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January 2013

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Kids Books That Appeal to Grown-Ups

Thank you Huntsville Times, for this article about great books for kids that grown-ups will love. Among the books included in the piece are Deb Wiles's Each Little Bird That Sings, Christopher Paul Curtis's Bucking the Sarge, and A Crooked Kind of Perfect. (Hooray!)

I've given my husband Wednesday Wars to read, but he hasn't yet. He did, however, find A Single Shard in my library bag a few years back and was bowled over. Even though I write nothing like the amazing Linda Sue Park, the fact that what I was trying to write was in the same category of fiction as A Single Shard gave me cred. I've recommended Cynthia Rylant's Missing May before and have twice handed Sarah Pennypacker's Stuart's Cape to mopey adults. I've given grown-ups Barbara Cooney's Miss Rumphius as a gift, and Linda Smith & Marla Frazee's Mrs. Biddlebox, too.

I'm curious -- do you ever recommend kids books to grown-ups? Which ones?

Comments

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I've given Kate DiCamillo's BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE to adult friends. And I've given Peter Sis' picture book biography of Charles Darwin, TREE OF LIFE, to some of my science colleagues. And M.T. Anderson's THE STRANGE MR. SATIE, another pb bio, made a great gift for the friend who plays piano ...

I'm ALWAYS trying to convert the growups in my life!
I've given Kate DiCamillo's BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE to adult friends. And I've given Peter Sis' picture book biography of Charles Darwin, TREE OF LIFE, to some of my science colleagues. And M.T. Anderson's THE STRANGE MR. SATIE, another pb bio, made a great gift for the friend who plays piano ...

I'm ALWAYS trying to convert the grownups in my life!
Me, too!
Those DiCamillo books are great recommendations and, of course, the Sis is exactly right for your science buds. Your book is a brilliant grown-up gift, too, come to think of it.
I've given KIRA KIRA and THE PENDERWICKS to adult friends. Intended audience is rarely a factor when I select a book for someone. It's more about who they are and what I think will touch them.
That is what a gift is all about, isn't it?
PENDERWICKS. That book is a gift to read. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.
I've recommended Cindy Lord's RULES to a few people, and Karen Hesse's OUT OF THE DUST. :)
Oh! I've recommended those, too!
I think I do this more than I realize.

great question!

I'm always recommending kids books to adults:

Libba Bray's book GREAT & TERRIBLE BEAUTY and its sequels are favorites for adult historical-fiction fans

Cynthia Lord's RULES to just about anyone, but especially those coping with a family member who has autism

Several artist friends of mine *love* THE ADVENTURES OF HUGO CABRET

The list goes on. I find that my adult friends borrow the YA titles I own more than the contemporary adult fiction.

Re: great question!

I'm always recommending MG which is a little less translatable, I think, than YA. Still, I've not had many complaints!
Oh, yes. Jon Muth's ZEN SHORTS and THE THREE QUESTIONS have been frequent gifts to adults. I recommended THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET to all of my movie-obsessed/book-obsessed friends. THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN was a big gift with me this year. Almost all of my female friends have been gifted with I CAPTURE THE CASTLE at some point. THE HIGHEST TIDE by Jim Lynch was sort of an adult book but felt more like YA and I gave a lot of that. Robin McKinley's ROSE DAUGHTER went to a couple of garden-loving friends.

Oh, and a couple of years ago I was huge into giving Jennifer Donnelly's A NORTHERN LIGHT and Dana Reinhardt's A BRIEF CHAPTER IN MY IMPOSSIBLE LIFE.
I LOVE the Donnelly. That's another of those books that can be read from age 9 to 91. Hattie Big Sky is another, I think. Have you read that one?
THE BOOK THIEF is one that I quite enjoyed.
Definitely one of my favourite books. I recommend The Book Thief to all kinds of adults.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer converted a few of my adult friends.
To vampires?
I've recommended Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes to at least 5 grownups, several of whom have read the book and loved it. It's all because of Mr. Slinger's note: "Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better."

I've recommended the Harry Potter books to a few adult friends, all of whom went on to read and enjoy them. I recommended The Dark is Rising sequence to my brother, and for Christmas, I gave him a picture book by Pat Mora about Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz (he collects books about her).
The perfect line, Mr. Slinger's. I quote him all the time. :)
I've recently recommended OCTAVIAN NOTHING, THE BOOK THIEF, TUCK EVERLASTING, CROOKED, Cynthia Rylant's A FINE WHITE DUST,Laura Resau's RED GLASS and Napoli's MAGIC CIRCLE to adults. I recommmend kidlit much more often to adults than I do adult fiction.
I like your new milk-chocolate colored LJ. Mmm.
I had my dad read several animal-character MGs after he started writing something similar (just for fun--for my oldest to read). I was proud that he went and checked them out and actually read them all the way through. One was ABEL'S ISLAND.
Color me embarrassed, but I don't know that book. I'll look for it at the library next time.
And good for your dad!
All of the time! If you mean juvenile fiction - books for, say, 8-12 - then the two titles I recommend to adults most often are THE WESTING GAME and THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH.
Would you believe I've not read either?
Hey! Put that rock down! HEY!!!
I'll add them to my list, okay?
I recommended RULES and Kerry Madden's LOUISIANA'S SONG to a friend who reads all genres. She loved both of them (and I got extra points for having Cindy Lord send her a bookplate).

The most recent book I recommended was one called A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT... :>)
Aw, thanks, Christine!
(If ever you need to show off again, I can send you a bookplate. Just let me know!)
Oooooh, another one that I forgot. The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell. I gave this book to my dying friend, because I could not better say myself just how much his friendship meant to me. I HIGHLY recommend giving this book as a gift to anyone you consider special.

kid books for adults

I second OCTAVIAN NOTHING, which was my husband's favorite book last year. I also gave him HENRY HIKES TO FITCHBURG, as he's a big Thoreau fan. I recommend the Pullman HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy to everyone who will listen to me, and more recently Sarah Beth Durst's INTO THE WILD. I taught SPEAK in a college class recently and several students took it upon themselves to pass it around pretty widely; I've had the same thing happen with David Almond's SKELLIG as well.

Re: kid books for adults

These are great suggestions, Libby. Thanks!
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