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.
The Monkey is starting second grade this fall and he’s starting to get to the point where the middle grade books are what he should be aiming for. However he wants nothing to do with them. He’s definitely someone who wants instant gratification or doesn’t want to spend too much time reading one book (which is why I’m sure he loves the graphic novel). I’ve always tried to have books in the house that challenge his reading level, but he should still be able to enjoy, and I’m thinking the middle grade books are simply intimidating to him.
During our recent trip, I was able to get him to browse through the titles in the middle grade section, but nothing caught his interest until he came to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Junior Novel.
An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy tells the story of a group of cosmic misfits–Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot–who band together to protect a mysterious orb against Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
Considering the movie was just released and the boys have been wanting to see it (although by the time this posts, they will have seen it), this was perfect for him. It was bigger than a chapter book, but not quite as big as a middle grade novel. However, I did get stuck on one thing.
I’ve known about Chapter books and Middle Grade books, but Junior Novels? Have I just completely missed this new category of young reader books or is anyone else just hearing about this for the first time? Needless to say, they haven’t been on my radar, but they are now. They seem to be a blend of the chapter and middle grade genres, with fewer pictures than what can be found in chapter books and more like a novel that middle grade books are. This looks to be a great way to transition Monkey into the bigger books and Marvel has definitely caught his attention with them.
We’ve all seen the “based on the movie” picture books and full length novels, but Marvel has taken their recent box office hits and turned them into these junior novels. Not only do they have one for Guardians of the Galaxy, but also The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier: THE SECRET FILES, and Thor: The Dark World. I don’t know about anyone else, but put a superhero in the story and my boys are all over it. I’m not sure if this will get the Monkey to start thinking of reading Middle Grade books yet, but it’s a good transition.