As much as I love the Amish books (which Kid mistakenly calls my Mormon books... who can blame her for getting her mother's religious obsessions mixed up?) I want to give a nod to the brilliantly written Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.
Sure you read them. You loved them... but you probably do not remember how clever they really were.
Ladies and gents they are freaking hilarious. Kid and I laugh hysterically every night. It's hard to stop at just one chapter. They are fantastically descriptive and true to the thinking and emotions of latency aged children (THESE ARE NOT JUST FOR GIRLS!). I also love that the writing is sophisticated and not dumbed down for young readers/listeners. This is one of those rare series of books that are just as entertaining to read for the adult as they are for the child.
These books are written using "big words" that your kids might not have been exposed to yet (well for today's kids... you might remember some of these words from your youth). Remember when kids didn't have to learn vocabulary for the SATs? You know... back when the test was a test of their actual vocabulary knowledge and not a test of what they memorized in order to pass the test. Tonight's chapter had "chagrined" in it... one of my favorite words... and not one often used in books written for second graders these days. WHY ARE WE DUMBING DOWN OUR CHILDREN!???!!
As an added bonus for today's readers several of the books in the Ramona series deal with economic issues and job loss and how it effects their family in a very real honest way. If this is something that has touched your family these books might be a really good outlet for your children.