Suggested Reading List

Check here often to find out what books Mr. Laing is recommending:
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

This has been my favorite book ever since I was a child.  It is about a boy named Sam who runs away and lives in the mountains for a while.  He learns how to live off the land and documents the whole experience for us to learn from.  Author, Jean Craghead George, writes mostly about things in nature.  Like this book, she has written many award winning books such as Julie of the Wolves.  This year (2009) is the 50th anniversary of My Side of the Mountain.  For this event, the author and her son Twig have completed The Pocket Guide to the Outdoors featuring all of the tricks and methods used by Sam in My Side of the Mountain.  I hope to get a copy of it.  If you love the outdoors like me, you will love reading this book.  Be sure to check out the sequel, On the Far Side of the Mountain, when you are done with it.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I did not read this book until I was at college working at a store called Zany Brainy.  We had a Summer Reading Club and this was one of the books that we read.  I instantly fell in love with this creative story of fantasy and tricky plays on words.  In this book a boy named Milo travels to many lands that you have never heard of.  He meets many unique characters along the way.  This book shows you what our world would be like if many of the English idioms we use actually existed. One of my favorite parts is when Milo jumps to the island of conclusions...he should have never "jumped to conclusions," get it?  The book is full of fun things like this.  You should really read this book!

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Imagine what the world would be like if it was perfect with no pain, no anger, and no prisons.  Lois Lawry has created a world like this in The Giver.  This book follows a young boy names Jonas as he experiences his twelfth year of life in this perfect world.  He finds out that he is chosen to be the one in their society who has to hold all of the negative memories and feelings that nobody else ever gets to experience..  He gets them from an old man called The Giver who gives Jonas these painful memories.  In order to find out what happens you have to get this book and read it.  Be prepared to be amazed and bewildered all at the same time.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

I first read this book with my class in 2007.  I had wanted to read after hearing what it was about.  This story is about a boy named Nick who tries to change the name of an ordinary Pen the the name Frindle.  He figures if he can get everyone to say Frindle instead of Pen, he can get the word in the dictionary. You'll have to read this book to find out if he can do it.  Andrew Clements has written many books like Frindle including The Report Card and Lunch Money.  All of these books are fun because they remind of what it is like to be in school.