I was talking with my wife about this series of blog posts when she suggested I mention my own favorite novels that work well for students in the upper grades. Not quite official book reviews so much as a few suggestions and a way for you to get to know me better. You know, what do I really know about this Todd guy who writes for The Mailbox?!
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury — This sci-fi/horror novel has lingered in my conscience longer than just about any other novel I read before high school. The atmosphere Bradbury creates, the lessons he delivers, and the characters he brings to life are all unforgettable in this haunting, hopeful book.
Laika by Nick Abadzis — I don’t read many graphic novels, but this story of the first space dog (who was launched aboard a Soviet rocket), and the people around her is handled deftly and with moving visuals, making it an engrossing true adventure.
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin — The story of Squirrel as told by Squirrel herself, an older dog looking back on her eventful life. My wife read this one aloud to our sons and the nightly installments were something we all looked forward to. We didn’t want it to end.
I mentioned William Golding’s Lord of the Flies earlier in the week, so that’s why it didn’t make the cut here. Also, I come from a long line of dog people and a few of my picks may reflect that. If you’re a cat person and want to throw some appropriately feline suggestions our way, please do so in the comments!