Something about September…

So, yeah.  This is a purposely disjointed post because it’s too heavy and triggering to stand alone so I’m going to add something light and (somewhat) lovely at the end.  For once, my disorganized posting is actually non-accidental.  This is cause for celebration, although the comment section might be incredibly confusing.

So here’s the first subject, and it’s not fun but it’s fucking important, so listen.

This week is Suicide Prevention Week.  I always appreciate that it comes in September because there’s something about September that wants to eat you.  I don’t know why.  I just know that depression lies and it lies the loudest and most convincingly in September.  That’s why today I’m reminding you that suicide hotlines are amazing and have saved me from self-harm on numerous occasions.  If you need someone to talk to, or if you’re someone who knows a person who needs help and you need advice on what to say or do, call.  That’s what they’re there for.

Also, because so many of us are online, this page about safety teams on social media sites can be crazy helpful.  (Not sure if there’s a non-American version of this.)

Here are some good numbers to have:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US)

Canadian Mental Health Association (Canada)

Befrienders Worldwide (International)

Also, To Write Love on Her Arms is doing a fabulous thing where they’re asking you to share why you can’t be replaced.  It’s a perfect reminder of why you’re important and it’s a bad-ass way to flip it around and tell other people why you think they can’t be replaced.  If you can’t think of anything to write on yours then ask your friends or family to fill it out for you.  You cannot be replaced.  Trust me on this one.

Here’s mine.


Okay.  That was a little dark, but sometimes you have to visit the dark to appreciate the light.  And now for the light…

This month Hailey turns 9 and I wanted to bring cupcakes to her class but there are some severely allergic kids in there and I don’t want to accidentally kill them.  Instead I was considering just bringing all the kids a book.  Around age 9 was when I realized that books were slightly better than cupcakes, so I think it might go over vaguely well but now I can’t pick a book.  I wanted to do Magic Trixie or Coraline, but I’m afraid there are some uber-religious kids in the class who might not be allowed to read anything magical (and that made my heart hurt just writing it) and so now I’m not sure what to get since almost all of the books that Hailey and I read are a bit dark or objectionable-in-the-best-possible-way.  What was your favorite book when you were 9?  Any recommendations? (Ideally under $10 and good for any gender.)  I’m leaning toward Hank the Cowdog but is that one of those books that everyone already owns by age 9?  Help.

Updated (9-16): Holy crap, you people have some amazing suggestions and I’ve started a whole reading list for Hailey just based on these comments.  In the end I took your suggestions to talk to the teacher about ordering from Scholastic and she was crazy helpful and I was able to get about 100 fantastic books to give out to the kids and to be used as an impromptu lending library.  They had Bunnicula for a dollar so I bought dozens of those and I plan on buying more and handing them out on Halloween for All Hallow’s Read.  Also, I’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time, but so many of you suggested it that I bought it on Saturday and Hailey and I are already halfway through it.  It is spectacular.  Thank you.

1,472 replies. read them below or add one

  1. Hank the Cowdog….Coraline still terrifies me a little and I’m 35.

    SaraBeth recently posted Across the Great Divide.

  2. Calvin and Hobbes!!

  3. Calvin and Hobbes!!

  4. Sideways Stories from Wayside School! My friends and I thought that was the goofiest book in the whole world. The chapters are short, there’s a weird character everyone can relate to, and it makes you appreciate your own school just a little bit more.

    What a fabulous idea to give a book for a birthday treat.

  5. THANK YOU for sharing. I needed this.

  6. I was going to suggest “50 Shades of Grey,” but if “magical” is a no-no, then I’m guessing BDSM would be bad form. *sigh*

    Is “Cowboy and Octopus” too “kiddie” for 9-year-olds? Cuz it kinda rocks.

    Daddy Scratches recently posted I’m goin’ back to Cali.

  7. I suggest the Phantom Tollbooth

  8. What about a classic? How about Narnia?

  9. Anything by Gordon Korman. He’s light and fun.

  10. My birthday was on Saturday and it was a horrible day. It was better than most birthdays because I have a loving family who visited the weekend before and a loving boyfriend who spent the day with me but it never fails that the beginning of my winter depression and anxiety spiral starts near my birthday. September sucks but depression lies and in a few more weeks, September will be over and I will be the same kickass person I am right now.

    Leigh recently posted Primary colors (DAY 66 KEDfaY).

  11. Also: Fuck September. And depression. And suicide. And any season whose name isn’t “summer.”

    Daddy Scratches recently posted I’m goin’ back to Cali.

  12. My Father’s Dragon. I read it in 4th grade and loved it!

  13. The Stinky Cheese Man

  14. How about “Fortunately the Milk” by Neil Gaiman? It’s out Sept. 17, and Amazon has it for pre-order at $8.99.

  15. I loved the Little House on the Praire series (for obvious reasons) and Jack London’s “White Fang”

  16. My local Target has copies of “The Wizard of Oz” on sale in their dollar bins for only $.50 each–might be an idea?

  17. Why are kids SO complicated these days?! Bring them peanut butter cookies, Matilda, and tell them to toughen up! JK.

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  18. I loved Dahl. “Matilda”, “The BFG”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”…

    Kat recently posted I’m Sorry Since It’s My Fault That You Can’t Get Chicken and Waffles Chips Anymore.

  19. When I was 9? Encyclopedia Brown rocked my world.

    Suebob recently posted Saturday Flashback.

  20. Danny the Champion of the World…Roald Dahl – Awesome poaching story.

  21. A Cricket in Times Square

  22. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.

  23. Agreed – September sucks. The last two times I’ve had to go back on anti-depressants was in September. I think it’s the crappy weather combined with your kids’ going to school (aka not needing you anymore, at least that’s what it feels like).

    I love the Lorax.

  24. I’m glad I share my birth month with Hailey! :)

    I would read a lot of Dr Seuss at that age, if I remember correctly.

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  25. I’ve always loved Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.

  26. At 9, they might be ready for Louis Sachar’s Holes, or anything else by him. I particularly loved, “Someday, Angeline.”

    Erin recently posted Remember, remember.

  27. Captain Underpants or somethin’. I’ll have to ask my 9yo when he gets home from school ;)

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  28. The Hobbit was my fav when I was nine, closely followed by the Anne of Green Gables books. I was a strange little kid who read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, and rarely was it age appropriate. By the time I was almost 11, I was into Peter Straub and then Stephen King, and my favorite of all time, Edgar Allen Poe.

    Being that you want to appeal to the entire class, I’d go with Hank the Cowdog. It’s one that we’ve read so many times around here, we’ve already replaced it. Gaby now reads it to her niece over Skype. I have a feeling we’ll be replacing it again as her current copy is going to be making a flight to the UK where it will stay forever and ever.

    Audrey recently posted This is Stupidly Hilarious and Pretty Much the Most Awesome Thing You’ll See all Day!.

  29. I’m trying to remember how old I was when I discovered that books were something necessary for me. My teacher read us Charlotte’s Web, and I realized I really needed to have this book.

    Is Charlotte’s Web too young for 9? Pretty sure it was my 2nd grade teacher who read it to us, which means I was 7.

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  30. PEANUTS!!!! Who wouldn’t love a Snoopy book! :)

    I can not be replaced because: I’m unique… there will never be another me!

  31. Is 9 too old for Shel Silverstein? I still read Shel Silverstein. Pretty much all his books are between $10-15 on Amazon. I’d give them either The Giving Tree or The Missing Piece or Where the Sidewalk Ends.

    Rayne Millaray recently posted No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 14 – Things Change.

  32. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. It’s a great book that taught me not to be such a selfish little kid, as many are, and that it’s important to think of others and what they give for/to you.

  33. The Freddy the Pig books are HYSTERICAL. And I don’t think anyone could object to them, and they’re in the perfect age bracket. Freddy the Detective is the best (and also the easiest to find). However, just writing “easier to find” reminded me that they’re out of print, so that might make it tricky for finding enough for the entire class …

  34. Does her school participate in Scholastic Reading Clubs? You could give them each a gift certificate for a book and let them each pick their own. Also, 31 years ago last week, we lost my cousin to suicide. It still hurts. I still miss him. He mattered. Our family never fully recovered. He missed meeting his siblings spouses. He missed meeting his nieces and nephews. He missed my wedding and never got to meet my kids. So, yes. YOU ALL MATTER.

  35. I love “From the mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” I love that they run away…fare on their own but eventually come home of their own accord. Plus there is the whole solving the mystery part too!

  36. 37
    Mary Beth Hale

    Harriet the Spy.

  37. Check out Goodwill Vultures…good message

  38. How about “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler “? Loved that book at age 9. My teacher read it to us.

    September is the month I finally break out of depression because it means there is an end in sight to the long, uber hot days and fall is coming.

  39. 40

    I admitted to the first person ever that I have been suicidal in the past this weekend and its why I got my dogs – so something depended on me. I have never told anyone that and I’m still pretty much a mess about it. The crazy thing is he said “I need you, you can’t be gone.” Its been a rough few days but its ringing in my head and just that will keep me going.

    fuck September.

  40. Hank the Cowdog is a great option. If they already have it, they can share the love with someone else. What a great idea

  41. I loved Encyclopedia Brown and The Great Brain, but I am old, so I don’t know kids these days. If you give Encyclopedia Brown, you can give out the various books to different kids so that they can pass around and share when they are done.

  42. My favorite from when I was that age was Harriet the Spy. I loved her, and her nanny, and the notebook, and the tomato-and-mayonaise sandwiches she ate.

  43. Island of the Blue Dolphins or Swallows and Amazons? I loved the idea of being on my own at that age. Both books are about kids surviving on their own in a fantastic way…although Island of the Blue Dolphins is a bit dark…

  44. “Love You Forever” or “Five Minutes Peace” [although I’m pretty sure the moms of Hailey’s classmates would appreciate that one more]. Doesn’t matter how old they are — both have important lessons.

  45. Charlotte’s Web was my favorite book when I was around that age, though now the thought of a spider writing things with her web kind of terrifies me a little.

    Kara recently posted Stash Knitdown Update.

  46. Or The Bongleweed, or Trillions, or the Wombles, or Professor Branestawm, or Stig of the Dump, or Tom’s Midnight Garden, or Fattypuffs and Thinifers, or the Borrowers. All of these are brilliant books! I hope one of them might work for you all.

  47. Harriet the Spy? Is that too young for 9 year olds?

    Or Blubber by Judy Blume

  48. Any Junie B. Jones book, or the Babysitter’s Club series for the gals!

  49. “A Wrinkle in Time” was my favorite. A beautiful story of science and love.

    Carol recently posted Dog Days and Possum Juice.

  50. I agree that Hank the Cowdog would be great. :)
    And thank you for this post.

  51. Hank The Cowdog is great. I didn’t own it at 9. In fact, I never owned. I had to check them out at the library. My mother was absolutely NO fun. However, I still love The Polar Express. Not under $10… Anyway… OH! James And The Giant Peach!!

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  52. First: You entertain me unlike any other person I’ve read (and briefly met). :)

    Second: Any one of the Ramona Quimby series. For reals.

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  53. Are you there God it’s me Margaret

  54. Why not an older book ? My favorite was James and the Giant peach.

  55. A Wrinkle in Time! It’s a “classic” so no one argues with it.

  56. Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” totally changed my world at about that age. Would highly recommend anything by him. All his books are licksquishy. :D

  57. I read the second of this series and just loved the kookieness of it. It might pass the test. It’s super cool because it brings in science and math stuff in such a way that I didn’t even notice it. Which is great to support kids going into STEM paths. Anyway. I loved the second one, and I imagine all 3 are great.

    These books also cracked me up as a kid. A little “scary,” but totally awesome!

  58. The Velveteen Rabbit is still my favorite book.

  59. Thank you for sharing this, I really appreciate it. I have had a lot of friends that have attempted and I shared this post with my twitter. You are amazing Jenny Lawson!

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  60. My favorite book when I was 9 was Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

  61. My Teacher is an Alien was a favorite of mine in 3rd grade. Granted my mother was my third grade teacher. Life was a little weird.

  62. 63
    Mariposa Del Diablo

    I have to agree with SaraBeth, I’m also 35 and freaked out by Coraline. Hank the Cowdog is always a win. I would keep it light and simple since (sadly) there are a lot of kids out there who don’t like to read at all.

  63. The Phantom Tollbooth. Hands down!

  64. I think I was about 10 when I read Maniac Magee, and it was so good I remember it being the first book I read in one sitting.

  65. Could you please add this to your post for your Canadian readers?

  66. Harriet the Spy.

  67. I wanna say that’s the age I discovered The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and everything by Judy Blume. I’m interested to see what others come up with since my son turns 8 in six months. He’s just finished Sir Fartsalot Hunts The Booger, lots of vocabulary building text and quite a bit of inappropriate humor I’m guessing 9 years would lilke

  68. I second the Sideways Schoolhouse books!!

  69. “The Egypt Game.”

  70. Kids (and adults for that matter) book suggestion: The One and Only Ivan. I think nine is the right age for this. Mine are 4 and 5, and still too young to sit through a chapter book without pictures.

  71. Give them all a composition book and a nice pencil and encourage them to write their own story. Probably a little less expensive as well.

  72. Phantom Tollbooth!

  73. My birthday is in September too! September babies rock! – My two favorite books (which sadly I do not have in my possession…yet) are “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and “The Giving Tree”. – OK, admittedly, 9 may be too old for these books. But I’m (almost) 29 and I still love them!

  74. Because I still like reading kids books :P
    I love Measle & Wrathmonk series by Ian Ogilvy.. I dont know if thats available in USA but theyre awesome.. (like harry potter ISH but only in terms of the kid being an orphan n having to get out of horrible crap that happens to him)

  75. I loved anything by Ronald Dahl! The BFG was probably my favorite. Magical, and sometimes a little dark, but not enough to twist the panties of “those” parents. I know, because I had “those” parents. (The kind who removed me from class when a PG-13 movie was being shown. Yep.)

  76. I just asked my thirteen year old son what he liked when he was 9 and he said he loved the Captain Underpants books. Those might be a little more geared toward boys. He also loved Roald Dahl. He said Boy, James and the Giant Peach, and George’s Marvelous Medicine were his favorites. My 10 year old daughter loves the Ramona books but again a little more geared toward girls.

  77. Fortunately the milk by Neil Gaiman is out this month, maybe they’d like that? Alice in Wonderland is always a classic as well as Peter Pan. Or maybe The Frog Prince Continued.

  78. I began my love for Madelien L’Engle books at that age. There is the Wrinkle in Time trilogy, An Acceptable Time, The Young Unicorns (no unicorns actually involved), etc. The great thing about starting out with Wrinkle, is that L’Engle has a large body of work that only gets more mature from there, so you can grow up reading her.

  79. I would highly recommend the Humphrey books by Betty G Birney – the first one is less than 10$ for sure – probably more like 6$. They’re gender free and cute as heck.

    Also, I can’t stress enough the depression lies thing. And how awesome the helplines can be. And Jenny, another reason you’re irreplaceable is because you’ve made this awesome, unbelieveable internet community that gives hope when there isn’t any.

  80. Because of Winn Dixie? Freckle Juice? Tales of a 4th grade nothing? The Best School Year Ever? All are popular here and I have kids that age of both sexes.

  81. “James and the Giant Peach” or “Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing.” Love those two 30+ years later. Introduced to both in my classroom readers then DEVOURED the entire books from the school library. Dahl & Blume changed my life.

  82. The Hobbit! Or the Redwall books, I really enjoyed those around age 9.

    Nicole P recently posted Review: That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis.

  83. Mr Stink by David Walliums is a treat, about a little girl that adopts a homeless man, very like Dahl, very amusing and I’m sure the ‘good people’ will find a message in there somewhere :D

  84. Hi Jenny,

    That suicide hotlines by state website is crazy out of date. I know because I run one of the hotlines listed on it and I can’t get them to update our information that has been wrong for almost 10 years. There is information on other hotlines for my state that I know is wrong as well. Your post has inspired me to try again to update my hotline’s information on this site, but in the meantime the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number will route you to the closest certified member hotline in your state (800-273-8255).

    Thanks for all you do. You CANNOT be replaced.

    (You rock. I’ll take down the other one. There’s nothing more depressing than reaching out for help and not finding it. ~ Jenny)

  85. Two of my favorite books when I was that age were Charlotte’s Web and How to eat fried worms. I’d go with Charlotte’s Web. Not many girls I knew liked How to eat fried worms.

  86. I think when I was 9 I was towards the end of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series.

  87. 89
    Carol the long winded

    Why not get a selection? And anything except The Girl from Yamhill by Beverley Cleary are great. (Girl from Yamhill is her autobiography and while it gets put with kids’ stuff, it is not a kids’ book.)

  88. 90
    serena delorenzo

    ferdinand the bull!! A wrinkle in time. The blueberry pie elf. Stuart Little. The Stinky Cheese Man! Pumpernickle tickle and mean green cheese!

  89. James and the Giant Peach…anything Roald Dahl.
    Calvin & Hobbes would be fun and reach across reading levels though. Sorry, ahem, the teacher in me snuck out.

  90. Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. It’s a classic, with no objectionable material. And if you haven’t read it, put it on your list!

  91. Sideways Stories for sure! Great for girls and boys

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  92. Throwing in my vote with Karen for Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Also with Kat for Matilda by Dahl.

    faith recently posted I cooked this - #ricecooker #vegetable #lasagna . #food #pasta....

  93. My 10 year old was breezing thru Harry Potter when she was 9… (as my 8 year old is now). You don’t want to bring them anything too easy! How about Lemony Snicket? :)

  94. I really loved Beverly Cleary when I was that age. Ramona transcends gender boundaries. I’m bad with age appropriateness and my childhood seems to glob together in my brain, so those might be too young and not hip for the 9 year old crowd. Oh maybe Captain Underpants? I bought those for my nephew once. He seemed amused.

    Katie recently posted Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

  95. 97
    Kellie Wright

    Flat Stanley, awesome book not sure about the age thing tho.

  96. I LOVE this post. Not only are you reaching out to those who need to be lifted up and know they are important, but you are sharing something dear to my heart…reading. I had a tough childhood and had some hard times growing up (around the age that Hailey is now), but the one thing that helped me escape and gave me something to look forward to was reading. Maybe the book you choose will reach out to one of the kids in Hailey’s class too. :-)

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  97. The Giver by Lois Lowry. Love that book.

  98. At nine my favorite book was the Black Stallion. What a great idea!!

  99. Some favorites when I was that age:

    The Black Stallion books
    All of Marguerite Henry’s “Misty” books
    The My Friend Flicka series
    Little House on the Prairie series
    Mr. Popper’s Penguins
    The Chronicles of Narnia
    Black Beauty
    Island of the Blue Dolphins
    Shel Silverstein’s books are always classics!

  100. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    and thank you, as always, for your honesty and truth and humor.

  101. How about a selection of books and then let the kids choose the ones they want… the books that don’t get chosen get added to your library or added to the school’s. Maybe the kids will be tempted to swap books as they finish! There’s so much good stuff out there that it’s hard to pick a favorite.

  102. I vote for Walter the Farting dog. Seriously. It’s a book.

    If not, My Father’s Dragon gets my vote. Both my kids couldn’t stop reading it.

  103. Ack…this made me cry :( my daughter was adopted away from me against my will so yanno…I only wish I was her only mother. But she was my inspiration for getting and staying clean so when she comes to find me (she knows who I am and has met me a few times though her adopted mother won’t let me talk to her now and hasn’t for the last 3 years) she won’t find a drug addled crazy lady.

    On the plus side, I got my daughter a signed copy of Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” when she was 9, the last time I got to see her, since it was my favorite book at her age. Just a suggestion :)

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  104. At that age my daughter absolutely loved Because of Winn Dixie.
    Thanks for all you do – I absolutely adore you.

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  105. 108
    Mariposa Del Diablo

    I’d forgotten about Sideways Stories from a Wayside School! I loved that book!!

  106. If you can’t decide you could always brings gift certificates to your local book store. Books & shopping, how awesome is that??!!

  107. Pippi Longstocking – my favorite kids book ever.

  108. When I was that age, I was in love with Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series. The first book in the series is BEEZUS AND RAMONA.

    Good for you for wanting to give books instead of junk food. :)

    Catie Rhodes recently posted Portal Through Time.

  109. Maybe, instead of a specific book (you never know who will already have the book you pick), you could give each child a $10 gift certificate to a bookstore. That way, you’re promoting reading (bookstore), but allowing the parents to guide their child’s choice of book.

  110. I think giving a book is an awesome idea! Maybe you could ask the teachers? I bet they would have some great ideas of books that would be appropriate/interesting for the kids. (And they’d probably think it’s an amazingly cool idea, too!)

  111. I still like reading kids books :P
    I love Measle & Wrathmonk series by Ian Ogilvy.. I dont know if thats available in USA but theyre awesome.. (like harry potter ISH but only in terms of the kid being an orphan n having to get out of horrible crap that happens to him) might be more a boy book..but Im a girl!.. and I discovered it when I was 14 (Im 23 now..and I would still proudly stand by these books :P)

  112. Thanks for this, Jenny! An important reminder. And while I LOVE September, and fall in general, February is my September, so I get it. (Incidentally, I think this is the first time I have commented on your site. I usually read and laugh and love.)

    Let’s see, books at age 9. I was WAY into science fiction before I knew that’s what it was. So, I was reading books like “The Secret of Nimh”, “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”, and “Bunnicular”. (sigh.)

    And, of course, “How to Eat Fried Worms”, and “The Girl With The Silver Eyes”. Probably not very helpful here, am I?

    You could do rice krispy treats. They are relatively allergy safe. OR! I could send you some of my lollipops! :] Totally gluten, nut, chocolate and basically everything free.

  113. Yeah… I was always an advanced reader… In fourth grade I did a book report on Agatha Christie’s “Cat Among the Pigeons” and got in trouble with my teachers because they thought I was lying or something because apparently… So probably not Adult Murder Mysteries, but mysteries are always so much fun, especially when you’re a kid…
    So how about going to the used book store and buying a variety of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books and letting the kids pick the one that suits their fancy?

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  114. Sadly, says this librarian, many kids don’t have books at home. September 22 is also Banned Book Week, and Shel Silverstein is frequently mentioned, so I say use the banned book list as your guide when choosing…and of course I mean choose from the list. I get tired of trying to make sure my snack/gift/movie choice will work for everyone. If you don’t want your kids to read/watch it…deal with it at home. If you’re that worked up that you haven’t raised them to make healthy independent choices and be secure enough in your belief system, then bah upon you.

    On a sort of related note, my fave Seuss is “My Many Colored Days”. When I’m in a low spot I like to remind myself that there will be other colors in the future :-).

  115. I second Sideways Stories from Wayside School or The BFG. Those are both on my childhood favorites list. I also like Hank the Cowdog, but since it is more popular there is more of a chance that the kids already have that one.

  116. Chris Colfer (Finn on ‘Glee’) wrote a fabulous book called ‘Land of Stories’ that my daughter couldn’t put down. It was really a great book and he just put out the second one a couple of weeks ago and that one is just as good!
    Happy birthday to your girl.

  117. 120
    Heidi Houser

    I’m with you on the September thing. I always think it’s because of my birthday which really got fucked a few years back on 9/11! And although I don’t sit in front of the tv the entire day bawling anymore, I get pretty bummed out. This one is my 50th and even typing that made me throw up in my mouth a little. I’m a suicide survivor numerous times over, but life is better. No meds for a few years now. Sorry I can’t recommend a book. My 18 year old just read East of Eden. Whores and such. Probably not a good choice. Thanks for what you do!

  118. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. LOVED that book!!

  119. I also loved the Pippi Longstocking books. I don’t remember how old I was but 9 seems about right? I don’t know. My kid just started kindergarten.

  120. Mine was the Bunnicula series. Who could object to a bunny that sucks the juice out of veggies? Oh wait, it’s Texas (where i grew up…but it was way different then) so, maybe not.

  121. Fortunately The Milk comes out in a week.

  122. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

    Stewart Little is still one of my son’s (now 12) favorites, and he’s passed his copy around to several friends

    The Gregor the Overlander books are fabulous, but you’d run into the same problems with “magic,” although they aren’t as creepy as Coraline

    But one of the ALL TIME FAVEs that speaks a wonderful message about love in general is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. My son’s teacher read this to them in 4th grade, and he’s read it several times since. It’s very appropriate for 9 year-olds, and is such a fabulous, incredible little book. Also, it’s one of those books that’s just beautiful to look at too. The paperback is less than $10 on Amazon, I think.

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  123. October used to be the bad one for me. It was so bad that my husband declared it renamed as “Unicorn.” It actually helped. Over a couple of years of celebrating the month of Unicorn, I was able to conquer the “-ness” of October.

  124. Go with Hank the Cowdog!! They prob already own it but you should sign it too! I bet they don’t have a signed copy by Jenny Lawson.. lol is it wrong to sign someone else’s book?? eerrr maybe..

    I actually always tell my son, “I’m the only Mother you have,” it’s funny and semi-dark at the same time. Whatever it takes for us to realize we make a difference! Not only to others but to ourselves :)

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  125. What did I read at 9? Hmmm…I remember bringing Stephen King’s “It” to school in 4th grade and reading it in my down time. Seriously. Today that would get parents called and a counselor brought in to talk to the kid. My teacher just picked it up, looked at it, and asked what I thought of it. I told her Stephen King was my favorite author (he was at the time) and that so far it was really good. She gave it back to me and smiled and that was the end of it. It’s occurred to me that this is part of the reason that I’m a creative, yet somewhat screwed up, adult. :-) Also, depression lies. Both my mother and I concur on that. And you keep us both laughing. *hugs*

  126. My favorite books from when I was nine (and I’m borderline ancient, so maybe they would not appeal to kids today…)

    Any and all of the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary (she seriously rocks)
    Miss Hickory (cuz who doesn’t love a woman made of twigs)

    And, yeah, books are waaaay better than cupcakes.

  127. I think any of the Newbery award books would be great! My favorite is The Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane. It is an amazing story! Paperback version I’d $6 and change on

    PS I am a librarian and think this is an amazing idea! Books are way better than cupcakes!

  128. I have to admit that I haven’t read any of her children’s books, but Ursula Vernon (artist, children’s books author, and creator of Hugo award-winning webcomic, Digger) is an awesomely quirky person who creates awesomely quirky things that are probably generally safe for children of that age and different backgrounds.

  129. Shoot. Not Finn. My daughter told me wrong. Kirk on Glee

  130. Harriet the Spy. Hands down.

  131. Most kids that are introduced to the wayside school series love them.

  132. I loved “The Mad Scientists’ Club” by Bertrand R. Brinley. Sadly, the paperback editions of the four books are out of print. Fortunately, “Purple House Press” has a “Bargain Basement” section where they sell blemished and returned copies of the hardcover editions for under ten bucks a book.

    Another of my favorites were the James Herriot books, about being a Vet in rural Yorkshire England. I’m reminded of this series because “All Creatures Great and Small” starts off with Dr. James Herriot with his arm stuck in a cow’s vagina. He has a number of notable stories about having his arm stuck in the vaginas of various farm animals.

    Matthew Miller recently posted Server vs Server.

  133. 136
    Virginia Davis

    “If I Were In Charge of the World and Other Worries” by Judith Viorst. Wonderful, funny, touching (and mostly short) poems. I think I got this for my 9th birthday and love it still today. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough for it!

  134. The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, James and the Giant Peach, A Series of Unfortunate Events

  135. 138
    Wallace Grey

    Redwall. For grades 3-7, and even with the fantasy premise of animals that are like people, it’s based in an Abbey which I appreciated as a young Catholic reader. I also remember learning a lot about the hierarchy of medieval times, a bit of knowledge that I still like having to this day. And, quests!

  136. My daughter just turned nine in July! Some of her favorites are Charlotte’s Web, the Ramona series (but not really gender neutral) or Ralph S. Mouse series, any of The Boxcar Children Books, Bedknobs and Broomsticks umm, she keeps just naming books at me and now I can’t get her to stop..

  137. Hahha! Cris! You wrote while I was posting. Another Bunnicular fan! I bet we were responsible for all two copies sold. heh

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  138. I love you Jenny.
    My post today is about this, too. <3

    Ms. Hazard recently posted Not About Sportsball.

  139. How to Steal A Dog…Barbara O’Connor. Funny and touching and my girl really dug that book!!!

  140. Where the Sidewalk Ends would be good. So would Phantom Tollbooth or many of the other suggestions you are getting. In fact, I don’t think you’ll be able to decide on one, so you can do a “Hailey’s Lending Library” and give out a selection with the idea that they be traded around among the kids as time goes by. As a “published author” I think you get leeway on these kinds of things . . . .

    Anubis Bard recently posted Harvesting the Honey.

  141. Garbage Delight
    Jacob two two
    Arn’t all books that age about magic?
    I like The Giver

  142. Send copies of “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” with a note explaining that you thought you’d let them know life isn’t perfect, and their kids’s allergies are the reason they have to learn that so young.

    Melody recently posted Sorry my kid’s an a$$hole.

  143. Perfect age for The Hobbit! Which is also a great read aloud book for families.

    I think September swamps parents, new schedules, big back to school bills, making lunches etc. and then we feel like big failures when we forget to buy their favorite snack.

    Depression and anxiety lies! We’re doing okay.

  144. Thank you for sharing the links! Also handy to have around.
    Also…books = a good idea. Although so many have e-readers, they’ll be confounded as to how to open it! :D

    Cathy recently posted Let’s face it – when it sucks, it sucks.

  145. Oh I have to add… my husband would recommend a Peanuts comic book. :)

    Candy @ Candypolooza recently posted Strawberry Smoothie with Redwoodhill Farm #CertifiedHumane.

  146. what about Ramona and Beazus? It’s a great read.

    other option is Animal Farm? ……….It’s about animals…….ok maybe not. wait until her 10th birthday for that one. lol

  147. I have this link permanently bookmarked, because all my favorite books from that age are on it, plus a whole bunch that I haven’t read (or have come out in the last *cough* twenty-five *cough* years), that sound awesome and I need to read them. Because if you’re never too old for good books, no matter the “age group”.

  148. I am with Karen re: Sideways Stories from Wayside School!

  149. I second Maniac Magee… it would be good for both boys and girls. But just get them Coraline and make the world a better place :)

  150. I loved Matilda and Island of the Blue Dolphins.
    I also loved Number the Stars but the Holocaust may not be what you’re going for….

    Melissa recently posted Transitional periods are hard.

  151. Surely something from Dr Seuss or Roald Dahl?

  152. THe City of Ember, or Tales of a 4th grade nothing. Hope September treats you kindly.

  153. A wrinkle in time. Not magical, completely theoretical logical.

  154. Maybe the first book in the 39 Clues series? You could pitch it to the parents as something that uses fun storytelling to teach history, geography and culture. Unless those are things that their kids shouldn’t know about either. In that case, you’re screwed.

  155. I would suggest:

    “The Phantom Tollbooth”
    “Hank the Cowdog” (I never got to read the whole series…)
    Shel Silverstein poetry books (I got “A Light in the Attic” for 25¢ from a used bookstore once)
    “The BFG” (it’s a little scary at parts, but I still read it at least once a year)

    I think the Junie B. books would be too young for fourth graders.
    And “The Outsiders” is kind of…dark. Dark for fourth graders ;-; Although I was reading everything I could find about the Holocaust at that time, so I can’t exactly judge…

    I wish I could look at my bookshelves while I write this…but alas, I’m sitting in my dorm instead of in my room, and all my bookshelves are too far away.

  156. The Egypt Game! My absolute fave at that age. Made me want to be an Egyptologist until my mother pointed out that the bugs are REALLY big there.

  157. Island of the Blue Dolphins was my favorite book around that age but I might have been older. Still an awesome book. After that I was on to Stephen King and The Stand… probably too dark.

  158. A Wrinkle In Time.
    First book I ever loved.

  159. 162
    David Priestley

    How about a collection of books – so a few copies of a few different books and encourage the kids to swap the books once they’ve read them.

    My fav books from when I was that old are very local to my region – Kes, A Pair of Jesus Boots, The Old Powder Line. I doubt they’re still in print these days.

    But how about something like ‘The Saga of Erik the Viking’

  160. Oh, try “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle” by Betty MacDonald. Awesome, awesome books!

  161. I’m going to agree with anything by Roald Dahl. My teacher read us the BFG at that age, and it was awesome.

  162. I second The Giver or the Giving Tree. Both good books and good life lessons.

  163. I loved Heidi at that age!

  164. I loved the Secret of Nimh. I also loved A Wrinkle in Time. I read those over and over.

  165. The Phantom Tollbooth!!! I discovered that book in 3rd grade (and I read a bit ahead of the curve), and it has been my favorite ever since. It’s more than 50 years old, and still has a great lesson about not relying on technology to entertain yourself – it also has awesome illustrations and wonderful wordplay.

    My hub’s depression always seems worse in August and September. I call his worst times “Big Black Holes” because it seems like his interest in everything just vanishes. We haven’t had a Big Black Hole event so far this year, and I’m hoping his meds are helping (finally). I don’t suffer from depression, but I desperately love someone who does, so I thank you 10,000X for being brave enough to talk about it.

  166. I still have my copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I got it from Scholastic when I was in grade school.

  167. Freckle Juice!!! Or The Not Just Anybody Family (Book 1 of The Blossom Family Series)

  168. Oooh someone said The Giver and I second that. And third it.

    Melissa recently posted Transitional periods are hard.

  169. I 100% agree with Calvin and Hobbes! Everything else I read at that age was magic and fantasy. The only other one I could think of was one I read called “Judge Benjamin: Superdog” by Judith Whitelock McInerney. Think Lassie, but a giant St. Bernard. I read that one til it fell to pieces.
    And thank you for posting about prevention week. My problems ususally hit in November and February, but this year… With my last pregnancy, I felt better than ever in my life- no incidents from the time I conceived until I weaned off breastfeeding. But this time- it’s like bizarro world pregnancy where everything about me is just… wrong. I keep pretending it’s just that I’m tired and it will go away because I don’t want to medicate while pregnant. But… well, we’ll all just hang in there, right!?

  170. My favorite books were all about magic so I’m no help. Maybe the Secret Garden? Goodreads has great lists by ages too:

    And a note – suicide prevention hotlines are for more than suicide prevention. They will talk with you when you are having a panic attack or your anxiety’s ramping up or you get that feeling in your head that feels like the flu but it’s really a depression starting even if you aren’t feeling the need to self-harm. Travel can be an anxiety trigger for me – I always keep a hotline number in my phone when I travel so if I wake up freaked out at 3am alone in a hotel room, I can call and they will be a friendly and helpful voice in the dark hours. September can be a tough month. Hang in there.

    Oh, and I can’t be replaced because I am the only one who knows how to make the right voice for my son’s stuffed owls. They each have their own voice and their own story – I’m the only human who can tell them.

  171. “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” or “Superfudge!”

  172. Funny that this post comes today… I keep a dry erase marker in my bathroom because that’s when I remember the random shit I need to buy so I write it on the mirror to remind me. This morning after fixing my daughter’s hair and convincing my son that putting his sippy cup in the toilet was a bad idea I wrote “You’re a good mother” across my mirror. Every morning I am going to write an affirmation to myself.

    Also, i agree with the Hank the Cowdog books…

    Annette DiGiacomo recently posted I told you so….

  173. Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Chapter 19 is the most ingenious chapter ever written in any book ever. But you have to read the whole book to get it, so don’t just skip to chapter 19. Also, I’m just remembering as I write this that I wrote a snarky blog post regarding Wayside School and the way our state government is killing education with budget cuts a couple of years ago, so… what the heck. Here it is. Warning though: It will spoil the beauty of chapter 19.

    Carie recently posted The Things That Hide Under Our Beds.

  174. Or get them all a $5 iTunes card.

    Jennifer recently posted My tiny therapist.

  175. We just started reading the Guardians of Childhood series with my son and all I can say is OH. My. God. I love these books! they are imaginative and beautifully written and illustrated and they really are about helping kids not be afraid of the boogeyman (Pitch, the King of Nightmares who could also be a veiled reference to sadness).

    So, even though the first 2 books in the series are a bit younger, I would say the novel-length books would make great gifts for nine year olds.

    Also, you could do a set of barettes, ponytail holders or other wonderful home-made thing (and by home made I mean purchased from Etsy) that is non-edible. Thanks for being you. I appreciate it.

  176. You might get her teacher’s suggestion for a book. It might be scary to call the teacher…it was for me last week, boy howdy was I shaking…but it’s for a good reason…a happy reason… and the phone call shouldn’t have to last too long. You can write down what you want to say, sometimes that helps.

    I understand about September. I’m glad you mentioned it, because I hadn’t thought about it and damn it sure explains the way I feel right now.

    Corpus Callosum recently posted Couch to 5K – Week 5, Day 2 (time workout).

  177. 1. I am writing under an assumed name. ( I just feel like I need to admit that right off the bat.)
    2. September is a killer.
    3. When I was 9 I was reading Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. Shortly after that I moved on to Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine.

    Renea recently posted Unwilling vegan.

  178. What grade is nine? Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing? Or is that too soon? SuperFudge?

    Thank you for this. You rock. Also? I just bought the t-shirt in your shop about how Depression is a Lying Bastard. I wish I could buy it for everyone I know. With all my heart.

    Andrea recently posted "Thank you, Grilled Cheese-us!".

  179. Jenny! What a GREAT idea about the book (and ‘I am her only mother’ hit me right in the feels). When I was a little girl around Hailey’s age, my very favorite book was Roald Dahl’s, ‘The Twits.’ I’m sure some parents won’t like it, but those parents can be damned! It is a delightful, hilarious read.

    Kate recently posted the dénouement.

  180. My 9 YO is pretty adventurous in his reading, but ‘Coraline’ still gives him nightmares (it’s the buttons as eyes thing). One of my favorite books that my son really likes is called ‘Gila Monsters Meet You At The Airport’, which is about a kid who moves from New York City, to Texas, and all his preconceived ideas about it. While in the airport, he meets a Texan kid who is moving to New York City, and he spouts all of his crazy notions about gators in the sewers and everyone being a gangster. It’s a cute way to remind kids not to judge. And it was on ‘Reading Rainbow’ (who’s theme song will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day).

  181. The Boxcar Children. The original one.

    A Wrinkle in Time

  182. I loved the book Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes! Its perfect for younger kids. Its about a brother and sister who save up to buy a pet dog, but when the dog Ginger goes missing they have to figure out what happened to her. It has just enough mystery to make it a good read, but its not a “mystery” book.

  183. What about Pippi Longstockings? Sorry about my ellipses in the previous comment.

    Corpus Callosum recently posted Couch to 5K – Week 5, Day 2 (time workout).

  184. I was going to say Tales if a fourth grade nothing too. I also like the idea of a book gift certificate from scholastic. As a fourth grader I think it would be so near I’d I got to pick a book for someone else’s birthday!!

  185. You could get an assortment of the books mentioned and donate them to the class library so that each kid gets a chance to read a bunch of great books. That said, I love My Father’s Dragon.

  186. When I was 9 Superfudge and Fantastic Mr. Fox were my absolute favorite books.

    Spring starts in September here in Chile, so to all of you northerners with the seasonal sadness, know that in another part of the world life is coming back, just like it will for you, just like it always does.

  187. BFG was my favorite and still the only book I’ve ever read a bunch of times.

  188. How about “The Indian in the Cupboard,” “Half Magic,” or “The Borrowers.”

  189. I loved all the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books, and read them fanatically, does that make me really old? Also how about the Madeline L’Engle ones? A Wrinkle In Time, etc, can’t remember what age range those are, but they are awesomesauce.

  190. The Missing Piece Meets the Big O.

    Totally not dirty (unless you intend to read it that way) but a good message for young and old. I give it as high school graduation gifts. Everyone needs a reminder that you don’t need someone to complete you– roll on your own merits.

  191. “There is something about September that wants to eat you…” ~ TRUTH!!!
    And try The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman. I haven’t re-read it in adult years, but my 4th grade self was obsessed.

  192. ” I always appreciate that it comes in September because there’s something about September that wants to eat you. ”
    September is always hard for me because my birthday is this month. Every year my family somehow manages to make me feel as bad as possible on my birthday and so I’m not particularly happy when it rolls around. In addition, the weather is changing, we get the last of the dreary monsoon rains, school just started and has a whole 9 months left to go before summer break, retailers start putting out a confusing mish-mash of Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations (though this year, we have Christmas sales already out as well) that make me sick of the holiday weeks before it even arrives, we get the first of the fall colds, and even the earth looks depressed as leaves start changing color and falling and animals start preparing for hibernation.

  193. Sideways Stories from Wayside School are the kind of ridiculously awesome stories that makes no sense whatsoever, but are also wildly entertaining and kind of stick with you and warps you a bit in their own special way for years to come. It’s actually not entirely unlike the grade school version of your blog – only with less cursing. (That’s meant as a compliment, I’m not sure it came out right.)

    Also, I now want a ethically taxidermied rat in a zillion different raincoats, just in honour of you and this book. How am I going to explain that one to Mother who still believes I am somewhat not crazy??

    Jo recently posted I Fail at Vegas (and at Life).

  194. Wow, I was reading Stephen King at age nine so I’m not sure where to go with that. A cool science book? No, I’m just a dork – but I would have been all over a cool science book about dinosaurs or mummies back then. I almost suggested mermaids and then realized that even thought the Discovery Channel played a cruel trick on me, they are not real. Or so they say.

    Julie recently posted Chocolate Peanut Butter Paleo…Awesome Stuff.

  195. Anything by Roald Dahl. :)

  196. Here’s to making it through September!
    And for books … Any Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (although they are somewhat magical) or Stuart Little. Awesome gift for a class!

  197. A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Sarah, Plain and Tall, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Bridge to Terabithia, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry or Holes. All excellent books!!!

  198. I also vote for Shel’s “where the sidewalk ends” It’s a wonderful read even as an adult. Please keep being you. You are loved and appreciated.

  199. Anything by Roald Dahl, esp “The BFG.” Magical books (without actual *magic*) and get to read the word “queer” in a British way.

    Amy recently posted Tips for Easier Grocery Shopping and Dinner Preparations.

  200. 205
    Arden (Dancing Wino)

    My vote is The Giver but that is probably no help at all :)

    Arden (Dancing Wino) recently posted Revolution.

  201. My daughter teaches 4th grade and her class is reading Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. Spunky girl…gets in lots of mischief.

  202. 207
    Carrie Maresh

    How about: How to Eat Fried Worms? I forgot about Hank the Cow Dog! :) That made my day!

  203. When in doubt, ask a librarian. 9 is a great age for books because most kids read well enough to get into the story instead of getting stuck in the mechanics. Here are some of my favorites for this age:

    Frindle by Andrew Clements
    The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
    Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
    Stuart Little by E.B. White
    Riding Freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan
    My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

  204. A Wrinkle In Time was my favorite book back then– but IDK if that would go over well.

    THANK YOU for continuing to talk about suicide prevention. Don’t you ever stop!

  205. oh! My Father’s Dragon. I hadn’t thought about that in years. I loved that book (and many others). I even remember making a papier mache dragon in school in 4th or so grade. I have to get myself a copy!

  206. It’s one of those things that I’m kinda glad that my birthday’s in the middle of February, because it’s just starting to head into spring. I’m also glad that my SAD doesn’t hit me until after Halloween’s over (srsly, it’s my favorite holiday).

    Books…Bunnicula. Where The Red Fern Grows. Superfudge. Anything Roald Dahl. Any of the other ones mentioned above me.

  207. My 8 year old just read Wayside Stories from Wayside School for the first time 2 weeks ago. He’s read it 3 more times since then. :)

    Nicole recently posted It's like a jungle sometimes.

  208. Ferdinand the Bull :)

  209. 214
    Chelsea Brimer

    Hank the Cowdog and Coraline are both exquisite. However, I only knew about (and deeply adored) Hank when I was 9. I say go with that, because who can object to a hilarious crime-fighting farm dog duo? Especially in Texas!

  210. A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth, Ella Enchanted, The Giver…

  211. Oh yeah … and Where The Sidewalk Ends. My 32-year-old son memorized several verses from that book as a youngster and can still perform them!

  212. I loved “The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids,” I had a bunch of them. I went to look them up and could only remember “Leprechauns Don’t Play Basketball.” All the titles are something like that, they might fall into to magical category though :/

    My birthday is on the 29th. I usually love September, but October is my favorite. Except for when it rains on Halloween, but that’s Kansas.

  213. What about some oldies but goodies? The Vampire Bunny (Bunnicula) by James Howe or My Teacher Is an Alien by Bruce Coville? Those were some of my faves.

  214. What about Shel Silverstein? I loved ‘Where the sidewalk ends’ when I was a kid. And my friend who had the uber religious parents who would let her read/watch certain things had it as a kid too and loved it. Except that might be a little too pricey…

    Danica recently posted Red Blood Cells.

  215. “How to Eat Fried Worms” is a great book for both girls and boys.

    February is my September. Every February, I have to convince myself that March will finally come, and the heavy weight on my chest will lift. February is a cold, dark month that lies, lies, lies. I finally reached out to one of my sisters during a a particularly dark February and she confided that she has the same problem. Now we help each other count down to spring and coming out of the darkness.

  216. 221
    Ken Buchanan

  217. “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech! It was my most favorite book as a child and I still think about it to this day (I am now 28). Even if you don’t use it for your daughter’s class, you should read it together!! Such an amazing message – “never judge a person until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.”

  218. Thank you. I know people who this holds true for. I’m eternally grateful that they failed at their attempts.

    Now for something completely different…

    I recommend a book of poems by Shel Silverstein, not sure if it will hold to your $10, but I haven’t shopped around.

  219. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – fun for all ages and also fun to compare to the two films.

  220. I agree – I think classics are good. Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, The Secret Garden, Doctor Doolittle, Call of the Wild, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, A Little Princess, etc.

    And then you should hide a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark inside each one.

    Jessica recently posted Tori.

  221. The Westing Game. Fantastic!

  222. 228
    Chelsea Brimer

    Oh shut up. Just saw somebody suggest Mrs. PiggleWiggle, and now my day is beyond amazing. COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THAT!!!! I always wanted her upside-down house when I grew up…

  223. Abel’s Island by William Steig, it’s a great romance story about a mouse that gets stranded on an island and separated from his wife. I love this story and have reread it hundreds of times. Even though the writing is simple it manages to convey a deep sense of feelings across to its audience.

    Rachael recently posted The World’s End (2013).

  224. My daughter (age 9goingon27) is addicted to all things Harry Potter, but since you’re in Texas and don’t even get me started…. I just bought her the Judy Blume Fudge books. Freckle juice may be a good one. She loved the clementine books.

    Or, for next year, no pressure… You could write a short story for them. Bound to be funny and awesome.(sorry, no pressure, just sayin’ I’d move my kid to Texas to be in your kids class for that!) please don’t hate me or ban me from your site.

  225. Wow – the ‘I’M HER ONLY MOTHER’ part got me. (Though I have had numerous times where I think mine would be better off with no mother than the hot mess they got dealt, but….perhaps you can relate.) Anyway, I was OBSESSED with Helen Keller when I was a kid and I just recently read my kids a short biography of hers written for kids and I would think a lot of kids that age might find her as inspiring as I did (and do). It’s not ‘fun’ reading, but it’s AMAZING.

  226. I was always a bit ahead of the curve in my reading. I’m pretty sure when I was nine, I was reading the Vampire Diaries and other YA Paranormal Romances. The way I see it, choose a book that Hailey loves and that she wants to share with her classmates. If a kid doesn’t want to read it, then they don’t have to. You can’t please everyone.

    Plus, even if kid (or more likely, his/her parent) is overly religious and doesn’t want to read anything magical, this may be the best way to expose them to something they wouldn’t normally choose for themselves. If the child understands that this is a book that Hailey chose, then they will be more willing to give it a chance.

    Anyway, tell your kiddo “Happy Birthday” from a fellow September baby (This coming Sunday for me!!!). Hug that kid tight and remember that September has given you her.

    I adore you, and you’re right: only you can tell your story! :-)

  227. The Shades by Betty Brock. It is out of print but is on Amazon and ebay. It was written by a child psychologist and I cannot tell you how much it affected me at your daughters age. It is magical, gothic and amazingly written. I own several copies since I snipe them when I find them on ebay. I think you and your daughter would enjoy it a lot. It is just one of those stories glues itself to you. I give it to every child I love when they reach your daughters age.

    My father committed suicide and my brother made an attempt last year that left him with a permanent brain injury. I commend you for bringing this cause to light on such a public forum.

  228. I second everyone who said Calvin and Hobbs.


    Jennifer Jo recently posted regretful wishing.

  229. I agree with the Calvin and Hobbes suggestions. My son loved those books at that age. Barnes and Noble usually has some of them in their bargain book section.

  230. And I love Coraline. I hate having to worry about other people’s hang ups…phffft.

    Ragemichelle recently posted What IS My Opinion? Adult Children Of Narcissists Don’t Always Know.

  231. Dammit. I just realized I spelled my own fake name wrong. I am so awesome at the internet. R-E-N-E-E. Shit.

    Renee recently posted Unwilling vegan.

  232. 238
    Hannah Jorgenson

    Yay for books!

    Shel Silverstein, Harriet the Spy, Narnia, Wrinkle in Time, Phantom Tollbooth, A Little Princess, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (Cushman), Under the Lilacs (Alcott), Ballet Shoes (Noel Streetfield), 101 Dalmations (Dodie Smith)…

  233. Eloise books. I only ever had one, “Eloise in Moscow,” but I *loved* it and read it over and over for years and I still have it. The only book I still have from childhood. I am 54 now and I still love it. It makes me smile every time I read it. I always wished I had more of the Eloise books. I’m going to give it to my granddaughter when she is old enough to read.

  234. Go check out and look for books in that age group.

  235. What about Anne of Green Gables?

  236. Ok, I think I was around 9 the first time I read Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein. I read it over and over, into my teens, it was my favorite book as a youngster. Of course, I guess was not your average kid, so this book may not be QUITE what you’re looking for… but you asked, so there it is, anyway.

    And now I want to read it again….

  237. Why don’t you just give them copies of your book? You can even hold a book signing and everything. And, just think of the responses you will get from the other parents when they find out!


    Ed T. recently posted (A)WW: Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?.

  238. A Light in the Attic or Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
    From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler (adventure and rebellion without magic!)
    Half-Magic (like the title says, it’s only half-magic, so it might work?).

  239. Oohhhh book! That’s so hard! Kids like such a huge variety of books. My daughter is eight and ALL of her favorites are objectionable in some way I think. Maybe the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe? It has religious subtext so a lot of crazy religious folks like it, but it’s also magical. I maybe that’s too long to hold a non-reader’s interest though. My daughter really likes the “challengers” and “warriors” series.

  240. “A Wrinkle in Time”.

  241. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle!

  242. How do you pick just one!!!
    I also love the odd and weird books.
    Here’s my short list

    Phantom Tollboth
    A Wrinkle in Time

    My son loved
    the 39 clues series and Guardians of Ga’Hoole (not sure about the magic content in that series)

  243. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    My daughter read it last year (when she was nine) and loved it very much.

    Tracie recently posted Candy Crush Level 265 Is Trying To Blow Me Up.

  244. I second asking the teacher, I’m sure the teacher would be happy to help with something so fun. Also, you could get a bunch of different books so they could pick their own and then maybe trade with each other once they’ve read theirs, just a thought.

  245. And thank you for the hotlines and such…I’ve had too many friends and others lately who either gave in to the lies, or thought long and hard about it. As always, I love you like a fat kid loves cake…with or without allergies.

    Tammy in PDX recently posted What I did last summer (-40 years).

  246. Shel Silverstein is always great, but at that age I was OBSESSED with the Little House on the Prairie books. Also, maybe look for some books that feature Children of Color, since they often don’t get a lot of representation, as evidenced by the fact that I can’t think of anything to actually recommend. Oh, and A Wrinkle in Time might be a bit of a challenge for some at that age, but it’s a good one too. Oh, oh, crap! Animal Inn is a great series about a girl whose father is a veterinarian, and she helps out at his practice and rescues a blind show horse and is going to be a vet too, and her little sister is a ballerina, and their little brother is smart and nerdy, and their mom passed away young, lots of feels.

    All of these are a bit dated and I haven’t read them in a while, so I can’t vouch that they won’t be problematic, but I loved them with all my heart and they were better than anything else in my entire world when I was a kid.

  247. “A Wrinkle in Time” – it’s got it all – awkward but wonderful kids, magical creatures, science, science fiction AND nods to religion in a good way. I can’t think of anything objectionable.

  248. Anything by Shel Silverstein (my 9 year old boy LOVES him) or Harriet the Spy. I still love Harriet the Spy….

  249. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
    August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. (@Amazon for a little over $5.00).

    Good read for all kids.

    (Hailey’s class is reading that now. Great book. ~ Jenny)

  250. So, I will share your blog post on my blog…and if you don’t like that, then simply let me know and I’ll respectfully take it down.

    Also? …

    Because Carm loves you…she really does…you can ask anyone.

    Carm recently posted I did not die in Maui….

  251. Ask the teacher for suggestions! The teacher will know!
    My daughter’s 1st grade teacher gave out “Charlotte’s Web” at the end of the school year, but it’s a classic.
    Boxcar Children may also be a good one — especially because AlbertWhitman has revived the characters in a modern series, so kids who get hooked can keep reading.
    I was horse crazy, so for me it was “Misty of Chincoteqgue” by Marguerite Henry, and “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley.

  252. Yes, dark and light, part of the same damn thing. Thank you for collecting resources here, and for the reminder.

    I work with teenagers, mostly high school seniors, and some of them don’t yet have any idea of the ways they are irreplaceable. We talk about college admission essay topics and this would make an awesome one.

    For books, I’ll second/third some of the suggestions and add a couple:

    Phantom Tollbooth (my daughter is in college – and still quoting this book)
    Swallows & Amazons – it’s a whole series, so you might just start something there
    The Cricket in Times Square
    The Secret Garden
    OZ – any of the Oz books, really – that is another long series for the kid who wants to follow the yellow brick road
    Gildaen by Emilie Buchwald – a story of an unusual rabbit (might be hard to find – lovely, amazing read, though)
    Captain’s Dog by Roland Smith – story of the dog who accompanies Lewis & Clark

    And one more thing, a small rant – you might find yourself reluctant to choose a ‘girl’ book, that is, a book with a girl as the main character – Little House, Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, for example. There is this shifty thing in children’s literature that suggests girls will read books with boys in them, but boys won’t read books with girls in them. So we only give boy books to boys, if we expect them to read at all. And then we wonder why boys grow up into men without an understanding of the female perspective or valuing the female point of view. /rant

    So, kudos to you for wanting to give the children books. Hot damn, that’s a cool thing to do. And give them any damn book you want to. Because you are the one doing the generous thing here.

    Jet Harrington recently posted counting your chickens.

  253. Call of Cthulhu.

    Leon and the Champion Chip by Allen Kurzweil (or any in that series) – listened to the audiobooks during a 3 hour drive – both kids (10 and 7) enjoyed it – should be appropriate for any audience.

  254. I would highly recommend talking to Hailey’s teacher – if she participates in the Scholastic Book Club she’ll have access to teacher-only book packs which are very, very good deals. The teacher will also be able to make sure that children whose reading is below or above grade level get appropriate books.
    (And yes, I am assuming the teacher is female – the vast majority of primary and even elementary grade teachers are women.)
    Thank you for being you, Jenny. Witnessing your courage in sharing your vunerability makes it a little bit easier for me to be me.

  255. 262
    Nother Jenny

    The Public Library was my mom’s version of daycare.

    Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter – Astrid Lindgren

  256. You squeezed my heart with your two hands today. Books saved me then. She saves me now.

  257. And “Black Beauty”…how could I forget!?
    And Swiss Family Robinson… and Robinson Crusoe…
    Oh the things you are making me remember. Thanks.

  258. OH! More. I was obsessed with choose your own adventure books. Obsessed! Do they still print those?

    MIHOW recently posted News..

  259. What about The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry?
    IT’s never too early for this little jem

  260. I thought I was the only one who dreads September! I would suggest Harry Potter, because I’ve been going through my obsessive JK Rowling’s binge, but there’s a lot of magic in that, so no. That won’t work.

    I can’t think of a book, but I have to say what an awesome idea this is! I wish my son was young enough to do this for, but he’s 19. He still likes books though! We both binge on JK Rowlings.

    Melanie recently posted Right on Target.

  261. THE WESTING GAME!!!!!

    Yes, I’m yelling for a reason. The Westing Game is awesome and MUST be shared!

    Also, thank you for reminding me that depreaaion lies. In my darkest moments I repeat those words over and over. So far they help.

  262. Bridge to Terabithia, My Side of the Mountain, Witch of Blackbird Pond (which I bought for my church around that age so maybe it would be ok?) How about a variety of books? Say four or five different ones and you can allow kids to choose? Tough choices!

  263. Where the Sidewalk Ends. Our teacher read it to us in the third grade and it ended up being one of my favorite books of all time. I’d also agree with the people who said The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Such a fantastic story and it appeals to people who are deeply religious as well as those who love magic and fantasy.

  264. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. When I was 9 the thought of living in a museum was the coolest idea ever. I still think it’s a pretty awesome idea, actually.

  265. Thank you Jenny. Seriously. Thanks. I love your blog for both it’s random, silliness and downright hilarious shit that makes it way out of your head and the raw brutal honesty even if sad and “dark”. The dark while scary for some, is fucking important. I lost a dear friend to suicide 8 years ago and lost another old friend 2 weeks ago. Depression is real and strong and it most assuredly lies. I wish they both could have read your words and realized that they too will never be replaced and we are all a lot worse off without them in this world.

    Thanks for the silly and the not at all silly.

  266. This is such a wonderful idea, um, giving books instead of cupcakes.

    Suicide isn’t a wonderful idea, but thank you for discussing the topic so openly and mater-of-factly.

    Here’s a list of great suggestions:

    But I personally love The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane OR the Tale of Despereaux. Both are beautiful stories with beautiful messages of love and growing up.

  267. The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop ( I LOVED that book at that age.

  268. My kids loved Half Magic (hey, it’s not ALL THE WAY magic, so maybe religious Texans would be okay with it?), and all the rest of the books by this guy:

    Quintin Blake is the illustrator (he did the illustrations on the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book) and is awesome. Even if kids can read chapter books well, I think everyone still appreciates kick-ass pictures in a book.

    By the way – I just finished your book and could not have loved it more.

  269. I’m going to second the “Cowboy and Octopus.” It makes me laugh, and I’m 42. It’s also a nice pre-Halloween book because of Octopus’ costume (which is brilliant). Then, you could bring beans with you to class.

  270. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

  271. I would second Sideways School. My kids love them.

  272. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Patterson. Where the Lilies Bloom, by Bill & Vera Cleaver. Fairly uncontroversial, excellent reads, and no magical stuff.

  273. I remember “I Am the Cheese” by Robert Cormir. Nice little bit of psychosis to go with the peanut butter free pbj cookies. :)

    Seriously, it is a good read and doesn’t involve magic, or anything like that. Just a questionably corrupt government, or maybe it’s all in his head?

  274. p.s. Another plus for Half Magic – in paperback it’s only $6.29 on Amazon, and it’s sort of light and small.

  275. Lizard Music or Fat Men From Space by Daniel Pinkwater. Hyperintelligent chickens and radio receiving braces in New Jersey. What’s not to love?

  276. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engel (?). I read it when I was 10, and it was amazing. That was about 45 years ago, so it should be available at a reasonable price : ). Let me know if you want cupcake bookmarks for them!

  277. I read mostly fantasy as a kid so I don’t have a lot of recommendations from then. Maniac Magee though is a pretty great book (read it as an adult when I was teaching low readers, still awesome).

    Queen Mean recently posted Gallbladders are the new zombies.. all the rage..

  278. Ohhh! The Catherine Valente books would be PERFECT, since the heroine is named September! But they’re super magic. My daughter (who is 8) is reading The Candymakers by Wendy Mass right now. Gender neutral, baby, and magic-free. We also love Matilda.
    Happy miracle day to you, and Happy Birthday to Hailey!

    Jennifer recently posted Impractical Math.

  279. As a teacher, I have to say I LOVE the idea of giving the kids books! I get so tired of grocery store cupcakes and little bags of chips! I teach middle school (which is seriously the best, because you get to experience all the crazy with none of the angst), and I always have a read-aloud going with my kids..even though they pretend to be too old for it. Books we have enjoyed as a class are:

    The Hobbit
    Flush (by Carl Hiaasen…really anything by him is fantastic)
    Harry Potter 1-3
    The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
    A Wrinkle in Time
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (this one was WAY above their heads, but I was having fun and that was really all that mattered at the time).
    Hunger Games
    The Zombie Survival Guide (this was actually for my science classes…I feel it’s important for the next generation to be prepared. We didn’t read the entire book, but used bits and pieces for critical thinking activities)

    Best of luck!

    Also, you’re awesome. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

  280. The Giver! That book changed my life…

  281. 288
    Anonymous Former Overachiever

    When I was 9 I inhaled all of the Nancy Drew Books. Or, you could do any book with the name Hailey in the title. I did some research for you: there’s a whole series called “Hailey Twitch” and it’s for readers age 7-10. Author is Laura Barnholdt.

  282. apparently 8 in parenthesis equals a cool guy.

    Jennifer recently posted Impractical Math.

  283. James and the Giant Peach was a good one, but when I was 9 I was reading all of the Goosebumps books….I’m fairly certain that doesn’t help your cause though. The Judy Moody and Stink books are a favorite in my house right now….good luck!!

  284. Anything by Roald Dahl, or maybe Gaiman’s new book “Fortunately the milk?”

  285. i LOVED the cricket in times square when i was 9. I read it so many times, the cover fell off. of course, I also loved laura ingalls, and anne of green gables, and emily of new moon. anything by beverly cleary was a good choice, too. Misty of chincoteague is supossedly a good book or that age group, too. or the RL Stine spooky books. You probably don’t want to go with the attic books (creepy), but the secret garden was a good story.

  286. The BFG by Roald Dahl. That was the first book I remember picking out and reading on my own at just about the same age.

    Also fuck depression and you are absolutely irreplaceable!

    Melissa recently posted Still Kicking Around.

  287. I’d suggest Bunnicula, but I assume that vampire bunnies are out of the question as well. Harriet the Spy?

    September for me is a constant reminder that I am back in school and have deadlines and assignments and they’re going to be late, or wrong and what if I’m not studying enough and oh god, I don’t have time to study for this test I’m going to fail.
    And then the panic attacks start again. This year I spent the entire summer only having one panic attack. I can already feel them coming.

    Dakota recently posted Come see me at the Gallery Crawl.

  288. Age 9 – Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

    My son’s second grade teacher encourages books instead of treats!

    Jenny recently posted The Little Engine That Could (most days).

  289. Rahld Dahl is great for that age set. ” James and the Giant Peach”, or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Or you could go old-school. I loved “The Black Stallion” around then, and fewer and fewer kids read that book anymore, but it’s pretty timeless. Also, you could look into the various versions of Cinderella, as the story has been told in many different cultures, and some of the non-traditional versions can still appeal to boys at that age. Commentors early-on mentioned Calvin and Hobbes which is a HUGE hit with that age set, but I’ve known parents who objected to the adult ideas in those books. Plus, those are expensive unless you were gifting a book to the classroom, instead of each kid. Poetry is always nice, especially the earlier ones illustrated by Mary Grandpre like “Plum”. Oooh or anything by Jack Prelutsky!

  290. LOVED From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – and Mr. Poppers Penguins – are the too old for those at 9? Or the heart wrenching The Pigman… maybe not the best gift choice.. but still a great book!

  291. 299
    Nicole Thibault

    I vote for Neil Gaiman’s “Wolves in the Walls.” My son is 9 years old and LOVES this book. Although I’m not sure if its too scary. We like scary in our house.

  292. Oh man! I can’t believe I forgot Pippi Longstocking! SHE’S THE BEST.

    And if you want to go dark, The Lottery Rose is a beautiful book about child abuse, written for children.

    Poodles McGee recently posted Injectable Oxygen Offers Extra Moments To Save Lives.

  293. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

  294. I read all the above suggestions (I do have to say I have come to really NOT LIKE “The Giving Tree”… wth is the lesson? Give, give, give, they take til they drain you dry, and for what? Still not happy? ) However, the book store certificate– EXCELLENT idea. Reading likes are so very different, that way you engage them in finding a book they like! They may even find several and get their parents to buy more. :)

    Sept.. my birthday and my daughters.. but also anniversary month for my mother, grandmother, most beloved dog, husband’s grandmother… yeah Sept sucks.

  295. Thank you for posting this. I was just noticing that the darkness was trying to creep in again. I’m glad its not just me.

    Books – Wrinkle in Time is pure awesome. Ralph S Mouse is a classic too. My new fav which is over $10 but amazing is How to Walk Your Octopus. We found it at DragonCon this year and both of my boys (9 and 4) LOVE it.

    Stephanie recently posted DragonCon 2013.

  296. Note: My son (who is 9) also loves all the Bad Kitty books. Could be appropriate.

  297. At 9 my favorite book was The Giver. A teacher gave it to me and it really struck a chord with me, still does to this day. Maybe that’s a little too deep for 9 though…

    I love the early suggestion of Weird Al’s book; he’s a highly under-rated genius in my mind.

  298. I have been reading aloud to my daughter who is Hailey’s age. Here are the books that have been the favorites:
    * Misty of Chincoteague
    * Betsy-Tacy
    * Wonder
    * The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    * Harriet the Spy
    You should get a book you love, so you can tell them why you love it. That will make it a million times more meaningful for them. Great idea!

  299. I would go with ‘Coraline’ – our 7 year old son loves it!

  300. Charlotte’s Web, please. Perfectly written, great story, doesn’t piss off conservatives or liberals, athiests or religious folk. Plus, the greatest rat in literature!

  301. My almost 9 year old and all his classmates are just getting into Percy Jackson (it has magic but also sneaks in Greek mythology) I loved Little House, and the Beverly Cleary Books (Ramona and Beezus for girls Dear Mr. Henshaw or Henry Huggins for boys) also Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Cricket in Times Square, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Sign of the Beaver. Can’t go wrong with Judy Blume and Superfudge either.

  302. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is great for everyone in my opinion. Or Charlotte’s Web. Or the Boxcar children. I was out of picture books by 9 and onto reading chapter books. (Dense ones at that, but I loved to read.) Also, suicide. I lost my cousin thirteen years ago and an uncle 28 years ago. The people you leave behind miss you.

  303. 311
    Sandi Fussell

    Where the Sidewalk Ends. My 10 yr old has read this countless times and she loves it.

  304. James and the Giant Peach was one of my favorite books as a kid.

  305. I feel psychic! But one of those weird, get things right, but in a weird, incorrect sort of way.
    I just started a wish list of books I feel my daughter must read (when she is able to), and I think it might help you. May I suggest The Great Gilly Hopkins? Or Maniac Magee? Or Holes?

    I loved all of those when I was nine.

    Nicki recently posted I am a terrible pet parent (anyone want to adopt?).

  306. “The Giraffe, Pelly and Me.” By Ronald Dahl. Its a slim litlle book about a monkey, giraffe and pelican window washing company. Its very cute. But still has adventure for both genders.

  307. I was into comics at 9 and totally in love with Elfquest and following the adventures of Cutter and Skywise faithfully. They’re 35 yrs old now and I think, they still hold up.

  308. Judy Blume’s Superfudge (although he does talk about Santa and where babies come from…) or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Or the Cricket in Times Square (I don’t remember the author), the Bunnicula books by James Howe (I thought these were awesome!!!!), The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (might not be for everyone). I love this idea!!! Good luck!

  309. Oh, I have no idea, when I was 9 I moved on to the adult sci-fi and fantasy in the house, which was full of magic. Oh, yeah, and sex.

  310. September is hard for me as well. My kids go back to school and with my husband at work it almost feels like I have been abandoned. I know that is not how it is but the first few days it always feels that way.

    As for books for a 9 yr old, I have very few memories before I was 13 so I don’t really remember what I was reading. I tended to go towards darker type books that would give me a good scare later on. My kids though liked The Magic Tree House books a lot and Diary of A Wimpy Kid.

  311. October is when things just start to hit for me. I can just feel it.

    I wish I had this stuff & knew about my friend’s depression a year & a half ago. She killed herself on July 1, 2012. I have guardianship of her amazing daughter, & while both she & I both consider me her “Mom”, her other Mom cannot be replaced. I am her second Mom.

  312. I loved The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Beverly Cleary), A Wrinkle in Time (Madaleine L’Engle) and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E. L. Konigsburg) when I was about that age! I still try to re-read A Wrinkle in Time every few years and I just re-read “From the Mxed-Up Files…” and “The Phantom Tollbooth” last summer as a fun retro vacation break from reading harder stuff! Still on my favorites list 30 years later!

  313. Beverly Cleary books are geared toward boys & girls. But all the other suggestions rock.
    The original Mary Poppins is wicked too.

  314. 322
    amy from germany

    My mom used to read Roald Dahl to us and stop at the most thrilling parts. That’s how she made us read (on). ;)

  315. Also you should get Hailey a copy of her favorite book (hardcover if possible) and have her teacher and her classmates sign it for her.

  316. 324
    Kimberly Shea

    Someone suggested Calvin & Hobbes … great idea. Who doesn’t love C&H?!?! ;)
    P.S.) Thank you for posting re: depression, Love Write Love on Her Arms, etc. We should all use our voices to speak for those who can’t.

  317. I really can’t think of the books I was reading when I was 9. Likely the Sweet Valley High books. Or the Baby-sitters Club. I may have still been fully into my Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys time too. I have no idea what kids read now. Especially considering I moved from those to Harlequin romance novels and Steven King books. With a side of the old Christopher Pike books.

    Now as I think about it, that was twenty years ago…now I feel old.

    And I also miss books.

    Melly recently posted Things That Get Forgotten..

  318. The idea about the Scholastic gift certificate was fantastic – especially since most schools have a book fair at the beginning of the year. My 8 year old (and his class) LOVE the Magic Treehouse books – there’s about 45 of them so you could get each kid a different one and they could all do a book swap!!!

  319. 327
    Christina Smith

    Judy Blume’s The Fudge Books: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, OtherwiseKNown as Sheila the Great, Superfudge, Fudge-a-mania & Double Fudge.
    These books are what hooked me on reading. I love them so much I checked one out of the library this weekend!

  320. How about Hoot by Carl Hiassen?

    Dana recently posted Books Inspiring Design.

  321. Nurk, by Ursula Vernon ( might be a bit ‘young’ but is a fun book.

    Also, I loved Half Magic by Edward Egar ( at that age… though I can’t think of any book I liked at that age that didn’t have *some* magic in it!

  322. There are a bunch of comments I wanted to LIKE as I scrolled through.

    I love love loved Harriet the Spy.

  323. Where the Sidewalk Ends- or any other Shel Silverstein book!

  324. 332
    Shannon Fielding

    In my neck of the woods, “Anne Of Green Gables”, by Lucy Maude Montgomery, is a biggy. Or, a little more modern, “Diary Of A Whimpy Kid” is also good. And neither has a supernatural plot.

  325. Yes, you are :)

  326. Pretty sure when I was 9, I loved the Ramona Quimby books, or Tales of a 4th grade Nothing… might be a bit dated. I loved Coraline, but it was genuinely creepy. My 9-year-old nephew LOVES Captain Underpants…. That’s all I’ve got. Good luck!
    And thank you for the suicide post. Two members of my extended family have ended their own lives in the past 5 years, and I’ve contemplated it myself more than once. Depression lies, and we have to keep saying that. So, thank you.

  327. “Matilda” or “Charlotte’s Web”. Pricelessly good books :)

  328. What about James and Giant Peach?

    Also, depression does suck, however through your blog and the comments on your blog, I feel so much better when I start to go to that dark place.

  329. I totally loved the Bunnicula books when I was younger, but that probably gets filed under somewhat objectionable/odd since it is about a vampire bunny (even if it was a vegetarian vampire bunny).
    But how can you NOT love a title like “The Celery Stalks at Midnight”?!?

    Cassandra recently posted CCFA Gala.

  330. Roald dahl!! he’s twisted, but widely accepted. Just avoid his retold fairy tales, as they sometimes have mild cuss words, since the UK isn’t so easily offended :)

  331. I…….am having a hard time thinking of anything that would definitely not offend any religion. So here’s a few that may be touchy:
    -Bunnicula by James Howe (the first in a series, about a pet vampire rabbit who sucks the juice from innocent vegetables and it’s up to the household’s other pets, 2 dogs and a cat, to save the family)
    -Anything by Roald Dahl (Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and its sequel were my favorites but it might be nice to go with one they maybe haven’t seen in a movie. We read “Danny,Champion of the World” in school when I was about 9)
    -Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (might be a little too old for 9 year olds? Artemis himself is 11 in the first book. also, it has fairies and trolls magic galore)
    -Holes by Louis Sachar (I read this as an adult and loved it. can’t think of anything objectionable in it, other than the fact that the whole book is about kids who have gotten in trouble with the law and are sent to a desert ranch for punishment)

    Rhonda recently posted Ring Vintage Green Antique Button Adjustable by MarieLeeJewelry.

  332. If it is out in paperback yet, try “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio — a brilliantly good story (though I suppose it might be a read-with-someone level book for a lot of 8/9 year olds). So perhaps instead, a good one would be any of the Wayside School books – they are funny, strange, and just a touch irreverent. “Bunnicula” could also be a good one, and I do think Hank the Cowdog is a good choice as well.

    Not for the class — but I strongly encourage you and Hailey to check out anything and everything by Tamora Pierce, The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper, and the “Saavy” and “Scumble” duo by Ingrid Law. Fantastic books, all, with strong and smart young protagonists, & some especially great female characters. Just a bit too much magic and fantasy and myth and potential danger to be a safe friendly-for-all-types-of-families choice.

  333. February is my “fuck you” month. Thank God it’s shorter than the rest.

    As for the school birthday observance: Our school requires us to purchase whatever we bring, as opposed to lovingly home-baking something. Doughnuts are always well-received. But there are a couple of gluten-free kids in the class so I had to bring fruit roll-ups or some alternative. That said, a book is a good idea, but can also be tricky. Is there any way you could purchase gift certificates to the Scholastic Book Clubs – does your school send home those flyers? If so, some sort of gift certificate or credit would be nice for the kids, and the teacher gets some sort of kickback in the form of books for the classroom too.

    Meg recently posted Day 365 of my 46th year.

  334. My favorites were all by Natalie Babbit when I was nine. Tuck Everlasting is the one everyone knows, but Kneenock Rise is wonderful.

    caseykins recently posted Twitter Love.

  335. What about a giftcard for $10 to the local children’s bookstore – or barnes & noble – or wherever you buy books in your area? That way the kids get to choose their own book! Hopefully it’s not target or wal-mart or something -because you’ll know they won’t buy books -it will be toilet paper or something stupid.

    ArchitectDesign recently posted 2 notable houses of stucco.

  336. Where the Red Fern Grows. Crazy sad ending, but amazing story. Still go back and read it every so often…

  337. Roald Dahl is awesome and I LOVED A Wrinkle in Time. I guess 9 is a bit young for To Kill a Mockingbird – the best book ever! Tom’s Midnight Garden is awesome as is Richard Peck’s The Ghost Belonged to Me. I was also an animal nut and loved The Black Stallion series and Old Yeller, which also has a sequel – Savage Sam. I actually still have a lot of my favourite books from when I was growing up – and I’m 43! When things are bad, I sometimes reread them and escape for awhile.

  338. Phantom Tollbooth? Or is that a little too old for nine.

    My fav books when I was nine were all by Stephen King or Anne Rice, so yea. I’m not the best to ask.

  339. 347

    Please ask her teacher. She’ll know. And who knows, maybe the cupcake thing would work! I also agree with someone who suggested Carl Hiaason. “Hoot” was awesome. But make sure it’s one of his kids novels because his adult ones, though awesome as well, are bent.

  340. First, thank you for accepting that food allergies are serious! I love that – instead of getting bent out of shape because you can’t provide baked sugar goods to the class – you chose something that may actually improve their love of reading and not kill somebody too boot! Second, I think the Lemony Snicket “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books would be great. Especially since it was identified by someone online as THE #1 Worst Books for Children.

  341. A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet
    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    The Phantom Tollbooth
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
    Little House in the Big Woods and the rest of the series
    The Trumpet of the Swan
    and yes, of course to Calvin & Hobbes…excellent. :)

    Give your September girl a big hug from this September girl too. Yes, I know those feelings of which you speak. At the same time, this is about celebrating being born into this big ol’ mess of life. Let’s do that. xoxo

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  342. When I was a kid, some my favorite books were…
    -The Wizard of Oz series
    -The Narnia series
    -Aesop’s Fables
    -Betsy and Tacy series

  343. Pretty much anything by Roald Dahl.

  344. So many great book suggestions! No matter which one you pick, maybe you & Hailey could design a special birthday bookplate to put inside each one? :o)

  345. I’m an elementary school librarian– I love questions like this!
    (Calvin and Hobbes, though a great idea, is probably much more than $10– I’ve never seen any comic strip books for that cheap.)
    Bad Kitty
    Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls
    Dear Dumb Diary
    Anything by Roald Dahl
    Charlotte’s Web
    Little House in the Big Woods
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

  346. 354
    Kelly Garrett

    Sideways Stories or anything Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory??) are awesome.

  347. My almost 9-year-old is obsessed with The Girl Who Owned a City. Interestingly, so was I at her age!

  348. Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing
    How to Eat Fried Worms
    Bridge to Terabithia

    All of these are great!

  349. Oooh, great post, seriously. As for book recs: The Phantom Tollbooth, Up From Jericho Tel (though that has kids communing with a dead actress, so that might be off-limits, too), and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

  350. When I was 8-10 my aunt used to take me all the time to book sales, usually at the local libraries where they would sell the old beaten up copies so they could buy new ones. One book that I found, held together with a rubber band no less, was The Never-Ending Story. I don’t know if it was because it was so beaten up and falling apart, or if it was just the story itself, but it was my favorite at that age, and still is at 36 :)

  351. I’m reading “Walls Within Walls” by Maureen Sherry. Loved the Ramona books and all things either fantasy or mystery.

  352. These may be a bit “young” for 9 year olds but I’d recommend “Scaredy Squirrel”. Not 100% sure it’s available in the states, but this is a book I first bought about 3- 4 years ago when my daughter’s anxiety reared it’s ugly head for the 1st time. It was a great and fun way to talk about anxiety without it being all preachy. You can even laugh at the “silliness” of the anxiety and all the lists he makes to deal with potential (usually imagined or seriously exaggerated) dangers in the world before he, of course, discovers, it wasn’t as bad as he expected.
    My 9 year old daughter still loves Scaredy (there are a few books in the series now). We always look for ward to new ones.
    Anyway, here’s the book’s website. If you can get it stateside, I highly recommend it.

  353. You probably aren’t going to read this far down but my son absolutely loved “Sir Fartsalot hunts the Booger” by Kevin Bolger. Needless to say their is a lot of flatulence humor which I think all kids of that age find funny. But I even enjoyed reading it to him. We both laughed out loud at some parts. I think you can get it in paperback for five or six bucks.

  354. I wish I could remember. Sometime around then I was really into Shel Silverstein and Jack Pelusky. Sadly, haven’t been into poetry since.

  355. When I was 9 I loved horse books and dog books: Black Beauty, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc. I was also big into Nancy Drew. Ok now that I think about it, I was kinda lame.

    Victoria recently posted Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market and Harvest Soap!.

  356. Hmm…I’m sure my mom has a box of my old books somewhere, but I’m too lazy to ask. I do remember a few though, so hopefully they’ll help!

    The Boxcar Children by Patricia MacLachlan
    Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  357. Rascal by Sterling North. I did a book report on it in elementary school and the book stuck with me so long that 20 years later I named my first dog, Rascal, after the raccoon in the book.

  358. Are you me? My birthday was Sunday and it was just the worst day ever. September really does seem to lie the loudest. I’m happy to see other September birthdays here who felt the same. Also, the Write Love on Her Arms totally made me think of who I could ask to write something, and what good things they might say, and it cheered me up just to imagine it. Doctor Who says it best (like usual!) with You Are Not Alone. (Is #YANA better then #YOLO?)

    In book world, I’d suggest The Dark is Rising sequence, but if parents are going to object to anything, it’d probably be a book with Pagan mythos in it. Calvin and Hobbs is probably a great idea. I love giving books instead of sugar.

  359. The Epiplectic Bicycle by Edward Gorey (yes, Epiplectic, not Epileptic) if for no other reason than Gorey is brilliant and every child should be reading him and seeing his artwork! My other go-to for kids is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Crazy good mystery with so many people and twists it’ll keep everyone engaged.

  360. The whole not-being-allowed-to-read is pretty depressing… but if you’re genuinely concerned about that, then some of the suggestions above won’t work– The Giver, Sideways Stories, Phantom Tollbooth, Bunnicula & Wrinkle in Time all have either magical or violent properties to them. Shel Silverstein used to be frowned upon by the uber religious because he wrote for Playboy, but perhaps that tide has faded– his books are some that will stay with people for a lifetime. Mixed Up Files features a runaway duo– they come home eventually, but that can always be a problem, too. The Hobbit, Wizard of Oz, and Green Gables are for above average readers… which is probably on 10% of the class. Mr. Poppers Penguins had a movie, and sometimes that ruins it for kids. 4th Grade Nothing and Are You There God aren’t really gender neutral- if you ask a 9 year old. :)

    Roald Dahl books like the BFG work out alright, because for some reason the magic of them doesn’t bother parents. Danny the Champion of the World is another good one by him.

    I think Frindle is a great choice for you. It suits your personality, but is entirely appropriate for kids and the age group.

    Or, I would go with a classic– like someone mentioned above, you can find ’em in the Target bin for next to nothing ($.50) and even if it’s hard reading… it’s something they’ll hold onto for awhile. Maybe mix up Wizard of Oz with $.50 wand bubbles, too– making it a sort of awesome gift under $1. ;)

    Rara recently posted An Open Letter to the Lady Pirate on my Wall.

  361. *sigh* It’s ironic that Suicide Prevention week normally coincides with my birthday. just turned 49. No husband, no kids, so I guess I can be replaced. Sorry, just feels like it at some times. Like I am not a real person.
    Sorry, just in a very deep dark hole right now.

  362. Thank you Jen,
    You actually just reached someone who was not going to, but very much wants to top herself right now. That can happen, you know. You know better. You know its selfish and crappy. And if you have a child its out of the fucking question. And yet if things have been rough, and you’re alone and you’re just plain goddamn done, you think about it. It feels like shit and compounds the sneaking suspicion you have that you are a selfish loser. What did I do for those I love today? Hey! I didn’t kill myself! How very thoughtful of me. Now I have to reapply my makeup and go out job hunting (again) and try and find things to be grateful for. At the moment its you. Thank you.

    sandy recently posted I Passed!!!!.

  363. –>Hard to remember what I was reading then but I saw someone write Encyclopedia Brown and I got excited remembering how much I loved those books.

    WebSavvyMom recently posted My Summer Vacation (so far).

  364. I would ask the teacher! Also, ask her about Scholastic and order all the kids a book through their program. They will usually give the teacher free books for the classroom for every so many books that are ordered, so it’s like a win-win-win! 39 Clues my son LOVES!! They are pretty “safe” when it comes to the magic thing and it gets them thinking without even knowing it because you are gathering the clues and solving the mysteries, PLUS they reference actual historic events which leads the kids to begin to gain interest in those moments in history!

  365. How about this? Recommend the indubitably magical books for us heathen adults and budding adults, but include some equally magical books for those who are religious–the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis are good, but the Madeline L’Engle books are also faith-based but very good as well, if a bit dated.

    For the older kids and adults, I can’t recommend a series of books I’ve been reading, the “Peter and the Monsters” series enough–I’m so delighted by them as they are hilarious, magical, mysterious, and chock full of great pop culture references for the adults reading. These books are by Darren Pillsbury and can be learned about here:

  366. Easy. Gift card to your local book store. $5/kid. Done!

  367. I’d donate the 39 Clues series of books to the classroom. My son and I couldn’t wait for the next book!

  368. The gift certificate to Scholastic is a fantastic idea, whoever said that first. I don’t know if anyone else mentioned it or not (don’t have time to read all the comments), but I loved Superfudge and remember reading it in the fourth grade when I was nine.

  369. when i was 9, SCIENCE IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD
    Now, i second CALVIN AND HOBBES
    ( for anyone, anytime, any age)

  370. I think I read a lot of Beverly Cleary books (specifically anything involving Ramona Quimby) when I was around that age. There was also Harriet the Spy.

  371. Matilda (or really, any children’s book by Roald Dahl), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Sword in the Stone. I still love these books, especially Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

  372. I vote for “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”
    And anything by Edward Eager – “Half Magic”, et al — because they have male and female characters and each gender is equally capable.
    If you know a good Usborne Books consultant ( she’ll have a recommendation for that age. My consultant was always SPOT ON with her recommendations.

    “Captain Underpants” — NO! Please.

  373. 381
    Natalie Marx

    Thank you for posting the information on the suicide hotlines. I especially loved the “I cannot be replaced” project. I assign little value to myself, and although I can rationally admit that *today*, there are days that I am not rational. Days I believe that I’m a ‘placeholder’ in the lives of others; that anyone else could satisfactorily perform the same functions as myself, with no one the wiser. That it doesn’t matter that it’s *me*. It’s really hard for me to believe sometimes, but I cannot be replaced. And neither can you. Thank you.

    As to the book: I’m with Kat and Serena: “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. When I was about 16, I took my little brother (then 8), to the school book fair, and saw this book. I picked it up; it looked a bit weird, which I thought was perfect. And of course, the title was strange and funny. I bought it, we walked home, and I read it to him that night. We laughed ourselves sick that night, and it became a fast favorite. To this day, I can still quote “Jack’s Story” word-for-word from memory. And once you read it, you’ll understand why.

  374. My first ever really-interested-in-reading not just-because-I-have-to series, was the Little House on the Prairie. I even made my school order the newest books so that I could read them in the right order. haha Not exactly great for the less than proficient readers, or even for the boys… but thought I’d put my piece in. :)

  375. Go with Hank… or take a mix of the three books and let kids choose? *remembers when birthdays were awesome in school*

    By the way, your 4 reasons are wonderful. So what if its a little dark? You can’t reach the light without traveling in the dark first.

    Chibi recently posted Addiction… you say it like its a bad thing.

  376. I think the Shel Silverstein suggestions are the way to go. And choose several different ones so that if a kid in the class has the one he gets, then he can trade with another classmate. And this is a GREAT birthday idea, given the not wanting to accidentally kill someone. Put “I have great alternatives to killing kids” on that list of reasons why you cannot be replaced.

  377. At 9 I was totally into Judy Blume –
    not sure how gender neutral she is, but I still love her, all these years later.
    We moved so often her characters were, at times, my only friends.

  378. Little Women! Although that may not apply across genders. Perhaps some Nancy Drew / Hardy Boys? ORRRR… Do they still do those choose your own adventure books?? Those things were great!! Or Mad Libs. Throw a little undercover grammar lesson in.

  379. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It won the Newberry (twice!) and made the teacher’s top 100 list. A good book that appeals to both genders and shouldn’t upset any parents.

    Sierra Trees-Turner recently posted I Was a PlayStation Virgin.

  380. I assume Babysitters Club, Choose Your Own Adventure, and Sweet Valley Twins is not helpful… But after scanning the other comments, it has jogged my memory that I DID also read books of a higher literary quality. I enjoyed everything by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. I also remember liking How To Eat Fried Worms and A Wrinkle in Time. And Half Magic, which I think my mom said she read as a kid. And my 8 year old nephew has been reading these books too, so I would say they’re all still classics, not just whatever was simply new-ish and popular back in the 80’s!

  381. I can’t fill that out today because 2 days ago the man I love told me I very much can be replaced and well… I got nothing now.

    Books: “The paper bag princess” and “the Salmon princess” are both amazing and very different, despite the similar names.

  382. Something Under the Bed is Drooling ~Calvin and Hobbes

  383. I loved Shel Silverstein’s books, the Box Car Children, and the Nancy Drew Books. My brother’s who are 8 & 10 as well as my 12 year old sister love the Diary of the Wimpy Kid books, but those are super popular so most of them may own one or more.

    Good Luck!!

  384. When I was 9 my favorite book was Charlotte’s Web. It was the first book I ever bought with MY OWN MONEY and I loved it to death. I still have that copy and it is literally held together by duct tape. Even if I lost my house and had to live out of a suitcase, my suitcase would still have that copy of that book in it.

    Kari recently posted First World Problems: Redneck techology solutions.

  385. Give them all a copy of your book (if you can get them for free yourself) – then put a $10 bookstore gift card in each of them. The parents should be happy with your book (if not they need therapy) and the kids can pick out whatever their messed-up parents let them get. Win/win.

    Nicole recently posted Thank God I’m Allowed to Drink at Work.

  386. Have you thought about comics instead? My kids loved/still love reading and we had books in the car and at home, but for kids that aren’t fanatics yet, comics are often a good intro. There are still good old fashioned clean ones around like Archie. Who knows – you could encourage future “old school” collectors.

    btw – I like Cindy’s suggestion of a series of books.

  387. 395
    Allyson Wonderland

    “A Wrinkle in Time.” Yes, it’s sorta magical, but Madeline L’Engle was actually very Christian, so the magic is actually more Christian allegory. I have loved that book since I was 9. As I was a Catholic schoolgirl at the time and am now a 40-something atheist, that definitely says something.

    Or possibly “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” That’s awesome and a little bit subversive.

  388. I’m going to second Sideways Stories for Wayside School (unless somebody else already did and then I’m… tripling it? I don’t know how to say that). That was one of my favorite books! And what a great idea by the way! I mean how many times a year are they going to get cupcakes anyways? A gajillion! Books are way better. Except there’s a cupcake shop in a book store in my nearby small town and it’s absolutely wonderful.

  389. The original Nancy Drews and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. Great idea!

  390. A Wrinkle in Time or Phantom Tollbooth………..both AMAZING.

    When I was 9 or 10 I loved a book (from the library) so much I copied it by hand so
    I could always have it. No illustrations though…

  391. I loved Judy Blume and Roald Dahl books as a kid. “Blubber” for the girls (helps with self-esteem issues too!) and “Freckle Juice” for the boys. Although kids seem so much more mature nowadays – maybe these are too young for kids????

  392. Congrats to Hailey. My munchkin THE MUNCHKIN just turned 11 this month. I agree wit previous posters on the Calvin and Hobbs idea. What better way to substitute reality than with those two.

    Smokeynall recently posted The First Goalie Post..

  393. It would be kind of cool to take in a PEANUTS book for everyone, because some kids are allergic to peanuts.
    is that too weird?

  394. The Maggie B!
    Such a sweet story .
    ‘A little girl’s wish to sail for a day on a boat named for her ” with someone nice for company ” comes true.’

  395. I love that you are being so considerate of allergic kiddos, in a way that doesn’t single anyone out.
    Seriously, this is the best solution I have ever heard of for the birthday-foodallergies-classroom problem.

    Sideways Stories from Wayside School (oh, how I *still* love this book!)
    The 21 Balloons (awesome, often overlooked classic!)
    The Hobbit
    The BFG
    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

  396. Anything by Roald Dahl is a hit in my world. ‘The Twits’ was a favored one of my daughter when she was about nine. I bet she read and re-read that one five or six times.

  397. The book that saved me when I was in middle school from self harm appropriately enough (let it never be said that I don’t participate in theming) was pretty much anything by Bruce Coville but particularly Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher which was lovely and haunting and his AI Gang trilogy which made me believe that maybe I would have friends someday too.

  398. I love the books called Simon’s Cat – perfect for any age for any cat lover. Honestly though, I’d go with your initial idea of Magic Trixie or Coraline. If it opens a child’s mind a fraction before the parents can stomp it closed with lack of imagination, then job done.

    Trust your instincts Hon xoxo

  399. 408
    Purple Prophecy

    The Phantom Tollbooth or, and I’m very happy to see it suggested a few comments earlier, A Wrinkle in Tiime. Both are amazing books.

  400. This was a lovely and necessary post. Thank you.

    Books are so wonderful! There are so many, but Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing was one I couldn’t wait to share with my kids.

  401. My favorite book at 9 was “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls… Still is one of my mostfavoritesofalltime. Although, it’s a little sad.

    Second favorites were the Oz series by L. Frank Baum. :) I would stay up late with a flashlight because I couldn’t put these down.

    Nancy Drew was always fun, and I loved the way they smelled… For some reason our library’s copies smelled like buttered popcorn. lol


  403. I read Harriet the Spy until the covers fell off. Other favorites were Eight Cousins, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Black Beauty.

    Best idea ever.

    jennie lynn recently posted Wii Vignettes, Starring My Son.

  404. 413
    Allyson Wonderland

    Missicat, you can not be replaced. Just because you don’t have a husband or kids doesn’t mean you’re not important to someone. Hell, now you’re important to me because we’re having this conversation (even though it’s not even a conversation, it’s just me typing into a box and you may or may not ever see this).

    YOU MATTER. I promise.

  405. “Martin’s Mice” by Dick King-Smith. I found this book when I was 9 and loved it. It’s a little more obscure, so it probably wouldn’t be a repeat for most of the kids. It’s about a farm cat who would rather keep mice as pets than kill and eat them. From what I remember it goes over themes such as choosing to be different from those around you, trying to be a compassionate being, and balancing your desires over what is best for those around you. I haven’t read it since I was a kid, but I still remember it being one of my favorite reads. $6.29 on Amazon.

    If you don’t get it for the class, you and Hailey may enjoy it together. Given the personalities your cats have, I think you’d really be able to appreciate a cat that keeps a pregnant mouse as a pet.

    Extra bonus: Personally, I’d also be smiling with glee sending a book home to a bunch of oober-religious families that has “Dick” in big bold letters on the front. “Can’t handle innocent magic and fun eh? HOW BOUT A DICK THEN?” Hey, in September, you gotta take joy from anywhere you can find it.

  406. Sideways Stories from Wayside School was a favorite of my son’s at that age. And I saw those classics at Target in the dollar bin this weekend, too.

  407. Im horrible at gauging what is appropriate or not for certain ages but I remember loving The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle as a kid as well as Little House on the Prarie and The Box Car Children and and some one else mentioned Way Side School.

  408. Watership Down by Richard Adams was my favorite book as a nine year old, and it’s continued to be a favorite through adulthood. Barring that, I’d say Harry Potter, but the kids have all probably read it.

  409. I also vote for “A Wrinkle In Time”. <3 it!

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  410. When I was nine, I was battling ignorance because I was already an advanced reader. My teachers were nice people, but they had no resources for enrichment during the late 1950’s in south Georgia, USA. That year I read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I understood alcoholism, depression and family pressures could cause the misery of the characters, but I was, at the same time, too young to see how they could overcome their misery. Therefore, my heart broke for them. I reread it at 20 and realized that the characters were weak and flawed as human beings and that it was my responsibility as a reader to come away with much more than heartbreak.
    Today, I am happy that my grandgirls have access to challenging and thought provoking books that are also appropriate for their psychological and developmental levels. With that being said, The Girl Who Navigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is an outstanding example of age appropriate literature for 9 year old readers capable of following more complex plots.
    On a mental health note: Stay well this month all of you who are effected by the shorter days.

    Lynne Thomas recently posted Dear Lord, Has It Been That Long?.

  411. I loved My Side of the Mountain at that age. Fantastic story about a young boy who chooses to live in the woods by himself.

  412. A Wrinkle in Time, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing or The Black Stallion

  413. Hiedi, The Silver Brumby, Black Beauty, The Black Stallion (or any of Walter Farleys books), Any of the children’s serious of fictionalized Biographies – I read all of them between 2nd and 5th grade.

  414. No magic, eh? Here were my favorite non-magic books at age 9.

    I’ll second the suggestion of The Westing Game.
    I’ll eighty-second the suggestion of Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

    Thirteen Ways To Sink A Sub by Jamie Gilson
    Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

  415. September. My son would be 26 on September 25th if he hadn’t died on June 8th, 2004. Knowing my living kid needs me keeps me alive.

    I love Hank the Cowdog and so did Will.

  416. I see others have mentioned it already – but the Westing Game – one of my absolute childhood favorites!

  417. Where the sidewalk ends. (I don’t know how much it costs, though. )

  418. ‘Anne of Green Gables’
    Anything Roald Dahl
    ‘Ungifted’ is my new favorite though!

  419. 428
    Laurene Beattie

    Shel Silverstein! His poems are crazy good!

  420. Get a few different books and let them swap about when they’re finished? That way you could buy a few different ones… even at 9 I could never choose just one book.

  421. 430
    Kathy P in Pittsburgh

    I’m smiling about all the “is this too young for 9” questions as a lot of those are books that I still enjoy re-reading and I’m 58. I think my favorite is “A Wrinkle In Time”, though.

    Part of the credit for me being 58 goes to a lovely young-sounding woman at the other end of a phone one bleak winter day when I was pretty sure I couldn’t be bothered to take another breath.

  422. My 4th grade teacher gave me “Where the Red Fern Grows,” which I read over and over again.

  423. In 4th grade we read Island of the Blue Dolphins. Loved it. Calvin and Hobbs and How to Eat Fried Worms…very good also.

  424. Charlottes Web

  425. OK, I asked my 9 yr old daughter and 11 year old son. They said ANY of the Hank Zipzer books (by Henry Winkler) or the Wayside School books (by Louis Sacher) are awesome. They also like Ready Freddie, The Boxcar Children, The Homework Machine and The Paperbag Princess. Happy Reading!

  426. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin. My fourth grade teacher read that to our class when I was 9, and it stays with me to this day. Works for both genders, and is a fun (not-really-a) murder mystery that’s totally age-appropriate.

  427. Try anything by Adam Rex. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich is great and he has a new one called Moonday.

  428. We gave a bunch of different joke books as a party favor one year; the kids seemed to love them. Also, my 9-year-old is currently all about the 43 Old Cemetery Road series of books. Not magic, but ghosts!

  429. So, I don’t know if this will help or be scary, but you rock. I was hit by a wave of lying lies about 15 minutes ago, and I clicked over here, figuring on re-reading the fucked up apple post, and instead got exactly the reminder about depression lying, and me be irreplaceable that I needed.

    Thank you.

    Also? Sideways stories from Wayside or Mrs. Piggle Wiggle were my first two thoughts. :)

  430. Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

  431. i blame the autumnal equinox

  432. Alright, books for 3rd graders with no magic & are inoffensive. There can be a wide variety of reading levels, so you want something easy to read but still interesting and appeals to boys & girls. I’d say Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys. Perhaps I am showing my age a little too much.
    Maybe your daughter would have a good idea. She’d probably know what’s popular in her class whether it’s Junie B. Jones or Magic Treehouse or whatever.

  433. Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree’

  434. A Wrinkle In Time.

    The Good Luck Duck recently posted A bromide about Chloride, New Mexico.

  435. Mostly I read fantasy/magic books as a kid. But there are some I read then and since that I think are wonderful:

    From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    Swallows and Amazons (and such a wonderful series!)
    Any of the books by Elizabeth Enright

    I lost my younger brother to suicide 30 years ago and it still hurts. He was only 18. A couple of times a year I still have a dream where he is alive and his death was just a bad dream. It’s a wonderful dream and for the first few moments after I wake up, I still believe it. Since his death, I have thought about suicide a lot, but only seriously twice and once I actually checked myself into a psych hospital, which helped a lot. Since my mom died 3 years ago, I haven’t had her as a reason to stay alive (my dad died when I was in high school, so now my immediate family is all gone). So I have taken to reminding myself that my friends would feel devastated if I killed myself. Plus, the meds are helping and so is the therapy. But it still sometimes wanders through my mind that if I were dead, I wouldn’t have to deal with the lack of any money, the being nearly unemployed (just a part-time job right now), the fact that I probably won’t be able to buy my own house again for years and years, and the fact that I cannot afford to move out of my friends’ house yet, plus the usual stuff that makes for big bumps in the road of life. I’m not sure if I will ever not think about how dying would make the hurts stop, but at least I’m not actively pursuing it.

    Skye recently posted Therapy Hangover.

  436. “Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat”, is awesome! It is by Morrell Gipson, written over 50 years ago, but is the best. Purple House Press has republished it. Check it out even if you don’t give it to the kids…”I give you fair warning”.

  437. I don’t have a book suggestion (though Roald Dahl maybe? I don’t know? I was ready the White Dragon when I was 9….I remember skipping over the sex because it was icky.)

    Anyway, your post inspired me to post my arm and I have to say the campaign you mentioned really hit a nerve with me because of it’s name “To write love on her arms” because that’s how I cope with depression/thoughts of self harm.

    I literally have found the best way for me to deal with it when it gets too much is to get a sharpie and write things like “Depression Lies” or “Illness does not equal failure” or “You are loved” on my arms. My 4 year old doesn’t know about my self harm but he does know I write on my arms when I am sad and the writing makes me happier so he joins in.

    Like literally today he wrote his name, drew a spiral and “kisses” all over my arm….he literally wrote love on my arms today.

    And that’s maybe why I can’t be replaced…because I am his mum.

    just wanted to say.

    Beth recently posted Suicide Prevention Week.

  438. I agree with Karen (comment #4) with Sideways Stories from Wayside School! AWESOME BOOK.

  439. Laffcadio by Shel Silverstein. Hell, anything by Shel Silverstein.

  440. ‘Trumpet of the Swan’ or ‘Charlotte’s Web’, both by EB White. They’re perfect.

    Julie O'Connell recently posted My Favorite Accidental Pictures.

  441. Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

  442. I agree with Tabitha W.
    Garbage Delight, by Dennis Lee, hands down. My favourite poetry book of all time.
    Also, Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang is very good.

  443. As a kid i had 2library cards so i could check out twice as much.
    I was addicted to books and read almost anything. By 9 iwas already reading Stephen King, still remember reading It and changing place in the garden, so i could sit somewhere where noone could creep up on me. Hahaha.
    I especially loved fairytales as a kid and read every single one in our library. I really loved reading international ones, the ones that arent so well known.
    When i was older and had young nieces, i bought them their first fairytalebook.
    I also still remember an exneighbour giving me a book when i was little with a personal message in the front. I treasured that one.
    Anyway, im not from the USA, so i wont know a lot of the titles you are choosing from. But i do know its hard to make everyone happy. You could go for the lighter books that try to teach something. Those usually dont have a lot of ‘upsetting’ things (*sigh*) in it.
    Just go with what you feel is right, its your gift to give.
    And i absolutely love the fact that you give the gift of reading. In this day and age, kids dont really get the chance anymore to fall in love with books .

  444. Mine was “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”

  445. According to my 9 year old on Thursday (who was slightly annoyed I was reading blog posts until I told her this blogger has a 9 year old :-), “The Twits is an excellent book!” She also likes Magic Trixie, but said “the boys might not appreciate it.” Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is magic disguised as Japanese folktale and therefore approved literature.

  446. When I was nine, I was happy to read anything written by Roald Dahl. To this day, “Matilda” is still my favorite book. Maybe “James and the Giant Peach” or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?”

  447. 456

    When I taught 3rd grade I read my kids “The Wolves in the Walls” and it instantly became the favorite of every class. It became a right of passage for kids in my school. The second graders would look forward to coming to third grade and getting to do fun projects with that book. I’ve never met a 9 year old who didn’t like it. That’s my vote.

  448. I LOVED *Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH* when I was that age. In unrelated news, it appears that NIMH is the acronym for the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s just too much of a coincidence to not be the work of the universe. Coo Ell.

    Mandy @ South Your Mouth recently posted Pimento Cheese.

  449. A Wrinkle in Time is always a good one.

    Jessica recently posted Still Sad.

  450. When I was 9, my favorite book was Homesick by Jean Fritz. Its about an American girl growing up in China in the 1920’s. I’ve even read part of it to my daughter’s third grade class with no negative feedback.

  451. 460
    Carrie Hilgert

    I’m always amazed at your wonderful humor and gut wrenching honesty. I’ve never had to call a hotline, but I’ve come close to needing one lots of times. Keep being awesome.

    Carrie Hilgert recently posted been a long day.

  452. I think I only saw one other person post Where the Red Fern Grows, but that is a truly awesome book. My third grade teacher read it to the class and I have read it several times over my lifetime. I had my daughter read it when she was 9 and while she at first objected because it was an OLD book, she did read it and loved it.

  453. My kids are 8 & 10. I’ve got a boy and a girl and they both love the SkippyJohn Jones books. And I love them too. At the end of the school last year, my daughter’s teacher gave each child a SkippyJohn Jones book and not one parent complained.

  454. Well, I was going to say The Hobbit, but there’s magic and stuff. How about The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler or Socks by Beverly Cleary? or The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop or The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks or Alice in Wonderland or…I need to stop now or I”ll spend the rest of the afternoon looking up books I read as a kid and there are a LOT of them. :-)

    P.S. I like September but then again, I love fall and September means apples are in season, the weather gets cooler, the leaves just start to change and Halloween is just around the corner. February, on the other hand, sucks. In February I start feeling like winter will NEVER END and it will be cold and snowy and miserable forever.

  455. You are amazing, and irreplaceable (and, you may be delighted to know, currently banned from my work intranet as “Inappropriate Content.” Good for you!)

    These may skew a little young, but they deserve some reading:
    1. A is for MuskOx ( ), a new classic
    2. and Tacky the Penguin ( ) , which my parents read to me, and which I still return to on the days that I need to remember that I am irreplaceable.

    This is wonderful…please excuse me while I buy all the children’s books in the comment section.

    NB recently posted Oh hey there..

  456. You clearly have enough recommendations at this point, but I’m going to go ahead and add Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant to the list. Nothing objectionable, but a entertaining tale about a dog and pregnant squirrel who are unlikely friends (and a hermit crab too, but he’s not featured as much), and a daring rescue after an ice storm.

  457. Blank journals so they can start their OWN books! Thank you for everything you do, Irreplaceable, Inspirational One.

    Lizaio recently posted Happy Birthday. I Miss You..

  458. The Boxcar Children was my favorite!

  459. Thank you for the reminder of such an important cause. And for making me think of why I’m important. Sometimes we all need a reminder.

    I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, so I can’t give any advice on them. But one of the books that I read when I was young & kept for all these years is “Sideways Stories from Wayside School.” All 3 of our kids have read it & the newer ones that have come out & they all seem to enjoy them. And it falls in your price range!

  460. 469
    Major Bedhead

    I haven’t read all the other comments, but when I was 9, I loved Harriet The Spy and From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweller. Both are awesome.

  461. A Dog Called Kitty, (can’t remember the author) and Charles Dickens

  462. Agree with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler — and no religious overtones that I recall.

  463. I loved the Mixed Up Files book when we read it when I was in 5th grade! It was fabulous and I still remember it 20+ years later! Also, I remember loving Peppermints in the Parlor!

  464. Harry Potter is the best though, so its a shame for those who are stifled by dogmatic restrictions that cloud there brains with fear and rejection…

  465. I have to agree with a million other suggestions of ANYTHING by Shel Silverstein or Roald Dahl. I’ve got a niece who’s 8 and a nephew who’s 10… they love them! And, they’re great for a variety of reading levels, since they’re good for both independent reading AND being read aloud.

  466. I read them as an adult, so I don’t know that I’m targeting the age range correctly, but I love, love, love the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett. The first is The Wee Free Men, but they’re all amazing. Technically they’re about witches, but it turns out witches are just people who know how to problem-solve like a boss.

    I think I was reading tons of Christopher Pike books at that age, which are probably not incredibly appropriate. Always loved Shel: ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ ftw. I loved the Boxcar children series and The Westing Game (also super amazing). The Trumpet of the Swan x EB White was also a favorite. But really, with books, it’d be hard to go wrong.

  467. The Phantom Tollbooth – wickedly funny, sassy, smart.

  468. Jenny Lawson, or Laura, PLEASE define “licksquishy.”
    i get the general idea, and love it, but I want to use the word properly.

  469. It’s been said above, but I think that was when I started with Wrinkle in Time and then read everything else Madeleine L’Engle wrote. I also read Anne of Green Gables and then everything else L.M. Montgomery wrote, but those might not be great for a co-ed class. Harriett the Spy is fantastic. Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing? The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe was definitely that age. In the same vein as Island of the Blue Dolphins, Julie of the Wolves was great and I loved it at that age.

    For something newer, what about Wildwood? Does that have a cheaper paperback version yet? I wouldn’t think that would count as a “magic” problem, but who knows.

  470. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls was always a favorite, it gets really sad at the end though.

  471. My girls love the Bad Kitty book series. Some of them are shorter picture books but some are a bit longer and paperback – like this one

  472. Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s a lovely, gorgeously written short story that appeals to boys and girls, and makes a great read-aloud for any children who can’t yet read it independently. And it’s also a first in a series.

    Cats born with wings in a dangerous city alley… their mother tells them they have to leave in search of a safer home. Cats depart, sans mom, and rely on each other to survive. They find a home in the end, and it’s a warm and emotionally resonant story overall. Also has beautiful illustrations.

  473. I think I was reading Stephen King in 4th grade…..

  474. Island of the Blue Dolphins, or anything Jules Verne.

  475. Some different suggestions:
    Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper – I know three different kids (including my own) who’ve called this their favorite book ever.
    The Tiger Rising, Because of Winn Dixie or The Magician’s Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo. DiCamillo is one of the best writers alive. She just happens to write books for kids.
    The Graveyard Book. I can’t believe this one hasn’t come up before. Yes, magical and spooky. But come on — Neil Gaiman!

  476. Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life Paperback
    by James Patterson

    Excellent reviews. I bought it for my nephew he just turned 10 and he loved it.

  477. Thank you for being courageous enough to say that sometimes even you feel hopeless! I myself have needed to use the suicide prevention hotline! I also have given back and worked on the Suicide Prevention hotline! they always need good long term volunteers and you should call them. In Canada the Salvation Army Suicide Prevention hotline is run by the salvation army but in no way does it push any type of religious response to this situation!

    As for books I totally pick Sideways stories from Wayside school (the original is still my fave!!)


    Tara W recently posted Welcome to Everyday Creative!.

  478. How about Lois Lowry’s “The Giver”? It’s dark, but they might like that (a bit post-apocalyptic, without the zombies).

    Anything Roald Dahl EXCEPT Charlie & The Chocolate factory (they’ve seen the movie)

    “A Wrinkle in Time” still rocks

    I also loved “Ghosts I Have Been/The Ghost Belonged to Me” by Richard Peck, and they’re not as dark as “The Giver”

    How about this: give out 3 or 4 different books, so they can trade with someone else if it’s something they’ve already read. Awesome idea, by the way – I would’ve loved to have been given a book. still would.

  479. It is magical, but my all-time favorite book, discovered around the age of 9 is A Wrinkle in Time.

  480. White Flour by David LaMotte
    If anyone objects to it, you don’t want your child spending much time with them anyway.

  481. Anything by Kate DiCamillo, but especially Because of Winn-Dixie or The Tale of Despereaux. Fabulous books for a 9-10 year-old.

  482. I was huge into the Black Stallion books. I liked the Wind in the Willows, but I can’t really remember what age I was…I also liked Nancy Drew, but the other two series are more non-gender specific.

    Marianne recently posted Totally slipped by me....

  483. Matilda was my favourite book at that age. Yeah, there’s an element of magic, but even my uber-strict Catholic school allowed it.

    Beth Damiano recently posted Supernatural Family.

  484. D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths.
    . Piggle Wiggle
    The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (magical AND religious if it has to be)
    Phantom Tollbooth

    I think everyone who posts here is irreplaceable because I always want to “like” every comment. <3

  485. X 100000 on Shel Silverstein. Just be careful and remember, it’s a LIGHT in the Attic, not FLOWERS in the Attic.

    Also, thank you for posting this. August and September have thus far felt like depression is winning. I need to get my head out of that spot.

    goingloopy recently posted Suddenly I’m Bright and Breezy (FMM).

  486. A Wrinkle In Time. Madeline L’Engle.

    Or wait till next month when Neil Frickin Gaiman’s new book comes out, called Fortunately the Milk.

    I got to hear him read from it when he was in Toronto last month. Sounds amazing, or in other words, typically Neil. :)

  487. Holy crow, What about Percy Jackson and the LIghtening thief, or any of the Poison Apple books?

    Fridr recently posted Offensive Magick..

  488. While I’m going through this anxious time trying to find the right meds and having more panic attacks than I’ve had in the last five years, I think of my gorgeous daughter, and how much I had to go through to have her, and I’m her only mother. I pull it together for her and my husband, because they are my world.

    I love that people mentioned Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I read The Phantom Tollbooth every year. I just recommended From The Mixed Up Files to one of the kids I nanny for. James and The Giant Peach was my favourite Roald Dahl. I still love reading anything by Shel Silverstein. I love reading books that I used to read as a kid…they always make me feel better.

  489. I can’t think of a book because I’m on the floor. Your cannot-be-replaced words just killed me. In a good way.

    Burns the Fire recently posted My American Dad.

  490. My daughter just turned 9 in August… The “Black Lagoon” series is still pretty popular. My Cassie loved them so much I had to buy big lots of them from ebay. They’re good for both girls and boys and there are so many that not all of them involve magic. Lots of silliness though!

  491. For me, September means that there is hope. Hope for the seemingly endless, aimless, bright, disorganized days of summer to finally be gone for another year. Hope that the cool, grey days that are like a cozy blanket will soon return. Hope that our lives will once again have structure and routine. Hope that the 3 month long migraine of sunny days will gradually fade. Hope that I can feel like myself again.

    F*ck summer and sunshine.

    Bring on the rain!

  492. You know what this means .. clearly.. you have to write the book. A Sweet crazy off the wall book about a sweet 9 your old girl and her partially made up adventures. It’s written in the stars that this be done. This is why you cant find the book, you are being called to make the book!

  493. I’m not reading 400+ comments my dear – too too lazy – but check out Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer. MIGHT fit the bill. I don’t think it’s about magic at all, but may be wrong, yet it’s still fantasy! (Haven’t checked cost, I blame being a foreigner.) I love Jasper Fforde. You must read his Nursery Crime series and Shades of Grey! The Thursday Next series is awesome for the first two books then it gets dull.

    bani recently posted Lev Grossman: The Magicians.

  494. I don’t know if the Magic Schoolbus books are too young, as I am old :)

    What I would do is hit a used bookstore (if they have good ones in your area) and see if you can get decently loved copies of a bunch of books, then let the kids pick out what they want.


  495. Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp by Mercer Mayer. But I could be off on my age. I loved the Bunnicula books, too, which might be a little closer to 9 years old.

    You’re her only mom – best ever. I look forward to every Bloggess post with glee – write that on your arm too.

  496. are you my mother?

    I know that is about a pre-k level book but has been my favorite for 53 years. this is probably due to the fact that I’ve always felt like a lost orphan.

  497. Well, you could get a bunch of books and then let the kids trade them, if they wished. The Lion, the witch and the Wardrobe should not offend the ultra religious since it is a Christian allegorical tale.

    mousebert recently posted Auguries of Innocence – William Blake.

  498. 508
    vicki trattar

    Anything by Ronald Dahl.

  499. The series I loved when I was nine- ish was the boxcar kids, it was about a group do kids that went around solving mysteries.

  500. As a now-30-year-old who is currently in love with Neil Gaiman and obsessed with Harry Potter and Doctor Who and grew up in an uber-religious house where we weren’t allowed to read anything with “magic” or “aliens”…please, give them books about magic and/or aliens.

    Amber recently posted I’m happier than a Weeping Angel at a convention for the blind.

  501. Instead of a book for every kid in the class could you buy one and donate it to the class? I did that when I was a guest reader when my daughter was in elementary school and I chose “Danny, Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl.

  502. Walter the Farting Dog. My 9yo loves it.

  503. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    Davin by Dan and Zaki Gordon
    The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
    Bad Girls by Cynthia Voigt
    Redwall by Brian Jacques
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
    Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
    Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
    The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

    Okay, some of those have fantastical elements, but I think it’s not in a way that would be offensive. Of course, I don’t understand what’s offensive about fantasy in the first place…so good luck. If people complain, just give them a copy of The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey to show them it could’ve been worse.

  504. Some days Jenny girl, I don’t know how you know. How you know that this is a particularly bad day, just feeling fairly forgettable and completely replaceable. Then you hit me with your #4. I’m their only mother too, and today, like most days, that’s what gets me through.

  505. 516
    Cliff VanDyke

    Try one of the “Pinky and Peanut” books.

  506. I take it back. There was magic. Grumble. Still a good book.

    bani recently posted Lev Grossman: The Magicians.

  507. Because of Winn Dixie is one of my favorite books.

    I can’t be replaced because:
    I make great brownies. (Not pot ones, although I’m sure if it ever becomes legal I could rock those too)
    I am my son’s only parent.
    I am super crafty.

  508. I was such a fan of Harriet the Spy. Started keeping journals because of it.

  509. Masterpiece by Elise Broach – recommended for 9 & up. Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year (whatever this means?) My daughter read it in 4th grade, loved it, asked me to read it to her & her then 2nd grade sister & bed time, who also loved it. The main character is a cricket who helps his human friend/protector solve an art mystery.

  510. Enid Blyton – The Folk of the Faraway Tree, there’s a number of books…which come to think of it might be out of print, vaguely off-kilter, but more in an ‘organic mushroom’ sense than magical…I think. Anyway Good Luck!

  511. Hmmm…I’m much like Hailey in that I liked darker themes when I was a kid (still do). I’m guessing for that for the reasons you mentioned Alvin Schwartz books are probably a no-no. I think 9-10 was around the time I started reading Judy Blume books, like Blubber and Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Of course, those books are frequently challenged (like, WTF?). Since this was the early 80’s, I was also really into Choose Your Own Adventure books. Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown, too! But I was also getting into teen magazines at this time because, you know, Bo Duke/John Schneider, but I’m sure the kids aren’t into Dukes of Hazzard in the same way I was ;-)

  512. Talking of dark and light… Roald Dahl! :-)

  513. ‘Starring Sally J Freedman as herself’. The first Judy Blume book I ever read. Changed my life… Made me realise i was not alone!

  514. Do they still make Choose Your Own Adventure books? I remember those being really cool. The only one of the books from the list above that worries me is Sideways stories from Wayside school. I only say this because I recently went back to read them again and… well… they are a WHOLE lot more messed up than I remember. And I loved that book! (it’s one of the few I saved for my kids to read)

  515. Narnia (if it’s about religion read them the first book where the lion goes around and creates the world from scratch, I guess Christians can refer to that kind of stuff), “Momo” and “The Never-Ending Story” by Michael Ende (but you’d probably have to hang around in class for a never-ending time to read that to them), and ermmmm, I don’t know. Give them something magical. The uber-religious ones ESPECIALLY need it. You haven’t been a child if you haven’t had something magical when you were young.

  516. I really enjoyed Betsy Byars’s books. Mostly her Blossom Family series and Bingo Brown series. Though I’m not too sure what age group they’re for since I was always an advanced reader. All I know is that they were in the library at my elementary school. If nothing else, pick a Roald Dahl(sp?) book, those are always classic. Or you could go with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe since it’s both magical and religious (albeit secretly).

    Sarah A recently posted Total Male.

  517. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe has magic but should still go over pretty well with the religious types.

  518. Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson. It is such a funny book. It even has ridiculous book club questions at the end. There is no magic, just whales on stilts w/ laserbeams on their heads. And a mad scientist.

  519. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe or other CS Lewis… very magical books and very Christian author

    Kristin Irani recently posted Zucchini Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Garlic Sauce.

  520. The Secret of Nimh. It’s a great story about a mouse and her family whose home (under a rock) is threatened by spring plowing. She is a widow of the local rat community who have been genetically altered and are super intelligent. Spoiler – they totally help her. There is quite a bit of drama with a cat and wondering if the humans are going to find out about the special rat community and send them back the science lab…I think both boys and girls would like it. (FYI, no magic but strange magic-like science ideas (talking mice and all) but hopefully it won’t offend too many people…)
    Oooh, or maybe The Black Stallion. You can’t go wrong with The Black Stallion.

    Laura recently posted Gotcha – Stupid Talking Furniture.

  521. I just bought my 9 year old girl Walter the Farting Dog. Its an easy read, but its funny and about accepting difference. And apparently all 3rd graders think farts are HILARIOUS.

    I totally agree with the person who said Calvin and Hobbes too. And Where the sidewalk Ends is always fun.

  522. All of our teachers have classroom libraries which the kids can grab books for independent reading. I would grab a bunch of the different suggestions and contribute to your daughter’s teacher’s library. Also our school’s main library has special bookplates which they used when you donate a library copy to the main library. You could get cute bookplates saying that the books were donated in honor of your daughter’s birthday.

  523. Book: I adored “The talking Parcel” by Gerarld Durrell when I was that age. I still love it now so many years later

  524. My daughter thinks she was obsessed with the Geronimo Stilton books at about that age.

  525. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s about two kids who run away to live in a museum. I think I read it 8 times.

  526. 537
    Amy Rauber-Patton

    I would seriously consider Peanuts because I would feel like I was getting away with something. Then I like the idea of composition books and new pencils.

    My mom died (not suicide) when I was 15. I’m 45 and I still need a mom. It’s a suck feeling.
    I miss my mom and I don’t want my kids to ever have to feel what I have.

    You are right. You are her only mom and she will need you forever.
    Besides. MOM upside down is WOW and the world needs all the wow it can get.

  527. When I was nine I loved The Swiss family Robinson it was a children’s version with pictures and I still have that same copy 17 years later, but I also read anything I could get my hands on.

  528. I have a nine year old and have never heard of Hank the Cowdog, that is awesome. Don’t get the Hunger Games, whatever you do, speaking of controversial books. I thinking picking one book would be hard…you would be hard pressed to offend me, but my kids are not a fan of dark books, and have very different tastes. Maybe gather all your favorite, wrap them and have a grab bag – they can trade later. Calvin and Hobbes or Baby Blues comic books? Bad Kitty, those are adorable, and Judy Moody.

  529. I posted to my facebook a link to suicide prevention information. I have had two friends kill themselves this year, one a couple years ago. My heart is in pieces and it just adds to the depression issues I already have.

  530. I really liked “Henry and Ribsy” when I was that age or “Because of Win-Dixie”. I remember reading both “Where the Red Fern Grows” and “The Indian in the Cupboard” at that age but I found both of those disturbing. “The Chocolate Touch” is great, but I think it might fall into the magic category. I also loved historical fiction. And all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I also personally think “Ramona Quimby, Age 8” is appropriate for boys and girls but that might just be me. Oh! What about “Super Fudge” or “Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing”!! Those are both classics!!

  531. My favorite book as a child was Miss Suzy, but she’s a bit over your price range.

  532. Anything by Louis Sachar, but particularly the Wayside School books.

  533. Howliday Inn or Bunnicula!

    I also second The Phantom Tollbooth :)

  534. i love berkley breathed! he wrote mars needs moms, edward fudwupper fibbed big and a few others. if you haven’t read mars needs mom, bring tissue. i’ve read it 100 times and still tear up. edward fudwupper is really wonderful, too. i’m sure you’ll pick something perfect!

  535. I know this is all the way at the bottom so I don’t know if you will read all these…

    but this was my all time favorite book. And it has a mystery.

    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg

  536. My favorite book when I was nine was probably The Black Stallion (or one of the Babysitter’s Club books) but I recommend Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. And, for any resistant parents, you can point out that it won the Newbery so it is totally suitable and literary even if it is about a kid raised by ghosts and tutored by a werewolf.

  537. For the book: I suggest the latest paperback Magic Tree House. Then include a note that says, if you already have this, please donate it your school library or local library :) I think it is great you want to do books!

  538. I loved Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary. For some reason when I was younger I read it over and over.

    Also, thank you for this blog! It helps me get through most days :)

  539. 550
    Jill Knowles

    “The Underneath+ by Kathi Appelt. One of the most beautiful and well written books I’ve ever read. It opens with “There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a little while, and then is left beside the road.”
    The book follows the cat, her kittens, and an old hound dog who has befriended them all. It also follows the story of an ancient snake spirit known as Grandmother Moccasin. This book is amazing. I have read it to kids as young as 6, and I’m 44 and we all adore this book. And it’s set in Texas.

    And, yes, suicide hotlines can be the literal difference between life and death. Please call if things look hopeless. I did and I’m still here.

  540. Also The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (though it’s for 10 and up, so might be a little complicated for 9yos). A great puzzle/game/mystery story. So good.

  541. Mossflower! My side of the mountain! Though I don’t remember when that was my favourite book, so those two might be older. And the latter too much about running away for the parents…
    Roald Dahl? Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh?

  542. So many fantastic suggestions! One of my absolute all-time favorite books is The Westing Game. But I wholly endorse the suggestions for Maniac Magee, the Narnia books, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, A Wrinkle in Time, and even Harry Potter. I have also been reading Agatha Christie since around 4th grade, so why not get them started early on murder mysteries?

    CJ recently posted a little front door update.

  543. 554

    I still laugh at “Hank the Cowdog”! Oh man, I remember when my fourth-grade teacher read that aloud to the class. I was cracking up… May have been the only one! Thanks for the great advice and great memory today!

  544. 555

    A Wrinkle in Time – still OK with most religious families but magical too! And, when they love it, they have two more books to read in the series.

  545. 556

    A Wrinkle in Time – still OK with most religious families but magical too! And, when they love it, they have two more books to read in the series.

  546. Frindle, by Andrew Clements! You can’t go wrong with this one, it was one of my favorite books, kinda goofy and it made me want to come up with my own word at the end.

  547. 558
    Holly Nicole

    Summer of the Monkeys – Rawls
    Odd and the Frost Giants – Gaiman
    Only You Can Save Mankind – Pratchett
    The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents – Pratchett
    The Secret Garden – Burnett
    The Borrowers – Brown

  548. The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler

  549. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is pretty solid for 9 year olds, or Amelia Bedelia :)

  550. “Have Space Suit Will Travel”

  551. Fringle by Andrew Clements, who would not love a book where you make up a word.

  552. Jack Prelutsky is pretty popular at that age…or Roald Dahl…or The Neverending Story (which is about the magic of books, so that’s allowed, right?). You could also get Scholastic book coupons and let them each pick their own book.

  553. My oldest is 9 also! She loves Charlotte’s Web and her class is currently reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. She also likes the series by Geronimo and Thea Stilton (two different series).

    This is such a great idea. I may have to use it for my girl too! So much better than all the sugar and trying to figure out what to make. My girl is the one with the allergies, so it’s hard for us to find yummy treats that she can have too!

  554. Madeline L’engle, A Wrinkle in Time.

  555. goodness. i really don’t know what is age appropriate. when i home schooled my children (already colleged and gone) if they could read it they could have it in their hands to read. you know, well, not penthouse – but you get what i mean.

    anyway. i guess i didn’t realize suicide prevention week was here. or in september. but i totally agree. i have a passel full of bad memories to work through in the month of september – in which – i added one this past weekend. i put my 16 year old cat to sleep. *ugh* third time in my adult life that i have cut. no one knows that. no one. well, ‘cept now you.

  556. Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing. It was an absolutely awesome book (followed up by superfudge,) and instilled in me my love of reading. :) (To that point all of my reading had been required reading.) It is also gender neutral. :D

  557. I’d never heard of that dog one. (looks good)

    I suggest:
    The Twits by Roald Dahl
    Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, by Jenny something.

    Also books are awesome. You would be my favorite parent EVER.

    Erin recently posted A day in my life.

  558. I don’t know if you read all the comments, but if you do, it’d be great if you could signal boost this.

    For people who have anxiety about talking on the phone and are feeling suicidal:

    “IMAlive is a live online network that uses instant messaging to respond to people in crisis. People need a safe place to go during moments of crisis and intense emotional pain.”

  559. Frindle that should have been! Made up word are hard to spell.

  560. Erickson has put out like 62 of those Hank books. Those kids can’t POSSIBLY have all of them! Go with the odds! (He’s got some merch too, I’m told…

    PS, I don’t work for him but I narrated a few of his books for the Texas State Library Talking Book Program. They’re a hoot.


  561. I was big into the Ramona books when I was 9…by now, that would basically be like distributing classic literature to today’s 9 year olds, right? And who could object to that?

  562. Shel Silverstein! Where the Sidewalk ends. I loved it.

  563. I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Dark Angel Trilogy, Z is for Zachariah, and anything about witches. I think The Wednesday Witch might be too young for them, and I just realized that you asked for stuff sans magic and/or darkness. Crap. That pretty much eliminates all of them. Maybe Jonathan Livingston Seagull? I don’t know, maybe I should just delete this post…

    Oh wait–my 7 year old daughter, reading a little above grade, loves the Magic Tree House series…dammit, this is hard. She loves Wings of Fire, but again…magic. Okay, um Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan and A Little Princess. She recently read all of those and really liked them. Good luck, sister.

  564. Thank you….

  565. The Adventures of Captain Underpants.

  566. P.S. The Trixie Beldon mystery series, thought I don’t know if you could find them now. They were AWESOME.

  567. Superfudge!

  568. I know we want to go with literary childhood favorites, but I think a great idea would be a different joke book from the kids section or a different madlibs for each child, so they can all share funnies and giggles.

  569. Find a series, like a choose your own adventure series, where you don’t have to read them in order. Then encourage them to trade around when they’re done with their book. The only thing better than enjoying a book is discussing it with someone else who enjoyed it.

  570. p.p.s. I’ll need to print this comment section when it’s done…

  571. Your book!

  572. Where the Red Fern Grows. This was the first book I re-read as a kid.

  573. Anything JUDY MOODY…she’s hip, she’s out to save the world, and she’s non-magical, so she shouldn’t offend anyone.

  574. Your last reason for being irreplaceable brought tears to my eyes. I like the idea about the list. I’m going to share this with my husband and son.

    Great idea about providing books!!!! I read a dystopian book for that age group that I thought was pretty good: City of Ember. Goodreads also has a list at Might be able to browse through there.

    My eight year old also loves this book called The Dod Rules by CoCo LaRue. It might be easy for some readers, but my son reads at a fifth grade level, but still loves it because it’s silly.

  575. What about giving each kid a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble? That promotes reading, right? You could include a list of Hailey’s book suggestions maybe?

    Jenna recently posted The Keyhole.

  576. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Charlotte’s Web, The Lightning Thief, any of the Ramona books,
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bridge to Terabithia , The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Books…

    I think I was nine when I met Fudge and fell in love with the series. When I use to teach English language learners, I read all the books to my classes. These kids were a couple years older, but everyone loved it. I was so proud when the kids started getting their own copies of the books from the library so they could read ahead since I would only read one chapter a day.

    Good Luck!

    Kelly recently posted The Good Outweighs the Bad.

  577. PS I makes me sad, too, that some kids are denied the joy of reading about magic and fantasy. Some of my favorite books fall into that category.

  578. I couldn’t get enough of The Egypt Game when I was a kid. It’s the perfect, neutral book for any concerned parents – no magic, nothing triggering – just some kids who like to role play that they’re in ancient Egypt, and speculate about the creepy old guy across the street. Pretty gentle stuff, but a really fun story.

    I don’t remember the books, but my 4th grade teacher read the Great Brain series to us at lunch time, and it was a big hit with the class.

    Oh! The Westing Game – also a huge hit w/ my class. (can’t go wrong w/ the Newberry winners).

  579. A Regular Flood of Mishap by Tom Birdseye is one of my favorite children’s books ever. Here, at Amazon, you can get the paperback for under 3.40 each.
    It’s a magical, hilarious, beautifully illustrated story about family and love.

  580. I think the thing with September, at least for me, is that you know that summer’s coming to a close. I’ve always thought that Seasonal Affect Disorder was real, and more than real, that to some extent everyone experiences it. Whether you don’t like hot weather or you do, it’s the end of something. It’s the end of long days of light, and it starts to get darker day by day instead of lighter, and that on its own is enough to mess with you. Kids lose some freedom going to school, parents miss their kids who are at school even if they’re grateful for some space. Winter starts to get on your mind.

    September always makes me nostalgic and I end up pondering things in the past, and that can lead to some dark alleys.

    It’s a damn good month for suicide prevention awareness, because I think it’s easy for it to get the best of us, and so it’s good that it gets out there. Because you’re right, depression lies, and people need to know that darkness isn’t all there is.

    Marielle recently posted When you GISH upon a star....

  581. First off, books don’t have a gender, they’re just good for people :)

    Hit the dollar store and go crazy. They have a lot of grade school versions of classics: Huck Finn, Little Women, Peter Pan, etc. Or Little House. Loved that series!

  582. pippi longstocking! don’t know how the english version is but i LOVED pippi’s adventures as a child

  583. Frindle by Andrew Clements…great book for that age. I am sorry September sucks for you….for me, the kids are back in school and I can do a happy dance for that alone!


    Alyssa W. recently posted In the Pale.

  584. If this helps, a link to our kids website:
    Classics, award winners, some fun titles…

  585. So many awesome book suggestions here. I remember being so darn excited when my kid got old enough to start enjoying all these. She was a very early reader though so now at 9, I’m fighting her out of the teen book section at the bookstore. Lordy.

    But my suggestion would be what others have mentioned – how about a large selection of some of the wonderful titles people have selected and then the kids can pick? You’d be lotto lucky to hit on a typical book for this age group that my kid hasnt read. If you have a selection then everyone can get some choice and you may just spark some excitement or a book exchange.

    And just for my 2.5 cents – Tuck Everlasting was one of my faves. Check out Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories for a cool recent release.

  586. Thank you for being you and saying important things. I’m still thinking about my own reasons for irreplace-ability…

    As for the book, my 10yo son and I are currently reading Wonder. We are not finished, but so far, it is an amazing book.

    I love, love, LOVE the idea of giving a book instead of a cupcake. Real food for thought.

    LisaAR recently posted Always at the Bottom of the Slide.

  587. I loved The Boxcar Children, and The Black Stallion, and Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Dancing Shoes, and all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books…

  588. I’m a Montessori elementary school teacher, and I say go ahead and get Coraline. Or maybe The Graveyard Book. We can’t pander to those bat-shit goddists! This is the children’s education we’re talking about: the actual furnishings of the mental mansions they will live in for the rest of their lives. We MUST give them the best.

    Freya Shipley recently posted How to Be a Better Talker: Six Strategies for Success.

  589. So, this is totally not what you asked, but I think it’s cool and related and wanted to share. When I was born, the doctor’s didn’t know if I was gonna make it. I am fine now, but was born with some congenital immune system issues that made for many health challenges as a baby. When I turned one, my mom thanked the Universe by doing a small, secret act of kindness for someone that was important to me–that year I think maybe she sent donuts to the nurses’ lounge at the hospital where I was born. And she’s done it every year on my birthday since then. She told me about this tradition when I was in high school, and some years she lets me help pick her act of kindness. I love this idea, and I think I’d like to do the same thing when I have kids. And I think it’s awesome that you’re buying books for Hailey’s class (and also not killing them with cupcakes, because that would suck). Good on ya!

  590. 601

    September only sucks because you are in Texas. I HATED September in Texas – still 100+ degrees, the ragweed made me miserable, and it felt like things would never end. September meant hot, miserable, and depressed in Texas. In Colorado, September is glorious and my favorite month. Crisp air, cobalt blue skies, golden aspens on the majestic mountains, autumn vegetables at the farmers market, the return of malty specialty brews – just lovely. You’ll have to visit Colorado in September sometime….

    Oh, my vote is a Little House book. I learned more from the Little House series than I did in most of 4th grade.

  591. Sideways Stories from Wayside School is definitely good. Or The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, which is slightly creepy (an unnamed, not featured little girl gets attacked by a grownup but they catch him later without any other kids getting hurt) but FANTASTIC. Also on the Egypt theme, The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, about a nine-year-old boy who is a goldsmith’s apprentice in ancient Egypt. Or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konigsberg.

  592. Danny, the Champion of the World – by Roald Dahl. Anything by Roald Dahl really. Obviously a book from The Chronicles of Narnia as well. Mind you, I think uber religious types don’t like that either. Other suggestions might be The Candymakers by Wendy Mass, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Wonder by R.J. Palacio. These were all favourites of my daughter around that age.

    Catherine recently posted Hello.

  593. Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, an Elf and a Very Stinky Fish!

  594. Roald Dahl or Wayside Stories. Cannot go wrong with either one!

  595. When I was about 9, I read a series of books that started with Bunicula. It was about a bunny whose owners’ fellow pets thought he was a vampire. Perhaps questionable, but hilarious all the same. And I can tell you that a few religious friends of mine were allowed to read it.

    And as a bipolar sufferer, and a woman who lost her sister to suicide this summer, let me thank you for your comments about Suicide Prevention Week.

    Love the shit outta you, girl.

  596. You cannot be replaced because no one else is as honest as you about how sometimes it is a never-ending struggle to make it through just one more day. Thank you for putting that out there, it helps more than you can imagine.
    I like the idea of doing gift certificates to Haley’s school’s Scholastic book fair (I have trouble making decisions and there are just way too many excellent books to pick just one). The librarian will love you, and it’s always a good idea to suck up to the librarian since she controls the books.

  597. I loved Harriet the Spy.

    cindy recently posted 27, 54 and 81?.

  598. When I was nine, I was into this series about two kids who discover their neighbor, Mr. Bass, is an alien scientist who’s discovered a fuel so powerful it only takes four drops to take them to the planet he’s originally from, a second Earth asteroid next to the Moon he’s called Basidium. But they’re out of print and outdated, I think. They were written by Eleanor Cameron. I’m leaving you the link: The Mushroom Planet Series

  599. Ramona the Brave. Danny, the Champion of the World

  600. A thesaurus, What a riot looking up ways to say things you aren’t allowed to say!

  601. Holy hell did I need this today. I woke up just feeling so useless that it almost didn’t even hurt, which is dumb, so thank you for this. Thank you so very much.

    Also, Pippi Longstocking. It’s the most wonderful children’s book about why being a somewhat innocent mischief-maker is something to aim for.

    Not to mention, it’s so beautifully odd that you can’t help but smile. Pippi made me who I am today.

    Emelie recently posted Apparently I Can Eat A Lot… Including the Dead..

  602. The first Harry Potter book. This also gives them motivation to finish the rest of the books.
    Every kid should read that series, even(especially!) if they have seen all the movies.

  603. When I was 9 my favorite book was “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.” When I was 29, my favorite book was yours. Clearly, Roald Dahl sets you on a lifelong path of having absolutely awesome literary taste. The being said, I second the Pippi Longstocking, Wayside School Books, and Phantom Tollbooth suggestions already made if you’re looking for intelligent and clever writing that’s still parent-friendly.

  604. 615
    Deborah Norris

    Absolutely the BFG! My daughter is grown with two boys of her own now – but she and her Dad still repeat passages from BFG and laugh. Light and funny and won’t offend anyone.

  605. Since you are already being so considerate of kids with food allergies and different religious practices, I would just like to mention that not all kids are at the same reading level as a “typical” nine year old. So.. I suggest just picking your daughters favorite book (because it is really all about her anyway) or giving the kids (or the class) a gift certificate to a book store.

  606. The BFG or Matilda, or A Wrinkle In Time (it was around age 8 or 9 that I discovered that particular piece of my childhood). Possibly Anne of Green Gables or A Little Princess?

  607. Half a Moon and One Whole Star by Crescent Dragonwagon. If you can find it at the book store. It is normally a “school library” book so it is hard to come by. I have a hard back copy of it when the Seattle Public Library was cleaning house 10 years ago. I found it at Barnes and Nobel about 5 years ago in paperback. The paperback version is not available on Amazon. It is a wonderful book!

  608. I love this post. It’s a good reminder, especially right now when I’m feeling a little down and stressed.

    I loved Zeb and the Great Ruckus, and the Stitch Head books, though those are more on the magic side of things. Well. Zeb and the Great Ruckus is about a world where music is outlawed, and Stitch Head is like a children’s version of Frankenstein. (My 7-year-old son has been reading Stitch Head, but it’s definitely meant for the 8+ age range, he just managed to get sucked in by a good story while I cackled in the background.)

    Laureen recently posted PS You’re Invited by Erica Domesek.

  609. 620

    “There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story.” by Gary Larson.

  610. OMG I love this so much.

    Just discovered your blog (how the fuck have I not been reading you, I have no clue, besides maybe the fact that I live under a rock and have just been exhumed by terrifyingly huge vultures — or was busy reading your book), and was stoked to start reading daily (because I’m a creep, duh). This being the first post I read from you = you might want a blog restraining order because I leave mile-long comments pretty much every day, and I don’t have a filter (filters are overrated anyway).

    My cousin committed suicide on July 6, 2011. Her birthday is in September. The day of her funeral I had one of my good friends (who is a legit tattoo artist. OK. maybe not legit, but he has a tattoo gun. and a license. I think.) tattoo “love” in my handwriting on my wrist. Not a fan of the “RIP Jim Bob” / angel wings / horrible computer typefaces / usually a typo-kind of memorial tattoos. Or memorial tattoos in general. But this serves me as not only a reminder of my cousin, but a reminder to myself that I am loved, and I cannot be replaced.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Oh, shit, I almost forgot:

    I cannot be replaced because …
    1) Nobody else can motivate and uplift others in the self-depreciating way that I do.
    2) Who else would risk their own health for the well-being of her mini-dachshund who happens to have a back injury, even though he forgets it most of the time and jumps all over the fucking place.
    3) If I weren’t here, my coworkers, friends, and family wouldn’t have an appropriate way to express things graphically (because, let’s face it, microsoft word and paint don’t really do the trick).

    (this was really, really, really hard to write, so maybe it’s time I check in on my depression …)

    calee recently posted Getting back to my regularly scheduled programming. #fitnessfriday.

  611. At that age I’d probably read Eight Cousins (or The Aunt Hill) by Louisa May Alcott, at least a dozen times. While I think it’s a great book and every young girl should read it, I don’t know how it would play with the boys. That didn’t sound right. I saw that several people mentioned Shel Silverstein. My uncle bought me “Where the Sidewalk Ends” when I was a little hooligan and I loved it. I lost it in one of my moves (as an adult) and had to go out and get another copy right away. It’s good for both girls and boys and I can’t imagine any reason why it wouldn’t be well-received by the parents. I mean, who wouldn’t like a book that contains the line, “Geraldine, now, stop shaking that cow!”?

    Tarisa recently posted Red 2 (PG-13/116 Min.).

  612. “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George. It’s so great for kids around that age. It’s about a 12 year old boy who lives on a farm in a hollowed out tree and just teaches such great lessons. It was first published in the late 50s, so I would think you could find some paperback copies for a decent price on Amazon or somewhere similar.

  613. Lots of excellent book suggestions!
    And THANK YOU for not bringing food into the classroom!!! As a mom of one of those severely allergic kids, there’s nothing worse than telling your kid, over and over, since before they can even remember, “you can’t have that”, especially at a party that is supposed to be fun. Trust me on this, it totally sucks.

  614. Phantom Tollbooth! Best book ever. My copy is destroyed by reading it so many times.

  615. Jesus, it took me forever to just scroll to the bottom of this post, so I doubt u will see this. The mixed up files of mrs Franklin e Basewler by klondbursg, or something close to that!

  616. I love the “I Can’t Be Replaced”. That made my day and I added my own and printed it out for the world to see. Alas, I would agree with Fried Worms and Maniac. Those were a hit with my boys, but we are all about magic and whimsy at my house.

    My youngest just fell in love with Percy Jackson and Tales of Despareaux. 9 is a magical time!!!

    Sarah recently posted I can not be replaced.....

  617. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler was awesome. Is Encyclopedia Brown to young for 9 year olds? I loves solving the mysteries.

  618. You, personally, have saved my life on more than one occasion. You’ve answered a couple of my emails. You’ve posted inspiring things. You have made me remember, even today, that I am HIS only mother. And, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it ), his only parent. I can’t leave him alone to figure the world out.

  619. Heartily agree with Phantom Tollbooth. Also, anything by Shel Silverstein.

  620. I can’t believe no one has said The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Awesome stories with life lessons.

  621. If you bring books you’re basically the lady who hands out apples on Halloween. But if you’re cool with that, then go for it. My favorite books when I was 9 were the Ramona the Pest series by Beverly Cleary, the Narnia series and the Wind in the Doors by Madeline L’Engle. I may be misspelling some of these. Please don’t judge me.

    Ah, September. I was wondering why I was stroking the Xanax bottle.

    Mandy recently posted Before and After: Blonde to Brunette..

  622. Gosh, I loved Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander, but magic. I can’t think of a book I liked when I was nine that didn’t have magic in it.

  623. Charlotte’s Web.

    Get a gift receipt and let the little buggers exchange it if their parent’s have a hissy–and that’s a good suggestion for any book you choose. I think you’re really sweet for thinking of getting something for everyone.

  624. We gave these for my daughter’s birthday last year and they went over extremely well with 7 and 8 year olds….. according to her, the kids were talking about them for weeks after and I still have kids mention it when they see me at school. The author is a church friend, so I was able to get a good assortment for about $5 each from her. The cool thing is she has gross, cool and cuddly animals for all genders and the leftovers we donated to the class library…

  625. War and Peace for something they can really sink their teeth into…

    enchanted seashells, confessions of a tugboat captain's wife recently posted My Husband is a Small Blue Triangle.

  626. I loved Encyclopedia Brown. Probably cause I liked that he was smart and caught all the little details.

  627. You’re not likely to get this far down your comment list, (because, 600+ sounds like too much work to this lazy girl), but needed to tell you a couple of things.

    1. You are freaking amazing. I cannot thank you enough for being so brave and speaking about this shit so honestly. I used to suffer from suicidal thoughts (and they pop up again from time to time) so it’s always wonderful to hear from others because it reminds me that, like you, I’m normal, and these thoughts are normal. Even though they’re fucked and a real fucking inconvenience.

    2. I counsel women children and men, and suicidal thoughts in my client base is pretty much the norm. Your blog points out some fab tools, and I love the way you speak. Have directed a few clients this way, and I know it helps. :D

    3. Fuck religious parents. I’m Australian, and we don’t have much of what you’re talking about, so really you probably shouldn’t listen to this advice, but seriously, fuck them. It’s not your job to explain why they can’t have Neil Gaimen in their lives, (I’m voting for Coraline) that’s their parent’s job. That was their choice, not yours, and if they want to be rude about a book, well, then you know to feel extra sorry for their child. I say give the kids a book you think is awesome, and if parents return it, then donate them to a women’s shelter who take on children, because those kids need books (and Neil), too.

    4. Giving kids books is like the most awesome idea ever. When I was a kid, I was the same. All my money, Santa letters, and birthday wishes were on books from about nine. Hasn’t changed much. :D so extra points for being a brilliant parent to you!

  628. Can you make your blog comments where we can “Like” certain comments? Because I really want to give some props to Daddyscratches with “50 Shades of Grey” here….

  629. 640
    Kathleen Gillespie

    When my son Ben was nine, his favorite book was The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence.

    It is basically Nancy Drew set in ancient Rome:

    Ben is 10 now. He says The Thieves of Ostia is still his favorite book.

  630. I saw someone mention “How to Eat Fried Worms” and it reminded me of my fourth grade teacher making “fried worms” for us to eat as a class. She had cut bologna into strips and rolled it in corn meal, then pan fried it She wouldn’t tell us what it was until after we had eaten it. She kept up the idea that it really was worms through the entire class.

    Such a fun experience!

  631. My students (3rd last year and 4th this) are obsessed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

  632. I loved the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books! They’re a fun read about an old-ish woman who befriends kids and helps them (and their parents) with all sorts of problems. She’s such a likable character who lives in a silly upside down house and loves to dress up and have tea. Not necessarily in that order. It’s definitely a good read for boys and girls!

  633. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle. This was my favorite book for years, starting around when I was 8 or 9.

  634. My personal favorite is The Phantom Tollbooth, but you might try the original Dr Doolittle book. I just read it with my kids and they loved it, and now we’re reading all the sequels.

    Korinthia recently posted Summer with Ellora.

  635. The book “The Peterkin Papers” is quite hilarious. I still have the coverless paperback copy I found in the (dry) ditch in front of my parents’ house one childhood summer. The family tries to solve mundane problems (salt instead of sugar in coffee, piano delivered facing window, Christmas tree too tall – in the most convoluted, ridiculous ways. They always go ask “the lady from Philadelphia” to solve their problems and she’s like, “Duh, just do this!”

  636. Bunnicula!! It’s usually on sale this time of year. Loved it as a kid.

  637. My favorite book growing up was Madeleine L’Engles A Wrinkle in Time. But they may be a bit young for it. I would also read any horse book — all the Misty of Chincoteague books, Black Beauty….

    I think about all the books my daughter loved…

    Any Roald Dahl book, Stuart Little, The Borrowers, Holes, any Beverly Cleary book…..

  638. Pick a book from this website! I vote to give the kids a book that has a positive female figure because kids just aren’t getting enough of that these days – and if you’ve read Lean In, we really need more of it. All kids can like all books, rather than thinking these are for boys and these are for girls.

  639. I am a fifth grade teacher, and I love this idea!! I concur with the commenter who suggested Scholastic Book Club certificates and would add the following ideas. Check with teacher to see if she has a particularly awesome read aloud she does each year that the kids all want a copy of. She might appreciate them all having a novel to follow along while she reads to them. Also, if your school has a book fair, you can ask the library media specialist if they have gift certificates you could purchase in advance to give to the kids before the book fair comes to school.

  640. 1. My son on whom we try wholeheartedly to inflict our scifi/fantasy tastes in literature was totally freaked out by Coraline. “The Wolves in the Walls” might be a good alternative. :-)
    2. Funny you should bring up suicide prevention and thank you for doing so. My son – same one – is 12 and has been bullied and shunned for basically all of his school years. In spite of this he’s pretty grounded. We do our best to show him that the world is bigger than the shitheads he goes to school with. But still we worry, because it’s not only in school but in scouts. Being a Boy Scout is very important to him, but the BSA has a laissez faire attitude about the chronic bullying he experiences with their “boys will be boys” and leaves mediation to the individual troop. Their feeling is to let the bully get away with it and try to push us out because we make too much noise. They are shitheads as well. Big motherfucking shitheads.
    So, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. And thank you for reminding me that I’m his only mommy.

    Thel recently posted Hummingbird encounter.

  641. “I’m her only mother.” Boy… that one hits close to home for me. My mom killed herself in October twelve years ago. She gave into her darkness. It has always left me feeling like I maybe just wasn’t enough to stick around for. I know it isn’t true – but the feeling is still there. Please keep that one close to your heart… you’re her only mother… and she needs you.

  642. Matilda or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl never fails.

  643. 654
    Rebecca Entrekin

    When I was 9 I loved the book “The Misfits” by James Howe, though some 9 may not enjoy it. I also liked a book called “Tangerine,” but it was a bit graphic.

  644. The End of the Beginning by Avi. My son’s teacher read it out loud to his class, and he loved it. Then our whole family read it. We still quote some of the funnier lines to each other.

  645. The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee is a book that you and Hailey should definitely read. It wouldn’t be appropriate for the class as it’s fantasy but I loved it at around that age. Actually, Hailey should read any of Maurice Gee’s children’s books. Under the Mountain is brilliant too even if the Wilberforces still scare me!

    Bow Down Shadrach by Joy Cowley is great. And as many other people have suggested, anything by Roald Dahl.

  646. James and the Giant Peach. My 3rd grade teacher read it to us and it was the best experience of my little life. I was always an avid reader, but this book was written in such a way that I still to this day get drawn into my imagination just thinking about it. It’s so vivid and fantastic…. I highly recommend it.

  647. These were my son’s favorite books from 8-11:

    -Goosebumps, by R. L. Stine
    -Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
    -anything Narnia
    -39 Clues, a fantastic series by a whole f*ckton of amazing kids authors
    -Harry Potter (as if they didn’t already have all of them)
    -Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan

    My favorite book at 9 was Matilda by Roald Dahl. I hated Beverly Cleary’s books, she seemed to always be talking about menustration and growing up. I also liked the tween books, like Sweet Valley Twins and Babysitters Club before I was introduced to Terry Pratchett when I was 13. OH – Terry Pratchett has a kids’ series! Do Terry Pratchett!

  648. 659
    Just another Sarah

    Check with the teacher and see if they do the Bluebonnet award for Texas. It’s like the Kid’s Choice Awards for books but only students in Texas can vote for the winners. (As a librarian I know some kids need that extra incentive to read even the best book!) The titles on the list are great. I highly recommend them.

  649. but what do you do when not being replaceable just feels like a burden? “I *have* to keep going because she has no one else. I *have* to stay alive or else it will give my little brother a lifelong scar to deal with. etc.”

    disclaimer: I’m fine. I’ve struggled with depression my whole life and I recognize that I’m currently in a September slump. But that is a thought that I’ve always had when things get “bad”. Sometimes the only reason I can find to keep going is because other people will be hurt. That I’m only alive because I love my sister and don’t want to ruin her life, or my mother, or the man who for some reason still wants to marry me. Sometimes it’s just a burden to have to stay alive and in those dark times I wish other people would just stop caring about me so I can leave peacefully without hurting those who love me. I know that’s a feeling that only comes in the dark times but sometimes…’s a very dark tunnel when you contemplate living a life of complete misery just so that others don’t have to.

    Again. I’m fine, really. I’m having a bad case of September + Monday + job that makes me miserable and I’m about to go home and cuddle my puppy and watch funny TV and call my supportive boyfriend if I need to and when I go to bed tonight, just the fact that I’m alive and unharmed will indicate that it was a successful day and I can start again tomorrow. I always know this. But goddamnit, these days are hard.

    Sorry, I should just delete this stupid post, but I think maybe I needed some sort of contact today with someone who understands. If this is a trigger, please delete it. I don’t want to trigger anything. but today is just….hard. Sorry to bring things down.

    (And I totally second “The Egypt Game” and “Sideways Stories from Wayside School”. I wore the cover off of both books when I was a kid.) :)

  650. “I’m her only mother”.

    That helps. Thanks for that reminder.

    P.S. Anything by Judy Blume

  651. Jerry Spinelli and Andrew Clements write realistic fiction that’s always a hit. Is she in 3rd or 4th grade? Remember that most kids are probably not as strong readers. The Wayside School books are great but if you’re worried about uptight parents they might be a little too quirky? Urgh.

  652. How about the color of magic by Terry Pratchett perfectly brilliant for all ages and full of magic and wonder and Death.

  653. My Side of the Mountain which turned my 4th grade non-reader son into a lifelong reader!

  654. My son was a bit of an outcast in grade school and I lovedlovedloved this series for him.
    Each kid is a superhero whose power is based on something that other kids might consider nerdy (one kid’s braces do neat stuff and another girl has allergies so bad that they allow her to tell when someone is lying, etc.)
    I love the idea that their nerdiness is what gives them special abilities and makes them cooler than everyone else.

    Mary P recently posted Sometimes, you just need a good hug.

  655. Now we are six by A. A. Milne. I know they aren’t 6 but it’s a vaguely disturbing book of English children’s poetry. No parent in her class would accuse the writer of Winnie the Pooh as being inappropriate!

    Mary recently posted Mile High Winery Grand Opening.

  656. 667
    Just another Sarah

    I would also recommend The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle. It’s about a boy who starts turning into a bug due to a hamburger addiction. Funny with a good message but not preachy.

  657. I understand hating the fact that you are irreplaceable, because if you weren’t it would be so much easier to slip away. After my overdose, the most peaceful days of the last years of my life were the days I was in a coma. But I have to live for my son. Sometimes I hate it. I hate it so much. But I make it, one day at a time. One phone call at a time. One night of looking through pinterest instead of thinking up horrible ideas.

    Sometimes I hate that I have so much responsibility as his mother, and wish someone else had been given this precious boy to love better than I can. But, I don’t know if anyone could ever love him more than I can.

  658. The Ramona books by Beverly Clearly were always, always favorites back in the day.

  659. I always loved the boxcar children series! Also, I completely agree with the wayside school book!

  660. NEVERMIND! I agree with Harrow, 632 about the gift certificates for book fair! I was a poor kid and never got to buy a book at the book fairs. They were some of the saddest days for me; looking and touching all the books but never able to take one home with me…. it would have made my fucking YEAR if I had been given a gift certificate and could buy a book like the other kids! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO THIS! It’s the best idea ever and I might very well try to do this for a random class of kids at the local school here once I get a damn job!

  661. And thanks for adding the Canadian references to the CMHA too.

  662. The Boxcar Children series started my love of reading. Goosebumps is also good but maybe a bit too dark for some. What about a Dr. Seuss book. They are playful and funny. Plus, their is a thousand of them to chose from and you can get them cheap at Walmart.

  663. 674
    Just another Sarah

    Last ones, I promise! “No Talking” and “Frindle,” both by Andrew Clements. No Talking is about a class where the boys and girls compete to see who can keep from talking for 3 days. Frindle is about a boy who invents a word (Frindle, meaning pen) and what happens when his teacher prohibits the word from being used at school. Love them both!

  664. Is it bad I just want to read every comment and just take notes on each book and then go to read them and I’m almost 31?

    Nicole recently posted Book Review: The Reluctant Blogger.

  665. I love Faith and the Electric Dogs. There’s not really magic (except that Faith can speak to dogs, for some reason), but she is unhappy and wants to escape so she builds a rocket that really works, and flies away, but crash lands onto an island in the Pacific Ocean. And she and the dogs save each other (and she realizes that she does want to be at home with her family, after all).

    btw, great idea for a class birthday gift!

  666. I always loved Shel Silverstein, Harriet the Spy and Lemony Snicket. I’d recommend maybe Lemony Snicket’s “Who Could That Be at This Hour?”. Or you could go kind of (okay, a lot) younger but definitely laugh worthy with “The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts” by Shinta Cho.

  667. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    Book by E. L. Konigsburg

    This book is awesome and made me totally want to live in the Smithsonian.

    Tracy Kaply recently posted Who has two thumbs and a place to live? THIS GIRL..

  668. During one of my more dark times, what kept me from doing anything to myself was remembering my sister would have to explain to my niece why I wasn’t there anymore. And I couldn’t make her have to do that.

    Thank you for this.

    Tracie recently posted Where I’m headed.

  669. I agree with Walter the Farting Dog.
    I also agree with Captain Underpants.

    HOWEVER, I vote for Mars Needs Moms by B. Breathed.

    YESSSS….The movie was horrifically and unfairly AWFUL.

    BUT THE BOOK? OMG, it is funny and yet the ending still makes me cry. My kid hits her teens within the next 2 weeks. I won’t give that book up. I bet it is cheap now since the movie was so, so bad. This is a beautiful book and it is such a disappointment it was ruined. But this could be a cheap and great gift (it is hard for me to read aloud and I really tried to summon courage to read it to her class but..nope).

    I loved Narnia and Island of the Blue Dolphins and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Roald Dahl (for sure and I still do) and Madeline L’Engle. I loved Ogden Nash poems…I adore Custard the Dragon.

    But this one is so awesome. I am going to go grab it and read it now.

    Now, for context…we have also read I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell when she was 9 (ok, I read it to her) and laughed and cried with this one too (that is too much “reading” for little kids but I swear you will fall over in hysterics within the first couple chapters because it tells of a boy’s growing up in Western NC with his “sensible” grandmother and mother but his loony father and their endless line of crazy relatives and neighbors).

    Good luck!

  670. For those who live in Georgia, the Crisis Line number is 1-800-715-4225. They will talk with you and set up an appointment with a local mental health facility if needed. Be safe.

  671. Catwings, any of the Catwings books. the first one is lovely.

  672. Agree! A wrinkle in time! or Harriet the Spy! My mother passed both of those books on to me and now we can share in our love of science, and Sherlock…together

    April recently posted So Long.............

  673. My kids loved the Wayside School books, too. Also MollyMoon. My favorite as a young kid was a series called “The Great Brain”. Just checked Amazon and they do still print them. Good luck. Happy Birthday to Hailey

    chickens consigliere recently posted A Rite of Passage.

  674. I was probably about 9 when I read Matilda, by Roald Dahl. I loved it! I think our teacher read it aloud to us first, and then I decided to read it on my own. A book about a little girl who love books. What could be better?

  675. I wish I could help. I started reading mysteries and Agatha Christie in early elementary and watched the Masterpiece MYSTERY! series with Diana Rigg. I really liked the Gorey animation in the beginning. I think O.Henry was pretty cool to me back then.

    Even now as my child is 7, I dislike all of the books she brings home. So dull with boring, childish insults- like stupid, poo poo head, stinky.. blah. My kids like Ivy + Bean and Junie B. Jones. I’m still holding out hope she’ll pick up Gibson and Asimov. Oh well..

  676. My son loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. My favourite books when I was that age were the Judy Blume books.

    Kat recently posted Hairs, Hormones and Naps.

  677. 1st book in Series of Unfortunate Events,
    Tell-Tale Start (Misadventures of Edgar and Allen Poe)-made my 9 year old laugh out loud
    Any of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books,
    any of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books,
    1st book in either the Fablehaven or Troubletwisters series (they have both female and male protagonists, which is good for a class gift,),
    collection of Jack Prelutsky poems,
    tons of cool non-fiction out there, like the “You Wouldn’t Want to Live in…” series, covering all the oogy bits of living in various time periods,
    Smells Like Dog (feels like a serialized boy’s adventure from the 30s, but updated-loved it)
    and a bunch more…so many good kid’s books being published, along with all the classics!

  678. maniac mcgee. is that the appropriate age level?

  679. Also thank you, today is tough, really tough. doctors are trying a new medication, for a medical issue I’ve been fighting for a year. I had to cancel a talk I was scheduled to give next week. I love talking to this group, it is the highlight of my year. and I had to cancel. I was “OK i’m giving this pain and misery another week, I’m going to just QUiT, I’m tired of life not being pain.” Well, I have people I can call, 2 terrific grown kids that I think don’t need me anymore but remind me they do, and I was then told by a friend “you know The bloggess is a hermit, you could be a hermit too, we’re fine with that!” So, now my back up plan is Hermit! I can write at yankeeskeptic, and twodifferentgirls, and talk to my girls and have my husband assure me “You can be a hermit, everyone says I’m like Victor, it’s fine!” …..and here is hoping over the next few months of doctors and visits and medication crap (steroids are fun) that I’ll not have to be a hermit, but hermit is now back up plan of choice. Thank you, you have made being a hermit, fashionable!

  680. I’d try A Year Down Yonder. It’s hilarious and has something for everyone.

  681. Walter The Farting Dog!!! Google it! It’s perfect! Equal amounts of funny and acceptance!

  682. Check with her teacher! At our daughter’s school the teachers have wish lists. They ask that parents don’t bring treats (to avoid allergies and sugar), but each teacher has a wish list of books that they want to add to their libraries.

  683. Wonder by R. J. Palacio, Stuart Little by E.B. White, James and the Giant Peach or Matilda by Roald Dahl, The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan, The Tale of Desperaux by Kate diCamillo, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

    I have personally read all of the above and loved them.

  684. I loooooved those Emily of New Moon books by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Not sure if boys would be interested in those, however!

    corinne a. recently posted Do You Ever Love Something But Also Kind-Of Hate It?.

  685. I really loved Where the Sidewalk Ends when I was that age, though might be a little hard to find new copies for under $10. I also still LOVED The Magic School Bus. Come to think of it…I still love the Magic School Bus.

    Allison recently posted Chicken Bruschetta Bake and My Love Affair with Basil.

  686. My grandfather committed suicide in 1929, due to what is now called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (they had neither the words nor the treatments for it back then). He left an embittered wife with two small children, and he had no way of knowing about the impending stock market crash and subsequent Great Depression. My bitter grandmother raised two estranged sons – my father and uncle – who didn’t have the capacity for healthy love until their own kids were grown and their marriages were already too far gone to save. Many of the darker aspects of my personality hearken directly back to the catastrophic change that was brought on by the suicide of a man that died 37 years before I was born. Suicide destroys far more than one life.

    And, when I was 9, my favorite books were A Wrinkle in Time and Anne of Green Gables. Though I doubt that helps much – one is definitely magical, and the other isn’t really suited for boys. Good luck to you on finding something that will work, though…

  687. 698
    Wilma Estherhaus

    Harriet the Spy. An amazing book for just the right age group, about a young writer every kid can relate to.

  688. “The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and The Splendid Kids” was my favorite book at that age. Her teacher might not appreciate your choice, but the kids sure will. A safer bet (but that doesn’t make it any less awesome) is “A Wrinkle in Time.”

  689. I agree with some earlier suggestions. The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is quite funny. The Phantom Tollbooth is just superb! I love that as a kid.

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