Monday, October 15, 2012

Guest Post: Some of My Children's Favorite Books by Ken Myers

Some of My Children’s Favorite Books

When my children were small they loved when we had reading time together. We have so many great memories of the stories we enjoyed. Some made us laugh, some taught us lessons, but we all had fun being together and sharing. There are so many books I could tell you about that my children loved, but I will just give you a sampling of some of their favorites.

1. Hank the Cow Dog Series – by John R. Erickson

This was one of my son’s favorite book series. He absolutely loved these books. We even got some of the books on tape for him to listen to as we traveled on vacations. It’s all about a ranch dog and the people on the ranch and the adventures they have.

2. The Truck Book – Harry McNaught

This is a picture book about all the trucks and construction equipment you could imagine. My son was so into construction equipment because his dad is an electrician and would take him out on the job sites and show him the equipment in person. He loved looking at pictures of the machines his dad had used. I know most boys love anything construction and would love this book as well.

3. Where the Sidewalk Ends – by Shel Silverstein

This collection of children’s poems was a favorite of my daughter’s. She could quote many of the poems by heart and loved to make up poems of her own that were similar. The poems were funny and sweet and had great illustrations with them that we could all enjoy.

4. Miss Nelson is Missing – by Harry Allard and James Marshall

Both of my children loved the plot of this story, as they were both very good students. The idea is that a nice teacher’s class was very bad and treated her poorly, so she dressed up as a substitute who was strict and mean. The class shaped up and appreciated the nice teacher when she returned.

5. Goosebumps Books – by R.L. Stein

This series of books was creepy but not too scary and usually had a happy ending. My daughter was not very much into scary stories and she still loved them, so that will tell you something. They had so many of these books that a child could read them for years and never get through them all.

6. My Teacher is an Alien – by Bruce Coville

My daughter was big into science fiction tales like this one. Three kids find out their teacher is an alien in disguise that is planning to destroy the earth. One kid is a pretty girl, one’s a nerd, and one’s a bully. They have to learn to work together to unmask the teacher, but in the process they also learn about each other and why they are different.

7. Aliens Ate My Homework – by Bruce Coville

A boy comes home to discover miniature aliens eating his homework. They tell him that his father was an alien that left a secret message in his brain and they have to bring him back to their planet to extract it. They also inform him that a bully in his class is an evil alien that is after the information. They are going to shrink him with their shrink ray to get him home when their ship breaks down so they have to fight the bully there. Eventually the bully escapes and the boy is safe… for now.

8. Monster of the Year – by Bruce Coville

This book had both my kids rolling with laughter. Two boys get to design a billboard so they create a pretend monster of the year contest. Only there is a problem. Monsters start to show up at their house and they have to decide how they are going to pick a winner and survive the losers! The monsters are funny rather than scary as Dracula drinks warm V-8 juice and the Creature from Black Lagoon won’t get out of the bathtub.

9. Under Alien Stars – Pamela Service

Aliens have taken over the earth! A boy’s mother works for the aliens and he’s mad at her. He decides to kidnap the head aliens’ daughter so they will leave. However after his successful kidnapping, worse aliens attack. The alien girl and the human boy have to figure out a way to get her back to her father so that she can help her father fight off the aliens. Along the way they learn they are not so different after all.

10. Stinker from Space – Pamela Service

An alien crash lands on earth and is dying so he transfers his mind into the nearest living creature, which happens to be a skunk. With the help of two children he tries to repair his spaceship so that he can get vital information back to the space fleet that is protecting Earth from evil alien invaders.

11. The Being of Two Minds - Pamela Service

Two children who live on different continents and never met each other have dizzy spells and can see into each others minds. No one believes them, but one of the children is a prince who gets kidnapped and his only chance of rescue is the little girl from far away who can read his mind. She travels to Europe to enlist the help of his butler and together they track down the kidnappers and free the prince.

12. Bunnicula - by James and Deborah Howe

A great ‘spooky’ story that my daughter loved, narrated by a dog! How cute! A typical suburban family finds a rabbit in a box at a Dracula movie. They take him home with them and name him Bunnicula because of the movie and because his black and white fur has a cape pattern. The paranoid cat thinks the rabbit is evil, because the rabbit sucks the juice out of the carrots, but the dog protects the rabbit from the cat because he thinks the cat is a bit crazy. The cat thinks the rabbit is going to hurt the family and does everything he can, from garlic to steaks (yes, meat) to stop him. Funny and cute, this series just gets better with time.

13. The Borrowers - by Mary Norton

My son loved the idea of little people living in our house! Probably because that way he could blame someone else when he lost something. The tale of little people who borrowed things we lost is one that will stir children’s imagination. The resourcefulness and bravery of the tiny family is inspiring.

14. The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks – by Nancy McArthur

Another one of my daughter’s favorite books (notice that she had a lot of them) this story is about two boys who must share one room. One brother is messy and the other one is neat. When the messy brother cleans out his closet he finds two strange seeds. The brothers each take a seed and plant them in pots at the end of their bed. The messy brother feeds his plant by sticking leftovers in the dirt and watering it with cola. The neat brother carefully measures out plant food and waters drop by drop. As the plants grow, however, the boys start noticing something strange. Their socks have started disappearing. They stay up late one night to see what happens, but what they discover is more shocking then they could ever imagine. A funny and upbeat series that will keep kids laughing!

These are just a sampling of the books my children loved to read. There are so many more that I could spend all day telling you about them. Hopefully, however, this list will give you some help in finding books your children will love to read over and over again. 

Author Byline:
Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  He is a regular contributor of “”.  You can get in touch with him at