Clean Reads discussion

762 views
Advanced Reader

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Katie (new)

Katie | 6 comments My daughter is going into 3rd grade but is reading at a 7-8th grade level. I am struggling to find books that are appropriate for an 8 year old but challenging and interesting at her reading level as well. She likes fantasy/fairy tale type stories as well as historical fiction. I would love any suggestions!


message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (mejojac) | 50 comments What books has she already read? That will give us an idea of what to suggest... my 11 year old son loves the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull, Farworld by J. Scott Savage, Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan, Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart Lee, Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (actually, she might like several of Jessica Day George's books), The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (about a princess who doesn't want to be a princess, so she goes to live with the dragons...) and the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. I've had the same problem with my son. He's an avid reader, but it's hard to find books that are age appropriate and at his reading level. Hope this list helps a little... I've got more if you need them ;) Good luck!


message 3: by Elizabeth (last edited Jul 29, 2010 03:35PM) (new)

Elizabeth (emarsh13) She would definitely be safe with the Shannon Hale books. What about Anne of Green Gables? She may really enjoy those. I'm guessing she's already read Harry Potter. What about the Westing Game? I'm trying to remember what I enjoyed at that age ... I remember reading a LOT of Nancy Drews and Babysitters Club books, but I think that's because there were many fewer options than there are now.

I'm a dummy!! Little Women was a favorite around that time. Has she read that? I don't remember any of Alcott's books that I didn't enjoy.


message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie | 6 comments Melissa wrote: "What books has she already read? That will give us an idea of what to suggest... my 11 year old son loves the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull, Farworld by J. Scott Savage, Chronicles of Narnia by..."

Hmm, sorry I should have specified more... She has read all the Little House books, the American Girl books, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew books and Chronicles of Narnia books. She also has read the Ramona books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach.

Thanks for the suggestions. I liked the Enchanted Forest books so I will definitely get those for her, and I will look into your other suggestions as well.


message 5: by Katie (new)

Katie | 6 comments Elizabeth wrote: "She would definitely be safe with the Shannon Hale books. What about Anne of Green Gables? She may really enjoy those. I'm guessing she's already read Harry Potter. What about the Westing Game?..."

She hasn't read the Harry Potter series... She wants to, but I'm not comfortable with how dark the series got. I think she would be fine with the first couple books, but then she will want to keep reading and I wouldn't let her read them after that.

She loved Little Women, so I will look into Alcott's other books. Thanks!


message 6: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (tesswhite) I loved all the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. They're about mice, squirrels, and other good creatures defending their abbey from rats, weasels, and other bad creatures. There's mild violence from the battles but other than that they're clean and they're really enjoyable.

Gail Carlson Levine has a lot of princess/fairytale-retellings. Ella Enchanted and The Two Princesses of Bamarre are the best.

The Black Stalion books , the Doctor Doolittle books, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, Pollyanna, the Hank the Cowdog books, the Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn Dixie.


message 7: by Emily (last edited Jul 30, 2010 10:08AM) (new)

Emily Eastman | 9 comments I was a lot like her at that age. So I read... The Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, Once Upon a Marigold (very cute, clean), try the Once Upon a Time series (Fairytale retellings, but don't let her read Spirited or Scarlet Moon those are both for more mature audiences. With every other bok in the series she should be fine.) The Sister's Grim, Half Moon investigations, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (there is a sereis of them.), Because of Winn Dixie, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and The Tale of Despereaux, The Secret Garden, The Princess Academy (Shannon Hale has some really good middle schooler books but there are some parts in the Goose Girl series that are NOT appropriate for third graders.), I would try some more Roal Dahl books if she liked them like the BFG.


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 13 comments I've had the same issue with my advanced kids and Harry Potter. We came up with a great solution for our family. Every grade of school (starting with first grade), they have the option of reading the next Harry Potter book. So, second grade they can read the second book, all the way to seventh grade for the last book. I've had one daughter that opted to postpone a year because she was getting nightmares. They usually gobble up their next Harry Potter book in September as soon as they start school. My oldest is starting 7th grade this year, so she finally gets to finish the series.


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 13 comments We're always struggling for appropriate books for our advanced readers too. I've learned that even though they could potentially read 7th grade level books in 3rd grade, they lose a lot of enjoyment out of reading that way. Even if it's clean, the subject matter isn't as interesting to them, and they stopped reading altogether because it became a chore. I've decided (the hard way) to let them be kids (to a point) and read a lot of books that may be easy for them but fun and interesting. At least they're reading, right!


message 10: by Steen (new)

Steen (steensteen) When I was in elementary school, I always read the Babysitter's Club and the Sweet Valley Girls and Twins series. (Only the "Girls" and "Twins". Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley University are most definitely not clean.) They were easy for me to read, since I was more advanced, too, but it was what entertained me. I didn't really get the subject matter in older books.

I'm trying to remember what else I read...Hmmm...Oh, I remember this book called "The Cook's Family". I really enjoyed it at the time (I think I was a fourth grader? Maybe.) But I can't remember who wrote it. It's about a Chinese family, I remember that much.

I don't know if I would have liked this series as an elementary student, but I really like "The Five Ancestors". The first book is called "Tiger"...They're by Jeff Stone. They are found in the Children's Section, so as a 17 year old, I feel weird going down the aisle, but it's totally worth it. :) I recommend them! I started them while I was in middle school, if that helps.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim (kim-the-girl) | 5 comments Andrea wrote: "We're always struggling for appropriate books for our advanced readers too. I've learned that even though they could potentially read 7th grade level books in 3rd grade, they lose a lot of enjoyme..."

I totally agree with this... my oldest fights me a lot on books that I try to get him to read, so I'm learning to let go. He is reading at a 9th grade level going into 2nd grade, but he's either not ready or not interested in stuff at his level.

Although he has gotten into The Lightning Thief (only the first one and even it, is a little dark), Harry Potter (through book 3, haven't let him venture farther), Fablehaven, Black Beauty, Stuart Little, Wizard of Oz, Spiderwick Chronicles... I'm sure I could go on, but am drawing a blank.

One that I haven't seen mentioned that we really enjoyed is The City of Ember. I have only read City of Ember and the People of Sparks but they are clean and enjoyable and quite age appropriate.


message 12: by Teresa TL (new)

Teresa TL Bruce (teresatlbruce) | 3 comments As I thought of titles to suggest I found most of them mentioned above! However, I have a couple of suggestions/ideas.

After reading all the Ember books, I recommend #s 1, 2, and 4 without reservation for your 2nd grader. (Use your judgment after preview reading #3 for yourself. Its plot does not really relate to the other three, so she would not be missing anything from it, and I think it may be disturbing at her age. You, however, know her best!)

Albert Marrin is an author who has written MANY histories found in the juvenile section of the library. His books "read like" stories and they make history INTERESTING. Again, you may wish to preview some of the war books for how detailed some parts may be.

I agree with the recommendations for the Fablehaven series, Gail Carson Levine's twists on classic fairy tales, and the Louisa May Alcott books. I also suggest the Leven Thumps series by Obert Skye, classics like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (with parent-assisted conversations about how terminology once used in the old Deep South is no longer acceptable!), The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and The Boxcar Children (a lower grade level, but FUN books with great morals).

Many of the books on the Newbery Award winners and honorees list are fantastic past and future classics.

I don't know how you feel about Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. They sound depressing at first glance (a trio of orphans, continually chased by a villain who wants their fortune, find the adults in their lives either too inept or indifferent to help them), but they are hilarious and introduce a sophisticated vocabulary to young readers.

Above all, keep reading along with her!


message 13: by joy (last edited Aug 07, 2010 07:51AM) (new)

joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* (joytotheworld) | 98 comments the little house on the prairie series might be a good choice for this age. my mom read them aloud to me during my sister's naptime, and then later i read them on my own. there are a lot of them, so that might last your AR a little while.

*nerd alert* at that age, i also enjoyed high school history, astronomy, and meteorology textbooks. you can pick these up at garage sales for a quarter.

a few other suggestions from my shelves:
wise child by monica furlong -- and its sequels
grandma's attic series by arleta richardson


message 14: by Mel (new)

Mel (melmccurdy) Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but my daughter (who is 9) loves The Mother Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick. Currently there are 3 books, with a 4th due to be published in September. Not sure if they are considered "advanced" or not, but she adores them.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Quinn (susan_kaye_quinn) | 1 comments On my blog Ink Spells, I have review middle grade (ages 8-12) books and give content ratings, to help parents find "clean" books - especially for Advanced Readers!


message 16: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 0 comments Has your daughter read Amy's Eyes? It's a big thick book (400+ pages) that young girls adore. It's literate, imaginative, engaging, and my daughter's copy looks worn out from her many rereadings of it. She was also in third grade, but reading at a much higher level, when she read it

I looked at the reviews on Goodreads and many reviewers said it was their favorite childhood book and others said it was one of their favorites.


back to top