I saw the "Let's Share" topic below and was hoping for...

[deleted account] ( 24 moms have responded )

I was hoping for book suggestions, not for me to read about "gifted-ness" but books for my daughter to read....as we are already in the world of "Not so age appropriate" and she is only in K....so here is my "Let's Share Books and Games for the Kids."

We have been reading the "Little House on the Prairie" books. They are great but have an interesting level of "talk about it" topics, like butchering, "Savage" Indians etc. We have had some great discussions....

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

24 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

Quoting Angela:

Do any of you have older children? I have a very difficult time finding books for my 5th grader (11 year old). He reads at the 9th grade level (supposedly), and gets so bored reading what is in the school library. I teach high school English, but I'm not very familiar with junior high books, so I don't always know what is appropriate. He is very good about starting a book and then bringing it to me and saying he doesn't think it's appropriate. Usually my husband or I will read it first, but not always. Mitch is really interested in fantasy, but not Harry Potter. He's read the Aragon trilogy, and War of the Worlds. He also read the first two books of Lord of the Rings before he got tired of that. He really wants to read Lord of the Flies because he knows how much I love teaching it, but I won't let him because of the mature content. Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions. He loves reading, but I hate it when he finishes a book because I know we're going to struggle to find another one he likes that we will approve of. Thanks for your input.



Terry Pratchett - they are humoerous fantasy.  Brilliant indeed.  There is an entire Discworld series with over 20 books to collect.  Awesome books indeed.



Then for something more serious in the fantasy genre, there are the Dragon Lance books by Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weiss.  Some may be a bit too in-depth (the last Trilogy: War of Souls) but the rest are an excellent read and will bring up many topics for discussion for older kids.  Maybe read the first one yourself and then decide though.

Tammy - posted on 02/24/2009

157

5

18

LOL just got a little reality check.  We live on a farm so "butchering" is just a part of life not "talk about topic"  I remeber when reading a book to my daughter when she was little we came across the term parking meter, she had to ask why would people give money to park??? It was funny and started a whole conversation on living in cities as opposed to rural communities.

[deleted account]

How about "Ulysses Moore"?  I read a few of those....can't remember the titles, but they were about the right age and involve time travel. :)



I also read a lot of Piers Anthony...but those might require some parental preview. :) 



Of course I also found Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy in my Middle School Library and there is NO WAY that was appropriate for me at that age, despite its presence there. :)



hehehe k.

Angela - posted on 02/23/2009

70

15

6

Oooohh! Thanks so much! I definitely came to the right place. You gave me some great suggestions. He's already read many of the ones you suggested, but some of them I forgot about, and some I've never thought of or heard of. Now I have a good list to get him through the summer at least. Thanks a ton!

[deleted account]

Angela, I was just wracking my bring to remember a series I read...it is called the Edge Chronicles. The first is called "Last of the Sky Pirates" I think. There are about 8 maybe. Nothing inappropriate for middle schoolers as I recall.

I was thinking about the early books of "Eye of the World" but the later ones are less good...the author got a little hung up on sex....I have noticed that any series that goes on a while that is not specifically for younger kids tends to go that route. Sigh!

What about "The Black Cauldron" etc? By Lloyd Alexander? I re-read those recently as well. Fairly easy reading for him, but good themes and suspense. :)

What about "Circle of Friends" Tamora Pierce maybe? She has a LOT of Young Adult stuff, but much of it is kind of girl-directed. Circle is less so than the "Page" series. k. hartvigsen

Phoebe - posted on 02/22/2009

52

5

4

Angela has your son read the Artemis Fowl series yet? I really enjoyed them and if I remember right nothing in the content that would be to old. I work at a junior high. I will talk to my librarians about some other ideas.

Kylie - posted on 02/22/2009

148

1

16

One of the Australian Authors that I love, who is not a fantasy writer but a historical fiction writer, is Jackie French. Hitler's Daughter, is a fabulous book (quite an easy read) but makes the reader question whether someone is guilty by association and reassess their personal value system and that of their family. She has written many books, based on major historical events, for junior high students, that are truly interesting and extremely informative.

Zoe - posted on 02/22/2009

39

6

0

Quoting Angela:

Do any of you have older children? I have a very difficult time finding books for my 5th grader (11 year old). He reads at the 9th grade level (supposedly), and gets so bored reading what is in the school library.


When I was a kid I had the same issue, and started reading stuff that probably wasn't.... yeah.  My brother was 4 years older than I and passed me his recommendations.  (Reading "Farewell to Manzanar" in 4th grade is a bit much.  Or Upton Sinclaire's "The Jungle" in 7th! (turns out the reading level is 8th, but it's a bit grim.)



I was surprised that the LOTR stuff was rated as 6th grade reading level, and Harry Potter is 7th. So I went over to ARbookfind to see what they said was over 9th grade.



Here are some ideas I found interesting.  You might want to check Amazon or books.google.com for the PG-13 factor.






Contact by Sagan, Carl



Heart of Darkness Conrad, Joseph



Far from the Madding Crowd by Hardy, Thomas



David Copperfield  by Dickens, Charles



Anna Karenina Tolstoy, Leo



 



The Iliad Homer is 11.3 but Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Iliad by Sutcliff, Rosemary is 6.8 and could be a good warm-up/cliff notes intro before he tries something like the Fagel's translation.




Rebekah - posted on 02/22/2009

163

12

26

When I was about that age I read The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper -- one of my favorite fantasy series. If he hasn't read the Madeline L'Engle books (A Wrinkle in Time) I highly recommend those as well. I enjoy reading them as an adult. Check out author Ursula K Le Guin, a prolific fantasy author. If he likes dragons, look for Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight series. You might also try some other genres to see what else he might like, such as adventure: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc. or some of Carl Hiaasen's books for kids which, I think are just fun, interesting fiction. Hoot, Flush, etc.

Although I usually go to the library or buy books at a local store (because I like to read through them a bit) I often research titles on line so I can narrow down what I'm looking for once I'm there. If you type in Teen Fiction Fantasy at Borders, Amazon, BN, etc. it should come up with some good suggestions. I sometimes find the "other people who bought..." suggestions interesting as well. Good Luck!

Angela - posted on 02/22/2009

70

15

6

Do any of you have older children? I have a very difficult time finding books for my 5th grader (11 year old). He reads at the 9th grade level (supposedly), and gets so bored reading what is in the school library. I teach high school English, but I'm not very familiar with junior high books, so I don't always know what is appropriate. He is very good about starting a book and then bringing it to me and saying he doesn't think it's appropriate. Usually my husband or I will read it first, but not always. Mitch is really interested in fantasy, but not Harry Potter. He's read the Aragon trilogy, and War of the Worlds. He also read the first two books of Lord of the Rings before he got tired of that. He really wants to read Lord of the Flies because he knows how much I love teaching it, but I won't let him because of the mature content. Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions. He loves reading, but I hate it when he finishes a book because I know we're going to struggle to find another one he likes that we will approve of. Thanks for your input.

Zoe - posted on 02/22/2009

39

6

0

www.arbookfind.com is a good tool because you can sort by interest w/in award winner, levels... etc.

Phoebe - posted on 02/22/2009

52

5

4

I just reread and loved Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards. I nice young girl story along the lines of the Secret Garden.The age listed on the book is 8-12.

Molly - posted on 02/20/2009

30

0

2

We are reading many of the books already mentioned too. 



A few others my 3rd grader enjoys - Geronimo Stilton & Judy Moody.  Her teacher sent home Hank Zipzer for her the other day and she seems to like that.  Ordered Magic School Bus chapter books for my Kinder's book order too.  Hoping those will be good.

[deleted account]

I have been looking longingly at old 50s Nancy Drew editions and woondering if they are too old for her still.  Maybe I will have to try one and see. hehehe



 



I will have to check out the "Nova" site.  I suppose we should have known that a search for Nova would generate science-y types of materials.   will go check it out now. k.

Kylie - posted on 02/19/2009

148

1

16

Kimberly, the Nova I was checking out was a completely different Nova - I think because I am in Aus it automatically directed me to the Australian Science Academy site (obviously it was not a reflection of my I.T. skills!!!) but I later found the U.S. one with the videos.



The Aus one's link is http://www.science.org.au/nova/ and also worth checking out. It will obviously be a great resource for my children as it is Aus based but there are some great project ideas in there that would be relevant globally.

[deleted account]

what about the good old series type books? Secret Seven, Famous Five, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys? They have all been re-done with new adventures in each of these series...

Ellen - posted on 02/18/2009

73

16

7

Sister's Grimm is a great series. It mingles time lines, and has a lot of reference to fairy tales. I love it and we're starting to encourage our 7th graders to read them at school. You can still get Bill Nye through teaching supplies. Z loves him!

Rebekah - posted on 02/18/2009

163

12

26

OOh, I like Charlie and Lola, I wish my son would get more into it, but he has a total Dora/Diego obsession right now. Partly because he's really into learning Spanish.

My brother is much younger and we used to watch Bill Nye all the time! I'm not sure if there are new shows but the website is BillNye.com I vaguely remember Standard Deviants as well: we'll have to check those out eventually. YouTube is great for searching on the obsession du jour, parental preview required, of course. But we've found old Sesame Street clips, science stuff, numbers, songs, etc. on there. Hulu has some of the older shows to watch. And PBS has started remaking Electric Company, which I've heard is good but haven't caught it yet. There's a great example of something that is great in my memory but terrible if you go back to watch the old ones now. The 70s didn't seem so cheesy at the time!

Kylie - posted on 02/18/2009

148

1

16

Kimberly, your mention of Lola and Charlie reminded me of one of my daughter's all time favourite bed-time stories - The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child. Have you read that one? It is fabulous, with rich, wonderful language (and artwork to match) that she just adored - actually I'm off to go find it now so that I can read it to her tonight (you never get to old for a bed time story - I hope!!!)

[deleted account]

I am interested in how often the same titles show up...and how many of them we have already dipped in to.  I am sad to report that we burned out on Magic Treehouse and Secrets of Droon last summer.  Sigh!  Anne of Greengables was a big hit, as was the Secret Garden and Pippi Longstockings.  (So much so that, even though it has been more than a year since we read it she still talks about some of the silliness, like sleeping with your feet on the pillow.)



 



Another friend recommended "The Sisters Grimm" series for read-aloud, so we may try that once we run out of "Little House." 



As for the notion of "enforcing" classics, it is true that things change.  (Like the Indian attitudes as an example....although I am pleased to report that in the volume we are on now Pa is teasing Ma about her stubborn insistence that Indians are not good, and he winks at Laura to show that THEY know better.)  I remember listening to a radio program with one of the Sesame Street Execs.  She was mentioning how we may not be aware of the changes required...like the fact that Cookie Monster is smoking a pipe in the old "Monster Piece Theater" segments....which means they can't use them anymore. 



I will have to look for "Folk in the Faraway."  I haven't heard of it, but it sounds like your daughter would recommend it. :)



Senn has been reading the Clarice Bean series by Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola...) and seems to be enjoying it.  They are long enough that they can't be read in one sitting...and good enough that she wanted to read while walking home from the bus.



I also realized that this is probably a better place for the discussion of other media as well (Rather than in the 3rd grade discussion...)



So in case it bears repeating:  We like Nova and Standard Deviants as video material with interesting and not "boring" material.  I wish I could get the "Mythbusters" to tidy up their language (not that it is bad...just that there is some we don't use...know what I mean) because she LOVES that show.  I remember enjoying Bill Nye the Science Guy shows....are they still around?k.



 



 



 



 



 

Kylie - posted on 02/17/2009

148

1

16

When my daughter was in Kindy/Grade 1 she read Black Beauty and Heidi and enjoyed them both. My son is currently reading the Magic Tree House series and really enjoying them (he just finished Kindy), would probably be quite easy for your daughter but my 8 year old daughter (who reads at above 14 year old level) is loving them - a very quick read but enjoyable and a similar level series that my son is loving is the Secret of Droon.



As to classics, one of our leading children's author's here in Aus does not recommend "enforcing" the classics, ie. just because we liked them they may not, times have changed blah blah - now in saying that she recently started the Folk in the Faraway series (at my suggestion) and is loving it - her description was "it is like having a movie playing in your mind" - made me feel so much better, not that I "enforced" the book of course!!!



Others which she read in Kindy that again are an easy read but she loved for the fantasy (very very imaginative child) were the Disney Fairies books and loved the Tink movie. Tale of Desperaux was a fabulous book and a wonderful read aloud. Another one is Dragonsdale by Salamander Drake, horse type story but about dragons. My daughter loves horses so has read almost every horse series there is - most are easy reads but good for an easy hour read (we bought her 25 Pony Pal books at her begging - we knew they were far too easy - and she read them all in a week!!!).



And thanks Rebekah, you have given me lots of suggestions for her to try as I was really starting to run out of ideas myself.

Ellen - posted on 02/17/2009

73

16

7

I put my few thoughts of these in blue.


Quoting Rebekah:

LOL, butchering. I often find myself hoping my son won't pick up on some of the fairly awful things that are mentioned in passing in some of the "classic" children's books. We went through the same thing with picture books and then early readers. We just started reading chapter books at bedtime. But, you've come to the right place: when I was in elementary school I literally read all the books in the children's fiction section of our small-town library and my parents had to start driving me 40 minutes to a larger library. Here are some of my suggestions, scanning my bookshelf and memory, in no particular order.

The Chronicles of Narnia My son has difficulty with war and things, but eventually. There are lots of faith based discussions about these books.
The Phantom Tollbooth
Matilda, the BFG, and many others by Roald Dahl Always fun books to read. I especially love the BFG (despite the people eating giants)! We teach BFG in 6th grade. Good conversation on moral character to be had in each of them.
Charlotte's Web (although you'll have to talk about butchering!) I think the kids see it diffeerently since it's about farm animals.
Stuart Little
The Wind in the Willows
The Castle in the Attic
The Secret Garden Such a favorite of mine and can't wait for my daughter to be old enough for it.
A Wrinkle in Time Series of 3 books - deep stuff if you really start analyzing it - lots of possible science discussions as to the possibility of this.
Anne of Green Gables (the continuing series may go beyond age appropriate)
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Half Magic
The Indian in the Cupboard Good fantasy.
AA Milne Stories and poems
From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
Harriet the Spy
The Mouse and the Motorcycle Another good imagination one  just a fun read.
Ramona Quimby
Pippi Longstocking Oh I had forgotten about this one!
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Tuck Everlasting
James Herriot's Treasury for Children
The 13 Clocks
Encyclopedia Brown

We've just started on some simple chapter books, that are nice quick reads: The A to Z Mysteries, Magic Treehouse Series Our favorite right now because you can do some great extensions from it. You can also register as a teacher on the web site and get great links for further study. Junie B Jones would be similar I think.

On my list for the future, but have not read:
Boxcar Children Series
Spiderwick Chronicles
Lemony Snicket
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Tale of Despereaux
Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Catwings
Holes Good story, but you might have to discuss about children in jail type things.

And some really good ones for when she's a bit older that you'll definitely have to talk about:
Bridge to Terabithia
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
Number the Stars Holocost book. We used to teach this in 7th grade, but found the subject matter too much for the students to handle.
Witch of Blackbird Pond We teach this one in conjuction with 8th grade US history and the puritains. It's a good partner book to history because it puts some of it in perspective.

Okay, so please vet these yourself as it's been 20-25 years since I've read most of them and although my memory is pretty good, I may not remember something that would be a surprise to you and the reading levels may vary quite a bit. Have fun -- happy reading!


 

Ellen - posted on 02/17/2009

73

16

7

We like the Magic Tree House series as a topic started and then we go research the material from there at his level. It's more of a jumping off point. It's fun.

Rebekah - posted on 02/17/2009

163

12

26

LOL, butchering. I often find myself hoping my son won't pick up on some of the fairly awful things that are mentioned in passing in some of the "classic" children's books. We went through the same thing with picture books and then early readers. We just started reading chapter books at bedtime. But, you've come to the right place: when I was in elementary school I literally read all the books in the children's fiction section of our small-town library and my parents had to start driving me 40 minutes to a larger library. Here are some of my suggestions, scanning my bookshelf and memory, in no particular order.



The Chronicles of Narnia

The Phantom Tollbooth

Matilda, the BFG, and many others by Roald Dahl

Charlotte's Web (although you'll have to talk about butchering!)

Stuart Little

The Wind in the Willows

The Castle in the Attic

The Secret Garden

A Wrinkle in Time

Anne of Green Gables (the continuing series may go beyond age appropriate)

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Half Magic

The Indian in the Cupboard

AA Milne Stories and poems

From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler

Harriet the Spy

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Ramona Quimby

Pippi Longstocking

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Tuck Everlasting

James Herriot's Treasury for Children

The 13 Clocks

Encyclopedia Brown



We've just started on some simple chapter books, that are nice quick reads: The A to Z Mysteries, Magic Treehouse Series. Junie B Jones would be similar I think.



On my list for the future, but have not read:

Boxcar Children Series

Spiderwick Chronicles

Lemony Snicket

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Tale of Despereaux

Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Catwings

Holes



And some really good ones for when she's a bit older that you'll definitely have to talk about:

Bridge to Terabithia

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Number the Stars

Witch of Blackbird Pond



Okay, so please vet these yourself as it's been 20-25 years since I've read most of them and although my memory is pretty good, I may not remember something that would be a surprise to you and the reading levels may vary quite a bit. Have fun -- happy reading!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms