smallSo, I’ll confess. A couple of weeks ago our local Friends of the Library held a “buy of grocery bag of books for $10” sale and I loaded up with a bunch of old favorites (and a few new books too).

So instead of reading the new books on my bedside stand, for the last week or so I’ve been rereading some old favorites. Not all of them are age appropriate, but who cares!

First Test is the first in one of Tamora Pierce’s many series’ about Tortall. I love many things about these books. First, they’re just good kids’ fiction about strong female characters coming of age. They’re full of lessons about self-reliance, trust, diversity, and standing firm for what you believe in. The stories are all in bite sized pieces – I read each in a couple of hours – but they hold together both separately and as a whole. I read somewhere that Pierce wrote them this way because she didn’t think kids would have the attention span to read them all as one book, and that J.K. Rowling’s success with the Harry Potter series made her realize otherwise. Her recent books have been much thicker.

These would be appropriate for middle school kids. Give them to your daughter now and then give her Bloody Jack (by preference, the audiobook. I love Katherine Kellgren.).