This Week in the Bookshop

We are celebrating Classic Chapter Books this month and next. 

All of us here at the Bookshop picked a classic chapter book to feature.  We each picked something we remember reading when we were younger, something that touched, moved or inspired us.  We invite you to re-read these books or to share them with a new reader.  All of the books highlighted here are 25% off from mid-May to mid-June.

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin 

Winner of the Newberry Medal, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and an ALA Notable Book

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will.  And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger — and possible murderer — to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure:  Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

A great introduction to the mystery genre!

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A house with a hundred rooms is a house full of secrets.  That’s what orphaned Mary Lennox finds out when she comes to live in her uncle’s mansion on the Yorkshire moors.  At night, she hears the sound of crying down a long corridor.  Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals.  Then, one day, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all – a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been forgotten for years and years.  Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring this special place back to life?

“Then she slipped through the door, and shut it behind her, breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.  She was standing inside the secret garden.”

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

By E.L. Konigsburg

Claudia Kinkaid feels unappreciated by her parents and bored with her orderly, straight-A existence.  She is nearly twelve when she decides to run away from her home in suburban Connecticut.  Being practical, she chooses a comfortable destination — New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — and a thrifty traveling companion, her nine-year-old brother Jamie.  After careful planning, Claudia and Jamie arrive at the museum, hiding from the guards in the rest rooms, sleeping on priceless beds, and bathing in the fountain.  But when a statue of an angel, rumored to be a possible Michelangelo, is given to the museum, Claudia decides they must solve the mystery.  Their search leads them to the statue’s original owner, eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who narrates the story in a peppery letter to her lawyer.  Mrs. Frankweiler both solves the mystery and helps Claudia understand why the secret of the statue is so important to her.

After reading this book, every child will long for a trip to New York and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

ALA Notable Book 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis       

Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Lewis believed anything worth reading at 5, is worth reading at 50.  This enduring classic proves that to be true.

 

Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White

E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, published sixty years ago, is the story of a guileless pig named Wilbur and the savvy spider who befriended him.

In a review at the time of publishing, Eudora Welty praised E.B. White’s novel for its “felicity, tenderness and unexpectedness, grace and humor and praise of life, and the good backbone of succinctness that only the most highly imaginative stories seem to grow.”

 

Others we recommend:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Black Beauty

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Anne of Green Gables

Destined to become a classic:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

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