An interesting mute little girl with long snowy white braids is the newest addition to the curious troupe of orphaned children at Oddfellow’s Orphanage. Oddfellow, a distant relative of a viciously notorious pirate Bluebird, made it his life’s mission to create a family for himself by taking in cast off children. This gentle read includes nostalgic scenes from just about everyone’s magical childhood imaginations, including plenty of stargazing, circus animals and cryptozoological creatures. This great chapter book offers simple yet charming illustrations and uncomplicated language. I recommend it for emerging readers in grades 1-4.
How to Eat Fried Worms, first published in 1973, is Thomas Rockwell’s most popular middle reader for good reason. The main character, Billy, accepts a wager from his friend Alan that he can’t eat 15 worms in 15 days. They shake on the terms and the hilarity ensues. Alan doesn’t want to have to pay up but Billy refuses to concede – after all, when he wins that $50 bet, he’ll be able to buy his very own motorbike! Who knew there were so many tasty ways to eat a worm? This disgustingly humorous read will have little boys gagging on giggles for days.