Parnassus Kids: What We Read This Summer

kids at piano

Are the young book-lovers in your life looking for their next great read? It’s one thing to get book advice from an adult — ugh, what do grownups know? — but it’s something else entirely to get a recommendation from another kid. In this special guest post, our “junior booksellers” (children of shop staff) report on the books they loved most over the summer.

Recommended by Isaac, age 5 —

Cleary’s chapter books for young readers are classics for good reason. Isaac says: “I love the song in it. I like Ralph the mouse and Catso the cat.” For lots more Beverly Cleary, click here.

Recommended by Peter, age 9 —

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Peter found an out of print copy of Korman’s I Want to Go Home in a stack of his mom’s old books and loved it. “Lots of jokes! Warm laughter, hysterics, and mysteries,” he says. For current books by Korman, click here!
Peter: “Calvin is very funny. Hobbes is very calm until they are playing sports.” Peter’s mom notes that Watterson’s books do a nice, sly job of teaching kids impressive vocabulary words.

Recommended by Maia, age 11 —

Maia’s a gal of few words, but she means it when she recommends a book: “This series is adventure-y. I liked the many different points of view.”
 In this novel, three aunts tend an off-the-grid island with some weird inhabitants. When they can no longer properly take care of their charges, they kidnap three children — Fabio, Lambert, and Minette — to help. “I like it because all the aunts think in unique ways,” Maia says.

Enjoyed together by Isaac, Peter, and Maia — (read aloud and reported on here by mom, Margy)

The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
“Good audiobook for road trips, as the characters are also on a journey — a quest for a long-lost prince. Our favorite character, Puddleglum, was unfailingly negative (no ‘Life is Good’ bumper sticker for him) and surpassingly tender-hearted.”
“This father and son story has an unexpected gentleness for Dahl. Also, there’s an admonition to all parents, at the end of the book, to be ‘sparky’ like Danny’s father, which I think means this: be kind and tell good stories.”

Recommended by Gennie, age 8 — 

Gennie devoured this book and its sequel. “This is one series that I really liked,” she says. “You would like these books if you like twisted stories! But even if you don’t, you will probably like them.”
“I love the Warriors series,” Gennie says. “It’s sooooooooooooo good. If you read one book, you feel like you have to read the others to live! And you love each book more and more.” The world of the Warriors is a civilization of cats, which makes these books particularly intriguing for readers who like their dramas populated by animal characters.
This book changed minds: “At first I thought that I would hate the this series because it was about mermaids. But when I read the first sentence I knew I would love it,” Gennie says.
Gennie liked this one, although she found it not quite as action-packed as some of her other favorites: “If someone is looking for a calm, sweet book, they would like this.”

Recommended by Cameron, age 11 —

“Everyone knows the Sherlock Holmes stories, but it took Andrew Lane to tell about the mysteries that he solved in is youth,” Cameron says. “So far there are two books in this thrilling series: Death Cloud and Rebel Fire.” He’s hooked.
Cameron sums it up: “This series is about a boy named Ben Ripley who is recruited by the C.I.A. to come to spy school in book one, learns survival skills in book two, and does spying on the evil spy school in book three. The books are called Spy School, Spy Camp, and Evil Spy School.” (Cameron adds, “Evil Spy School is NOT FOR SALE yet. This is a perk of working at a book store. You can read advance copies.”)
“This series is about a orphan named Max who lives at an orphanage when he finds out that it is a school for spies! On his first day he learns a shocking secret that puts his bravery to the test.” – Cameron (We’re sensing an espionage theme in Cameron’s favorites.)
School reading doesn’t have to be boring. Cameron says: “I never thought that I would read this book… until I read it for school reading and it was GREAT! For ages 10-110.”
Cameron loves this book so much, he recommends it to everyone: “This book is amazing — nothing less. It is the story about the building of the atom bomb. This is NONfiction but it feels like fiction.”
“This is about a boy named Peak who goes off to climb Everest. He does this with his dad because his parents are separating.” Cameron adds, “Maybe this book is good for people whose parents are separating.”
“These comic books were made 25 years ago in France,” Cameron says. [Ed. note — Well, actually… Hergé was Belgian, and the Tintin character debuted in 1929.] “They are about news reporter Tintin, his drunk friend Captain Haddock and his dog Snowy. They go on adventures, from catching thieves in America to catching pirates.”

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For little book-lovers who aren’t reading yet or who just love to hear a book aloud: Join us every Thursday at 3:30 and Saturday at 10:30 for storytime in our children’s books section. Thursday’s stories are read by WSMV Channel 4 meteorologist Nancy Van Camp, and Saturday’s stories are presented by guest readers!


Photo at top: Two young customers turn the piano in the shop into a reading desk. Ingenuity!