Friday, May 7, 2010

Realistic Fiction for Children

I love to read realistic fiction. I enjoy this type of fiction because it has a plot, characters, and settings that can be found in real life, but the story is fiction. It could be historical or contemporary, but a well written book makes an important statement about life. Good realistic stories explore the development of characters in a specific situation. They may not have a great conclusion, but they offer enough insight within the book so that the sensitive, thoughtful reader will draw their own conclusion. There are no fairy godmothers in realistic stories.

I think the fact that children can learn from books about the diversity of life is one of their miracles. There are so many wonderful realistic fiction books for children. I chose a few old titles to share with you!

Did You Today, Charley, by Rebecca Caudill
The honor of carrying the flag of the Little School goes to the boys or girls who has been ‘specially good that day’. Charley is sure from the beginning of his school career that he will carry the flag, it is many a day before he can answer “Yes” when his family asks, ‘Did you carry the flag carry the flag today, Charley?’

Ellen Tebbits, by Beverly Cleary
Third grader Ellen takes dancing lessons, wears braces on her teeth, and many a best friend. Ellen’s adventure is just as hilarious as the other Cleary’s Henry books, as American as supermarkets and completely true to children’s nature.

Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume
The story focuses on a fourth-grader named Peter and his annoying brother Farley, and Peter’s pet turtle. Farley hates the sound of his name, and prefers Fudge for any and all occasions. Peter’s friends Jimmy and Sheila are part of Peter’s eventful everyday life.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg
Story of Claudia Kincaid and her brother Jamie told by Mrs. Frankweiler. Claudia was not running away from home permanently; she planned to return home “after everyone had learned a lesson on Claudia appreciation”. But long after “everyone” had learned their lesson, Claudia and her brother were still hiding out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

How Many Miles to Babylon, by Paula Fox
Nine year old James lives with his three aunts because his mother is in the hospital, his father has decamped. He likes to imagine his mother is an African princess, and he is a son of the princess. Trapped by bullies James was held captive in a deserted Coney Island funhouse. The mood and the suspense are dramatic.

Hoot, by Carl Hiassen
Middle school student Roy just moved to Florida. Being a new kid on the block, Roy becomes a victim of a school bully. Roy makes friends with the homeless boy who is on an ecological mission to protect rare and endangered burrowing owls.

1 comment:

  1. I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing as a child and again as an adult and loved it both times. What fun!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.