Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Candy Shop War (& I can't keep up with my kid's reading)

Hi, so earlier this year I realized that Lilac is walking the very narrow bridge between juvenile fiction and YA-- YA?? I'm a little scared to have a kid reading YA.  Some of it I'm not sure I want her reading yet, you know? I'm not trying to be some sort of book banning mom or anything, but I just want to make sure she doesn't get into content that's over her head. There's a time for certain content and some of it might not be in elementary school…right?

After one particular book where I got asked about syringes, sedation, and embryos, I decided I better try to read some things ahead of her so I know what she's getting into and I can answer her questions better. Let me tell you-- that's tough! Kids have built in time for reading! It's set aside for them at school and it's part of their homework. Luckies!! I can't get through her stuff (and my own stuff) nearly as fast as she would like.

So, needless to say I am always on the look out for a good read for her that's not on the YA side of things: enter The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull. (Robyn loves Brandon Mull so I used her as sounding board-- she thought it'd be perfect for Lilac right now and she couldn't have been more spot on!! THANK YOU ROBYN!!)
Lilac is crazy about this book! I don't know all the details because I told her I want to read it too so she isn't giving too many clues, but I know it involves magical candy (like moon rocks that make you weightless) and crazy assignments from the candy shop owner, and lots of plots twists that are keeping my kiddo surprised! It's great!!

The cutest part?  Over the weekend Lilac was like "I really want to talk to someone about Candy Shop Wars!" I told her I still want to read it, so I didn't want her to give anything away, but I said she could use my phone to text Robyn about it. She was thrilled!! I'm pretty sure she just texted the whole plot to Robyn…I don't know? She hid the phone so I wouldn't see any details-- so funny!

Anyway, she finished the book last night and is hankering for number two! I better hurry and read the first one so I can read the second one with her!! Who needs to do laundry, I'll be reading! (I wish!!)

PS- If you are having a hard time gauging the content level for your kids age there are 2 tricks I have come across, I'm not sure they'll be universal between all libraries, but here's what I've found…

1- You can often find out the interest level the book is gear toward (lower grades, middle grades, or upper grades) this helps with advanced readers not getting into content over their head and struggling readers not getting reading 'babyish' books. 

2- My local library is so awesome and they recently rearranged all the chapter books by interest level including a middle level section for kids who are moving out of juvenile fiction but not quite old enough from so of the YA concepts, aka my kid. LIBRARIANS ROCK!!

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