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A friend of a friend of a friend....you know how it goes....has a daughter that is 5, hasn't even started Kindergarten and is reading difficult books. She's read the Little House on the Prairie books, The Chronicles of Narnia, and is now reading Eragon. Her mother is not excited about the move into more mature fantasy, so the Harry Potter books are out. As are the rest of the Eragon books.
So guess who they asked for suggestions?
I have mentioned....
Avi, the Poppy series
Bond, Michael Paddington Bear chapter books
Banks, Lynne Reid Indian in the Cupboard series
Grahame/Horwood Wind in the Willows and the sequels
Pippi Longstocking books
Selden, George Cricket in Times Square and sequels
any nonfiction, biographies, etc.
Any other suggestions?
I had an early reader--I understand the difficulty finding books that match the reading level without getting into topics that are not appropriate for the age of the reader. We found that we had better luck with we went with older books.
Let me add:
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (and sequels) by Margaret Sidney
Freddy the Pig books by Walter R. Brooks and Kurt Weise
Ginger Pye and Moffat books by Eleanor Estes
Hank the Cowdog books by John R. Erickson (newer series--very entertaining)
The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt (This is a fairy-tale type story--not a more mature book..)
Knight's Castle by Edward Eager (My daughter's recommendation.)
Cinderellis and the Glass Hill (and other princess tales) by Gail Carson Levine (These are little books--but very entertaining.) :)
Also by Gail Carson Levine: The Two Princesses of Bamarre
The Light Princess by George MacDonald
I haven't read the Wrinkle In Time books for ages; those might be appropriate too.
Thank you for the help. You have come up with some great books that I had forgotten about. And then there are some I don't know about. Together we've made a pretty good list!
My son was reading at 3 and by age 4 was at a middle school level, so BTDT!
I would also mention:
My son has a book used in Hewitt's Lightning Literature, Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Kids of all Ages, that he just adores.
My son was just like as well. If she likes fantasy, I loved reading "Dealing with Dragons" "Talking to Dragons", etc. Since she's a girl, she'd really like the story. It's a series and I think there are 4 books? I'm not sure which one is book 1 it's a while since a read them, but I've been wanting to reread them. The first couple were my favorite books a child. They are about a princess who was a total tomboy and didn't want to marry the stuck up princes so she runs away and lives with a dragon and a few prince's come to "save" her from the big bad dragon (that's actually her friend) and she sends them all away. it's fun story, has dragon's and magical forest. it's fun and okay for little kids.
I love the Fablehaven series as well, there are 5 books total (I haven't read book 5 yet, it's came out just recently). The children are 10 and 12 in the story and I would say the book are okay for kids 9 and up. These books have magic and magical creatures and are a lot like harry potter in that way, however, they are a lot less scary, they don't have curse words or any bad words and they don't really focus on teenage problems. It's about a couple of kids who lets their curiosity get them in trouble sometimes, who visit their grandparents every summer who live on this magical preservation type land and take care of it and their little adventures.
I had a son with the same issue. Here are some of his favorite authors at that age. I always recommend pre-reading as what is acceptable to one family is not to another.
Jean Craighead George
Roald Dahl (pre-read this author)
Elizabeth George Speare
Marguerite de Angeli
David Macaulay and Holling C. Holling (he is 20 and still refuses to part with these authors) Don't let the thin book fool you. There is alot tucked in those pages.
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson, "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" by Robert C. O'Brien, and "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster were particular favorites.
"Shakespeare Stories" by Leon Garfield presents Shakespeare in story form and is 'santized' for the younger reader. This might be too much for a five year old, but a few years down the road it might be good.
Ann Rinaldi writes historical fiction. It is considered "young adult or teen" so she might be too young for the concepts presented although able to read it. She might try some of the "My Name Is America" or "Dear America" series which are historical fiction and more in line with her age. If she would like nonfiction history, I recommend Genevieve Foster's books.
My son always loved listening to books as well. He had The Hobbit on CD and it is much more managable for a younger reader that way. He loved the Classical Kids CDs (Beethoven Lives Upstairs is one title) which tells the story of composers and exposes readers to their music.
Hope this is helpful.