Nikki and I hope you’ll join us today for Story Time with Literary Escapism, a bi-weekly feature where we showcase various children books that fall directly in the fantasy & science fiction genres, as well as books we’re enjoying with our young children. We’re talking boardbooks, picture books, those books labeled as beginner or newly independent readers, and middle grade – anything of interest to those readers who are not quite ready for the young adult genre. So we hope you’ll join us on the carpet as we share the stories that have captured our little ones imaginations.
Since March is reading month, the Monkey’s class has been tasked with tracking how many pages they read. According to the sheet sent home by his teacher, a first graders goal is 75 pages, from any type of book. That may or may not seem like a lot depending on the book a first grader is reading, but the Monkey is reading a full year ahead of his class (woo hoo!), so he’s delving into chapter books and that’s a few more pages than a picture book. So we gave him a new goal. We told him, once he reached 500 pages he would get to hit up the bookstore for more to read. Especially since we only had a couple here at home.
He made his goal yesterday. The official “month” for this tracking project is March 4th to April 4th, so my little man reached his goal of 500 pages in 9 days. *celebration ensues* We went up to Barnes and Noble tonight and he picked up six new novels, which is a lot less than he wanted. *grin* He’s such a good bookworm, wanting more books than is feasible at the moment, but these were the ones he grabbed tonight – Ben 10 Omniverse: Joyrides and Ghost Ship, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift, Max Steel: Hero Overload, LEGO Ninjago: Zane, Ninja of Ice, Flat Stanley: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery, and Phineas and Ferb: Thrill-o-rama!.
While the Monkey was browsing through the books, I was looking to see what type of science fiction/fantasy chapters books I could find, and surprisingly enough, there were quite a few. I’m not going to list all of them, keep your eyes out for another Story Time post, but here’s the first that caught my eye.
Galaxy Zack series by Ray O’Ryan
The year is 2120 and Zack Nelson and his family are making the big move from Earth to the planet Nebulon. Zack is already nervous about starting school and making new friends, but it only gets worse when he dreams that his classmates are slimy aliens with tentacles, pizza comes covered in gross bugs, and he can never communicate with his Earth friends again! When Zack arrives at Sprockets Academy for his first day of school, he meets and befriends Drake Tucker, a Nebulite boy who also loves to explore and learn about the planets. All of the differences between Earth and Nebulon begin to pile up and make Zack miss his home in Dubbsville, Texas, even more. But things start to look up when he receives a mysterious surprise. What could it possibly be?
The first book in this science fiction series is Hello Nebulon!, and there’s plenty more to chose from. Plus, there are new novels coming out this year – Drake Makes a Splash! (May 6, 2014) and The Annoying Crush (Dec 16, 2014).
Dr. Roach’s Monstrous Stories by Paul Harrison
Funny, light-hearted monster stories that are perfect for young readers, brought to us by the esteemed Dr. Roach.
Judd Crank and his friend Zak are two ordinary boys, in an ordinary town, with some very ordinary goldfish. Judd never thought much about his pet fish, besides sometimes needing to feed them.
But when a science experiment accidentally gets mixed in with their food, these regular pets start becoming a lot more interesting. With a series of bubbles and pops, the slimy fish start growing and changing. Then they step right out of their tank — and begin marching towards town
The first book in this series is Night of the Zombie Goldfish, and was followed by three more – Attack of the Giant Hamster, Frogosaurus vs. the Bog Monster, and The Day the Mice Stood Still. Sadly, the series seems to have ended with the four books.
The Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings
Alexander has just moved to a new town where he is about to uncover all sorts of monsters! He finds an old notebook with the word “DOOM” inscribed on the front cover. The Notebook of Doom, which Alexander now holds, contains top secret information about monsters! In this first book, Alexander goes up against spooky balloon goons–unique and twisted arm-waving balloon guys! This book is full of humor, engaging black-and-white illustrations, and of course . . . monsters!
The first book in this series is Rise of the Balloon Goons, and is followed by Day of the Night Crawlers and Attack of the Shadow Smashers. The fourth book, Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables, was just released this past October, so there may be more coming, but nothing is showing up just yet.
There’s three of the books I found during my Barnes & Noble explorations today; but don’t worry, I still have plenty more to share and will do so next time. Do you have a newly independent reader in the house? I hope you’ll share with us any new books the two of you have discovered.