Here are my picks for October:
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi tell the adventures of the Grace children after they move into a creepy, old, Victorian mansion. They find their ancestor, Arthur Spiderwick's field guide to the unseen fairy world and discover who is behind the mischief in their new home.
Sadly, the Grace family has suffered through divorce and the father is absent. Jared's behavioral problems at school are linked to his anger about the divorce. The novels, however, are mostly concerned with mysterious hobgoblins, pookahs, griffins, and elves. These books are short and easy to read, suitable for 3rd or 4th grade.
Recommended with caution regarding the divorce issue.
The Sisters Grimm is another series about fairies, and also fairytale characters come to life. Read my previous review here.
Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner, is a novel about several fairytale characters: the Pied Piper, Little Red Riding Hood, Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty and others. One adventure leads into another as the heroine strives to rescue and reunite her family. Highly recommended.
Lastly, but most definitely a gem worth owning, is Olivia and the Little Way, by Nancy Carabio Belanger. Belanger makes the message of St. Therese of Lisieux relevant to children today through the plight of Olivia Thomas, recent transplant from Texas to Michigan. Eager to make new friends, Olivia falls in with the popular crowd, excluding some of the kinder people in her class. She learns the error of her ways, but rather than turn her back on the snobby girls, she strives to teach them about the Little Way as well! Olivia is a wonderful character, sinful, yet repentant.
This story is so appropriate for October, October 1st being the feast of St. Therese the Little Flower, and for November, the month to celebrate all saints, or even December, as a gift. But I digress... Truly, this is one of the best saint stories for children that I have ever read. My daughters loved this book, and I even caught my 13 year old son reading it. Highly Recommended!