Life After Potter -- and More Great Summer Reading
STORIES OF SUPERHEROICS
If the "Spider-Man 3" and "Fantastic Four" flicks -- with their amazing powers and comic-book acts of heroics -- are more your child's obsession, check out books brimming with action and daring. These stories of good versus evil pack in comic-book style superpowers and, for some, lots of artwork.
Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey; Scholastic Press
Chapter Book Series, Ages 9-12 (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
When George and Harold, two grade-school pranksters, write a comic book about their mean principal turning into Captain Underpants, they don't expect the stodgy authority figure to become Captain Underpants for real. "Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People" -- the most recent entry in the series -- finds George and Harold in an alternate universe, where teachers are kind and cafeteria food is tasty! The series has been frequently challenged for its potty humor and irreverence but admirers of the books say they spur imagination and get non-readers interested in books.
H.I.V.E. (Higher Institute for Villainous Education), by Mark Walden; Simon & Schuster
Chapter Book, 256 Pages, Ages 9-12 (Read aloud to child, 8 and up)
What's a kid to do if he's sent to a school where studies revolve around villainy and world domination? Otto Malpense has the makings of the perfect villain -- so he's hand-selected by Dr. Nero to attend H.I.V.E., a villain training academy on a faraway island. But whether he's got the villain's gift or not, Otto doesn't want it and has other plans -- busting himself and his friends out of H.I.V.E.
Travels of Thelonious, by Susan Schade and John Buller; Aladdin Paperbacks
Chapter Book/Graphic Novel, Ages 8 to 13 (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
Comic book-style tales open doors to reading for kids of all ages. This book alternates chapters between graphic novels and straight prose, while telling a futuristic tale of a world where people are gone and animals -- with language and thumbs -- have their own societies. Thelonious, a young chipmunk, is one of few to believe the legends of humans who once dwelled on Earth, and sets out with three friends to prove them true.
Book Club Activity Ideas: