Reading has always been a favorite pastime for my children. They loved bookstores and libraries from the time they were little.
I will take full responsibility for this as I was often dragging with me in my own book-hunting adventures to never leave short of an armload of books.
As time has passed it has gotten harder to find books now that my kiddos are older.
Their tastes change over time and what brought excitement, joy, wonder and discovery now brings “eh”.
When I get asked what my kids love I feel like a failure because it is always changing. One day my daughter is in love with orange the next day she hates it. I can’t keep up.
It is the same with their tastes in books. Animals and adventure one day. Poetry and mystery the next.
My goal for my kids is to expose them to as many different “types” of books as possible.
Did you know that “types of books” include but are not limited to science fiction, satire, drama, action and adventure, romance, mystery, horror, self help, guide, travel, children’s, religious, science, history, math, anthologies, poetry, encyclopedia, dictionaries, comics, art, cookbooks, diaries, prayer books, series, trilogies, biographies, autobiographies, and fantasy?
Simply put I wanted them to know and understand there is a world of books out there to be read.
How I am finding those books:
This year with the aid of the curriculum I am using such as Writing with Skill and Analytical Grammar along with various websites I have compiled a list of books I want the children to be able to choose from. These are considered American Authors by the “Google” and other research I’ve done but if you see a mistake let me know.
Also, because I realize not everyone loves the smell of paper and the feel of a book in their hands I am including kindle book links to the book if available and the audio book (we love audible!). That way you can get the book to your teen in the format they prefer.
Lastly, a disclaimer: I’ve done my best to choose titles that fit “American Authors for older kids”, but I haven’t read all of the books listed below. Please preview to determine and sensor for your own children what’s appropriate.
American Authors For Older Children
Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. In this world, you will find a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. Along with The Unicorn and the Bloath, and Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.
Did you know Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse? He was born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. His greatest adventure is when his best friend goes missing. (Kindle Version, Audible Version)
For the animal lover. In Big Red Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows this is the dog for him. Big Red is fast and smart, strong and noble, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart. Learn about the many dangers Danny and Red face together in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home.
This Alfred Noyes thrilling poem, charged with drama and tension, we ride with the highwayman and recoil from the terrible fate that befalls him and his sweetheart Bess, the landlord’s daughter.
A story about a tale of kidnapping gone awry. A little boy, self proclaimed “Red Chief”, is taken from his home, and has so much fun he never wants to go back, much to the chagrin of the kidnappers. Grab the Audio version or the Kindle version.
This is a colorful version of “Jabberwocky” from Through the Looking Glass. Jabberwock, Jubjub and Bandersnatch are fully and uniquely hewn from the artist’s imagination. “Slithy Toves” becomes two endearing little green creatures that look like a cross between prehistoric animals and beings recently arrived from another planet.
The story continues for Jo March – now Mrs Jo Bhaer-who has two sons of her own and 12 rescued orphan boys filling the unusual school at Plumfield. Come along with the boys who have a habit of getting into scrapes, and their mischievous antics. (Kindle Version)Finding books for older children is a challenge. 22 Books by American Authors for your teen. Click To Tweet
Ferdinand is a peaceful–and–beloved little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand really wants to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. (Audible Version)
Listen to the first battle cry for American independence spring from the pages of Paul Revere’s Ride. Hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere on April 18, 1775 revolutionary hero who rode his horse through Medford, Lexington, and Concord to warn the American patriots that the British were coming to attack. (Kindle Version)
The story of a man and his dog against nature. (Audible Version)
This is a narrative poem often noted for its musicality and stylized language. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. (Kindle Version / Audible Version)
Sleepy Hollow is known for being home to ghosts and spirits, the most famous being the terrifying Headless Horseman. Please note: My children will not read this but I am leaving it on the list as it is included in the Analytical Grammar program my son is using. (Kindle Version / Audible Version)
One of our all time favorites The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provides an unparalleled glimpse into the pre-Civil War South as runaway Huck Finn – a white boy – teams up with fugitive adult slave Jim as they flee by raft on the river. (Kindle Version / Audible Version)
Getting my kids to pick up the books:
So what is my method of madness for getting my kids to pick up something they might not normally consider?
Easy. I put it on the table and ignore it!
Yeah I know so detailed.
And it works. I just ignore the book and they rummage through and find something that catches their interest. And Voila! Off to visit another time, another world, or just another point of view.
Tell me what is your favorite book by an American Author for older kids?
Favorites from readers:
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Kindle / Audible)
- The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (Kindle / Audible)
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’dell (Kindle / Audible)
- Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
- The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald