James Patterson’s book recommendations

Last modified: 12/15/2013 12:41:00 AM
KidsPost asked James Patterson for a list of new and old books that young readers might want to add to their holiday wish list. Here’s what he came up with:

∎  Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

by Chris Grabenstein

304 pages. Ages 8 to 12. $16.99.

Mr. Lemoncello’s library is definitely the coolest one in the world, and this is a story kids everywhere will love. The library has holograms and hover ladders – it’s even got an Imax theater! It has drawn comparisons to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but Chris Grabenstein’s story really celebrates the magic of libraries and books. It will even teach you how to understand the Dewey decimal system and impress all your friends. You’ll want to plan a family trip to the local library when you reach the last page. Grabenstein has created something truly special.

∎  The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, Book 4)

by Rick Riordan

608 pages. Ages 9 to 12. $19.99.

If you haven’t read any Rick Riordan books, you’re missing out. All of his books are great, but The Heroes of Olympus series is a favorite of my son’s and mine. These adventures always take you on a wild ride, and this might be the best one yet. In this episode, Percy Jackson and his crew journey to the underworld, the heart of all evil, in the hopes of stopping the end of the world. There’s a lot at stake, and this is going to be one adventure that you won’t be able to put down. You could also read the series from the beginning, with The Lost Hero.

∎  The Sasquatch Escape

by Suzanne Selfors, illustrated by Dan Santat

224 pages. Ages 7 to 12. $15.99.

This is a book that’s chock-full of crazy creatures and wild adventures. Meet Ben Silverstein, a city kid who has traveled to the small town of Buttonville to spend the summer with his grandfather. He joins forces with a local girl, Pearl Petal, and together they encounter a baby dragon, a mysterious hospital for magical creatures and, of course, Sasquatch. Dan Santat’s illustrations are particularly fun and will engage even those kids who say they aren’t interested in reading. It’s the first installment in a great new series, The Imaginary Veterinary, and the sequel, The Lonely Lake Monster, is even zanier.

∎  Peter Pan

by J.M. Barrie

224 pages. Age 8 and older. $7.99.

It’s a classic, but it’s still a magical read for kids of all ages. It’s got pirates, fairies, mermaids – what’s not to like? I still remember the first time I traveled to Neverland as a kid, and back then it was one of the only books that I truly enjoyed. There are great new books coming out all the time, but there are also many, many classic stories that are worth a read or a reread. When I sat down to write Maximum Ride, my first series for kids, I had J.M. Barrie’s story in the back of my mind.

∎  The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

533 pages. Ages 8 to 12. $24.99.

It’s a combination of reading a great book and watching a great silent movie. Hugo is a 12-year-old orphan living in a Paris train station, and the pictures tell his story just as much as the text does. The illustrations are quite stunning, and it’s a read that families can enjoy together. I remember that my son, Jack, loved it just as much as I did. There was a film adaptation a few years ago, but the book is even better. These images will encourage kids, especially ones who love watching movies and television, to keep reading.

∎  The 5th Wave

by Rick Yancey

480 pages. Age 12 and older. $18.99.

This one is for the older readers, but it’s an epic sci-fi ride nonetheless. It’s an alien-invasion story that’s full of action and thrills. The story will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games, but it has a mythology that’s all its own. The heroine, Cassie, is a force to be reckoned with.

It’s got enough twists and turns to keep any reader, young or old, on the edge of his seat. I couldn’t stop reading.

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