Book Club: Suggested Reading

What makes a great Book Club selection? A good story, well told! Here are our picks, ranging from books for the very youngest listeners to the pickiest teens.

The Little French Whistle by Carole Lexa Schaefer

Louie gets into mischief with the whistle Grandfather brings him from Paris. "I liked the whistle noises and learning the French words," said one reviewer. Ages 3 to 5.

My Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone

This "round-the-world counting rhyme" follows Granny as she buys different things from each of the countries she visits on her magic carpet. Ages 3 to 5.

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter

Timely and moving book that tells the true story of an Iraqi librarian who tries to rescue thousands of books from her library before it is destroyed. Ages 3 to 5.

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Michael and his dog are washed up on a Pacific island where they meet a castaway from Japan. Ages 6 to 11.

Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye

Liyana moves to Palestine and learns about her Arab heritage. Ages 6 to 11.

The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

In India, young Anand returns a mystical shell to its rightful home. "A great book full of magic and surprises," said one reviewer. Ages 6 to 11.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

If you saved your favorite books from childhood, this classic might well be among them. Milo is bored and doesn't know what to do with himself, when a mysterious tollbooth appears in his room. A great adventure for all ages, brilliant wordplay, and fantastic illustrations by cartoonist Jules Feiffer. Ages 9 to 12.

Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones

Archer is one of seven wizards who control a small English town. When he dispatches his goon to Howard Sykes' home, young Howard is launched on a magical, mysterious adventure to save his family and his village. Ages 9 to 12.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

There is an evil in the universe and a 5-year-old named Charles Wallace Murry and his sister Meg are the only ones who can stop it. Charles and Meg must learn to travel through space and time to a faraway planet, where they confront the evil force and save their father, who is trapped there. Ages 9 to 12.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is overweight and suffering under a family curse that leads him to be unfairly sentenced to months of detention at Camp Green Lake, where he's forced to dig a hole in the rock-hard desert soil every day. Stanley soon gets involved in the mystery of why the warden is interested in anything "special" the boys find in the soil. In the end he rescues his friend Zero, discovers what the warden is desperately looking for, and breaks the Yelnats family curse. Ages 9 to 12.

The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the First by Lemony Snicket

Just as they are enjoying a day at the beach, the three Baudelaire children receive some bad news. Their parents have died in a fire that also burned down the family mansion. Now orphaned, the Baudelaires are packed off to their new guardian -- creepy Count Olaf, who seems only to want to get his hands on their fortune. Or does he? Find out, as you read this exciting and humorous tale of mystery. Ages 9 to 12.

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Set in Australia, this lively book centers on the rivalry between two schools and the lives of students on both sides. "Really fast-paced and enjoyable," said one of our reviewers. Ages 12 and up.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

The story of a Japanese-American family and their struggles as they to the South in the 1950s. Ages 12 and up.

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