Life After Potter -- and More Great Summer Reading
AMAZING JOURNEYS AND BRAVE QUESTS
Kids have a yen to sail away on the Black Pearl? Those yearning to continue the high seas thrills of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," should try one of a bounty of adventuresome tales -- not all of them waterbound -- that take their characters in search of treasures and knowledge. (Don't worry, Captain Jack Sparrow doesn't appear but an array of equally intriguing characters will capture children's fancies.)
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand, by Gail Carson Levine; Disney Editions
Picture Book; Ages 4-8 (Read aloud to child, 2 and up)
Who said fairies have to fly around and look cute? The sequel to "Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg," this book tells the tale of Water Fairy Rani, who promised a wand to the mermaid Soop in exchange for Soop's help to save Neverland. When she's denied the wand, Soop sends a flood to destroy Fairy Haven. So Rani, Tinkerbell, and Clarion set off on a dangerous quest across the ocean to find the magical instrument they need.
The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization, by Daniel Pinkwater; Houghton Mifflin
Chapter Book, 200 Pages; Ages 10 and up (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
This tale, from children's book master Daniel Pinkwater, could easily fit in nearly any of the categories here. When Nedworth Wentworthstein's father packs up the family to move from Chicago to L.A., Ned never suspected that the City of Angels could be so full of wonders. The book follows Ned as he travels cross-country and winds up protecting part of a meteorite (shaped like a turtle) that could save the planet. Full of fantasy as it is, the book is set in the almost-unbelievable -- but based on truth -- world of Southern California in the 1940s.
Peter and the Star Catchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson; Disney Editions
Chapter Book Series, Ages 9-12 (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
Humor columnist Barry and suspense writer Pearson have teamed to write a fresh take on Peter Pan -- before he was Peter Pan. In the series' first book (the third and latest book, "Peter and the Secret of Rundoon," is out in November), "Peter and the Starcatchers," Peter, aboard the ship Never Land, leads a group of orphaned boys on the way to work as servants to King Zarboff the Third's court. His shipmate Molly, a Starcatcher's apprentice, has a mysterious trunk full of starstuff that she begs Peter to help her keep from the pirate Black Stache (sound familiar?), a host of other ne'er-do-wells, and, ultimately, the king himself.
The Wave Walkers seriesThe Wave Walkers series, by Kai Meyer and Elizabeth D. Crawford; McElderry
Chapter Book; Ages 10 and up (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
Translated from its original German, this series follows 14-year-old Jolly, a polliwog -- someone who can walk on water. In the first book, "The Pirate Curse," Jolly, raised by a pirate captain named Bannon, is living the good life until Bannon's betrayed and only Jolly escapes. Another polliwog, Munk, discovers Jolly washed up on a tiny island and the fast friends join in on the schemes of the Ghost Trader. As a team, the group battles an ancient and malevolent force that threatens the world.
Book Club Activity Ideas:
- "Bridge to Terabithia" Family Home Drive-In -- Make movie viewing an event for your family.
- Pirate Party Ideas -- Everything you need for treats and eats, and engaging book conv-ARR-sation.
- Pirate Cake -- Your readers will enjoy this sweet scallywag.
- Sundial Craft -- Make these old-timey time-tellers with young bookworms so they never have overdue library books.
- Treasure Bottle -- A kid's creation more priceless than gold.