Inkheart is the first in a trilogy of thick fantasy novels.)
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford (It’s the day before Moxy starts fourth grade and although she’s been carrying Stuart Little around all summer, she still hasn’t read it….)
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Truly, a young girl moves from Texas to New Hampshire where she helps out in her grandparents’ bookshop – but when a signed first edition of Charlotte’s Web goes missing, Truly and her new friends are determined to find the thief!)
And if you have a young book lover in the house, my favorite picture books about books are —
A Library Book for Bear by Bonnie Becker
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
The Library by Sarah Stewart