Monday, November 28, 2016
Kids’ Reviews: Septimus Heap, Ivy and Bean and More!
It’s been a while since I’ve provided an update on my Kids’ Review series, so here we are. For an introduction to this series, information isavailable in this post which provides a good bit of context.
Hebop turned 9 last month and continues with an, at times, voracious love of reading. We are slowly letting him read through the Harry Potter books and he just finished up The Goblet of Fire in a fury last weekend that saw him reading for hours at time (this is a kid who never stops moving, so to see him so still is shocking). He has since started the Percy Jackson books next – he gave them a shot a year or more ago but wasn’t terribly interested and just not quite ready. I think he’s matured enough now that it may be different this time around. We still read aloud with Hebop at times, but he’s mostly solo now, which was quite impressive give the size of The Goblet of Fire. Hebop can have a short attention span at times as he jumps around from the likes of Goosebumps to Spirit Animals to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. For his birthday he got some fiction and nonfiction soccer books and it’ll be interesting to see when he gives those a try and what he thinks.
Arty turned 6 earlier this month and is thick in the transition from shorter books to chapter stories. She recently left behind Magic Treehouse books – she still can get scared/anxious with some books, and the later Magic Treehouse books can be surprising tense at times with a fair amount of implied death and destruction. So we’ve started in on Critter Club and Ivy & Bean books. She’s enjoying both – especially Ivy & Bean. The love of Ivy & Bean has introduced quite a few conversations about good choices and following rules. We’ve now read a couple of the Critter Club books and the first three of Ivy and Bean. Both series are working great for Arty. A month or two ago, we read Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone with her – she loved it, but also has nightmares about Voldemort (tales of later books from Hebop are no help here). She watched the movie, but we’ve backtracked and will wait another year before doing more to give time for the nightmares to go away.
As a family we’ve been reading aloud the Septimus Heap books. So far we’ve read the first two (Magyk and Flyte) in the series (the kids’ will get the full series for Christmas). I think it’s probably safe to call them Harry Potter knock-offs, but they are a lot fun and both kids enjoy them. I find it surprising that Arty doesn’t seem to be bothered by the more tense and serious parts of these books when she was by Harry Potter, but that’s how it works sometimes. So, I can easily recommend these books – as always, check to see how they match up with your own positions on age-appropriateness. I often use Common Sense Media as an initial tool to help with that.
Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
Book 1: Magyk Amazon
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Book 1: The Lightning Thief Amazon
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Book 1: Night of the Living Dummy Amazon
Book 1: Wild Born by Brandon Mull Amazon
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Book 1: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Amazon
Critter Club by Callie Barkley
Book 1: Amy and the Missing Puppy Amazon
Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows
Book 1: Ivy & Bean Amazon
The Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne
Book 1: Dinosaurs Before Dark Amazon