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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Books, Glorious Books

The Bloggess asked people for book recommendations for her five-year-old now that she has moved out of the land of books that make noises and have fuzzy inserts on the page made to satisfy a toddler's tactile desires.  I left her a comment with suggestions. Then couldn't resist leaving another comment because I had more ideas. Then realized that I could ask you all the same thing and potentially come up with a HUGE list of great books for different ages.  (I'm pretty sure the Bloggess won't mind me jumping on her bandwagon.)

So here's the game: I've organized my list below based on rough reading levels of appropriateness assuming we're talking about the kids reading to themselves (obviously, you can go up a few levels if you're reading aloud to them).  You add your suggestions in the comments (with grades/ages mentioned), and in a few days, when the list is really giant, I'll compile the whole darn thing and email it to anyone who wants it. Deal?

I realize that with the exception of the Lemony Snicket and Magic Tree House books, every single thing on this list is something I read as a child -- duh, since they're my childhood faves.  But what I mean is that nothing here is less than 30 years old because the only books I know to hand to my kids are the ones I read myself. I'm guessing there are some good things that have been published in the last 30 years. ;) Can you tell me what?

Early Readers (learning to read/Kindergarten)
Dr. Seuss: The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, One Fish Two Fish
P.D. Eastman: Are You My Mother? Go, Dog, Go! 

First chapter books to read to self (Kindergarten/1st grade)
Frog and Toad books
Henry and Mudge series
Amelia Bedelia series
Magic Tree House series

First-Second(ish) grade
Encyclopedia Brown series
Mrs Piggle-Wiggle series
Pippi Longstocking series
The Bobbsey Twins series
Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, The Tailor of Glouchester, etc)

Second-Third(ish) grade
Little House on the Prairie series
Beezus and Ramona

Third-Fourth(ish) grade
From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Lemony Snicket series
Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, etc.
E. Nesbit: The Treasure Seekers, The Wouldbegoods, Five Children and It, The Boxcar Children, etc.
Noel Stretfield: Ballet Shoes, Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes
George MacDonald The Complete Fairy Tales
the Narnia books
Little Women (and its sequels)

Fifth-Sixth(ish) grade (though by this time, they're pretty much choosing their own reads, I think)
Nancy Drew
The Three Investigators
Octagon House
Madeline L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, The Swiftly Tilting Planet
the original Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum
The Girl of the Limberlost
Black Beauty

And beyond...(a.k.a. books a precocious tween or early teen might love)
The Lord of the Rings
Jane Eyre
David Copperfield
Dracula (not for the faint of heart)

What were your favorites as a kid? What are you reading now to your kids? What are they reading and loving?

Remember: tell me at what grade level(ish) the books are most appropriate for them to read on their own, so I can add them to the master list. (You know your kids and their reading skills best, so we'll all assume this is just a rough guide.) And leave me your email address in the comment if you want me to email you the whole list once it's compiled.

Win-win: summer reading all around!


Jaina said...

The Boxcar Children - maybe 2nd grade

Mandy (by Julie Andrews Edwards...aka MARY POPPINS)-maybe 3rd or 4th grade

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles (also by Julie Andrews Edwards)- maybe 3rd or 4th grade

Pride and Prejudice - "and beyond"

Eyes of the Dragon - "and beyond" (not for the faint of heart, but also NOT your typical Stephen King book...this is more of a fantasy)

I'm sure I'll have more ideas to add later. Those were just the ones that came immediately to mind. Really you can add all Jane Austen books into the And Beyond category, but Pride and Prejudice is my favorite.

Jaina said...

My brothers really like the Percy Jackson series (coming out as a movie soon if it hasn't already...first book is The Lightening Thief) Slightly older level, probably junior high?

AnnetteK said...

My kid loves books, including all the ones on your list. (He read the Hobbit this year - in first grade.)

Some of his favorite chapter books were the Stink series, (and Stink's sister Judy Moody), the Horrible Harry series, Secrets of Droon series, the Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III books - everyone has heard of the How to Train Your Dragon movie but the books are better.

He also loved Skippyjon Jones, Flyguy, Flat Stanley, the Time Warp Trio, and the A-Z Mysteries. I could go on but that's probably enough eh? :)

Tara R. said...

I would add Shel Silverstein (still one of my daughter's favorite authors) and Brian Jacques and his Redwall series for older elementary and middle school kids.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Charlie and Lola series by Lauren Child (pre K and early K), also Clarice Bean; Diane Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series (grade 3-4-5?); Enid Blyton's Famous Five (grade 3-4?); Nina Bawden - Carrie's War, Peppermint Pig, The Witch's Daughter; Kes (also published as A Kestrel for a Knave) by Barry Hines; Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne; Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs (pre-k and K); almost anything by Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom; The Borrowers by Mary Norton (I think); I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (grade 3-4?); Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials (4-5?); Stig of the Dump by Clive King; Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (gr 6-7?)...

I need to stop now! Though I could go on for hours...

Oh, except for Goodnight Mr Tom, by Michelle Magorian. REallym MT, you MUST read it. For 9-11 year olds, perhaps. I still re-read it now though!

Lisa said...

Where the Red Fern Grows - I'm not sure of the age level. It was read TO me in 3rd grade.

Anne of Green Gables - 5th grade? I don't feel comfortable choosing grades. I would have put a lot of the books you listed in a different grade.

Johnny Tremain - I read this in 3rd grade, I think.

The Phantom Tollbooth - 2nd grade to read it, 4th or 5th to get the jokes.

Did anyone mention Charlotte's Web, yet? Stuart Little, THe Trumpet of the Swan? - 2nd grade

Little Bear - Kindergarten or 1st

A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla - 1st or 2nd

Hank the Cow Dog Series - Someone gifted one of these to Timothy recently. It was hilarious. They are meant to be read aloud, but if one was reading on his own, 3rd grade maybe

Half Magic series - I'm reading it to my Kindergartner, but for reading on one's own, 2nd to 4th maybe.

Harriet the Spy - I read that in 2nd grade I think.

Just So Stories - 4th grade, maybe

Singing Wendy said...

Did you really make a kids reading list and leave out the Harry Potter series? ;-)

I agree, the Percy Jackson books are popular at my elementary school. They're sort of a "poor man's Harry Potter" but use the Greek myths in a creative way. These are being read by 4th and 5th graders....mostly boys.

To add to the Middle School and beyond list: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. It's sort of the ultimate game of "Survivor" set in a futuristic United States. Reminds me a bit of Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale". It's labelled as "Young Adult" fiction, but something I'd recommend to anyone.

And then of course, all the 5th grade girls are reading "Twilight"..... ;-)

E... said...

Loving this, and of course am interested in new suggestions!

We have recently discovered the Dinosaur Cove series -- on about the same level as Magic Tree house books, written by Rex Stone.

O. also really enjoyed having me read The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

Probably 3rd or 4th grade:
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
All of the Austin family books by Madeleine L'Engle
Trixie Belden!

Jb said...

My kids loved the Magic Treehouse books too, but it's nice to get a break with more realistic books:

The Boxcar Children series

Beverly Cleary books (Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins

Anne of Green Gables (and the series)

Judy Blume (she writes for adults too)

and back to the magical realm:

Children of the Lamp series

Harry Potter (of course)

Suburban Kamikaze said...

Wolf Story by William McCleery - the most fun you will ever have reading aloud. Ages 3-45. Out of print, but there are still used copies around. Snatch them up.



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