Reluctant Reader Pick of the Week

Alright- so I missed last week.  But I have a good excuse!  I was uber busy helping actual real, live reluctant readers find good books!  So there.

Anyhoo, my pick for this week is the first book in a series that has really taken off and is almost never on the shelf anymore:  Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall.

It’s about 120 pages long, the text is large, and there are fantastic illustrations throughout.  Ivy and Bean are two seven-year-old girls who, despite being polar opposites, form a friendship sparked by mischief and annoying an older sibling.  Truth be told, there were moments that reminded me of Ramona and Clementine– which, for me, is about the highest compliment I can give a book for young readers. 

Because of the age of the title characters, this would also be a good choice for first or second graders who are reading above level- or a good choice for classroom or parent read alouds.  On the other hand, the illustrations and subtle humor lend this story a sophistication that eight-, nine-, and ten-year-olds can appreciate (as well as old fogies like myself).  The one downside- it’s definitely a girly book.  Not many eight-year-old boys would probably want to be seen checking this one out, but that’s when you hand them a story about a giant chicken.


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