Tag Archives: Kimberley Griffiths Little

Summer Series for the Adventuring Child

Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and temperatures are rising. Now I know that during the summer we just want to get those adorable little mess-makers out of the house and into the outdoors to explore nature and discover the world around them, but sometimes it just gets too dang hot. Parts of Arizona are going to be 120 degrees this week – and I’m headed there Wednesday for a family reunion! At the moment, northern California is hotter than southern California! (That never happened when I grew up there.)

So, after you’ve had them run around outside for the cooler hours of the morning here is a list of great series to keep their minds adventuring instead of melting crayons into the carpet. (True story, don’t ask.)

How to Train Your Dragon Series, by Cressida Cowell

The series that inspired the beloved movies, the Train Your Dragon series tells the story of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless and their adventures together. Great for those who love the movies and just can’t get enough of Toothless! Bonus points for having a very well-read audio book by none other than David Tennant!

The Heroes Guide Series, by Christopher Healy

A fun quirky series which doesn’t follow the leading ladies of the more popular fairy tales but the leading men, whom after being discredited by lazy bards are out to prove that they are more than just the “Prince Charming” of their stories. A great read with wonderful illustrations to help you know whom is who.

Enchanted Forest Series, by Patricia C. Wrede

So, we all know that when the dragon steals the princess the brave knight has to go rescue her. But what if the princess didn’t get stolen but instead ran away and is having a much better time hanging out with dragons than being a princess? This quirky series has it all.  Smart Princesses, silly knights, and cunning wizards. Forget rescuing the princess, someone should maybe help that poor knight out instead.

The School  for Good and Evil Series, by Soman Chainani

Not another magical school series! I know its summer break and no kid wants to think about school let alone read about one, but this series is worth it. Following the two lead females who seem to have accidentally been placed in the wrong school (see title) the series leads you to question, what makes one good or evil? And can appearances be deceiving?

The Unicorn Chronicles Series, by Bruce Coville

An oldie but goodie. Following a young protagonist who has been dumped into a magical land by her grandmother, Cara must find out how to make it back to her own world and learn what secrets this land may hold about her missing parents. Unicorns and Adventures! Need I say more?

Hopefully that’s enough to get you started and if your kids are anything like mine you’ll need every one of those books just to survive until July! Don’t forget that your local library is always a great place to check for more series and see if they may be hosting a summer reading contest. Nothing gets kids’ reading like the thought that they might win a gift card or something better!

What are some of your favorite adventure series? Share in the comments!

Happy Reading!

~Kimberley

P.S. And if your child likes contemporary stories with adventure and magical realism, you’re always welcome to check out my 4-book MG series set in the mysterious swamps of Louisiana. Gators and danger abound! The Healing Spell, Circle of Secrets, When the Butterflies Came, and The Time of the Fireflies.

Kimberley Griffiths Little is the award-winning author of ten Middle-Grade and Young Adult novels with Scholastic and Harpercollins. She’s been juggling book launch parties, research trips, drafting new proposals, eating too many cookies and wrangling a household that never sleeps . . . On location book trailers and Teacher’s Guides at Kimberley’s website: www.KimberleyGriffithsLittle.com. Friend her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimberleygriffithslittle

Time Slipping Middle Grade!

The concept of time travel or time slipping has always fascinated me, ever since I read the book, Magic Elizabeth when I was in fourth grade. I also read Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series, of course, with interstellar time travel.

Magic Elizabeth

I often lament that science hasn’t given us time-wrinkling, or time-folding yet, so I can zip across the country for a writer’s conference or a book signing for an author friend, or meet the other writers and authors I correspond with through Facebook and Twitter. I mean, really, time travel inventors–get with the program!

But the great thing is that we can time-slip through books – which I always talk about when doing author visits at schools. Books and stories can take us ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! That’s the real magic of reading!

A_wrinkle_in_time_digest_2007

Here are a few titles I particularly like, including two time travel/time slipping MG’s that I wrote. Because of course I would write one of these stories when I love them so much.

AND! Here’ s a link to a children’s book blog that features Time-Travel Tuesday posts. The blogger has delineated the titles by time period and included author names and dates of publication. http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/p/time-travel-books.html

The Last Snake Runner1

The Last Snake Runner by Kimberley Griffiths Little (2001) MG

Wild Robert, by Diana Wynne Jones (1989) MG

Three Lives to Live, by Anne Lindberg (1992) MG

Archer’s Quest, by Linda Sue Park (2006) MG

Crashing the Party, by Perdita Finn (2007)

Frozen in Time, by Ali Sparks (2009) MG

*The Hotel Under the Sand, by Kage Baker (2009) MG

Justin-Thyme-jacket

The Prince of Fenway Park, by Julianna Baggott (2009) MG

Benjamin Franklinstein Lives! by Matthew McElligott and Larrry Tuxbury (2010) MG

The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams, by Rhonda Hayter (2010) MG

The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams

The Dead Gentleman, by Matthew Cody (2011) MG

Counterclockwise, by Jason Cockcroft (2009) MG

11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass (2009) MG

 

 

Justin Thyme, by Panema Oxridge (2011) MG

A Year Without Autumn, by Liz Kessler (2011) MGA year without autumn

Odessa Again, by Dana Reinhardt (2013) MG

 

 

 

 

The Time of the Fireflies by Kimberley Griffiths Little (2014) MG

Time of the Fireflies_Cover

The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove (2014) MG

 

 

 

 

 

glass-sentence

If you *also* love Young Adult novels this list has many terrific titles as well:

http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/p/time-travel-books.html

What are your favorite time-slipping books? Please tell us in the comments!

 

 

Kimberley Griffiths Little has published 10 award-winning novels with Knopf, Scholastic, and Harpercollins. Her most recent MG, The Time of the Fireflies, was named a Bank Street College Best Books of 2015, a Whitney Award Finalist, a Letters of Mormon Arts Award Finalist, and was recently chosen for the William Allan White Kansas State Children’s Choice List for 2016-2017. Find Kimberley on Facebook and Twitter @KimberleyGLittl

Victorian Era Middle-Grade Books

Off and on for the past three years I’ve been working on an idea for a Young Adult Victorian Gothic thriller. I even have an entire first draft—which, like all rough first drafts, needs extensive revisions and some re-imagining. I recently pulled it out and brainstormed some new ideas to write a proposal for my agent.

Which means that my mind is filled with all sorts of Victorian era setting and dress and manners—and got me wondering about books for Middle-Grade readers set in the Victorian Era. Are there any? Do they exist, and if so, what are they like?

I began hunting (as well as digging into my gray memory cells) and found some serious, some lighthearted, and some very clever novels—as well as a Newbery Honor Title. The list, with book covers, are below herewith! And, of course, in MG Victorian Era books we have orphaned children, castles, governesses and headmasters, mansions, secrets, and even murder.

I’ve actually read several of these and highly recommend them. They are award-winning titles with rave reviews. I’m now looking forward to the few I had never heard of though they are fairly recently published.

Are there other titles I’m missing? Have you read these? Which are your favorites? Please share in the comments!

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Scandalous_Sisterhood_Cover

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Mary Rose Wood

The Mysterious Howling, Maryrose Wood

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: a melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz

A drowned maiden's hair

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

splendors-glooms

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

nightgardener_cover_cmyk

Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson

nooks-crannies-9781481419215_hr

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

glass-sentence

I included the following because I wanted a nonfiction title, even though some might not consider it strictly Victorian Era. But this infamous and intriguing family was born and rose to power in the Victorian Era, although their deaths occurred in 1918.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming the-family-romanov-candace-fleming-677x1030