July 18, 2024
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Must-Read Modern Classics for Kids

This book is a classic whose sheer magnificence screams at you to put down whatever you are reading and read it immediately. Harry was an ordinary boy. Or so he thought. One day, a mysterious letter arrives for Harry. His uncle Vernon Dursley, whom Harry lives with, confiscates the letter and is shocked when more arrive. One day, the house is absolutely bombarded with letters coming through the chimney, the door and anywhere else a letter could enter a house. Mr. Dursley is furious. He forces his family and Harry to leave the house and he finds the family a remote island to stay on until the letters subside. That night, a giant man knocks on the door of the Dursley’s cottage on the island. His name is Hagrid and he bears a letter for Harry. Harry reads the letter and so the mystical tale of wonder begins. The letter proclaims that Harry is a wizard and will attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the next semester. And so, Harry Potter is thrust into the wizarding world in a story that changes the lives of many readers. This epic tale with brilliant writing from J. K. Rowling is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written.

Percy Jackson was just an ordinary sixth-grade boy, but one day his life changed. The first book in this incredible series, “The Lightning Thief,” narrated by Percy’s sarcastic voice, is a book that stands out to the reader as a creative, original story. Percy finishes school for the year and goes on a disastrous vacation with his mother. Over the vacation in Montauk, Percy’s friend Grover shows up claiming that there is an emergency and the vacation needs to end. Percy’s mother seems to understand the mysterious visit from Grover, and together the threesome leave Montauk. They arrive at a mysterious gate, and Percy witnesses his mother taken by a monster. Percy fends off the monster and saves Grover from the beast. Percy brings the injured Grover through the gate and enters a new world centered around Greek mythology. Soon Percy goes on a quest accompanied by Grover and new friend Annabeth. Their only hope is to locate a stolen weapon, and the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. This book is full of unexpected twists and Percy’s 12-year-old voice really helps the reader visualize the story.

Greg Heffley wants to be somewhere else. Constantly. This incredible series follows Greg and his family and friends throughout Greg’s middle school experience. This book is written in a satirical diary format, making the reader feel like he or she is reading the true diary of someone’s messed-up life. Greg manages to get himself into every possible awkward situation, including an incident with some nasty cheese, a freaky amusement park ride and various disastrous vacations. Greg’s life is full of hilarious twists and turns that will leave the reader wondering what is coming next. Greg’s story is relatable from the perspective of any kid who has found himself in an awkward situation. As Greg’s relationship with his friend Rowley changes, Greg’s panicked thoughts give the reader a true connection to the book. These situations are when the zaniness of Greg’s family are highlighted. His younger brother, Manny, is the center of his parents’ lives, while Greg and his obnoxious older brother Rodrick are ignored. This hilarious foray into childhood is the perfect series for any kid.

By Josh Stiefel

Josh Stiefel is a sixth grader at Yeshivat Noam. He is a Scholastic Press Kid Reporter. He has been known to devour books. He also likes hot cocoa.

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