Tuesday, October 21

Recommended books for advanced young readers

Our eight year old was the easiest child to teach how to read. Her six year old brother is the polar opposite. Once Kaelin learned the phonics chart and how letters flowed together, she just took off reading all on her own. Thus began the great hunt for longer books with appropriate content. Here are some of the books off the top of my head that she has read over the last few years:

Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Boxcar children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Five Little Peppers by Margaret Sidney
Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard
Books by Arleta Richardson
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Swiss Family Robinson
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Ivan series by Myrna Grant
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Happy Little Family by Rebecca Caudill
Anne of Green Gables
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Charlottes Web
The Bobbsey Twins
Hannah's Winter of Hope by Jean Van Leeuwen
The Little House series

Some of these books, the Narnia series for example, contain topics that you will have to decide when you want your child made aware of. These are things like peril, orphans, war, communism, consequences of moral choices, smoking, etc. We gave these books the okay because we feel the topics are dealt with in an appropriate manner (Eight cousins talks about the effects of smoking a pipe, the character in the Mandie books learns about lying), as opposed to glorifying the inappropriate behavior.
I can also recommend with some caution the American Girls series of books. It seems that since the maker of Barbie bought the company, it has gone south. We enjoy some of the earlier books.
Of course, previewing books your child is reading, screening their library selections, and keeping a running dialogue of what they've read and the topics is a wonderful idea.
We enjoy ordering our books through the inter-library loan system, scouring rummage sales, thrift stores and used books sales in order to build a nice home library.


This Journey of Mine said...

I LOVE to see what other people recommend for reading for kids. My EJ is a huge reader.... he loves it. Of course, I am super cautious about what he is allowed to read.

Any suggestions for the boys out there?

Elizabeth said...

You have just listed every favorite book of mine from my childhood...

I also remember reading and loving:

The Happy Little Family and the Fairchild family - Rebecca Caudill

and my all time favorite, about a doll who stands the test of time, travels the world, and then rights her memoir...

Hitty: Her First hundred years - Rachel Field.

My parents got me an American girl doll, and she came with her own little doll. I loved the little wooden doll more than I liked the American girl doll because she was my very own Hitty. I still have that tiny wooden doll and the wardrobe I stitched for her in clumsey uneven childish stitches, even though I'm 23. She sits in a place of honor in my kitchen.

Elizabeth said...

Oh! I just realized that you already have the Happy Little Family on here...scratch that one off the list!

Anonymous said...

My 6 year old boy is not catching on in reading either. What to do? Are you going to put it aside for a while and try again in a few months or just continue to plow ahead?


angie said...

Thank you!! My almost 7-year-old has taken off with reading and I was thinking just today that I so needed some recommendations.

Pam said...

We like Albert Payton Terhune books for boys (like Lad, A Dog, etc.), The Freddy the Pig series and lots of the Living History books from Bethlehembooks.com. It is wonderful to find good books - and usually the ones written before 1950 are very good!

Anonymous said...

Okay I have no idea how to contact you other than to post a comment..I know this is the wrong blog... can you please, pretty please post more photos of you completed kitchen on the other site.

You have a set-up like what I want in the house (someday when God says go) we are going to build. My husband has a had time visualizing what I am talking about and you seem to hit it right on. Anyways like the blogs and happy to see a happy family!

Edi said...

Your list is very similar to what mine would be :) I found one thing that helped with my son's reading at the beginning...since he loves frontiersmen, weaponry, soldiers etc. - I bought an old school reading series called "Dan Frontier" - each reader gets progressively harder. Stories filled with all my son loves...

Me said...

This Journey of Mine, Even though our son is not a great reader yet, he does love to be read to. He loves books on medieval history, Bible stories his favorites are David and Goliath and the story of Joseph) hunting and trapping, sea voyages, Daniel Boone and any other books on history.

Elizabeth, I'll have to look for that book bout Hitty, sounds like something Kaelin would enjoy!

Barbara, I keep at the phonics and reading slow and steady. We review the phonics chart almost daily and Douglas is able to read short three letter word stories. His main hurdle is forgetting the names of the letters and their sounds. Once he is reminded of them, he has no problem putting sound together. We've been going at this for two years and it is pretty common for boys to learn to read slower than girls so I'm not really worried about it.

Eliza, I promise more pictures soon!

Edi, I've heard of that book! I actually tried to bid on one on ebay! The search continues!

Anonymous said...

Hannah - thanks so much for responding with some ideas. As always, I really enjoy your blog and those things you share with the rest of us!

Karen G. said...

This journey of mine - I'm a teacher and also was a homeschooler (my children are young adults now). For boys I'd recommend any books by Gail Gibbons - she gets into the explanation of things and leans towards the scientific side with lots of pictures and labels. Although they are not chapter books they are still of great value. The Hardy boys series is also a good read for boys ready for chapter books.

Anonymous said...

When I was your that age, those were the exact same books that I was reading. Now, I'm directing some of my younger siblings to those same books.

About children who are slower to learn reading- all my homeschooled siblings and I learned how to read very quickly, almost on our own, except my younger sister who is now eleven. She struggled with learning to read for several years, but my mom patiently worked with her at the pace that she needed. Though she was embarrassed for a while that she couldn't read as well as her friends, she now reads anything and is perhaps even advanced for her age. It's sad to think that if she had been in the public school system she probably would have been labeled with learning disabilities and been held back.

Jennifer said...

Hi Hannah, your post here reminded me of this sitehttp://www.wholesomewords.org/children/child.html it has Missionary biographies for children. When I saw this page, it reminded me of your post. Jennifer

Lynn Hasty said...

Thanks for the list, Hannah. We have many of these, but some are unfamiliar to me.

We enjoyed The Family Under the Bridge.


Vaughnde said...

I love your book list! I have Wisdom and the Millers if you would like your own copy as well as some other Mennonite books for children. Feel Free to email me at stampinbookworm@gmail.com

Patricia said...

She sounds just like Sage who could just decode words at an early age. Aren't these children the dreams to homeschool?!!

Tesa said...

I, too, am actively pursuing a list of excellent literature with appropriate content for my seven year old son. If he doesn't have a good book with-in reach, he gets the jitters! Thanks for these suggestions! I am still always looking for books more geared to boys... although he is not too picky yet. He has loved the Little House series-- plenty of Indians, ice storms, home building and adventure to keep a "boy" interested.

I am a new visitor to your blog. You have painted such a beautiful picture of God's precious gift of family. Thank you for sharing.

Beth said...

I wanted to say thanks for this list. My six year old is reading at around a fifth grade level (I just found out today), but fifth grade books certainly aren't appropriate for a six year old (heck, I don't think most are appropriate for fifth graders). Some of the books you suggested are still a little advanced for her. But I got her a Bobbsey Twins book at the library, and she is loving it! We will definitely be trying to get more books from your list if our library has them.