Kate Klise has written several books with a feature I’ve always loved: the stories are written as a series of letters. Outstanding drawings by Kate’s sister, Sarah Klise, make the books even better. Each of the illustrated books also includes newspaper articles, advertisements and other written materials.
For long-time readers, this will be a familiar post. I’m reposting it now because these books are very fun—and perfect for summer reading!
Ignatius B. Grumply writes children’s books. He can’t seem to come up with ideas for his new book so he moves into an old house at 43 Old Cemetery Road. However, the house is already occupied by 11-year-old Seymour, his cat Shadow, and an irritable ghost named Olive. I simply love this book. When you read it, be sure to say the names of the characters aloud. They’re hilarious.
The next books in the series:
Over My Dead Body
Till Death Do Us Bark
The Phantom of The Post Office
Hollywood, Dead Ahead (I haven’t read this one yet, but I will soon!)
The Dry Creek Middle School drinking fountain has sprung a leak, so the principal writes to Flowing Waters Fountains, Etc. to request a new fountain. Fountain designer Flo Waters responds that she’d be delighted to design a custom-made fountain. She asks the 5th grade class of Mr. Sam N. (the teacher we wish we’d all have) to draw pictures of their dream fountain and send them to her. Unfortunately, this is NOT the kind of fountain the principal had in mind! Never mind, the kids and Flo Waters just ignore his complaints.
The next books in the series:
Regarding the sink
Regarding the trees
Regarding the bathrooms
Regarding the bees
Imagine a summer camp just for siblings who don’t get along. Camp Happy Harmony is that kind of camp. But is it? After they’ve been there a while, the 6 campers think maybe not. The camp is run by the Harmony family and they are not at all a family in harmony. In fact, they’re downright mean and rather dastardly. Read to find out how the 3 sets for brothers and sisters figure out how to outwit them.
Lily Watson is in sixth grade. She’s on a jury for a murder trial – all because of a new law saying a child must serve on the jury when a trial concerns a child victim. She’ll be out of school for a month, so her teacher insists that she keep a journal. This book gives an inside look at a jury trial and offers a murder mystery to solve.
The following books are just by Kate Klise, with no illustrations. They are excellent middle grade chapter books.
After her brother, sister, and father die in a plane crash, Daralynn Oakland receives 237 dolls from well-wishers, resulting in her nickname: Dolly. After such a start, you’d think this would be a grim book, but it isn’t. There are terrific characters and lots of quiet humor. There’s also a mystery which Dolly solves through her own bravery.
Charles Harrisong loves his family but hates being part of it. Growing up in Normal, Illinois feels far from normal. His family is poor and rather odd. After an ugly incident at school, Charles and his family leave Normal to go live on a houseboat. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. I hope you check it out.
The sequel: Far from Normal
Twelve-year-old Benny’s father is a pretty smart guy. But unfortunately, he’s also a hoarder. The problem has gotten so bad, Benny’s mother leaves, with a promise to come back for Benny. Things get worse, but Benny is also a smart guy and finds good people to hang out with.
It’s a good thing it’s summer—you’re going to need time for these books once you get hooked!
Check out Kate and Sarah’s website