My 10-year-old son is a reader, taking a fairly standard route into it from comics to graphic novels to books without pictures, however, the subject matter must really appeal to him or it’s a no-go. He likes historical fiction and he likes books that are funny, but he’s never embraced popular books like Harry Potter in the way his sister did. Outside of Christmas, summer is when we buy him the most books because we don’t like taking library books to camp or vacation, and this means I am always on the lookout for a book that is age-appropriate, reading-level appropriate and will keep him engaged. This year we were lucky enough to have two books that perfectly fit our criteria arrive at our door just before my son left on a school camping trip early this month. When my son returned a few days later, his first report wasn’t on what they did on the trip, but how much he loved the Galactic Hot Dog series.
We sent him off with the first book in the series – Galactic Hot Dogs 1: Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway – which he quickly finished and moved on two the second book, Galactic Hot Dogs 2: The Wiener Strikes Back. Upon finishing the second book, I asked about it and he responded that “it’s bad…bad that I have to wait until the next book!” It’s the same feeling when your favorite TV series ends for the season and you cannot imagine how you are going to get through until new episodes are released. He took the books to sleepaway camp last week, just to read them again, and he’s asked me to look up the books and author to see if I can find the next release date, but to no avail, as the two books only moved from webisodes on funbrain.com to books in May. When I told him it may not be until next year, he was bummed. This is one of those cases where we’re going to buy other books from the author, Max Brallier, for our upcoming vacation with the hopes of striking gold again.
The Galactic Hot Dogs books are graphic novels featuring characters in space in a funny, light hearted sci-fi adventure story for kids, aimed at ages 8-12. My son is now 10, but technically he was nine when reading the books and the story and reading level were perfect for him. He loved it so much that my 13 year old read them, too. For kids who cannot get enough of the characters, there is a Galactic Hot Dog island on Poptropica in between stalking Amazon to see when the next book in the series may be released!
Disclosure: The books were provided to us for free, but I had no idea how my son would like the book and ultimately, how strongly he would love these stories. The opinions are all ours.