Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is one of the best books ever. Isn’t it?
A quick, easy read that manages to be full of heart, this tale of a dog helping a family find their way is one of my all-time favorites. Being a dog lover helps, but this story is also about childhood and loss and healing. Even if you’re kiddos are cat people, they will love this book.
We love Bridge to Terabithia. We loved the film made from the book. In fact, I’m betting Littlest watched that movie more than 100 times. So we had to read the book. It’s one of his favorite stories ever.
Katherine Paterson is an incredible children’s author. She writes books that speak to kids and help them understand their own reality, but she also captures childhood so well that she transports even the oldest reader back to her pre-teen days (no, I’m Not the oldest. Stop being mean).
If you ask my boys, though, they will tell you that Bridge to Terabithia is hands-down their favorite. I guess they identify with Jess’s artistic soul. Which is good, because I never want them to be the kind of men society is trying to mold Jess into. I don’t want anyone to mold them into anything. I want them to be who they are.
I don’t think my boys have ever laughed as hard at a book as they did at The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. There is something to be said for a character who continues to be relatable more than 140 years after he was written.
Tom’s antics and adventures are the stuff of every little boys’ dreams. And probably every little girl’s, too. Tricking everyone into doing your chores for you? Running away to a deserted island? A treasure hunt and a dangerous criminal? I mean, Come On.
Plus, the book is just plain funny. Just ask my boys.
We read Black Beauty as a class several years ago, and all three of us enjoyed it immensely. Told from the point of view of the horse, Black Beauty addresses the issues of kindness to animals proper treatment of horses.
Anna Sewell slipped and injured her ankle as a teenager, making her unable to stand without a crutch or walk for any length of time. She became dependent on horses because carriages were a must in her life. She came to love the animals and to deplore their treatment by so many people of her time. In her own words, Sewell wrote Black Beauty “to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses.”
(Cool tidbit–Black Beauty was the first-ever popular novel told from the POV of an animal. Without it, we might not have such wondrous books as Watership Down, The Wind in the Willows, or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. Think about that for a sec.)
We learned so much about horses by reading this book. If you want your littles to get even more out of it, try some of the following activities to get them thinking.