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Topic: need help finding books for 6th grader

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Subject: need help finding books for 6th grader
Date Posted: 9/10/2007 3:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 312
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I really could use some ideas on some books for my 11yo daughter. she really struggled with reading in school but i got her interested in reading for fun after we started home schooling. She loved magic tree house but she's now got her confidence up she wants something a little more challenging. I just signed up for box of books so if you have any good ones on your shelf let me know so we can get a few books of her own. I'm running low on credits right now so trades would be great but let me know if you have a deal and when i get more credits i'll see what I can do.



Date Posted: 9/10/2007 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 102
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My favorite at that age was the little house series.  I still have the box  my parents bought me when I was 11. EONS ago.  I also liked stuff like The Cat ate my Gymsuit and The hand me down kid. Stuff that pertained to the pre-teen girl... LOL, I don't have any of those on my shelf but I'm sure they are out there. Good Luck


Date Posted: 9/10/2007 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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  • Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
  • Treasure Island
  • Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn
  • Black Beauty
  • Pollyanna
  • The Secret Garden
  • Little Women
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Borrowers
  • Little House series
  • The Jungle Book
  • My Side of the Mountain and / or Hatchet
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Swiss Family Robinson


Date Posted: 9/10/2007 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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My ds9 is also a struggling reader, we are currently in the Jedi Apprentice series, those might appeal to a young girl if she likes Star Wars.  (I was a tomboy, they would have appealed to me)

I 2nd the Little House books

Katherine Paterson books - Bridge to Terabithia

                                                   Great Gilly Hopkins

Chronicles of Narnia

Misty of Chincoteague

Black Beauty

I don't have of these on my shelf, they're just on my bookshelf.




Last Edited on: 9/10/07 3:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/10/2007 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 5
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I wholeheartedly recommend The Shadow Children series.  My dd loved them and may even be willing to trade.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 5
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Hey, I just remembered these authors that have great books...I have 2 girls, one just turned 13 and one 16.


Patricia Reilly Giff

Gloria Whelan

Lois Lowry

Jerry Spinelli

Gail Carson Levine

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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I understand the question is to find books of a certain independent reading level which are a step up in difficulty from Magic Tree House.

The book list from Michelle is a great list of quality books but many are way, way too difficult for a reader doing 2nd grade reading level (which is what Magic Tree House is). Treasure Island, Swiss Family, Alice, etc are very hard to read, definately not 2nd grade or 3rd grade reading level, also many also are printed in tiny font in the in-print cheap versions of the books, and often newer readers are not comfortable with tiny font. Many on that list are great for read-alouds but not right for a child reading at 2nd or 3rd grade independent reading level.

What I found most useful for this branching out into fiction chapter books for ages 9-12 is to use lexile.com. Go to the families section. Input a Magic Tree House title and see the 'lexile score'. Then input other titles and find some in a bit higher number. For example check the Little House books and see how those are. If someone tells you a title that sounds good, check that score. I find using the Lexile site very easy and good when I have a book on hand but have no clue as to the difficulty level. LExile rates the books based on sentence length, complexity of sentence and paragraph structure and on the difficulty of the vocabulary (words/language). From what I understand that for reading practice, if you know what your child has mastered, to have them read at that level or below a bit, for practice and sometimes push them up a little higher (like to the next level of 50s, i.e. mastered 400-449, move up to 450-499.

I would also use as a jumping off point, her interests. Does she have a topic she likes? Horses? Fantasy? A country or time in history that you could read historical fiction? Nature stories? Mysteries? Stories of modern girls? If you have a topic, then find good titles in that genre. Then check Lexile.

One step up for sure is the Boxcar Children series, then right after that, Nancy Drew. If she likes mysteries, that is.

Hope this helps. I am really happy to hear that she is doing better with reading now. My hope for all children is that they become good readers, capable, and not afraid of reading and not afraid of reseraching and learning through reading, and secondly, less important but more wishful thinking, that they will become book lovers and lifelong readers. Hooray for your daughter for making progress!

If you are interested in reading more of my thought process on making a reading list for my own children, I blogged about it earlier this year, here. Good luck!


Date Posted: 9/10/2007 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Ermm...I thought we were looking for books for a sixth grader who was having a hard time reading. The books I wrote were books my 3rd grader is reading this year.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 312
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Thanks so much to everyone I really do appreciate all the help with ideas and michelle  I have Illistrated classics for her. Christine M thanks for the info on how to find what level she might be at I was kinda unsure how to find out that info. part of her problem was her eyesight. the larger print in magic tree house made them easy to see and after we got her glasses she is fine reading small print and about a 5th early 6th grade level. She dosen't want to be reading on the same level as her 4th grade sister so she is looking for something a little challenging. I just know she is intrested in the magic tree house type books and some animal and mystery books. I don't have many books right now that she wants to read around here and we are too on the go for library books ( they get forgotten about and returned late) so i'm looking for ideas on what to trade for or to add to my with list.


thanks again for all the advice I'm so grateful


Date Posted: 9/10/2007 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2007
Posts: 264
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I really 2nd the Anne of Green Gables books, my dd (also 11) just read the first one and has begged me to get the next one.  So I just ordered it here on PBS.  The thing is - she has struggled in reading too and I had an abridged copy of Anne so she picked that up after she watched the movies and read it in 2 days.  This was a huge thing for her.  She struggles with reading peoples names so she liked that she already knew their names from the movie and it was easier for her then (in her mind and that is what counts :-)  So I just ordered an abridged copy of the 2nd book now.  I know eventually she'll be ready for the original (I have the entire set) but I don't want to push her and stifle her enthusiasm.  So I guess, don't be scared to get the abridged versions if it'll spark her interest enough to eventually want to read the real thing!

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 312
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that is what i was hoping for that is why we encouraged her to read the magic tree house last year because she was so happy to be able to finish a book on her own and she was having fun reading. she decided to read wind in the willows abridged version and she loved it. She is currently reading a book called time cat and is liking it. She didn't want to read harry potter which suprised me but oh well so i'm just searching for ideas.



Date Posted: 9/10/2007 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
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OK, I must say that my authors are a little advanced, but my dd has struggled for years and also saw a specialist this year.  She was a Junie B. Jones reader until last year!  She picked a Shadow Children book at the library one day and read it in a few days.  I looked over it and knew it was probably too difficult.  She admited it was hard and some words she couldn't pronounce.  I let her continue reading the series because she was intrigued by the topic.  So, jump to this year.  She scored 7th grade 9th month on her last test at the psychologist's office.  She, the doc, said letting her read more difficult books that inerests her is what moved her along quickly!

Just my situation, for what it's worth!

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
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If she likes animals, try the Animal Ark books. I have several on my bookshelf that my 14 yo daughter just gave up. If you ReSort on Author's name they will be together. His last name is Baglio. When you have credits, PM me and we can see about a deal.

Another favorite of all 3 of my daughters have been the American Girls series. We've all enjoyed Lee Roddy's American Adventure series (#1 The Overland Escape) too.

Adventure in the Northwoods (Lois Walfred Johnson);

Mandie Mysteries (Lois Gladys Lepperd);

Grandma's Attic series (Arleta Richardson). She has also written an Orphan's Journey series that I'm trying to make room for on my WL.

Robert Elmer has several series that are set in different eras and places, if she likes adventure. His and Roddy's books have been favorites of my boys and girls.

I agree with the Little House books. Anne of Green Gables is a lifetime favorite of mine, but I've just branched out into her other writings since joining PBS in June. What about Island of the Blue Dolphins and other Scott O'Dell titles?

Knowing her interests really would help in coming up with ideas.


Date Posted: 9/10/2007 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 312
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well she seems to want mystery books right now she asked me to help her look for those.  she  picked one while we were out today about a dragon She loved the harry potter movies but has no interest in the books. she loved the anne of green gables shows but didn't think she could read the books last year so we got the road to avonlea series but she lost interest in them. she does like animal stories and we have saddle club books and lots of animal ark but her sister is reading them and she dosen't want to read the same books as little sister. i need some books that seem harder without being too hard.



Date Posted: 9/11/2007 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2007
Posts: 25
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My daughter liked to SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES since they are short and  she could be successful with them.    She also really liked  the  DOLL PEOPLE and MEANEST DOLL IN THE WORLD (Ann M martin?).  Emily C

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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OK, you mentioned mystery and dragon

My 10yo daughter loves the American Girl mysteries.  They star the historical Am. Girl characters, but they are different from the 6-book series for each girl.

My daughter and I both just finished the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede.  We read them separately and then talked and laughed about them.  = )  The 4 titles in the series are Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons.  Fun series!