We asked our young patrons at the Central Library Children’s Center to suggest books for our adult Book Bingo players and they delivered! These young people know their kid lit – they suggested classics both modern and older, video game tie-ins, realistic fiction, fantasy, adventure – there’s something for every reader of any age. Find the full list here: #BookBingoNW2018: Central Library Children’s Center patron suggestions for “Suggested by a Young Person”
Gregor the Overlander, the first novel by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games trilogy, is something of an urban Alice in Wonderland. I’m not a fantasy reader, but once I picked it up I was hooked! I devoured the first hundred pages in one sitting.
Eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister, Boots, fall through a grate in the laundry room of their apartment building and find themselves in the mysterious world of the Underlanders. The adventure that ensues is full of page-turning action and suspense, and Collins does a fantastic job of developing characters and atmosphere.
Read on for more adventures in the rest of the Underland Chronicles series, which spans five volumes.
The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill tells the story of a battle between trucks and pushcarts (think wooden carts peddling produce or flowers) for the streets of New York. First published in 1964, the story was originally set in 1976. As new editions were published, the date of the story changed (first to 1986, then 1996, with the most recent edition taking place in 2026), though the old-fashioned setting has not.
The themes of grassroots activism and the power of the underdog are strong, but don’t entirely explain why this funny little book is still being read by children more than 50 years after its debut. In “The Enduring Appeal of ‘The Pushcart War’” (The New Yorker, September 17, 2014) Peter J. Baker sums up his experience of reading it:
[M]y strongest memory of reading the book as a child has little to do with its plot or characters, and more to do with its humor and the appeal of its faux-historical form. I knew that the Pushcart War had never actually happened––not in 1976, not in 1986, not ever. And yet the book felt tethered to the real world in a way I hadn’t yet encountered in fiction… Merrill got me thinking: eventually, inevitably, my ‘now’ would become the past written about in history books that have not yet been written.
Read it for yourself and ponder a past that never was, and the future that could be.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin was a Newbery Honor book in 2010 and also won the 2010 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.
In it, 10-year-old Minli goes on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon, who can change her family’s (poor) fortune. Minli is a deft heroine and the story is interspersed with tales inspired by traditional Chinese folklore.
The book is a beautiful object in itself. Lin’s full-color illustrations and the text’s artistic typesetting make Where the Mountain Meets the Moon as much an aesthetic standout as a literary one.
For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2018 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2018 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.
~ Posted by Becky B.