Like many kids his age, my eight year old likes ghosts and spooky tales. His favorite read-alouds of the past couple of weeks have been Cornelia Funke's Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost (#1 in a series) and, currently, Ghosthunters and the Gruesome invincible Lightning Ghost (#2). Junior even got up early so that he could hear "just one more chapter" before school this morning. Starring a nine-year-old boy, the books are more exciting than scary, and include a good bit of humor. And while no one will mistake the writing for E.B. White's, an adult may find the books easier on her ears than, say, the various A to Z Mysteries or Magic Tree House titles. (Granted, the Funke series is written for somewhat older children.) My husband reports that the audio versions are fun to listen to, also.
On his own, Junior is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which was a breakthrough book for a classmate. This buddy (a girl) had never read a chapter book all the way through, but read most of Jeff Kinney's comics-heavy bestseller in one sitting. She was way excited to hear about the sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2: Rodrick Rules. Although the official publication date isn't until February, that one is already in stores. I haven't read either yet, but the first certainly sounds funny from Junior has read to me.