Reading Ideas for 1st grader at 4th grade level

Kelli - posted on 11/19/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My 1st grade daugther Alex reads at close to a 4th grade level. Here is our problem -- the books containing subject matter appropriate for a 6 year old are typically written at a 2.0-3.0 level. Series like Judy Moody, Clementine, and Katie Kazoo are fun for Alex but she flies through them in less than two sittings -- she is reading about 4 of these chapter books a week.

A friend just loaned us Book 1 in the Dragon Keepers series (leveled 3.2), which thus far seems like a decent option. Do you have any other suggestions on books that would be appropriately challenging and interesting for her without crossing the lines of first-grade "decorum"?

Thanks so much!

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Kelli - posted on 12/31/2011

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We have been finding some great options since I first posted my question, so I wanted to share them in case other moms refer to this post for info.



Also, check out The Literate Mother website. She lists reviews of books for young adults and rates them for age appropriateness. This link takes you to the Grades 4-5 books, but she goes on up through HS, I believe:

http://www.theliteratemother.org/categor...



THE BOOKS



Fairies and the Quest for Neverland (Disney Books) - RL: Grades 4-5



The vocab level is pretty easy for her -- maybe a couple of words every few pages would slow her down. The story itself is very detailed, though. I think she misses some of the finer points even though she can technically read it without trouble.



Horace Splattly, The Cupcake Crusader: When Second Graders Attack - RL: ~ Grades 2-4



Alex has been enjoying this one. It's an easy read, but is adventurous and funny. It's about a 4th grader who realizes he has super hero powers when he eats certain cupcakes his sister makes... cute.



Igraine the Brave: RL: Grades 4-5



She hasn't read much from this one yet, but seems intrigued; however, the jury is still out. Set in the medieval times, a little girl wants to grow up to be a knight; lives in a dusty, old castle, etc. Good vocab and pretty long, but the occassional illustration helps the imagination along.



The Six Crowns Series: RL: Grades 3-6



She hasn't started this one yet, so not much to say. It seems to be very adventurous and age appropriate -- about a swashbuckling squirrel and porcupine's quest to discover the lost 6 crowns of a Badger king... would be great for boys.



The Silverlake Fairy School Series: RL: Grades 2 and up (according to Usborne Books website)



This is the series that I have been impressed with on the vocab side -- at least with Unicorn Dreams. About 2-3 words per page slow her down and need definitions; I like that for her. I would say the vocab is more like 4th grade, but the stories are simpler to follow and they aren't quite as long as some 4th grade books. Alex has always loved fairy/fantasy stories, so she really likes these.



The Wishing Chair series: RL: ~ Grades 3 and up



Alex loves these. They are European classics written back in the 40s, so some of the language is a bit formal and the vernacular is different, but Alex enjoys them so much. Fun, adventurous, 1st-grade friendly stories.

Barbara - posted on 10/12/2012

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Similar story with my daughter, Sophie. I would recommend that you take a short trip to the library once a week while she is at school and pull about 20 or so books off the shelves. Read about one or two pages from each and select 10 from the pile. Make this a routine. Don't get caught up in exact reading levels. Voracious readers are not necessarily going to baulk at a slightly 'easier' read. We all know good writing when we see it. Sophie's top favorites are - Roald Dahl - basically anything by this author is superior. Next comes E.B. White. She is a major fan of the Bunnicula books and Barbara Park (she has written other stuff besides Junie B) can keep her entertained for hours. Some authors have written wonderful series - Magic Tree House - Day of the Cobras was her favorite. Horrible Harry books are light but fun. But again - scan the shelves and you will find tons of excellent books. Best of luck.



Barbara

Lisa - posted on 12/31/2011

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We incorporated a lot of reference books for our son. He loved stories, so we did series like The Magic Tree House during Kindergarten and 1st grade, but the reading was not challenging, so we added some science, geology and history books. The science books we just got at the used book store - the others, we ordered or picked up at the big box book stores and looked for books targeted for his reading level as the content would be more appropriate than the adult versions. I wish I could remember more. We struggled so much. His levels were so out of whack with his age and the teachers were soooo focused on age appropriate. Oh, Boxcar Children! That was a good read for him in K&1st! I think he tackled the Narnia series in second, but if you're looking for something to read to her, that might be good too.

Sorry for the rambling... :)

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January - posted on 12/31/2013

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I used to read 2 Baby-Sitter Club books a day over the summer nothing wrong with that. I love the BSC series, my son likes The Magic Tree House and my daughter use to love books by Roald Dahl like The BFG, The Magic Finger, The Enormous Crocodile, Fantastic Mr. Fox and George's Marvelous Medicine, surprisingly she didn't like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or James and The Giant Peach

January - posted on 12/31/2013

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Sarah Plain and Tall

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House on The Prairie

Because of Winn Dixie

The War With Grandpa

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Bud, Not Buddy

Go to www.renlearn.com/store/quiz_home.asp and search for books on his reading level, for example a book that's a 3.9 just means that the average 3rd grader in the 9th month of school such be able to read it. You can also filter the books by content, Lower Levels, Mid Levels, Upper Levels, etc so books like The Outsiders that is a 4.7 but has content fro middle schoolers won't show up in your search,

Chet - posted on 07/24/2013

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Baby Sitter Club - LIttle Sister. There is something insane like 130 books in the series, and they are very age appropriate. The main character is in grade 2, but only because she skipped grade one. The series is out of print, but you can find them used for cheap if you buy them in lot (not one at a time). They run around a mid to late grade three reading level. The Rainbow Magic series is aimed at kids in grades 1 to 3 too, and is also a mid to late grade 3 reading level.

Chet - posted on 07/24/2013

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A lot of picture books are actually written at a higher grade level (grades 3 to 5) because they expect an adult to read them out loud to a child. Anything with a paragraph of text on each page is easily a grade 4 reading level or somewhere at the upper end of a grade 3 level. I wouldn't buy these, but definitely make trips to the library and bring home a big stack.

Jimmilia - posted on 07/23/2013

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I let my daughter read children chapter books and she has expanded vocabulary

Emma - posted on 07/12/2013

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Pierce read the "Whimpy Kid" series during the last few months of the past school year. He he was very enthrowed with all of the 5 or 6 books. I hope this helps!

Raechel - posted on 07/03/2012

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What I have done is go to the thrift store and stock up on all sorts of children's chapter books and let the kids find what interests them. We have hundreds of books here. All of my kids have really enjoyed the Mary Kate and Ashley mystery books, magic tree house and books like Stuart little, mouse and the motorcycle, Indian in the cupboard, because of Winn Dixie and many of the " oldies but goodies" then there's my ten year old who has read every star wars book ever published so it seems! Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 05/30/2012

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Our son is 6 and in Grade 1, and today his reading test pushed him up into Grade 3 level books. I have the same concerns about age-appropriate reading as opposed to ability-apropriate. Glad to see some reccomendations here. I hadnt thought of the Wishing Chair series. I have all those and the Enchanted Wood series here from my childhood. Thanks for the info!

NAOMI - posted on 01/20/2012

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My son is 4 and totally loves the Dinosaur Cove series and I didn't see the Magic School Bus series mentioned but he loves that also.

T. Maenad - posted on 12/20/2011

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Go for some of the older classics like Betsy/Tacy (ask your local librarian). I had the same issue with my child -- she did often read stuff that wasn't totally age appropriate, but we tried to be open about talking about things. Make friends with the local children's librarian if you have one -- they are great resources and usually love helping this type of kid. Mine was the same way -- she's 14 now, and still has her head in a book.

Kelli - posted on 11/22/2011

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Great suggestion -- a friend of mine has the entire sets of both and is going to loan them out to Alex a few at a time.

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