Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Top Children's books of 2017

These are our top read alouds this year with my younger two, aged 8 and 11. Some books were read with both children and some with just one. A full list of books read, including read alouds and my own reading, is here

Scout: secret of the Swamp by Piet Prins. This Christian historical fiction work is set in the Netherlands in the Second World War and features a boy and his German shepherd dog.  Youngest Son now wants to own a German shepherd. 
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The Family with two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor. This is the true story of an Orthodox Jewish family in Poland between the wars. The time sequence is preparing for and up to the arranged marriage of the eldest daughter. There is plenty of detail about the closed community but also overtones of increasing anti-Semitism outside the ghetto. We visited the Jewish Museum, in London, soon after reading this book, which fitted amazingly well.
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My name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley, This is set in Queen Victoria's rather lonely childhood but has a fascinating, fictional twist at the end. It book appealed to my history loving daughter.
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My side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. This was a book club selection for my daughter but in honesty, my eight year old son much preferred it and now would like to keep his own bird of prey. This is award winning fiction about a boy who lives on his own in an isolated, rural read of New York State.

jacket, My Side of the Mountain

The Watchmaker's  Daughter by Jean Watson is a child's version of the life of Corrie ten Boon who hid many Jews in the Second World War, in the Netherlands. This is well written and has a fair amount of the detail found in the Hiding Place. Whilst it is suitable for children, I wouldn't want to  read it to a very young child.
Corrie Ten Boom

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart is modern children's science fiction. Each chapter has been avidly awaited by the children and some days, we read for a long time! Do be warned, if you attempt this books as a read aloud, it has 512 pages! We haven't talked much about why this book was written but there are interesting messages to discuss.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

What have your favourite children's books been this year?
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