I am always up for book suggestions. Last year I met a retired reading teacher and she wrote the names of some authors she thought my then ten-year-old would like. She was so passionate about reading she wrote the suggestions on the back of the event’s program and we talked for a long while. She was not a fan of Harry Potter, but I liked her anyway and quickly requested the suggestions from our library. She was right, they were great books and I will pass them along to you as well as a few others I adore. I cannot mention all the books, but I will try and touch on ones I haven’t written about before.
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel- You cannot beat these simple stories that stress friendship, kindness as well as having an ease about them that makes reading fun.
Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson- Given to Meg when she turned two from her beloved great-grandpa Pap Pap. These verses bring out the adventure of being in a child’s imagination as well as build vocabulary skills with the old time language the book has. Elle is very fond of this book right now.
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel - I started reading this book to Meg when she was about three years old. She quickly had it memorized and years later can still say his whole name! This is a favorite to read out loud in the class room as well. The illustrations are classic and introduce kids to the Asian culture a bit.
Early Elementary Students
The American Girl books are great (for girls!) as they have adventure, good morals and history in them. I like reading these books with my girls as I can add some historical tidbits and the books promote great discussions. Reading Addy was hard for me as I cried a few times, but those tears lead to great conversations with Meg. Kit made me mad when she hopped the train, but I was able to talk with Meg about listening to parents, making good choices and the like. Mita liked reading about Josephina and Enu enjoyed the Kit books best.
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown is a fun and easy to read series that has started a phenomenon with the post office! We created our own Flat Stanley that Grandma and Grandpa took with them across the country and took pictures. Talk about inter-active! A great way to mix geography and reading.
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park is Enu’s favorite. I do enjoy reading about Junie B. and hearing her language miss-haps are great learning tools for Enu. The way her mind works reminds me of another great series Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. I’ve always adored Ameilia Bedelia being read out loud. Funny.
The Little House On The Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of my all-time beloved books. I read them and feel at home. That said, they are wordy and Laura does love to get into her descriptions so if your child gets distracted easy I would pick the easy reader Little House books as the chapters are shortened a bit. Meg never really got into these books as I had hoped, but I think she does appreciate that they mean a lot to me. Meg is my dragon lover when it comes to books and the Prairie doesn’t have enough fire-breathers for her liking!
The Magic TreeHouse by Mary Pope Osborne books are Elle’s favorites. She loves to read about going back into time. I really like the non-fiction reference books the series has as well. This is a fun series to listen to on CD in the car as it takes the kids’ minds of the drive and into history.
This is my favorite reading level thus far with my kiddos. Of course you have Harry Potter (a given) but The Hunger Games Trilogy is my new suggestion as well! With a series plot that could turn people off if they don’t read the book and just hear about the story line (a reality TV show that has kids killing each-other, just doesn’t sit well with most of us) I urge parents to read these books so they can help the kids process what they are reading.
Another set of books with a futuristic 1984ish plot is Shadow Children by Margerate Peterson Haddox. Wow. Heavy stuff, but great ways to get us all thinking, discussing and preventing problems in the future. If your child has anxiety issues I would stay away from these books for a while. Enu will not be reading them anytime soon!
I just recently finished The 39 Clues Series. Meg made me read them. I really enjoyed this book set and number 11 made me want more books as the plot is thickening. The story line hold the older kids interest but the books are at an easier reading level for fourth and fifth graders. Fun.
A few more for middle schoolers:
Shakespeare’s Secret and Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Mandy and The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards (yes, the Julie Andrews!)
Obviously I could go on and on…and I will with books I hope my kids will read as they get older but in another post! The selections above may be heavy on the girl side, but I am partial and lacking the experience of raising boys!
I hope you will add some suggestions to my comments so I can get cracking at those books as well.
Other reading posts I’ve written:
You Read To Me I’ll Read To You
My 2011 Reading Goals/Adoption Reading Challenge
Getting Your Kids To Love Reading
(Disclosure: I was not asked to review these books nor am I making money from the Amazon links. I just linked them for your convenience. I am a big borrower from the library myself!)