Books About Playing

Late spring and early summer is a wonderful time to play and have fun, whether outdoors in brilliant sunshine or indoors during a sudden shower. These books all feature playtime and games, making them great reads to relax with after a fun-filled day!

The Magic City by E. Nesbit

Philip needs a way to occupy himself in his new home after his older sister and sole guardian remarries, so he builds an elaborate miniature city out of blocks, toys, and miscellaneous household objects. He finds himself better occupied than he could have imagined when he is magically transported to the city he has created, and told by its denizens that he must perform seven great deeds to prove himself their Deliverer. The Magic City is in the public domain and available to read for free online at Project Gutenberg. Recommended for middle grade readers ages 8-11.



The Alley by Eleanor Estes

The Alley is where all of the fun happens for Connie Ives and her friends--it leads onto Connie's yard, where all the children play on her jungle gym, it's big enough to play any game you'd like in it, and there are always other children about to play with. It's also the place of mystery and excitement, when a burglar breaks into Connie's home and seems poised to strike another house on the Alley soon. Will the children of the Alley be able to solve the mystery, or will they be distracted by other activities? Recommended for middle grade readers ages 8-11.



The Game by Diana Wynne Jones

While visiting extended family in Ireland for the first time, Hayley joins her cousins in an activity they call "the game." To play, one ventures into another dimension called "the mythosphere" to retrieve a specific object from mythology while avoiding some of the realm's more hostile inhabitants. As Hayley plays the Game, she also learns some surprising facts about her family and her own identity. Recommended for upper middle grade readers ages 11-14 and young adult readers ages 14+.