Hi everyone, this first week is all about those stories which feature a house move of some sort. And of course what our young heroes and heroines think about it all!! This week is a booklist of ten of my favourite reads featuring some adventurous, a few scary… oops… I’ll let you find out the rest below…
Moving house is one of life’s major stress points. If it’s fraught with endless checklists and responsibilities for the adults, can you imagine what the impact would be for a youngster? Especially a youngster embarking into that in-between world of ‘tweendom’! I hope this booklist of my faves will entertain you… let’s begin.
I think by now you will have met the hilarious Truly Lovegood from Heather Vogel Frederick’s Absolutely Truly. Did you know her story begins when her family moves to her dad’s hometown of Pumpkin Falls in New Hampshire? They end up taking over the family bookstore and Truly finds a mysterious letter inside an old copy of Charlotte’s Web. This inevitably leads Truly and her new school friends in a madcap treasure hunt around town. Our lead character Truly has a knack with words and the whole story is often hilarious. If you’re after stories of big families, along with some mystery with a dash of adventure, then this is perfect for you!!
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chamblis Bertman is another similar read which begins an exciting series. This time we’re trailing after Emily and her family as they relocate to San Francisco. Emily is actually not too fussed about the move because she’s landed in the home of her literary idol, Garrison Griswold, creator of the online game Book Scavenger, which Emily is hooked on. Pretty soon Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. This awesome book pays homage to Chris Grabenstein’s Lemoncello series, and will have you excited with all the literary quizzes and codes!! Bibliophiles will adore all the exciting twists and turns this book takes with an amazing cast of characters!!
Now, if you’re more into moving houses mixed with some Science Fiction tied into it, the perfect read to get into is Tesla’s attic by Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman. This story involves fourteen-year-old Nick and his brother and father soon after they move into a Victorian house they’ve inherited and the crazy, spooky things that start happening to them. This is one of those books that you won’t be able to put down. Filled with intrigue, action, humour, and non-stop surprises, this will have you hooked from page one!! Go on, pick it up and have a read, I promise it won’t disappoint!!
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is a graphic novel told in her signature style. We meet Catrina and her family as they move to the coast of North California for her younger sister’s Maya’s cystic fibrosis. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbour lets them in on a secret – there are ghosts in Bahia de la Luna. 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. Now, I don’t know about you but I actually enjoy ghost stories and this particular one by Raina Telgemeier is a masterpiece that taught me so many things. I learned quite a bit about the Dia de los Muertos and the many traditions Mexicans follow on that day. The stunning artwork along with the lovely storyline makes this an excellent read!!
If you were after something a little bit on the scary side of ghosts and horror, then The Haunting on Devil’s Den Road by Karen Chilton is what you should pick up. The story starts after Paige Turner moves house into a run-down farmhouse in a sleepy town called Heather Hollow. Filled with ghost stories, suspicions of vampires, and spooky woods with secrets, this is one of those reads that will keep you gripped until the end!! I won’t go into it more than this, but if this is your genre, then have a go!!
Contemporary reads with your usual tense family dramas and often hilarious school scenes can be found in almost all the book lists out there. One such quirky read I found recently is Annie’s life in lists by Kristin Mahoney and illustrated by Rebecca Crave. This was such a lovely, fresh, and new type of middle grade story!! Told over a span of a year when Annie’s life changed when her family moved out of New York City to Clover Gap, this book is written entirely as Annie’s collection of lists!! Although we don’t get traditional dialogue and description in the narrative, what we do get gives a unique perspective to Annie’s life in Clover Gap. This is a book that will not disappoint you!!
If you were after a sports theme, then Soar by Joan Bauer would be a good one to start off with. Jeremiah is the world’s biggest baseball fan, but when he’s told he can’t play baseball following an operation on his heart, Jeremiah decides he’ll do the next best thing and become a coach. Hillcrest, where Jeremiah and his father Walt have just moved, is a town known for its championship baseball team. But Jeremiah finds the town caught up in a scandal and about ready to give up on baseball. It’s up to Jeremiah and his can-do spirit to get the town – and the team – back in the game. Filled with basebally-y jargon, this story captures you by your shoelaces, forcing you to walk beside the hero, Jeremiah, crying at times but mostly clutching at your heartstrings as Jeremiah goes through a period of soul-searching uncertainty on his future!
Now I don’t know about you, but there was a time in my life when I would imagine myself moving to where my literary heroines grew up: Concord, Avonlea, and even Narnia!! (Maybe not permanently!!) In this read by Shelley Tougas, Laura Ingalls is ruining my life, our young heroine moves to Walnut Grove!! Charlotte’s mother thinks it will help her write a bestselling book if she lives there!! But Charlotte knows better: Walnut Grove is just another town where she can avoid responsibility. And this place is worse than everywhere else the family has lived – it’s freezing in the winter, it’s small with nothing to do, and the people talk about Laura Ingalls all the time. Charlotte’s convinced her family will not be able to make a life on the prairie – until the spirit of Laura Ingalls starts getting to her, too. This was a lovely story of a family, just like Little House. Shelley Tougas gives a vivid image of modern-day prairie life through the voice of Charlotte, a bright and quirky character. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!
My next fave is Kat Wolfe investigates by Lauren St. John. This book has a house move from London to a small community along the Dorset coast where young Kat Wolfe’s mum is the local vet. This first book in this hilarious series follows Kat and her new friend Harper Lamb as they try to find the rich owner of a movie-loving parrot!! If you are an Anglophile at heart like me, you’ll love the descriptions of the English coast and countryside and the unique British humour in this awesome read!!
And lastly, we have On Orchard Road by Elsbeth Edgar. A beautifully crafted story of friendship and growing up. This book starts with our main character Jane McConnachie, leaving with her father to live in the country while her mother stays behind in Melbourne with her baby sister Sylvia. A new start, a new sister, a new school in a new town. Jane is sure that she will be miserable. A sequence of events lead to her meeting the reclusive Miss Harrison and her cat Fatapurr, along with a boy from school, Michael. Pretty soon Jane and Michael begin popping over to visit the old lady and an unlikely friendship blossoms between them. This story has a touch of everything; growing pains, family drama, bullying, friendship and the beginning of a young love!!
So there you have it friends!! These are my fave titles on moving house and the changes it entails for youngsters. If you have read anything similar I’d love to hear from you.
Stay safe and keep reading