Why I Love Ally Carter…
By: Rebecca Baldwin, librarian and manager at the East Canton Branch
Recommending books to kids is the best part of my job.
Your eight year old son wants a book about dogs? We’ve got that! Your fifteen year old daughter wants a series about a girl in love with a werewolf? We’ve got that, too! Snowboarding, dragons, French cooking, and time travel? We can get that for you! Your 10 year old is reading on a high school level and needs a book with a Lexile level over 900 and please make sure there aren’t any questionable themes or language? We have that too, but it is a little more difficult.
In a world where many fourth graders are on the same reading level as their middle school age siblings it is often difficult to find a book that is the perfect balance between reading level and content. As a librarian, I have developed an appreciation for authors who create stories filled with action, romance, and aghast that appeal to the older reader while keeping the content tween friendly. Ally Carter is my favorite author for just this case as she is able to walk the tightrope between reading level and recommended ages with her popular series Gallagher Girls and Heist Society.
Readers will devour the five Gallagher Girls books that tell the story of Cammie Morgan as she and her friends navigate their teen years filled with parent issues and boy troubles while attending an elite academy where they learn the ins and outs of the spy business. The series is filled with the perfect mix of espionage and drama to appeal to even the most reluctant readers while never giving into the dark side of YA lit.
The same appeal can be found in Carter’s Heist Society series where the reader is drawn into the lives of Katarina Bishop and her ragtag group of teens thieves who banned together planning art heists around the world. The series, composed of three books and counting, is a fun fast read that blends intrigue, suspense, with just a dash of growing pains without ever venturing into the scary or salacious.
Carter’s books are a treasure trove of action, adventure, and mystery with high Lexile scores appropriate for the youngest precious reader.