Amanda (age 11) and I are on a pretty good roll of Reading Together. We started off early last month with the Mother-Daughter Bookclub. Then we jumped right into Daddy Long Legs. Two books in two months is pretty consistent for us. But in full transparency, we finished Daddy Long Legs over a week ago and haven't even thought about another book, and I think that's okay too.
We both loved Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. It is a book of letters (fictional) written in 1912 by an orphan to the benefactor of her children's home who sent her to college. She is a lovable heroine, amusing and full of life -- very Anne of Green Gables.
One reason that we read that book so quickly is the format. Knowing that the chapters were letters enabled me to read "just one more," without committing to a 10 page chapter. And because we were both enjoying it so much, and it was so easy to read aloud since it was just this lovely exuberant young woman's voice, we had no problems.
I would recommend it for middle school kids on up (through high school really, since it's about her going off to college and becoming herself, as we all do once we strike off on our own). I'd also recommend that you try it as a read-aloud.
I asked Amanda what she liked it about it, and she said, "It wasn't that exciting*, but it was still SO good. I liked that it was letters. That was an interesting way to tell a story. The character was funny, and I liked her."
*Amanda's always big on "exciting" books -- action, adventure, suspense -- but I love it when she appreciates good character driven fiction like her mom does.
I also tackled a big read-aloud with Kyle (age 5). We read Toys Go Out, which Amanda's elementary school had read as an entire school a few years ago. It's a great story about friendship and like Daddy Long Legs it's about figuring out who you are. The stuffed animals in the "Little Girl's" room tell the story. They are humorous, and it's a fun read-aloud as well. I enjoyed the challenge of reading a longer book with Kyle. This book would be a terriffic read-aloud for a family that includes a wide-range of ages (like mine does!).
Find out what books other kids around the blogosphere have enjoyed (and link up your own) at 5 Minutes for Books' Kids' Picks carnival the 3rd Tuesday of each month.