In the times of castles and kingdoms, Drake learns he is a dragon master (and that dragons are real!) He must train with the other kids to master his dragon, an earth dragon. Gordon, a superhero chicken, and his little brother Benny must rescue an opera singer from the evil Dr. Kudos to Dav Pilkey and Dan Santat for creating such an action-packed, engaging new series for young readers.
You can’t help but love Boris, a wildly imaginative boy who really wants a pet Komodo dragon. Posey gets annoyed about those crazy first grade boys and makes up a mean song about Henry. This is a funny beginning chapter book about a boy who is convinced (rightly so?!) that his rescue dog is a crime-solving, vampire, genius! This is a delightfully funny 20-book series about a boy named Wiglaf who attends a fairly terrible school for dragon slayers, has a pet pig who speaks pig latin (HA) and is friends with Eric, who is Erica, a princess longing for adventure. A hilarious new book in one of my favorite graphic novel book series about Mal, a young inventor, and his best sidekick, his dog, Chad.
Friends and kid detectives, Jerry and Maya, go undercover in a jewelry store to figure out which of the three employees is stealing diamonds from the owner.
This is the first book in the series of the innocent but funny misadventures of Roscoe Riley. There are many books on this list I hadn’t heard of before, so I’m excited to introduce them to my kids!
Benjamin Franklinstein Lives! (series) I am embarrassed (well, not really) to admit that this book would have completely passed by my radar had it not been our library’s summer reading list. Summer reading lists are often filled with high adventure stories, but add in the gentle The Cat Who Went to Heaven to the mix on your kids’ library list. I have been trying to get my daughter to read The Mysterious Benedict Society for a couple of years now. I’m looking forward to trying out so many of the titles on this list with my kids, especially The Mysterious Benedict Society and Handbook for Dragon Slayers! Oh, you mean the kind of gift that makes a child pause while unwrapping, shout out with glee, and rush over to give you a big hug? If I were a cool little 8-year-old, I would be psyched to find a rad, colorful Penny Skateboard like this under the tree. If you have a backyard, eight is the age where he’s probably outgrown the swingset he may have loved a few years ago. Great for balance but, more importantly, for fun outdoor play, Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit makes it so easy to set up a slackline in your backyard.
We have a few Snap Circuits kits here that my son adores, and their latest release, Snap Circuits Light, would make him light up too. Just about the best things coming in small packages are from littleBits, which will get your son working with circuits with just a few magnetic clicks. One very cool toy with real functionality is this DIY Bigshot Camera which not only teaches kids about the parts of a camera, it leaves them with a totally usable digital camera when they are finished putting it together.
My son will happily accept any LEGO set that comes his way, but this Hobbit LEGO building kit, Dol Guldur Battle, is especially timely with the second movie just released. You might also add in a gift membership to a favorite local museum — and a first visit with you. Chess is such a cool strategy game for kids to learn, and when you combine it with Star Wars, as in this Star Wars Chess Set, you are bound to get a BIG reaction from movie fans. There are so many fantastic book series for 8-year-old boys that choosing great books depends on his interests, of course. My 8-year-old nephew gets starry-eyed when he starts to talk about the Percy Jackson series, and I know he’d adore getting the entire series in hardcover for his bookshelf. Another cool option: a monthly book subscription from Zoobean around the topics and themes that interest him. For more awesome gift ideas for 8-year olds (and kids of all ages, actually), check out our Ultimate Birthday Party Gift guide.
Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford loves homeschooling, running, cool kids’ music, and coffee. Hi Sharon, We do try to answer our questions as they are asked, but we are in total agreement with you that these are GREAT gifts for a boy OR girl.
I love your site, I just want girls to be front and centre like the boys have been for so long. We love Snap Circuits (shown above) and their Deluxe Snap Rover looks pretty cool and fun to build as well as use.
I hope my daughter enjoys her reading list this year and I look forward to introducing my son to several of these classics as well! Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I just read Because of Winn-Dixie last week – LOVED it and both my kids will be reading it soon!
I am not sure if you can still get them, but I used to read The Gymnast series and The Babysitters Club books. The picture has already received 1,596 comments, 744,298 views and the admiration of some commenters in the Reddit community. While we can't tell if this ripped bod came from lifting or Photoshop, this is not the first time the Internet has been amazed by incredibly fit post-50 bodies. Bible coloring sheets and pictures help kids form the foundation for early learning success. This is a fun chapter book that will interest almost any child as it has just the right amount of conflict, adventure, and excitement. Clyde turns into a mischievous monkey when he gets excited – which ends up being a big disaster when he’s in school.


Captain Awesome, comic-book and superhero fan, save the town from villains without revealing his secret identity? Pants gets to borrow his mom’s videocamera and his movie making is quite the silliness. These combine mystery, history, magic, and adventure as siblings Jack and Annie adventure through time. The text actually works quite well for a beginning reader because who needs proper sentence structure when you’re less evolved cave kids?
In fact, it’s his wild imagination that prompts him to tell his entire class that he’ll be not only getting a Komodo dragon, but that they can all see it. The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle.
The hapless and greedy director sends off his students in order for them to kill the dragons and steal their gold for the director. She has three imaginary friends: one monster friend, one fairy godmother that’s actually not a lady, and one bad lady nemesis. She has some trouble with making things (herself) gigantic and other things (the birthday party kids) small. Hilarious, wacky, and totally enjoyable.
Our local library just published their summer reading lists for kids so that has spurred me on to created a personalized book list for my soon to be 4th grader. Last year I chose books with a summer theme, but this year I selected titles to expose my son to different subjects.
I have not read this book yet, but I brought it home and Kiddo said he would like to read it. You may recall from the list of 9 books for a 9 year old that Kiddo loved Mousenet but I was too cheap to buy the hardcover sequel. A book about a kid who dreams of being a musical theater star and sneaks away to The City in order to make his dreams come true? You may recall that Weston’s Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff was on my list of chapter book read alouds for 4-6 year olds. Mitali Perkins used to live in Newton, MA and came to my book club for my oldest when she was in 3rd grade.
My oldest just read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Wait Till Next Year (we are starting to experiment with some adult books for her), her memoir about growing up as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. It may be a long shot if your son doesn’t like history, but has he tried Little Britches? I think middle-grade and early reader books are great ways for older kids to get into reading too.
Well, small gifts can do that too, but on the splurgier side, here are some of our favorites according to our own sons — and by the way, according to our daughters, all these cool kids’ gifts would be great for girls, too. This Round-and-Round Nylon Rope Outdoor Tree Swing looks like so much fun, I’m pretty sure my kids would collapse out of it, one by one, in a dizzy heap after spinning and spinning.
I love how many projects they can build with this kit (175 projects!) and how sturdy it is, even with enthusiastic kids manhandling it. Super easy to use, but with lots of room for creativity (littleBits base kit $74 from our Amazon affiliate).
We also love how this company has pledged to help underserved communities around the world by donating camera kits to kids.
With almost 800 pieces and including six minifigs, this would keep at least one of my kids quietly occupied for a long time on Christmas Day.
Thank goodness C3PO is paired with R2D2 since we all know that no chess piece spins around in circles. Read all delivery schedules carefully; some products may require expedited shipping charges.
My daughter is an 8 year old advanced reader, so most of these books are for the 7-10 year old age range.
This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no extra cost to you), I will receive a commission. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. I had A & J read it and write down titles that sounded fun for them before we headed to the library today. I’m an au pair struggling to get my little girl to read (she’s 10, but as English is her second language, some of the age 6-8 books are better suited) but this list reminded me of a few of my favorites from that age!
In August many were in awe over world's oldest female body builder Ernestine Shepherd, and in October we met then vegan bodybuilder Jim Morris, both in their 70s.
And, he’s right in the middle of everything especially after he finds an old notebook of drawings and facts about monsters. Finally Edward hears from his uncle who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? When Posey’s teacher, Miss Lee, says to stop and that Posey was bullying Henry, Posey feels very mad.
But when his sea-faring family of pirates is captured, Shivers is their only hope for rescue.
Adventure, battles, and bugs make this a fun first read in a new early chapter book series. He’s only just started to be interested in fantasy books and so I want to nurture that interest. My son is not naturally drawn to history, but it is my hope that during the summer he can delve into this story set during the 19th century, especially as he has been totally uninterested in the Little House books. In old Japan, a poor artist gets a commission to paint a portrait of Buddha and includes a stray cat in the painting. I think Kiddo will now understand more about the micro-finance aspect of the book and I’m hoping to use it to spark a conversation about the role of women in different cultures.


Maggie is a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan (off to a good start!) thanks to her fireman friend, Jim, who teaches her all about keeping track of the scores.
I can’t wait to introduce Caroline to Keeping Score- I think it will be a great follow up. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (me not the kids), Bud Not Buddy, and Mysterious Benedict Society! Just note we stayed away from video games and accessories, though you can find plenty of ideas for those on Cool Mom Tech. We also always find plenty of fun options for kits that develop science, engineering, and building interests at the wonderful shop, Fat Brain Toys.
Download the free app — which looks like an actually Ferrari dash — and he can just tilt the device to control the car. The children’s wing is in honor of Maud Hart Lovelace, as Mankato is the town that all of her books are set in.
Our Bible coloring sheets and Bible pictures may be used by parents, teachers, churches and nonprofits at home or in the classroom. Then, he sees his new neighbor’s house being burglarized and finds the robbers, saving the day. But he didn’t do it either so he partners with the cheerful 4th Little Pig, Ferkel, (who knew!?) to find the real culprit.
Luckily he meets the daring and adventurous Margo who gets them off of dry land, teaches Shivers about sword fighting, and helps him find and rescue his parents.
Frisby who must move her family in order to survive and in doing so encounters a group of mice bred for intelligence. Science genius Victor is working on a school project and discovers Ben Franklin, alive and living on electricity, in his basement! I find the plot hard to describe in just a sentence or two, there are so many puzzles and mysteries to be solved, but the story centers around 4 children who answer an advertisement for gifted children only to find themselves at the center of an elaborate adventure that puts all their mental strengths to the test. In this installment, the smartest creatures on earth (mice, in case you were wondering) take a road trip. Also available as an ebook. 10 year old Buddy runs away from a series of unpleasant foster homes and sets out to find his father, whom he believes to be a jazz musician. The painting is rejected by the priest because of the cat, but the artist is rewarded with a miracle.
In Bangladesh, Naimi feels frustrated that as a girl she is constantly told she cannot work to earn money for her family. When Jim gets drafted and sent off to Korea, he and Maggie correspond until he suddenly stops writing back. Just be aware that LEGO retires hot franchise sets like this, and then they cost a fortune on eBay or through Amazon resellers.
I agree that a lot of girls would like some of these awesome picks but you shouldn’t hassle the guy who put this list together.
I love this humorous fairy-tale mash-up and can’t wait for more adventures in this series. Can MO and Jo run faster than the skunk?” is the narrative text while the dialogue bubbles on the same page are “Uh-oh! Appealing colorful illustrations accompany this fabulous simple early chapter book making it another book I highly recommend. Until her neighbor boys make fun of Posey’s little brother and suddenly Posey realizes the truth.
In this story, Roscoe wants to help his teacher with his unruly classmates during their school performance. The heroine is an independent-minded princess who doesn’t let a disability (she has a clubfoot), but hold her back.
Set in the depression, Curtis’ writing is filled with humor as well as serious truths. When she accidentally ruins her father’s rickshaw she disguises herself as a boy and meets someone who will change her life.  Also available as an ebook.
I for one thank him and plan to purchase the zip line for my grandson, knowing my granddaughter will love it to. I am really looking forward to reading this adventure as soon as my son will hand over the book! I laughed out loud so many times, especially when Nate and his friend Libby used the names of bad musicals as substitures for bad words. A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2013.
Ultimately, it’s an optimistic book, full of laughs and one cannot help but fall in love with Buddy. When I made my list of Japanese folktales, I noticed an abundance of cats, which reminded me of this story.
I liked how Maggie was persistent in her desire to help her friend, and made such an effort to learn about Korea.
It’s part of a series, so if your kid enjoys it, he can keep reading all summer long. Seuss.) In any case, the fast-paced, clever, rhyming story follows Katrina Katrell, who runs away from her evil guardian, and alights on an adventure with a strange creature called a Zorgle from Zorgamazoo.
You may be put off with the idea of your kids reading a book that involves the Korean War, but please don’t be.



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