Hi Crystal! Thanks for inviting me on My Reading Room and giving me the chance to talk about the books I’ve treasured over the years. I didn’t read a huge variety of books when I was young. I tended to read a book that I loved over and over.
For five year olds…I’d recommend The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and Good Night Little Bear by Patsy Scarry. The Giving Tree is about unconditional love. I loved Shel Silverstein – especially his collection of poems – Where the Sidewalk Ends. I’d recommend that too! Good Night Little Bear was my most loved picture book when I was growing up. I begged my parents to read that book over and over.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve added a book for 7 year olds…The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. When I started to read on my own, I checked this book out of my local library multiple times. I can still see its faded cover, worn spine, and the black line drawings that graced the inside pages and also recall the adventures of the orphaned Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny.
I’d recommend The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett to eleven year old readers. I loved the feisty main character and the allure of a secret place for my childhood adventure. I recently purchased a beautiful 100th anniversary copy, illustrated by Lauren Child. I can’t wait to read it again.
For 16-year-old readers who also long to be writers, you can’t go wrong with Jennifer Donnelly’s A Gathering Light. It’s a story within a story. The main character is a writer-in-waiting and a lover of words. It’s jam-packed with so many plots, themes and ideas.....
For 20-year-olds, To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. I only read it a few years ago and wish I hadn’t waited so long. It’s a book that lingers with you long after you’ve read the final page.
And finally, I’d give teen girls a copy of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens. It was published last year. The book is wild and imaginative and layered. It also celebrates the feminine in all its unique and beautiful forms. Young girls can find themselves as well as sisters and friends in the pages of that novel. I think I would have felt a little less alone if I’d read Beauty Queens when I was a teenager.
About Sara and Dark Parties
Sixteen-year-old Neva was born and raised in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. Hundreds of years ago, her country constructed an electrified dome to protect itself from the outside world. What once might have protected, now imprisons. Her country is decaying and its citizens are dying.
Neva and her friends dream of freedom.
A forbidden party leads to complications. Suddenly Neva’s falling for her best friend's boyfriend, uncovering secrets that threaten to destroy her friends, her family and her country -- and discovering the horrifying truth about what happens to The Missing. . .
Sara Grant was born and raised in Washington, Indiana. She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Sara is senior commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. She has worked on ten different series and edited more than 75 books.
Dark Parties is her first young adult novel.
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***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. ***