Chapter Books for Ages 7 - Young Adult

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

How are you surviving this self-isolation/quarantine? How are your kids surviving? One thing that Hazel and I have been enjoying is reading. I decided it is time to finally share the stack of chapter books (or at least most of them) that I have on my review shelf. I'm hoping you might find something for your kids to read while stuck at home! We will go somewhat by age. The first book is for the younger chapter book reader. The suggested ages are 7-10 but I would say this series is good for 6-8. We reviewed the other two books in the Fairy Mom and Me Series previously.

Ella and her fairy mom are back in the third book, Fairy Unicorn Wishes, by Sophie Kinsella and illustrated by Marta Kissi. Her mom still is not very good with her magic wand and is mixing up the spells all the time, but Ella is having fun and learning lessons while they go. The story is always funny and silly and includes illustrations through out it. This book is perfect for the fairy loving kids who are really just getting into chapter books.

Our next book is suggested for ages 10+. It is Rat Rule 79 by Rivka Galchen and illustrated by Elena Megalos. In this fantastical story where we meet a girl named Fred and her math teacher mother. Fred's thirteenth birthday is approaching and they are yet again in a new city. Then in the middle of the night Fred went out to see what her mother was doing after they had a fight. Fred saw her mother disappear into a large round paper lantern. Fred tries to follow and the adventure begins. Fred ends up locked in a prison with an elephant named, Downer. She has entered a world of impossiblity. Downer wants to save the Rat Queen. The Rat Queen has made many rules in this land and they try to follow them but one of them includes not getting older and not having birthdays. Their group keeps growing on their quest to rescue the Rat Queen and find Fred's mother. 

This story is interesting and twisted. It keeps you wanting to know what crazy thing is going to happen next. As a math teacher I love reading the illogical fantasy and seeing how it gets twisted from our world. This adventure is full of unfollowed logic rules and puzzles. It can be hard to follow but the twists make it so exciting. It would make an interesting study for a logic class as well. I'm remembering my philosophy class in college and how we would look for the laws of logic used in arguments and stories. This is a fun book many kids will enjoy as well as adults. The lack of logic makes the story more interesting and makes the reader want to continue.

 Our next book takes us into a fifth grade with a look at Bell Kirby who lives by his systems and rules including how to avoid the bully. The book is The Tornado by Jake Burt. Let's face it middle school is hard but it is even harder when the class bully is the principal's son and you are the geeky kid that has certain ways things must be done. Then add in the new girl. She is in a regular school for the first time. She has been homeschooled all her life. She has rainbow hair and doesn't seem to fit in. The bully turns onto her but now Bell has guilt about not sticking up for her. What is he to do? It gets worse when the bully thinks Bell is also picking on her with him. Should he join the bully or should he do the right thing? 

I love how this book takes a look at how life in school can be. It shares the bully aspects. Some of the teachers try to help but run into problems since their boss is the bully's father. Although some of it gets farfetched I love how the book works itself out. The story reads well. It is interesting and will be enjoyed by those who love building and creating as well as science. 

Our next book had me in tears through out it. It is a coming of age as well as a story of recovering and grief. The book is Center of Gravity by Shaunta Grimes. We meet twelve-year-old Tessa. Her mother recently died. Life hasn't been the same. This story takes place in the 1980's. She became obsessed with the photos of missing children on milk cartons. She takes the empty cartons home and cuts out the photos and statistics and memorizes them. She keeps them in a shoe box alphabetically. Then her father hits her with more news. He is getting married to a woman who is in her twenties and they are moving to California. Oh, and they are having a baby. 

This book was a page turner. I cried for Tessa through out it. The grief of losing her mother and then moving away from what she new and being thrown into this weird situation of a new stepmother who is almost her age as well as having to adjust to a new home, new state, new city. Tessa finds some friends who seem to accept her and her strange obsession but they are not telling her everything. They want to enter a fooseball tournament for the prize money, but won't tell her why they need the money. How is she suppose to get back to normal with her life turned all topsy-turvy? Will she be able to move past her obsession? 

Our next book I received an e-copy of. I have to admit I have a hard time reading ebooks. I am very much a physical book reader However I did start this interesting book. It is Five Nations Peace Day by Dani Dixon. This book is set in medieval times. It is the story about five nations that fought a great war and have come to peace. They celebrate their peace each year on Peace Day. The nations come together to celebrate the peace and the princesses of the nations dance, laugh and exchange gifts but this year they are asked to do quite more.

I found the book interesting. I will admit I had trouble with the chapters going between the different nations. I think this is more because I was trying to read it on my computer and not on pages. I am very much a visual learner and find that I need the paper to truly get the understanding when I'm reading a long story. So therefore I more sharing this book with you rather than a review.

Our next book is for young adults. It is What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume. In this book we meet Maisie Martin who is going with her mother on her family vacation. Her father is not going this year and she is not buying that he has to work. She and her mother are going to their vacation spot they always go and meet family friends including the boy she has a huge crush on and has for a very long time. This year her knock-out best friend is also coming since she and her boyfriend just broke up. And then there is the surprise that her crush also brought his annoying best friend along. The book is her vacation project for school. She has to write in the journal each day about her vacation. She learns a lot during this vacation from things about herself, friendships and relationships. Even more happens from her entering a beauty contest which her dancing sister won previously. 

I love how this book is an example of a typical teenager. Her life seems like a mess and she lacks self confidence but there are so many lesson to learn and people to help her learn them. She also doesn't realize who she should lean on or her own talents and beauty. I think many teen girls will love this book. It is an easy read with some swears in it as well as many funny points. 

Our final book today is My Sweet Orange Tree from Jose Mauro De Vasconcelos and translated by Alison Entrekin. Now I will admit this book has been on my shelf for a very long time and should have been reviewed by now. This book is based on the author's own life. We meet poor Zeze. He is the youngest in his family and his family is about to move to a smaller new house. When they go to see the house his siblings run to claim a tree. He is left with an orange tree in the back, but he begins to realize it is a magic tree. It becomes his friend. Zeze's life goal is to be a poet that wears bow ties. Zeze and his family live in Rio de Janeiro. The book was first published in Brazil in 1968. It is a book about friendship and growing up. It is eyeopening for people to see how a poor family lived in Brazil. It is a heart wrenching story. Life is tough but he finally meets his first friend and discovers that with friendship comes grief and sadness. I found the story moved slowly, but it is an interesting one. It is recommended for ages 14+.

So if you are looking for books for you or your kids to read while safe at home, please check out these books! I am sure there is one here for you.