When thirteen-year-old Mary Lou Finney is given the assignment to keep a summer journal, she has no idea her summer will be so eventful. First, her cousin Carl Ray comes to live with her family bringing all kinds of mystery with his silent and sad ways. Soon after, their neighbor has an unexpected heart attack. In the middle of that excitement, Mary Lou deals with her best friend having her first romance and Mary Lou encounters some unexpected romance of her own.
Through the voice of Mary Lou, Creech effectively captures the emotions and events of a interesting but archetypal tween summer. She captures the chaos of a house full of kids with a new teen caught in the middle. Also, she includes some profound life lessons about family, friends, and growing up.
Recommended for ages 9-12
This Christmas classic tells the story of the Bird family and their youngest daughter Carol. Born on Christmas Day, Carol has a loving nature and a giving heart. However, she also suffers from chronic illness. For her tenth birthday, Carol’s one wish is to give a proper Christmas to their less fortunate neighbors. A sweet story of giving, but be aware of a tender and bittersweet ending.
In classic fairy tale style, M.M. Kaye presents the story of a princess blessed by her fairy godmother to be ordinary. When Princess Amy fails to fit the storybook mold, her life becomes filled with ordinary and wonderful adventure. Written in the style of a fairy tale, but with a unique twist, The Ordinary Princess is a perfect mother/daughter book. Make sure to look for an edition with illustrations by the author.
This classic series actually begins with Little House in the Big Woods. These autobiographical books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder provide a detailed description of life on the American frontier.
Anne Shirley with her red hair, sharp tongue, and active imagination is a classic character. Her stories are fun for girls of all ages.
Heidi, the goat girl of the Alps, continues to be a great character for young girl readers. Her love of life and loyalty for her grandfather and friends is inspiring.
These books may be harder to find, but the search is worth it. If they aren’t in your local library, Amazon does carry copies. Based mostly on the author’s life, the Betsy-Tacy books create a wonderful picture of small town life during the 1920′s.
Ramona is a classic, spunky girl perfect for early readers. Her adventures are entertaining for adults as well, making these books great for reading aloud.
Igraine is a young knight on a quest to help her wizard parents who have accidentally turned themselves into pigs. This is a humorous tale about loyalty, frienship, and self-discovery.
Most girls love fairy tales, and Ella Enchanted adds some clever and entertaining twists to the traditional story of Cinderella.