Saturday, January 30, 2010

Books for Tween Girls and Brattleboro, VT

I guess I have to finally admit that Julia has reached the "tweens." She's been telling me this for a while but I refused to agree with her. It's not so bad - in fact yesterday when we were walking down the street in Brattleboro, on our way to Knit or Dye, I was telling Julia how I loved the age she is now. I much prefer it to the two's, the three's the four's. This is so much more fun for me and I think for her too.

Julia and I just listened to Time's Up (#12 in The Beacon Street Girl Series) on CD borrowed from our local library. I was skeptical about it thinking it wouldn't be of much interest to me but I was pleasantly surprised. Knitting plays a huge part in the story. There are some nice story lines about inter-generational relationships and about time management too. A good book for knitters to share with their tweens - so says this mom!

Julia is into reading series books and I think it is great. Currently she is working her way through The Beacon Street Girls, The Main Street Series (Ann Martin), and the old 1970's Babysitter's Clubs (also Ann Martin). Haven't been able to get her into Nancy Drew yet. Oh well.


It's not often I find something in the NY Times for Julia to read but this article caught my eye about the re-issuing and updating of The Babysitter's Club Books for girls. Much to our local librarian's chagrin, Julia is trying to read everyone of this series. She is up to #84 she tells me. They were all withdrawn from our library. Interlibrary loan has been very busy filling her requests. She reads one or two a day.

I say, great literature or not, if she loves them and wants to keep reading - kudos. She is so excited about the new pre-quel mentioned in the NYT article. I never read the BSC books - I missed them. Did any of you? Any other ideas for reading for tween girls that you have found?

If you are local, you might like to visit the relatively new shop called Knit or Dye in Brattleboro. Owned by a lovely young woman Rachel, the shop is well-lit, well-stocked and really pleasant. Rachel is even stocking my Julia Yarn (thank you Rachel). In the basement there is a lovely little tea room called The Twilight Tea Lounge. Brattleboro is loaded with all kinds of interesting independently owned stores including a slew of bookstores. It is worth a drive if you have the time. Delectable Mountain is another not to miss fabric store. There's a Gallery Walk too the first Friday of the month in the evening. We are lucky to live so close...... Good weekend everyone.

25 comments:

Abby said...

Wherever I go on vacation, I try to visit LYSs. I also ask about local yarns. Last year we were in VT but not Brattleboro. I will be in MA sometime this year - must include a side trip!

When we moved here, my daughter's school had a magnet program in reading. She already was a reader, but being in this program *really* expanded her literary world. My faves were the Black Stallion series and anything by Marguerite Henry.

I'm new to your blog, but love reading about your farm life!

Sarah said...

I think I'm going to come down with a friend--I love yarn, she loves tea! Liz loves The Beacon Street Girls. I'll have to go find the knitting one. She loved all the Mysterious Benedict Society books. She's in need of a good book too.

Jessica said...

I read the babysitter's club, Nancy Drew.. if she's into older series you can try to dig up some Trixie Belden..

Some of my favorite books at that age (and still) are anything by Madeline L'Engle, and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C Wrede.

I read and still read pretty much anything from cruddy fiction to Russian Literature, so no worries!

kingshearte said...

I have a massive collection of Babysitters Club books stashed somewhere at my parents' place, I think. I'm not even sure what number I read up to. I'd say they're perfectly good reading for tweens. They deal with a lot of issue tweens (and teens) can come up against, but they steer clear of sex, swearing, violence, drinking/drugs. I don't know much about most of the other books for that age group that are kicking around these days, but what else is she into? I might be able to suggest a series or two (bearing in mind that all I know is what they're somewhat about, not how good any of them are).

(I work in a bookstore, and am always up for encouraging kids to read. Yay, reading!)

marit said...

I once had a teacher that told us that Nancy Drew was completely rubbish, and we should never read it! Needless to say, I've read a LOT of Nancy Drew later! I've alwasy been a reader, and started early reading my dads Alistair McLean and Desmond Bagley- books...perhaps not the best suited for a pre-tee...LOL! The main thing is to read, and I love it when my kids borrow books. My 16-year old loves Roald DAhl, my 12-yearold has read around 10 of AmeriacanGirl-books (hubby worksin Houston, and she went with him for 4 weeks this summer. The bookstore recommended the books, because English was not her mothertongue.),my 14-yearold reads Twilight...
Anyway, have fun reading:-)

Anonymous said...

You and Julia will be heartened to know that I had the same thing going with Nancy Drew. They announced the title of the next edition so I hounded -- or made my father go to the local bookstore every week, to see if the book arrived.

sometimes I think he just said he went. (I bought it -- you could try this.)

Linda

ALW said...

I would recommend a series of books called All-of-a-Kind Family
By Sydney Taylor. They are well written stories about a large happy Jewish family in turn of the century NYC.

Also, I LOVED Betsy and Tacy by Maud Bart Lovelace.

Neither of those series has more than six or so books, but are wonderful reads, and I can't wait until my kids are old enough for them.

Aurora said...

check out books by Tamora Pierce http://www.tamora-pierce.com/
I like her books because they all have very strong and independent girl heroines...

Birdie said...

The Percy Jackson novels are great fun, by Rick Riordan. The movie of the first book opens in around two weeks, so start reading them now!

Michele in Maine said...

Thanks for the series books recommendations! Julia might also like the "Mistmantle" (there are 4 so far). Similar to "Redwall" but not so complicated. There's also the Chronicles of Narnia, and any books of Greek mythology (which my daughter loves).

I was a huge N. Drew fan as a girl, but my daughter hasn't been as enchanted with them.

Melissa (Meliabella) said...

Hi Kristin,
When I was young I loved the BSC books. While they where not a challenging read, I did like them and read them all! (This would be as late as 1994 or 1996 I believe)
I went on to be an English major so even the "fun" reads leave their mark. :)
~Melissa

Joyce said...

You might like one called "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale. The story is not what you might expect from the name. My daughters and nieces all loved it and so did I. Strong, positve female protagonists and engaging story. She also has a series, the Books of Bayern that is good.

She also may like the "Little House on the Prarie" books.

I remember loving "Where the Red Fern Grows" at the tween age.

You'll be so glad that you read along with her. It has been such a great bond in our family. We are always still swapping books and sharing with each other now that they are all grown and married.

Anonymous said...

My darling daughter tore through the Babysitter Club books at the same age.

She finished with a B.A. and a B.S., Phi Beta Kappa, in four years at college, and is working in the education field for the fifth year - not yet 27. Doesn't seem to have blunted her in any way!

Julia will be fine. It's a phase, better than many others she could be having. It's reading!

Turtle said...

enjoy those tweens, i loved them as well. Like julia my daughter has never been afraid to be affectionate, etc in front of people so none of the "ewe your my parents tween reactions" i have entered the "she's leaving home this fall" stage, le*cry!

havent been to brattleboro in years!

Jill S. said...

I'm not sure what qualifies as tween literature/reading but I really like the Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy as well as Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy but I read them when I was far out of my tweens. I read the Boxcar Children books and the Cherry Ames books around fifth and sixth grade and loved them. Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer is a fun book with at least two sequels and would be a good transition into Austen if you wanted to steer her that way. I have always loved reading and hope that your daughter does too.

Anonymous said...

There are only two of them so far, but my daughter (age 12) LOVES "The Penderwicks". And the "Catwings" series... we have a kitty named Jane in honor of one of them.

Colleen

Marie said...

My daughters enjoyed the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace when they were Julia's age.

Linda S said...

When I was about Julia's age, I loved Harriet the Spy.

Diane H said...

Laura Ingalls Wilder - The Long Winter was the first book I checked out from the Hinsdale Elementary Library, when it opened in 3rd grade. I still gravitate to book series. Happy to hear Main St Brattleboro is still as independent as it was in 1973. We moved to FL when I was in 6th grade - now THAT was a shock.

Cindy in Happy Valley said...

Brattleboro? Do you know Evensong Jewelry? David Nugent jeweler and artist extraordinaire. Love, his work and always wanted to visit his place.

Ruth said...

Loved reading about Brattleboro. My childhood church was a little brick and iron building built in a paddock 10 miles from the nearest town in country Western Australia. It had a small pedal organ (which I played during holidays from boarding school, all stops out) and the gold gothic writing above the keys proclaimed that it was made in Brattleboro VT!!

17th stitch said...

I see that previous commentators have recommended everything I was thinking about: Patrica C Wrede, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tamara Pierce, Marguerite Henry... in a year or two your daughter may like some of the fantasies by Robin McKinley ("The Hero and the Crown") or Patrica McKillip ("Alphabet of Thorn")

emeselle said...

I'm new to the blog but I will visit often, thanks for sharing your farm life with us! As for tween books, the Babysitter's Club is way after my time, and my daughter (now 17) didn't get into them. She liked the Boxcar Children. I remember the books from my childhood+ so fondly...I read all the Agatha Christie novels I could find. I read, re-read, re-re-read, etc, the Anne of Green Gables series. There is something about the continuity of a series, I don't care if it's "rubbish" it's enjoyable reading.

Ellie said...

My 9 year old loves currently:

~Anne of Green Gables
~The Doll People series
~The Seekers Series
~The Chestnut Hill series (not so crazy about this one myself, but it's okay)
~anything American Girl, but especially the mysteries.
~Fairy Realm (a little easy but she likes the stories)

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