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A Primary 6 Reading List, Shared By An MGS Mum

With so much free time after the PSLE, it’s time for kids to rest, play, and of course, read.

Below, an MGS mum has put together a list of book recommendations from her daughter’s Primary 6 class.

“For this year, my daughter and her friends were mostly hooked on series books such as Harry Potter and Keeper Of The Lost Cities,” she says. “On the other hand, some of my daughter’s classmates have already moved on to adult fiction, such as Ready Player One. I encourage my daughter to try something new from time to time, but whatever her preferences, I’m just happy that she reads for pleasure.”

If you would like to share what your child’s class is reading too, please leave us a note in the comments.

10 Award-Worthy Books

The Girl Who Drank The Moon

Author: Kelly Barnhill

Award: John Newbery Medal Winner (2017). More awards and honours here.

Synopsis: Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to a witch, Xan, who lives in the forest. The people hope this sacrifice will keep Xan from terrorising their town. But little do they know that Xan is kind. She delivers the babies to welcoming families, nourishing them with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby with moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s 13th birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge—with dangerous consequences.

Recommended Age: 10–14 years

Commonsense Media Rating: A mild warning for violence.

Find It At The Library: Available in print.

The Inquisitor’s Tale

Author: Adam Gidwitz

Award: John Newbery Honor (2017)

Synopsis: It is the year 1242. On a dark night, travellers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children: William, a boy on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte—recently brought back from the dead. As the narrator collects their tales, the story of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Recommended Age: 10–14

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warnings for alcohol consumption, a mention of an adult’s rampant extramarital affairs, and language. Moderate warning for violence. (Details here.)

Find It At The Library: Available in print.

One For The Murphys

Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Award(s): Maud Hart Lovelace Award 1st Place Winner (Minnesota Youth Reading Awards, 2015–16)

Synopsis: In the wake of heartbreaking betrayal, Carley Connors is thrust into foster care and left on the steps of the Murphys, a happy, bustling family. Carley isn’t easily rattled, but this is a world she doesn’t understand. A world that frightens her, with dinners around a table and a mom that says “zip your jacket, here’s your lunch.” However, the Murphys do the impossible in showing Carley what it feels like to belong somewhere. But, when Carley’s mother wants her back, will she lose the only family that she has ever known?

Recommended Age: 10–14

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A.

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

The War That Saved My Life

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Award: John Newbery Honor (2016)

Synopsis: Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment, because her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

This marks the beginning of a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. Will their bond be enough to hold them together?

Recommended Age: 9–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warning for language, moderate warning for violence. (Details here.)

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

The Care And Feeding Of A Pet Black Hole

Author: Michelle Cuevas

Award: Library and Information Technology Association Science Fiction Award (2018)

Synopsis: Something unexpected happens to 11-year-old Stella Rodriguez one day—a black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of unwanted items. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear, as does the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are too painful to have around. It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realise she has been letting her own grief consume her.

Recommended Age: 8–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A.

Find It At The Library: Available in print.

When You Reach Me

Author: Rebecca Stead

Award: John Newbery Medal Winner (2010)

Synopsis: By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, are able to navigate their New York City neighbourhood with ease. They know where it’s safe to go, and who to avoid. But things start to unravel: Sal gets punched by a new kid, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. Next, Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: “I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.” The notes keep coming, and each message brings Miranda closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death.

Recommended Age: 8–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warnings for romance, language, and consumerism; moderate warning for violence. (Details here.)

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio

Award: New Atlantic Indie Booksellers Association Book of the Year (2012). More awards and honours here.

Synopsis: August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a severe facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. As he begins 5th grade at Beecher Prep, Auggie wants to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past his extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include the perspectives of his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These voices converge to portray a community as it struggles with differences, and challenges readers to wonder about the true nature of empathy, friendship, and—ultimately—kindness.

Recommended Age: 8–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warnings for kissing, smoking, name-calling, and bullying. (Details here.)

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

Dragonhearted

Author: Xie Shi Min

Award: Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award (2018)

Synopsis: Like any ordinary 10-year-old girl, Xin Long prefers Wushu to studying, likes hanging out with her friends, and loves listening to her Ah Ma’s stories. But when these stories tell of an ancient mythical beast that threatens to destroy the world, Xin Long realises that she is the only one who can stop it. In a race against time, Xin Long and her friends must unlock the secrets of ancient Chinese mythology to save the world.

Recommended Age: 8–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A.

Find It At The Library: Available in print.

From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Author: E.L. Konigsburg

Award: John Newbery Medal Winner (1968)

Synopsis: When 12-year-old Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as her new home. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money, she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue, which leads them to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the statue’s previous owner. Through her adventure, Claudia makes some remarkable discoveries about herself.

Recommended Age: 8–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: No warnings listed.

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

The Island In The Caldera

Author: Lin Xueling

Award: Red Dot Award Shortlist (2018–19)

Synopsis: Two sisters, Min Rui and Chloe, are on a perilous journey home through the strange lands of the Island in the Caldera. They face ferocious tree dragons and stinky giants, as well as hunger and exhaustion. This is a story of survival, but it is also a story about the amazing wisdom and beauty of Asia. Almost the entire book is based on actual places in the region, real inventions by Asian scientists, and Asian history and mythology.

Recommended Age: 8–12 years

Commonsense Media Rating: N.A.

Find It At The Library: Available in print.

5 Must-Try Series Books

The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Synopsis: When Ruby woke up on her 10th birthday, something about her had changed. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children, but she and others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now 16, Ruby has escaped Thurmond and she’s desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. But soon, she will be faced with a choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Recommended Age: 14+

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warning for romance; moderate warnings for violence and swearing. (Details here.)

Additional Info: The Darkest Minds series consists of three novels and a collection of three novellas. The author’s recommended reading order is: The Darkest Minds, In Time (novella), Never Fade, Sparks Rise (novella), In the Afterlight, and, finally, Beyond the Night (novella).

Find It At The Library: Available in print.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Synopsis: A horrific family tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Recommended Age: 13+

Commonsense Media Rating: Moderate warnings for drinking, drug references, romance, violence, and swearing. (Details here.)

Additional Info: The series also includes Hollow City, Library Of Souls, and A Map Of Days.

Find It At The Library: Print, e-book, and audiobook editions available.

The Lunar Chronicles

Author: Marissa Meyer

Synopsis: Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the centre of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Recommended Age: 12+

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warning for a kiss and references to “escort droids.” Moderate warning for violence. (Details here.)

Additional Info: A recommended reading order for this series is Cinder, Glitches (short story), Scarlet, The Queen’s Army (short story), The Little Android (short story), Cress, Carswell’s Guide To Being Lucky (short story), Fairest, The Princess And The Guard (short story), and Winter. The short stories are available in a collection titled Stars Above.

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making

Author: Catherynne M. Valente

Synopsis: September, age 12, lives in Omaha. One day, she is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure because her help is needed in Fairyland. Fairyland’s new Marquess is an unpredictable and fickle child. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t, the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland.

Recommended Age: 10+

Commonsense Media Rating: Moderate warning for death—characters are occasionally in mortal danger. (Details here.)

Additional Info: The reading order for this series is: The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland—For A Little While (a prequel, published as an e-book), The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland And Led The Revels There, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland And Cut The Moon In Two, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, and The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home.

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

Book Scavenger

Author: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Emily is excited about moving to San Francisco. It’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold. He’s a book publisher and the creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. Upon her arrival, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.

Recommended Age: 9+

Commonsense Media Rating: Mild warnings for references to drinking, smoking, and an act of physical aggression. (Details here.)

Additional Info: The other two books in this series are The Unbreakable Code and The Alcatraz Escape.

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

2 Enlightening Non-Fiction Reads

Wonderful Life With The Elements

Author: Bunpei Yorifuji

Synopsis: This is an illustrated guide to the periodic table, and a fun introduction to chemistry for kids. In the author-illustrator’s whimsical rendering of the periodic table, every element is depicted as a unique comic character whose properties are represented visually—for instance, heavy elements are fat, and man-made elements are robots. The illustrations provide a novel way to learn about each element’s properties and its common uses.

Recommended Age: 12+

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

Big Questions From Little People

Author: Gemma Elwin Harris

Synopsis: A book of weighty questions by schoolchildren, ranging from “Who is God?” to “How long would it take to walk around the world?” Supplying the relatable and thought-provoking—as well as entertaining—answers is a notable crew of scientists, specialists, philosophers, and writers. Authors Mary Roach and Phillip Pullman, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, chef Gordon Ramsay, adventurer Bear Grylls, and linguist Noam Chomsky are among the experts featured.

Recommended Age: 8–12

Find It At The Library: Print and e-book editions available.

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