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School has once again begun and that can mean that reading for pleasure gets lost behind homework, extracurricular activities and sporting events. However, if you can keep kids excited about reading a good book they will find the time to read. So here are some outstanding books that will do just that! These books are good for ages nine and up. However, all would be perfect to read out loud to the entire family!

Resistance, by Jennifer A. Nielson, is a historical fiction based on Chaya, a sixteen-year-old, who lives during World War II in Poland, which has recently been occupied by the Nazi army. Her younger sister has been taken by the Germans and the fate of her brother is unknown. She lives with her parents in fear of their future. When she gets the chance to join the Resistance she becomes a courier to deliver messages to the ghettos. She doesn’t look Jewish and can pass as an Aryan which helps her deliver secret messages. There is much to learn in this well-written book. This was a very difficult time in history and must never be forgotten. Nielson is an expert at writing about history and blending a story into it by making it come alive. There are some strong messages of love and sacrifice found throughout and chances are the topics in this book will want to be discussed!

Max Tilt: Fire the Depth, by Peter Lerangis, is a wild fantasy adventure that will take the reader to the depths of the sea and discover an underwater city – and much more. Max and his cousin are descendants of Jules Verne and when they stumble upon an old chest their adventures begin. They find a manuscript left by the classic author and they set out in hopes to find money needed to help Max’s ailing mom. This is just the beginning of a planned series. In fact, book two, “Max Tilt: 80 Days or Die”, was just published. This is a page turner that will motivate your child to keep reading through the night!

The Tale of Angelina Brown, by David Almond, along with a few delightful illustrations done in pencil found throughout by Alex T. Smith, is a story, in essence, about the power of love and innocence and the beauty of life. Bert is a bus driver and is easily annoyed with many of his passengers, especially older citizens and kids! But when he discovers a small, sweet angel in his pocket, his entire viewpoint, along with his life is about to change. This would be a lovely book to read out loud to all.

The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair, by Amy Makechnie, is a story rich in fully developed characters and beautifully written prose. Ten-year-old Guinevere experiences an upheaval when her father moves both her and her sister to Iowa. He has hopes of helping his wife, and their mother, with her brain injury by taking her back to her hometown. But now Guinevere must navigate her new life, make friends and discover her mom in a new light. Reading and learning about this delightful and strong protagonist, along with the elegant writing, makes this book a winner!

The Adventurers Guild, by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos, is the beginning of a fantastic new series with the next installment coming out in November. This fantasy adventure takes two best friends striving to better themselves and their families. Zed and Brock are part mortal and part elven with hopes to be chosen in one of the guilds now that they are of age. The guild they don’t desire is the one they end up in: The Adventurers Guild. A few cities are left after the world has been overrun by monsters. Being chosen in this Guild means they must leave their protected city and hunt those monsters. Beware: once you begin this adventure, chances are you won’t stop.

 The Dollar Kids, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, is a realistic fiction that deals with a strong family bond, overcoming tragedy and guilt and self-reliance. Eleven-year-old Lowen blames himself for a tragedy and has never told anyone in his family, not even a family counselor who is trying to help him through his friend’s death. He is so devastated with this event, his father decides moving would help. They buy a house for $1 in a town that is dying from lack of any new growth for many years. The town offers older houses that need major a major-fix up for $1. There is so much this wonderful book offers in the way of character growth and family resilience.

Willa of the Wood, by Robert Beatty, is a magical story weaved with exciting perfection. Willa is a young night spirit who lives deep in the woods. She can communicate with all that grows around her. She belongs to a clan whose leader forces her to steal from the human-folk. As she encounters destructive machines and grave difficulties each time she ventures out, the excitement and anticipation of what will happen heightens tremendously. This author also wrote the wonderful Serafina series which has become a favorite to many!

Chasing Helicity, by Ginger Lee, is an adventure filled with weather. Helicity loves that her name means to spin. She has a real fascination with weather. By throwing herself into the weather that surrounds her, she can escape her problems and sadness. However, she makes a terrible mistake one day by riding her horse with impending bad weather and the result changes her life and her family’s. The storyline is eventful, and the science of meteorology learned throughout, makes the book even better.

Good Dog, by Dan Gemeinhart, is about a dog, Brodie, who has died and once he realizes he died wants to go back and help his owner, a young boy who is sad and lonely. But going back may be very risky and may prevent him from coming back to this wonderful perfect heaven for dogs. His urge is too big to not take the risk even if he can’t make it back. There is mystery to solve along the way. How did Brodie die? What is wrong with this boy’s life to make Brodie risk everything to come back? You will devour this well-written page-turner!