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4 Award-Winning Books Your Child Can Read over Winter Break

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, the fire is so delightful, and since you’ve no place to go—the kids will need something to do! Perhaps having your child curl up with a good book is the answer! But what to have them read? Whether you’re looking for a mystery, a fairy tale, a work of historical fiction, or a classic novel, this list of four award-winning chapter books is certain to entertain your child this winter break.


1. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Recommended Reading Level: Grades 4 – 6
Lexile Score: 750
When clever millionaire Samuel W. Westing dies, he leaves a will unlike any other: it’s a game. Sixteen people, one of whom may have murdered the millionaire, must now follow the clues and play along in order to find out which of them will inherit his $200,000,000 fortune. The 1979 Newbery Medal-winner is full of eccentric characters and mysterious twists that will keep the reader guessing until the very last page.


2. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Recommended Reading Level: Grades 3 – 5
Lexile Score: 670
It’s not every day that a mouse falls in love with a princess, a rat is mesmerized by light, or a serving-girl wishes to be a princess. Nonetheless, Dear Reader, in this adventure anything can happen! This fairy tale’s beautiful language and thrilling plot thrusts its audience into a magical world where readers believe in and root for the characters whole-heartedly. Full of asides to the reader, this 2004 Newbery Medal-winner asks its readers to put themselves into the story in a very unique way.


3.Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Recommended Reading Level: Grades 3 – 6
Lexile Score: 680
Don’t be intimidated by the size of this book! This 2016 Newbery Honor book is really four stories with one common thread: a harmonica. The novel tells the tale of music, as found by three characters all in different places, different times in history, and different circumstances. The powerful connection each character cultivates with music will have the reader wishing to learn to play the harmonica.


4. Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
Recommended Reading Level: Grades 5 – 7
Lexile Score: 990
Ginger Pye is the beloved dog of the Pye family who live in the small town of Cranbury, Connecticut in 1919. When their talented and lovable pup is stolen on Thanksgiving Day, the Pye children decide to go in search of their pooch and bring him home. This time-capsule of a novel shows young readers how much the world has changed over the last century. Though the style of writing and language may be challenging at times, this 1952 Newbery Award-winner will make the reader fall in love with the adventures of the Pye children and their pup.

About the author

Staff Writer

Simple Solutions staff writers are teachers, former teachers, parents, and others who have experienced the power of the Simple Solutions Approach and are passionate about applying retrieval practice, spaced learning, and interleaving to a wide range of topics for elementary school students.

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