Since I’ve had children I’ve been rediscovering literature I’d forgotten. It is amazing the things we forget about childhood until we have children of our own. I’ve been reading, and sharing some here, picture books, board books, and all sorts of car/truck books. Some are classics, some are new. Now that I have a kindergartener who is reading on his own I’ve been learning about early readers and chapter books. Having kids has done amazing things for my reading life.
I’ve also been learning about writing for children (more on this later), and in this process I’ve been checking out and reading books in different genres written for all ages. Chapter books intrigue me, but I will confess that I’ve been having trouble finding any that I totally love. My son already has some he is crazy about, and there are lots of chapter books that are okay. However, I find them difficult to get through sometimes. I know that part of the reason for this is that they aren’t written for me. Duh. Also, they are books for beginning readers. Those who know how to read, but are still learning how read more complex plots and descriptions.
I’ve also been trying to focus on finding books for little boys. As you know, I’ve got two boys. No girls. Being a girl and remembering what I liked I can see how chapter books about unicorns, fairies, mermaids, and princesses are popular and I know exactly why. Boys tend to be underrepresented in some areas of literature, and chapter books is one of them. Also, I’m still trying to learn what little boys are into. So far I know that Legos, cars, and trucks are big items. My oldest is starting to get into spies lately as well. That kinda came out of left field.
So, when I discovered The Yeti Files by Kevin Sherry I got excited. First of all, because I enjoyed reading them. And, though they may seem geared toward boys, (and boys will love them) girls will enjoy them too. They would have been right up my alley as a kid. Oh! And they have a unicorns.
Sherry’s books feature a cryptid (he defines this in the books) named Blizz Richards. He is a Yeti and a cryptozoologist. The first book, Meet the Bigfeet, sends Blizz out to find his cousin who has disappeared, Brian. You may know him as Bigfoot. In Monsters on the Run Blizz is trying to help his friend Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. She’s feeling lonely and ready to do something rash…like leave Loch Ness.
I loved these books. They have a fun premise and interesting characters. New and different ones pop up in each book.
At first glance, you may think they are written at a low-level and may not be appropriate for higher level readers because some pages don’t seem to have a lot of words or paragraphs on them. But don’t be fooled. These books require students to really practice their technical reading. Sherry includes diagrams, maps, lists, and other elements that require kids to practice varied types of reading skills. Scholastic (the publisher) labels these books for second to fifth graders with a grade level equivalent of three.
Also, I enjoyed the stories. With a title like The Yeti Files it is implied these stories will be mystery or problem based, and they are. I’m very excited to see where these books go and I highly recommend them.
The third Yeti File book Attack of the Kraken is due out in April 2016. Can’t wait to read it Kevin!