As authors of books for children, we set out to create books our young readers will enjoy. We hope our books will be “keepers” to be read again and again. Recently I received another email telling me that my action-adventures and mysteries have had this effect on an eleven year-old boy.
In our family, it was the “Mr. Men and Little Miss” books that our children wanted my wife and me to read over and over again, and we did. Even though our children are 30 and 28 now, I highly recommend these books to parents today.
Now I have the opportunity to introduce you to another set of books that I think will be “keepers.” I’m talking about the “Horrid Henry” books by Francesca Simon. I would first suggest these as books for boys 5 – 8. Each book contains four short chapters. Girls will enjoy the books just as much as boys.
The series has been successful in England, and is now being published in the US. In addition to “Horrid Henry,” the titles include “Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy,” “Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine,” and “Horrid Henry’s Stink Bomb.”
Parents might be concerned that Henry will give kids ideas of ways to get into trouble, but there are always consequences for the things that Henry does. Other characters, in addition to Horrid Henry, include his brother, Perfect Peter, Moody Margaret, Spotless Sam, Goody-Goody Gordon, Tidy Ted, and Soar Susan.
The Horrid Henry books deal with real life situations. Young readers may recognize their own parents, teachers, siblings, friends…even themselves, in the characters. But it’s the humor that will have kids coming back for more.
My first concern, as an author, is for struggling or reluctant readers, since I grew up hating to read. Horrid Henry may be just the cure for children who think they aren’t interested in reading.
Published by Sourcebooks’ Jabberwocky
Max Elliot Anderson
Books for Boys
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