For anyone planning a road trip this summer it can be tough to keep the kids interested and occupied during the journey. This week’s recommendations contain books and an encyclopedia, from National Geographic Kids, to help you. Besides keeping them occupied it will keep them reading and help to reduce the dreaded summer learning loss.
Matildaby Roald Dahl is for kids aged 9 through 12. Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.
She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable–the big surprise comes when Matilda discovers a new, mysterious facet of her mental dexterity. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.” Review from Amazon.
National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Funby Crispin Boyer is for kids aged 8 and up. “Keeping kids entertained while on a long drive can be a challenge, but the National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Atlas can help. This book includes easy-to-read, simple road maps of each state and Washington, D.C., and a map of the United States. State symbols, cool things to do, boredom busters, fun facts, wacky roadside attractions, and games accompany the maps and provide engaging information with stunning photographs that will keep kids engaged for hours. In the back matter, a comprehensive index makes it easy for kids to look up names and places. To top it all off, everything is presented in colorful NG Kids style, allowing kids to learn as they ride and have a blast doing it!” Review from Amazon.
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch by Donald J. Sobol is for kids age 7 and up. “Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information its classic Encyclopedia Brown!” Review from Amazon.