21 answers

Good Books for Seven Year Old

Can anyone suggest a good chapter book series for a seven year old girl?

I am struggling to find something clean and wholesome. Seems like every series I check into is in some way related to the occult or something else unacceptable (snobby girls, etc.) Magic Tree House? Thought it was great, until you get a few books in and they're talking about wizards and Merlin and spells, etc. NO. Librarian suggested Ivy and Bean...so a quick scan through that and a few chapters into the first book one of the girls is "wanting" to be a witch and cast spells. NO. We are very strict about this, for personal reasons...

...so, can you suggest a series? My seven year old girl can read fairly well...we tried Little House on the Prairie but it was a bit slow moving for her. Right now she's reading OLD books of mine...mostly Dell Young Yearling chapter books. I am just at a loss, because even things I think are safe have been polluted by "The Harry Potter" craze.

(And don't get me wrong. Stephen King is one of my fav. authors and I've read all of his books...yes, all...at least twice, some lots more than that. I just don't want to expose my child to any of it yet, due to past experience.)

Thanks! :)

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the suggestions. We've already read all the classics (Cleary, etc) but you've all given me lots of ideas for new things to try.

And I just want to explain that I am not against books full of "magic and wonder" as one mother put it...(Roald Dahl is a fav of mine) but I am against "magic" when it's put in a realistic way...as in, witches, warlocks, etc. I have a long history in my youth of pagan religion, I know how "real" many dark things are, and I'd like to steer clear of these things for now. :) Hope that helps!

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Not a series but my 8 year old boy has just discovered and is in love with Shell Silverstein. We started with me reading 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' aloud to all 3 of my kids but my 8 year old has taken to reading 'A light in the Attic' aloud to us now!

Then there are like 2 or 3 others...do you remember those books? I loved them when I was little too...they really excite the imagination!

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I don't know if they are still around, but there was a "spin-off" from The Babysitter's Club called "Babysitter's Little Sister" .... the main character is in 2nd grade, and deals with a lot of the typical grade school problems, including her parents being divorced, living at two houses, and just general little girl angst....

I realize this is an older series, but they are a good series.

What about any series dealing with animals? "Animal Ark" (the parents are vets, possibly in England), "Pony Pal" series.... Any of the "Judy Blume" series.... those would all be about that age, and appropriate.....

Yes, sometimes in these elementary books, the character has to deal with snobby girls... but that may help you lead into why the character's behavior (the snobby character) is unacceptable......

Read the books first, and that will help you decide how to approach the discussion.

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My son is 7 and he loves the Geronimo Stillton Mouse searies and Diary of a Whimpy kid.

2 moms found this helpful

Not a series but my 8 year old boy has just discovered and is in love with Shell Silverstein. We started with me reading 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' aloud to all 3 of my kids but my 8 year old has taken to reading 'A light in the Attic' aloud to us now!

Then there are like 2 or 3 others...do you remember those books? I loved them when I was little too...they really excite the imagination!

2 moms found this helpful

I don't know if they are still around, but there was a "spin-off" from The Babysitter's Club called "Babysitter's Little Sister" .... the main character is in 2nd grade, and deals with a lot of the typical grade school problems, including her parents being divorced, living at two houses, and just general little girl angst....

I realize this is an older series, but they are a good series.

What about any series dealing with animals? "Animal Ark" (the parents are vets, possibly in England), "Pony Pal" series.... Any of the "Judy Blume" series.... those would all be about that age, and appropriate.....

Yes, sometimes in these elementary books, the character has to deal with snobby girls... but that may help you lead into why the character's behavior (the snobby character) is unacceptable......

Read the books first, and that will help you decide how to approach the discussion.

2 moms found this helpful

Not a series, but you may want to check out books by Beverly Cleary - "Ramona", "The Mouse and the Motor Cycle".

They make books called the illustrated classics, which are a shorter versions of the popular children's classics and include some illustrations, "Heidi", "The Secret Garden", "Black Beauty".

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Near the end of the school, our elementary school sells the outdated reading textbooks for 25 cents. They are thick and full of a variety of stories and poems. My kids love buying these.

1 mom found this helpful

I loved the Babysitter's Club series when I was around that age. Very good books, and as some have mentioned the spin off Babysitter's Little Sisters Books. These were the first books to come to mind of wholesome books when I read your question. I read the whole Babysitter's Club series when I was around that age and remember them fondly!

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sleepover squad, animal ark, my weirder school, sophie the chatter box, animal friends, puppy place, the beirestein bears

1 mom found this helpful

Also, try books by Jake Maddox

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My girls liked the shoe series of book by Noel Streatfeild.
Dancing shoes
Theatre shoes
Skating shoes
Ballet shoes.
Also try the author Beverly Lewis. She has come out with some children's books that are also wholesome.

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I loved the Beverly Cleary books and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series.

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My favorite when I was a kid, and now my just turned 8 year old daughter loves The Boxcar Children, make sure to start with #1, and then it won't really matter the order. I volunteer in the library at my daughter's school, and other popular books are the "Animal Ark" series, and "Katie Kazoo" series.

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Hank the cowdog
wayside school series
horrible harry series
boxcar childrenseries
the romona books (ramona the pest, ellen tebbits etc)
the amber brown books (amber brown is not a color, amber brown is blue today etc)
babysitter club little sister series is great
nancy drew (although 7 might be just a little to young yet for these)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

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I read the Mandie books growing up. They were Mysteries but never scary or dark in anyway. In fact Mandy is an excellent role model. I think there are about 30 books total in the series. I just googled it and they are still being reprinted 30 years later. Must be good books!

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Ask her teacher. She will have the best recommendations based on your daughter's current reading level.
Some of our personal favorites were the EB White books (Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte's Web) and anything by Roald Dahl (but of course those are FULL of magic and wonder, so I guess that's a no-no for you.)

1 mom found this helpful

Boxcar Children would be excellent for her. And there are zillions of them so if she likes them there are plenty to keep her busy.

Ask her teacher, as someone else noted, but also ask the school librarian and the children's librarian at your local town or county library. They live for questions like this.

She also is a good age for the American Girl historic books. These are excellent both as stories, as examples of smart, strong girls who make mistakes but learn from their mistakes, and as ways to learn about history. You do not have to buy into the Amercian Girl dolls and stuff to read and enjoy these well-written books, so please don't discount them because they are tied to the larger AG enterprise. They really are good and wholesome and pretty intelligent too.

By the way -- Are you rejecting the entire Magic Tree House series based on the couple of books about Merlin? This series has MUCH more to it and the Merlin books are sort of a side series -- only a tiny part of a massive series you can dip into and out of. This series has tons of history in it (great way to get kids interested in history) and you also can get non-fiction companion books by the same author that fill in kids on the facts behind the stories. Please don't think the whole series is about magic or Merlin.

Mrslavallie,
First of all - good for you for using discernment in choosing reading materials for your daughter! That is awesome! No doubt she will benefit from it.
It has been awhile since I have read them, so I don't remember exactly what age/reading level they are geared towards, but I know The American Girl books are all very wholesome and each one focuses on a girl from a different period of history so they are fun that way too. Other ones that I remember reading growing up were the Encyclopedia Brown Mystery series, Trixie Belden books and The Happy Hollister Family (loved this series!). Good look to you and your daughter!

My (now) 8th grade daughter just LOVED the Junie B. Jones series when she was your daughter's age.It was so funny, I even read most of the books!

I don't have any book suggestions, sorry, other than perhaps reading aloud the Secret Garden, and the Little Princess.

I'm just really interested in what you said about wanting to avoid books with "realistic" magic, and your past involvement with paganism. I respect your beliefs, and your right to decide what you are or are not comfortable with. I do not wish to argue with you or persuade you to my way of thinking; I'd just like to understand your feelings more.

I read books with witches and wizards in them when I was a kid, and never thought of any of that fantasy stuff as real, nor did it ever tempt me to do....well, I don't know exactly what reading fantasy books would tempt one to do. I just loved the creativity and imagination of those stories.

My sons read Harry Potter and tons of other fantasy books, and still love them. And not one bad thing has happened as a result. They go to church with me, they are kind, responsible, affectionate, confident, mature kids who make good choices.

But they know what it is like to read a book that carries you away with delight. They know what wonder is. They love reading (which, frankly, is key to a great education), and they think, as I do, that books are wonderful.

Would you be willing to explain a little more?

There are so many good series out there. As a reading teacher, I'm always looking for series that are going to get kids hooked on reading. I always tell parents that when I make suggestions for kids, I am making those suggestions with the best possible intentions. I never recommend a book (no matter how good I think it is) if there is anything that I think a parent might not approve of. But, because I can't know what ever family thinks, I always encourage parents to preview books I suggest. All of these series I have read at least one or two of the books. Very few of these series have I read every book, so I don't know if there may be something in some of the books that might be questionable. Not knowing your daughter's reading level, interests, and maturity level, some of these suggestions may not be appropriate for her.
Sarah, Plain and Tall
My America
Ramona
American Girls
Mouse and the Motorcycle
Mercy Watson (Love these!!)
Year of the Dog
Boxcar Children
Cam Jansen
Fudge
Cul de Sac Kids (Christian series)
Harriet Bean
Nate the Great
Judy Moody
Puppy Place
Junie B Jones
Pioneer Sisters (Little House on the Prairie but aimed for a younger kids)
Magic School Bus (chapter books with a science theme)
A-Z Mysteries and The Calendar Mysteries
Pain and the Great One
Bailey Street Kids
Polk Street Kids
Amber Brown
Betsy-Tacy
The Borrowers
The Littles
Clementine
Flat Stanley
Gooney Bird
Hank the Cowdog

Also look at the website www.kidsbookseries.com and www.mymcpl.org (go to Books, Movies, Music and then go to Juvenile Series and Sequels). That is the biggest list I have ever found for a list of series books.

I haven't read all the answers yet, but one of my favorites when I was her age was The Boxcar Children. I also really liked the Hardy Boys (more action, suspense, and mystery) and Nancy Drew, but some of the later Nancy Drew books had more things about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.

Good luck and have fun!

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