Guess What’s New in Reading?

Young readers will be going to school soon or perhaps will be home schooled. These children will also be looking for other books to read in addition to those that teachers will be using. Writer’s Relief has developed definitions of children’s books by age group. Primary Age Books is defined as children ages six to eight or first through third grades. Elementary Level is defined as children in grades fourth through sixth grades. Let’s take a look at some of the books I think your children might like to read.

• Betty G. Birney’s “The World According to Humphrey”

She worked at Disneyland for many years. Betty has written several children’s TV shows and is the author of 25 books including the bestselling Humphrey series that has won many awards. There are 12 in the series, but you might like to start with the first book about everyone’s favorite classroom pet. You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That’s what Humphrey, the amazing hamster, was told when he was first brought to room 26. Each weekend, the little hamster gets to sleep over with a different student. Humphrey’s life is almost perfect, if only the teacher wasn’t out to get him.

• Gordon Korman’s “Notorious”

He is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 80 books for kids and young adults. His writing career began at the age of 12 when his seventh grade English assignment became his first novel. Decades later, he became a full-time writer with more than 17 million copies worldwide. “Notorious” is his canine murder mystery with a gangster twist. Just about everyone on Centerlight Island is a suspect in the mysterious death of Barney, a huge part Mastiff, part Rottweiler, notorious for terrorizing the community. It takes two unlikely friends to unravel the clues. Korman said, “I’ve written all these books including humor, action/adventure, mystery, historical fiction and even a little poetry.”

• Annie Barrows’ “Ivy + Bean”

This California gal spent most of her childhood at the library. She wouldn’t leave so they hired her to shelve books at the age of 12. In this series, “Ivy + Bean,” two normal girls do normal kids things but both are very different. Ivy is quiet and full of ideas; Bean is loud, wild and goofy. Each girl thinks the other one is weird. They think they could never be friends, especially because their parents keep ganging up on them about it. The “Ivy + Bean” books have been translated into fourteen languages. Her newest is “Ivy + Bean One Big Happy Family.”

• Aaron Blabey’s “The Bad Guys”

Aaron, as of 2020, has around 20 million books in print. His “The Bad Guys” series has been translated into many languages and published in 25 countries. They may look like bad guys, but these wannabe heroes are doing good deeds. Terrible powers have been revealed and evil allies have materialized. The bad guys need answers — what is going on here! This is the latest in “The Bad Guys in Dawn of the Underworld” series. Dav Pilkey, creator of “Captain Underpants and Dog Man” said, “I wish I’d read these books as a kid. Hilarious!”

• Gitty Daneshvari’s “Monster High Ghoulfriends”

Gitty currently lives between Spain and New York City. Her popular books have sold over five million worldwide. Best ghoulfriends always have one another’s backs. Together they have had epic adventures rescuing monsters and bringing them home to Monster High. “Ghoulfriends Together” is a brand-new series introducing three new monster characters. I personally love her name and her children’s books.

PBS is launching a young reader’s series for parents and educators, and it is designed for teachers, parents, caregivers and anyone else interested in helping children learn to read. Happy young reading, everyone!