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I do not have any children who are voracious readers, so finding something they'll read without a fight is a pretty big coup. (read more)
A couple of years ago I started operation: "nine year old reads a little each day". I cut his electronics time off an hour earlier each night, made him stay in his room, and basically tried to bore him into reading a book.
I had a spare Kindle laying around (I just had to have the Oasis when it came out) so I changed it over to him and started downloading every book on Kindle Unlimited that I thought he'd be even remotely interested in.
It was like throwing darts with a blindfold on, quite honestly. Most things he didn't like, but some stuff he did like, and thankfully those authors had written not just one book, but a whole series of books!
Now I've got authors on follow so I know when a new book is released, and I send them to his Kindle as soon as I get that little notification. The result is that he's read just about every Minecraft, Roblox, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid book under the sun, but he's always excited about reading.
These are the books he's after in January. If you're looking for new books for your kids who are in the same age range, check them out! I'm showing you the latest book in the series, but I'll also put a button link to the first book in each series so your little one can start at the beginning.
Some of these authors have written more than one series, so be sure to look at their Amazon Author Page, especially Steve The Noob.
DIARY OF STEVE THE NOOB
These books don't start off very long, which is perfect for a child who wants to try it out and get a feel for the style before having you download or purchase the others.
If they do like the series, even better! He's written 39 books to date, and has plans for at least 50, and that's JUST in this series!
In the first book, we meet Steve. Here's the synopsis:
"Steve wakes up to find himself in a strange, new land. What wonders and adventures await him as he wanders the world? In this new world, Steve has many choices he can make. Will he become a hero and champion of the just or will he become a villain feared by all? Find out in this fun and funny Diary of Steve the Noob!"
The first book is around 3500 words and has 14 pictures. For comparison, I have a free short story out for my World Keepers fans, and it's around 4,000 words. The picture to word ratio in the first Steve The Noob book is very high, which is great if you have kids who still enjoy a few pictures to jump start their imaginations.
The other books get progressively longer, topping out at around 35,000 words, and all have pictures which look like screenshots taken directly from Minecraft.
Click the book picture below to see this series on Amazon. It is available for free on Kindle Unlimited.
For as odd as the name of this book sounds, it is one of my son's very favorite things to read. The author "Cube Kid" has written six books in this series, and another half dozen or so in another series, plenty to keep any Minecraft loving reader entertained for weeks on end.
The latest release is book six, which is the one my son is asking for, and since it is available on Kindle Unlimited, it was an easy decision to pick it up.
All of Cube Kid's books are on KU, but he also releases them in paperback and hardback, in case you have a child that doesn't have a Kindle. Not all authors do this, I know the previous author I mentioned (Steve The Noob) only recently started releasing his books on paperback, and I do not believe he has all 39 available in that format yet.
Here's the synopsis for the first three books in the series, they are all grouped together in one book, just so you know.
"Kittens in Minecraft are pretty helpless . . . but what about one with super powers? Find out what happens to the Kitten named Eeebs in this diary of a Minecraft Kitten!"
I mean, kittens AND Minecraft, it's almost too much. :)
Really though, as odd as it sounds, according to my son, it's an awesome series, as are the rest of Cube Kid's works.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID
It's stick figures, it's potty humor, it's relatable, and it's been made in to movies.
I'm pretty sure that ticks all of the boxes.
This is the series I keep on the back burner for Christmas and birthdays. If he releases one per year, it's a Christmas gift that I actually buy in the hardback version. If he releases two a year, same goes, but I give it for a birthday present.
My 11 year old is not the only fan in the house, though. As soon as my 8 year old starting reading independently, this was the first series he asked for. Admittedly, he hasn't gotten far, but he loves the idea, which gives me hope.
The latest book actually came out at the end of 2018, but with 13 now in the series, there's plenty to read if your child is just getting started.
Here's the synopsis for book 13:
"When snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson.
It’s a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown. When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day?"
This is just a super fun series full of kid relatable hijinks, brotherly...love, dorky friends, and middle school drama. It's clean, family friendly, and something I am happy for my kids to read.
Between these three authors, you're looking at around 70 books, at least 55 of which are free with Kindle Unlimited. If your child is a Minecraft fan and you're desperately trying to keep them engaged, give these a shot.
I realize "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" is not Minecraft, but I feel like those books have enough fart jokes to float a boat, so most boy children are going to think it's fantastic as soon as they get to the part about the playground cheese.
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