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  1. #1

    Default Recommemdations for elementary books for young gifted reader

    I have a gifted reader who can handle long chapter books. However, she is 6 and asynchronous and in some ways very young for her age. Any suggestions for books around 3rd-4th grade reading level that don't get into a ton of romance or violence? Thanks!!

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  3. #2


    Here are some my reader has enjoyed in the past year or so. Slightly older (she just turned 8 in July, so this would have been read when she was 7 to 8, her reading ability is a lot higher but I find it hard to get anything that is content appropriate that is above middle grade level). She does not like anything that is scary at all, and has been happy reading all of these. They might be a bit higher grade than you are asking for, but I figured I would post them as they might be useful down the track.

    Emma Carroll, The Girl Who Walked on Air

    Kate Hannigan, The Detectives Assistant

    Jeanne Duprau, The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, The Diamond of Darkhold

    Kristin Levine, The Lions of Little Rock, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

    Holly Goldbergy Sloan, Counting by 7’s

    Rita Willams-Garcia, One Crazy Summer, PS Be Eleven

    Anne Ursu, Breadcrumbs

    Katherine Patterson, The Bridge to Terabithia

    Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

    Before that, she really loved the entire Wizard of Oz series (we have almost the full set of 14 or 15 books and she still reads them constantly). The Faraway Tree and Adventures of the Wishing Chair books, I know not everyone likes Enid Blyton, but we really love these. I only just started really taking note of what she had read and enjoyed at about age 7 though, so I can't really recall what else she enjoyed at 6.

    I have had good luck searching for book lists for gifted girls, books with strong female characters, empowering books for girls etc, and the Amelia Bloomer feminist literature lists.

  4. #3


    As a fantasy fan, I would recommend these Pratchett books for kids.... good storylines without a lot of violence or explicit romance. The Bromeliad Trilogy (Truckers, Diggers, Wings) is about a band of gnomes who live (Sort of Borrower style) amongst a department store, which closes so they have to find their way in the world.
    The Tiffany Aching 5 book series - Starting with The Wee Free Men. Tiffany is a precocious tween who has to rescue her little brother (and the prince) from the elven queen.

    If you dont mind twaddle, there are always the library "whats popular" shelves. The Erin Hunter series about cats has been popular with the elementary set around here, but it does have more violence and "matings / pairings" in it. All depends on your level of comfort, I guess. The Rick Riordan books with the ancient pantheon are there, too.

    For more nourishing fodder, there are plenty of book lists. MENSA Young Readers program gives you a free t-shirt when you finish reading the books on their list.
    We have also had good luck with the books on the BraveWriter Arrows list.
    We typically alternate one literature book with one my boy chooses (currently working through Harry Potter, which I consider twaddlish).

    I wouldnt get too involved with feeding her classics at this age though. Books written long enough ago to be considered classics generally have big words and tedious narration compared to nowadays.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  5. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    The Bromeliad Trilogy (Truckers, Diggers, Wings) is about a band of gnomes who live (Sort of Borrower style) amongst a department store, which closes so they have to find their way in the world.
    Will have to try this one out, I tried her with the Wee Free Men and it did not click, but something Borrower style she may like. I loved/love reading fantasy but sadly my daughter does not, she prefers fiction about historical events or people and stories about life. It means lots of searching for books as everything I liked as a child she does not. Another series she has really loved is fiction about the various Queens of England, I can't remember what they were called or who they were by though.

    We tried the Mensa list and got out a whole lot of them from the library but she never liked them enough to read most of them, quite a few of those ones are older.

    You twaddle is way less twaddle-ish than our current selection, the Geronimo Stilton series, I try to limit it but it some how ends up around a ratio of 6:1 in favor of the mouse.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Enlightened JenWrites's Avatar
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    May 2012


    I'll throw Ivy + Bean out there. And the Ramona series.
    Kali: 5/03
    J.C.: 8/11
    Homeschooling since: 6/12

  7. #6


    I'm not sure if someone has been pointing you to the YA section or something, but MG books in general don't have an issue with violence or romance as major themes. There are exceptions, of course, but you should feel fairly comfortable with everything on the MG shelves if that's your only guidelines.

    Of course, some MG fiction can still have dark themes - there are books about bullying, the Holocaust or other dark historical periods, child abuse, learning disabilities and struggles, death of friends or family members... But it's handled in a way that's appropriate for elementary schoolers. You may want to look at what she's grabbed. But overall you shouldn't need to worry about finding books at that level that are okay for a 6 yo.

    Look at the Newbery lists. Look at the Mensa list. Look at whatever is on the bestseller lists. Nearly anything that's middle grades should be okay. Just steer clear of the YA books.
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  8. #7


    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
    Most books by Beverly Cleary, including Mitch and Amy and the Ramona books
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge by Judy Blume

  9. #8


    Little House books, Start with the big woods. Anne of Green Gables, Rebeca of Sunny Brook Farms, The Secret Garden. and A little Princess are good to. If she's not quite up to them "Great Illustrated Classics" has them at a slightly lower reading level.

  10. #9


    I'm so happy to see this post. My little one is 8 and we have a hard time finding books that she'll enjoy, but that are age appropriate as well. I've gotten some pretty good ideas from this list. We've read BFG together and she's just asked for 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and A Wrinkle In Time. I'm not sure of the reader level of those yet, but maybe your little one will like them?

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Recommemdations for elementary books for young gifted reader