Linden Tree Books asked 50 kids from our Page Turners group (ages 7-12) the following:

  • Which books do you love to read?
  • Which books do you read over and over?
  • Which books do you want to read this summer?
  • Which books do you WISH grownups, or your friends, would buy for you?

Then we went to Booksellers, who are Literary Matchmakers AND kids at heart, and added some of their great recommendations. The results are below; we’ll be updating this list of recommended titles regularly, so stay tuned!

Fantasies That Feed Their Imagination

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, Illuminations by Benjamin Bagby: The adventures of three children take them on a chase through France. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon.

It has an interesting plot, and you can even recommend it to adults. My whole class is hooked! – Tessa, age 11

Land of Stories by Chris Colfer: A fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

I don’t usually read fantasy but this held my attention. – Chloe, age 10

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi: Graphic novel with a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a talking fox, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a mission.

A different kind of book you don’t usually find. It’s filled with action and twists. - Dahlia, age 10

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger: A telepathic girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world–before the wrong person finds the answer first.

I love the characters’ abilities, and thought it was funny how stupid some people acted. - Casey, age 10

Realistic Fiction They Can Relate To 

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt: Perfect for fans of Wonder! Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. But her newest teacher sees the bright, creative kid underneath the troublemaker. With his help, Ally learns that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of.
There are lots of cliffhangers and vivid adjectives. - Tessa, age 11

Belly Up by Stuart Gibb: 12-year-old Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Fitzroy has murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. He believes that the hippopotamus at the brand-new FunJungle, has been murdered. Could the culprit be FunJungle’s animal-hating head of operations?

I’ve liked every series he’s written. They’re very engaging and I never get bored. The plot twists are fun. - Page Turner participant, age 11

by Raina Telgemeier: Catrina and her family are moving to because her little sister, Maya, is sick. A neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna (Half Moon Bay). As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

She takes a story and puts in a realistic setting, so you think it’s relatable but the plot is really something you wouldn’t experience on a day to day basis. 
- Trisha, age 10

I can relate to the part about how she feels about her sister. - Lin, age 10

Sunny Side Up
 by Jennifer L. Holm: A humorous yet emotional story with a memorable protagonist and detailed full-color art that make this a perfect choice for fans of Raina Telgemeier.

It’s a new adventure every day, but it’s not a big adventure. But it FEELS big. I just like it!
- Chloe, age 10

Books They Read Over and Over

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall: The Penderwick sisters go on holiday and discover the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts.
It keeps on going and very unexpected things happen, and it’s easy to read.  - Meera, age 9
Super well written. And I like how the four sisters bond. - Jacqueline, age 10

 by Wendy Mass: Four children have been selected to compete in the national candymaking contest of a lifetime. This sweet, charming, and cleverly crafted story, told from each contestant’s perspective, is filled with mystery, friendship, and juicy revelations.
I liked it because it’s a competition but everybody ends up friends, so it’s not just about trying to beat each other. - Tessa, age 11

Heroes of Olympus
 series by Rick Riordan: Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip with a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
It shows characters from the first series (Percy Jackson) and it brings them back but brings in more characters. And it shows the Roman side of the Gods.  – Jesse, age 10

Swiss Family Robinson
 by Johann D. Wyss: Long a favorite of children and young adults, this thrilling account of a family’s struggle against overwhelming odds retains a lasting appeal for readers who admire the family’s loving spirit and the enterprising manner in which they prevail.
Really good adventure but it’s really old so it’s not written like most books today are written. I like the way it uses language differently. - Anushka, age 12

Books That Make *Us* Feel Like Kids Again!

Picture Book: The Wonder by Faye Hanson

It’s all about inspiring creativity and reminding kids that it’s okay to daydream and imagine. Sometimes, even if nobody else sees the wonder you see around you, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Pay special attention to the middle, where there are no words, just BEAUTIFUL pictures.
- Eleanor
Early Chapter Book Fiction: Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Emily Hughes
A surprisingly sweet depiction of everyday life with a little brother. Full of humor, endearing pictures, and scenes that made me nostalgic for childhood. The illustrations are great and this is the kind of book that new readers will reach for on their own (and parents will enjoy it too)!
- Nadja
Middle Grade Fiction: Lemons by Melissa Savage
After her mother dies, Lemonade Liberty Witt is pulled away from her comfortable life in San Francisco and taken to a small Northern California town to live with a grandfather she doesn’t know. She is uncertain of this new home and trying to get back to SF as soon as she gets there. But slowly over the summer of 1975 she befriends her quirky next door neighbor who is obsessed with Big Foot and comes to love her grandfather. I really enjoyed this one.
- Alison
Young Adult Fiction: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

Two high school seniors celebrate Pride Month in San Francisco, each perusing love and running from their own fears. This achingly real story of first love, friendship, and failure perfectly captures the modern pains and joys of growing up.
- Heather