7 Year Old Boy Who Reads Well - Any Book Recommendations?

Updated on April 03, 2008
E.B. asks from Seattle, WA
62 answers

Hi! My seven year old boy is in first grade and loves to read. He reads a lot and reads well - about a fifth grade level. We're running out of ideas for decent books that interest and challenge him, but that don't make him grow up too much. Any suggestions?

Any tips on balancing his desire to slip away into his own literary world and being a part of the family?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Portland on

Hi E.,
Have you thought about taking him to the museum downtown.
Theres lots to read and learn about Albany. I learned a lot when I was there last week. That way he can spend time with you and learn about Albany history at the same time. Theres an area with old newspapers you can page through. He might get a kick out of that. Maybe the library is a good place to go too. That way the younger ones can play too.
My 10 year grandson loves to read about the Oregon Trail.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.M.

answers from Seattle on

How about the Magic TreeHouse books by Mary Pope Osborne?
She's also written a kid-friendly version of The Odyssey, which my now 8 year old daughter and I have read at least once and alo have listened to it on tape.
Also, books by Caroline Lawrence--she writes mysteries about children based in ancient Rome.
Or, how about the Wishbone books?-especially if he likes dogs?

Hope this helps....G.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Richland on

I don't know what level of reading this is, but I loved the box car children series. There is also the Hardy boys. I think every boy likes some mystery and both of these series are about that.
Good luck.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.A.

answers from Seattle on

I was a fast reader and read the Chronicles of Narnia books when I was in 1st-2nd grade. They are at about a 6th grade reading level so they should be a bit challenging for him, but well within his reach :)

Some other books I enjoyed reading when I was his age were the Boxcar Children books. They were a little easy for me, but the stories are great and interesting. I enjoyed the Bobbsey Twins books as well. Both of those series have boys as well as girls for main characters and should appeal to a little boy.

I read Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Bloom in 2nd grade. It's the first (I think) book with Fudge. I enjoyed all of Beverly Cleary's books when I was in 1st grade and up as well. Your son might not care so much for the Ramona books, but Henry and Ribsy and the other Henry books would be great for a 7-year old boy!

I started reading the Hardy Boys books when I was in 3rd grade, so that might be a series to think about in the next couple of years (probably not quite yet though since the Hardy Boys are teens - nothing inappropriate, but would be more interesting to an older child, I would think).

All of these books were written quite a long time ago and don't have anything inappropriate for a 7 year old in them. Oh, the Henry Reed books by Keith Robertson are great also! I'm just re-reading Heny Reed Inc. right now which is the first book. Very funny books!

The Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald are great also, though maybe better for an 8 or 9 year old.

I hope some of those are books you haven't already thought of! I'm not sure how to get him to spend more time with the family... I was the same way at his age though. My dad would often engage me in conversations about books I was reading since he loved to read also. That helped pry me away :) Going on family trips helped also. I would get to read on the way there and then spend time with my family once we arrived.

Best wishes! It can be very challenging to keep a young bookworm engaged.

~B.

ETA - I talked to my husband who was also an advanced reader and he recommended The Phantom Tollbooth (he read this when he was 7) which is a rather Alice in Wonderland-type story except with a little boy as the main character and many puns and riddles based on grammar and numbers and such.

He also reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown books which we both used to enjoy reading!

He also seconded all the books I mentioned above :)

I remembered the book Homer Price by Robert McCloskey after I posted as well. It's a very good and funny book that I enjoyed very much when I was 8 or so!

Best wishes, once more!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from Anchorage on

School books work great. Science and math if he likes them, I find them at thrift stores. You could also encourage him to write. Get a notebook and you start; always leave off at a clifhanger and have him continue then leave a clifhanger for you. It may be a never ending story!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.E.

answers from Portland on

That is great! I loved to read when I was a kid too here were/are some of my favorites:

Three Book Series:
Indian in the Cupboard - Lynne Reid Banks
Secret of the Indian - Lynne Reid Banks
The Return of the Indian - Lynne Redi Banks

Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls
Old Yeller - Fred Gipson
Riding Freedom - Pam Munoz Ryan
Boy - Roald Dahl
Can I get There By Candlelight? - Jean Slaughter Doty
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
All Judy Blume kids books
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - Kate Douglas Wiggin

Three Book Series:
My Father's Dragon - Ruth Stiles Gannett
Elmer and the Dragon - Ruth Stiles Gannett
Dragons of Blueland - Ruth Stiles Gannett

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from Seattle on

There are so many...
I like the Chronicles of Narnia or any of the classics like Huckleberry Finn, The Wizard of Oz, Tom Sawyer.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (or any of the Dahl books).
James and the Giant Peach, Harry Potter, The Hardy Boys, Lemony Snicket, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Goosebumps, or any of the Tales of the 4th Grade Nothing series. Or even Garfield if he is into Comics.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Spokane on

Talking Animals books my kids liked The books are all 5th grade

Baker, E.D. The Frog Princess.
Bauer, Marion Dane Runt.
Collins, Suzanne Gregor the Overlander.
Finney, Patricia I, Jack.
George, Jean Frightful’s Mountain.
Gleitzman, Morris Toad Rage.
Hunter, Erin Into the Wild.
Jacques, Brian Redwall.
James, Mary Shoebag.
Jarvis, Robin The Dark Portal.
Lasky, Kathryn The Capture.
Leonard, Elmore A Coyote’s in the House.
Lowry, Lois Stay! Keeper’s Story.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds The Grand Escape.
Oppel, Kenneth Silverwing.

Adventure & Survival
Aiken, Joan The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
Blackwood, Gary Wild Timothy.
Bodett, Tom Williwaw!
Campbell, Eric The Place of Lions.
Creech, Sharon The Wanderer.
Edwards, Julie Andrews Dragon: Hound of Honor.
Fenner, Carol The King of Dragons.
Fleischman, Sid The Giant Rat of Sumatra.
George, Jean C. My Side of the Mountain.
Haddix, Margaret Running Out of Time.
Harrison, Michael It's My Life.
Hesse, Karen The Music of Dolphins.
Hobbs, Will The Big Wander.
Hyde, Dayton Island of the Loons.
Ibbotson, Eva Journey to the River Sea.
Kehret, Peg Earthquake Terror.
Konigsburg, E.L. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Korman, Gordon Shipwreck.
Lawrence, Iain The Wreckers.
Matthews, L.S. Fish.
Mazer, Harry The Cave Under the City.
Moeri, Louise Save Queen of Sheba.
Neale, Jonathan Himalaya.
Paulsen, Gary Hatchet.
Phleger, Marjorie Pilot Down, Presumed Dead.
Ruckman, Ivy Night of the Twisters.
Sachar, Louis Holes.
Shahan, Sherry Frozen Stiff.
Smith, Roland The Cryptid Hunters.
Snicket, Lemony The Bad Beginning.
Stone, Jeffery S. Tiger.
Taylor, Theodore The Cay.
Whitesel, Cheryl Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale.

I always ask them to tell me about the books they are reading, my kids love to play out there books, and sometimes if we read a book as a family, then all the kids can play it out...

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.L.

answers from Portland on

I was just about this age myself when I developed a love for reading. For me it was Nancy Drew. Maybe he would like The Hardy Boys. They are detective novels that have never gone out of style. Don't get the paperback teenage version; get the older hardback versions. And I wouldn't worry too much about him retreating into his own literary world. I have a photo my mother took of me sitting on my bed with a pile of books on one side and a pile of food on the other. I loved reading! My mom encouraged it, taking me to the library and letting me read just about anything I could get my mind around. She was careful about romance-type stuff though, and boys can be even more sensitive to this. I would recommend keeping an eye on what he's reading, but don't stop him from reading. I would spend entire days in my room, especially in the winter when there wasn't much else to do. But then summer would come... My love for reading and ability to comprehend over 400 words per minute has helped me hugely in life. I had a healthy social life in high school and college, got excellent grades, went on to manage a fitness facility, and now I am a SAHM who reads to her kiddo every day! I would love to see her spend hours reading as opposed to hours playing video games or going to the mall. As an adult, reading is my healthy escape. When my married life gets a little rocky, I pick up a book instead of a drink. I escape into my book for a couple hours instead of running away. Your son is discovering a new interest that can only help him in life. Just think... a young scholar! What a blessing! Oh, and if you or other family members make a point of reading some of his same favorites, you'll have plenty to talk about when he does come out of hiding :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.C.

answers from Spokane on

Your library should have a list of Newbury (sp?) and other award winning books... Newbury is given to children's books and, in my experience, is a very good indication of quality. Caldecott is another award, but that may be for illustration... or I may have them confused... but the librarian will know!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.A.

answers from Portland on

No one's mentioned the Hardy Boys mysteries yet?!? I was reading Nancy Drew at your son's age, so the Hardy Boys should be at his level. Good clean stuff.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hello E.!

Great job, mom, with your son's ability to read. I would bet that you have read to hiom consistently! Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt has grea book recommends for differing ages and abilities!

Perhaps playing board games with him, taking him out to nature on walks, going to museums, doing crafts with him and such would help - spending time with the important people in his world.

Hope you find this helpful! Blessings, K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.E.

answers from Portland on

My son loved the read it to believe it books. He was first grade at the time and read at a high school level. He loved them. They were about a 5th grade level. He still loved them and they are a great history lesson! My son wasn't into history at the time. Also he loved Brian Jaques (sp) books the redwall ones.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.K.

answers from Seattle on

Not sure what age level exactly this series is for, but I personally LOVE the Redwall books by Brian Jaques. You probably already know about them, but just in case you don't... And have fun! I'm excited for my daughter to learn to read (she's three) so I can relive all my childhood favorites.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Corvallis on

I don't know what level my son (recently turned 8) is reading at, but he sure loves reading, too. I recommend anything by EB White, which maybe he's already read.

Pippi Longstocking

Despereaux

The Far Flung Adventures of Fergus Crane,
" " " of Hugo Pepper
" " " of Corby Flood

Peter and the Starcatchers
Peter and the Shadow Theives
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

The Indian in the Cupboard

The Giants and the Joneses

Drift House

The Last Dragon

The Incredible Journey

I'm interested to read other's recommendations, too!
Happy reading!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.P.

answers from Richland on

My Husband loved the Gary Paulsen books, Hatchet, Brian's Winter, and The River. They are very interesting, adventurous, and clean. I think they are about 5th grade level. A great place to get used and even new books, is www.vegsource.com. If you go to the veg-swap homeschooling section, I have seen pages and pages of books listed by some moms for sale for about $1 each. At that price you could get a variety, and not waste alot of money if he wasn't interested in some of them. You may try to designate an amount of time each day that he may read for pleasure, and after that he must read only educational books, or must read to his siblings, he might end up chooseing not to read so much on his own. I think reading is a very wholesome pasttime, and would not want to discourage it, but maybe just direct him towards makeing his own choice about how much to read.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Richland on

E.;

Congradulations! It's not often that we have children who love to read. Our Kody reads at that level as well. I'm not sure what you are looking for in reading material, so my suggestion is that you get him a library card, take him so you can watch his choices carefully. In giving your OK to his choices you can still know that what he's reading will still advance knowledge. Westerns give history of our country, suspense will help with deductive reasoning like in the Hardy boys, Sugar Creek Gang, Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prarie. Old text books for 2nd or 3rd grade in Social Studies or History. Dinosaurs are Kody's favorite we've collected over 50 books ranging from 1st to 6th grade he reads those huge names over and over retaining all the info.
At our library the books can be kept out as long as 3 weeks. You can use this as a reward to help him excell in areas that are not as advanced as his reading. You can use how many he gets to check out as a reward also.
Happy days are ahead for both of you as your son teaches his younger sibblings the joy of reading. Have him read to them each day no matter their age and he will pass on his gift. Please don't hold him back as this is really a gift from God and you could possible set him back in other areas by not honoring this gift.
When the library runs out of books at his interest level hit the thrift stores, they sell books at .50 each and you can have books for the other children. Look for garage sale adds that say home schools books they are usually reasonable.
Good Luck and God Bless
C. C

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Spokane on

The Little Prince. Best book ever written. Written for adults but disguised as a children's book.

Lininy Snickets Series of unfortunate Events.

All These may be a little advanced for him, but worth a try.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.M.

answers from Portland on

If you haven't already taken him the your local library and gotten him a library card, then that is what I would suggest. The librarians are great at suggesting books to read. If you are a Christian family they can also send you in that direction for books. What a wonderful gift your son has.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Seattle on

A couple of books I loved as a Kid, and I am not sure on maturity level of what you wnat him reading or if he has read them. Anyway, "Where The Red Fern Grows", "The Indian in the Cupboard" and we just bought our son (he won't read for awhile he is only 15 months!) "The Dangerous Handbook For Boys", we got it from Costco. It telss them how to make paper airplanes, forts, etc. . .Everything boys should know and did back before gaming systems and computers.
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.W.

answers from Portland on

Hello E.:

My seven year old daughter is also an enthusiastic reader and loves Hank Zipzer books, by Henry Winkler. They are written for Elementary school age but are about 130pgs each, so they are better for children who love longer stories. Good luck in your quest.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.J.

answers from Seattle on

My 7 year old is an advanced reader as well. I kind of listen to what he's interested in learning about and then we go to the library and find lots of books on the subject. He was very into US Presidents for a while and biographies so he read a lot of those. There are also quite a few magazines in the kids section of the library that you can check out. Those might be good for interacting with the family. You all could read an article, or he could read it to you and then discuss it. My son quotes us some pretty interesting info from magazine articles. My son also has enjoyed the Magic Treehouse Series, the Choose Your Own Adventure Series and the Warrior Series (by Erin Hunter). Most of all, have fun with it and enjoy it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Seattle on

Hi E.,
Roald Dahl books are fantastic. I read them all as a child (I was also an avid reader). As for family time, my mom made a point for us to eat diner together at the tabe with the TV off. We also always had Sunday evening BBQ. No matter what was happening in the world or our busy lives, we always came together as a family on Sundays for dinner. We would listen to my parents' records and they would tell us about their childhoods as songs from their pasts brought up memories. My brother and I really got to know our parents, recent American history and music history and have a deep love of music old and new. We would also occasionally have a "picnic" in the living room. We would get out a blanket, some games and eat dinner on the blanket and play games together as a family.

E.S.

answers from Richland on

Just an idea, but read the books he reads. Then you will have something to talk about that he is interested in and you know about. Margaret Haddix and E. L. Konigsburg are excellent but challenging authors. Luis Sachar and Sharron Creech write unique, captivating books. With books like Harry Potter the Series of Unfortunate Events, you could even read beforehand to screen them.
What kind of book does he tend to read the most (i.e. mystery, adventure, silly...)? I could give you a few ideas. I LOVE books and I screen for the library at the school where I work.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Seattle on

Not knowing what your son likes to read (or what you consider too old for him), I'm not sure what to suggest...but there are THOUSANDS of books for him, excellent books for middle grade readers, and the list of good books is growing all the time. I would taking a list of books he loves to the library...and find other books by those authors, or let him take home books in the same sections (most libraries have a separate Juvenile area, apart from the YA, which might be a bit too old). Why not take some of the more questionable books home yourself, and read through them? That would give you two something to talk about. A friend of mine reads books aloud to her kids...even the chapter books, and they all get hooked on them together.

What a fabulous difficulty! I wish you luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Portland on

My six year old doesn't read, yet. But I've been reading him chapter books. We like anything by Beverly Cleary and the Freddy series (Freddy Goes to Florida, Freddy and the Men from Mars, etc.) Oh, and for something slightly easier, the Nate the Great detective series.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.A.

answers from Eugene on

If he likes sports, Mike Lupica is a great auther. His books are more for 5th grade level. I would also say Harry Potter books, Series of Unfortunate Events books. And maybe have "book discussions". At night my sons and I talk about the books we are all reading. My eight year old is reading a lot of Matt Christopher books lately--both our boys are sports lovers! He is reading a Naked Brothers Band Book (they are a couple boys who have a kids serie on TV), and is really getting into Spiderwick Chronicls. Our 10 year old is reading The Mike Lupica series that I mentioned above. Good luck! J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Seattle on

My son is in 6th grade and is a good reader but does have a hard time finding books that keep his interest. We recently found a series that he LOVES! It's the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series. This is the first time he couldn't wait to get the next books in the series.

The Lightening Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titans Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth (releases May 2008)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.T.

answers from Portland on

My oldest loves to read and my youngest who is starting to like it too. I am going to second the redwall series by Brian Jacques. It is a series of 13 books. Try to have him read them in order but it doesn't matter to much if he doesn't. Most school libraries have them too.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.G.

answers from Portland on

Good job E.!

How about reading the encyclopedia? - or pick a theme and study about something specific. "Fun" reading doesn't have to be all fantasy. My daughter loved one particular issue of National Geographic that had a feature on Gypsies. She read it many times. The world is so full of wonderful things. Let him discover some of them!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.R.

answers from Portland on

My nephew is really into the Boxcar kids series. My 8 yr old just read his first one and he enjoyed it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.N.

answers from Medford on

I am a homeschooling mom, so I am constantly looking for resources like these. Your best bet is to find websites that have good booklists. Sonlight.com has a literature-based homeschool curriculum that has fabulous book selections. I do not use their curiculum, just their booklists. Also, the book, "Honey for a Child's Heart," by Gladys Hunt, has some good booklists for various age groups. Simplycharlottemason.com has great booklists, too. I know of a number of other websites that have wonderful booklists, so please email me at [email protected]____.com if you would like to have some more. The literature listed in most of these sites are what Charlotte Mason homeschoolers call "living books," meaning books that are of good literary quality, are timeless, informative, interesting, and morally helpful. Please let me know if I can help you out with more resources... I would love to. What could be better than a child who loves to read!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.B.

answers from Seattle on

Encyclopedia Brown series comes to mind.

My son is 13 and I still cannot keep him in enough books, he reads so fast.

Talk to your school and local librarian as well. Check out giftlit.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Seattle on

I enjoyed the Sugar Creek Gang books at his age. They were written at a time when gang just meant a bunch of boys who hang out together. These books are very family oriented (Paul Hutchins, the author, is a Christian.) and should stretch his mind enough to make him ask you questions.

As for keeping him part of the family, when I was slipping off into my own little world, my parents put restrictions on my reading time. If I was reading instead of doing my chores or coming to the table, I did get my book taken away. And every now and again I was ordered outside for fresh air, exercise, and sociability. Inquire about his reading. Ask him what his favorite characters are doing and how he feels about their actions. If you make contact with his world, it will be easier for him to interact with this world.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Spokane on

As the mother of a child who actually got a note sent home from school that my son "reads to much", I can understand the joy of a child who loves to read. :) My son was very into science fiction and fantasy -- Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Artemis Fowl books, and a set I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of. So -- methods of getting him interested in other things: attend a Renaissance or SCA faire, and get him actually involved with a guild -- the books come to life, and he's learning skills that many have forgotten, and learning how to present them to other people. :) Listen to books on tape as a family, while you are doing projects or chores together (it goes much faster and easier). Read books aloud as a family -- this is great for long car trips. And don't worry. :) They grow up just fine - albeit sometimes bored with the normal school system. :)

Angel :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Seattle on

Go to Chinaberry.com. It is a wonderful website/book seller that is very selective about the books it offers. But the best thing is they give a detailed "review" of each book and group them by both reading level AND age-appropriateness. We have found some wonderul books and series we never would have heard of otherwise. They have a specific mark for 12+ -- which indicates emotional maturity level -- and specifically talk about the issue of having a child who reads above grade level, but needing to make sure the content is not too intense, etc. You will definitely find some challenging material for your 1st grader. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Eugene on

Has he read Brian Jacque? There's also the whole OZ series and Narnia series, Treasure Island, the REAL Peter Pan book. I have found librarians more than helpful in this regard too.

Perhaps one way of engaging him in the family is to have a couple of you read a book together. We used to get the whole family into the picture with comic books - everyone reading a particular character.

have fun!
Sarah

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Portland on

The Box Car Children Series are good for kids. Probably available in the school library.
Also, Hardy Boy series mysteries are good for kids who read well beyong first grade.

About Me
First Grade Teacher with 9 month old grandson

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.V.

answers from Corvallis on

Dear E. B.,
There are a lot of great books out there.
The Big Red series by Kilgard (I don't think I spelled the author's name right.)
The Ladd series
The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley
The Hardy Boys series
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques
The Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting
The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingals Wilder
The Wizard of Oz series
The Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
Classics such as Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels, Robinson Crusoe, Mark Twain's books etc.
Historical stories that aren't too intense
Any how-to-do-it book in one of his interests. You make trigger a new hobby!
And if it matches in with your beliefs, a modern translation of the bible. There are tons of good stories there, if you avoid the 'begats'.
To get him involved with the family start by talking over the books he is reading with him. Discuss their messages/values and how he felt about them. Did he understand them? This might be a good time to pass on interesting family stories, that might lead to other family activities/adventures of your own...
My kids were bright and read well. But they would come out and be part of the family too. At the same time, they would sometimes bury themselves in a book for a long time.
Don't worry, but give him interesting books that will lead to other interests. He is bright enough that he will be reaching out, with that active imagination, in many directions, not all of them will be in books.
L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.T.

answers from Portland on

Dear E.,
I used to be like your son and my parents had the same concerns. My Mom & Dad & teachers started me on the Newbery Award Winners list. They will expand his vocabulary (in a good way) & get him thinking. They MAY be a little advanced right now, but YOU know what your son can handle. The books are well written with appropriate stoy lines & content - at least the one's my parents let me read. To get a complete list go to Google & type in "Newbery Award Winners". I really enjoyed many of the books & now, at 31 still have some of the same books on my shelves. Other series that were great are The Boxcar Children, Ramona the Pest & other "Ramona" books & as a read aloud series, The Chronicals of Narnia.

Hope that helps!
J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Richland on

My son loved the "Hank the cowdog" series, probably about a 4-4.5 grade level, and as for the wanting to read all the time, I can totally relate! What I do for myself and my daughter is that I designate time before bed (relax and read is what I call it) after jammies are on and teeth are brushed. This seems to work very well for my daughter who is in 2nd grade and will read all day long if you let her!

I hope this helps!

S. S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Eugene on

My boys love to read, too. Here are some of their favorites:

Hank the Cowdog. These are also fun to hear with Books on CD. Good for road trips.

Brian Jacques
CS Lewis Narnia series.
Gary Paulsen: Both the "Hatchet" and "Francis Tucket" series.
Eoin Colfer

Enjoy!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Portland on

I was an early advanced reader as well, and my absolute favorite books of all time are the Moomintroll books by Tove Jansson. They're mostly chapter books with a few fun pen and ink drawings thrown in.

The books are about a family of Moomintrolls (little hippo-like creatures) and thier fanciful freinds. They live in Moomin Valley and have all sorts of adventures.

There are about 10 of them I think, and they have just enough whimsy to keep a young child riveted, but are also interesting enough that I'm loving rereading all of them after ordering them through Amazon for my 2 year old son. I can't wait until he's old enough to enjoy them with me.

Just a note: Tove Jansson is a Swedish author who wrote these books in the 40's and 50's. They were very popular in Sweden, and she even had a Moomin comic strip for many years. Moomin fans are fiercely loyal, and I've even met 2 with Moomin character tattoos.

I also really enjoyed Lloyd Alexander's Black Cauldron fantasy series. They may be a bit challenging for your little guy right now, but keep them in mind for the future.

Good for you for raising a reader!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.W.

answers from Richland on

E.,

Any professional children's librarian (or his school librarian) should be able to help with a lot of good ideas. What about Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James & the Giant Peach) EB White (Charlotte's Web)
Lots of animal books - Misty of Chincoteague, Lassie Come Home. The more contemporary animal stories, Shiloh, Star in the Storm, Kavik. My son read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books up 'til Laura was a young adult (I don't think he's read The Long Winter). He also re-reads them, esp. Farmer Boy about Almanzo Wilder's youth.

I honestly wouldn't worry about him growing up too fast. Unless you prevent him from watching any commercial TV, contemporary movies, or play video games - it's too late!

I think he's much better off in his own literary world than he is playing with his younger sibs if he's that hooked on reading!! Plus, you can steer him towards books about great characters like Oliver Twist (not quite yet) or Tom Sawyer. BTW there are abridged editions of a lot of those American classics.

You have a HUGE gift in having a reader. Don't let his school hold him back either. They should accomodate him, if necessary send him up a grade for reading time. Even then he might have to work with the highest readers in that grade. (In Richland they don't usually skip the kids more than a grade for social reasons).

I've known a slew of 7-year-olds who read the Harry Potter books. My kids would have had nightmares (heck the third book gave ME nightmares). And truthfully, I doubt a kid that age would get a lot of the political undertones or pick up on the amazing language. But they are exciting and funny, and sweet books that teach so much about loyalty and honor and friendship.

They're so extremely well written, the funny names and characters and the minute details are so clever. They're absolutely astonishing, especially if you compare them to some of the formula junk that Scholastic pumps out. If you don't think they'd scare him, they could be his summer project. BTW - if you have not read them, you should. I couldn't put them down, nor could most of my "mom" friends. I've had friends who used them as read-aloud's but there are too many characters and voices and I didn't have the energy.

My son, almost 12, will sometimes will 'slip away' - nothing thrills me more. When he was ten he spent a camping trip in Westport up in the trees and hiding in the tent or van reading H.P. books. Then he'd come play with the other kids (all younger) or visit with the adults. HP is the only fantasy he's read, preferring non-fiction. He just discovered a series of sci-fi books written by an author from WA, Ted Butler. But he read all five in about a month. The school libraries are horribly outfitted for little boys who don't like fiction or fantasy!

I say, nothing is more important than reading, chores and animal care. If he wants to go read, more power to him!

Outside time is also very important, so consider having some required outside time if he's really a hardcore bookworm. Maybe even create a reading spot in your yard just to get him out in the fresh air and sun (when you get it).

My daughter has a visual learning disability. She's almost caught up to grade level reading. But it's still just hard enough that she's only 'sliped away' and read on her own two or three times. It breaks my heart to think she may never enjoy reading enough to visit the far off places and meet the wonderful people in so many books.

One last thought - in our house, you can't see a movie until you've read the book. We've gotten through the Chronicals of Narnia, Hoot, Holes, and others for that reason.

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.K.

answers from Seattle on

You might like books by Ben Mikaelsen. They are on a variety of subjects, but well written. His website is www.benmikaelsen.com and has a lot of information. I have met him on 2 separate occasions: he was a speaker at 2 different elementary schools. He is very interesting and does an incredible amount of research for his books. Also, to balance his literary world and "real" world, you might encourage him to share what he is reading (perhaps give the family book reviews including rating each book).

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.F.

answers from Portland on

There is a wonderful children's series by Alexander McCall Smith (well known for his adult books) about Max and Maddy, young brother and sister, who solve mysteries on their own. The first in the series is The Chocolate Money Mystery. Our 8 year old granddaughter loved it! Another highly recommended series is the Dog Watch ones by Mary Casanova---these are based on a real town, Ranier, Minnesosta, that actually has a dog watch team!
One of the best ways to involve him with the family might be to have him read some of the stories out loud to the rest of you. :-)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.Y.

answers from Portland on

Chapter books are great. A to Z Mysteries is a great kid detective series, at the Portland Library. With chapter books, it's east to set a limit, 2 chapters, then join the family for some fun.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.E.

answers from Corvallis on

Hank the cowdog books by Erickson, absolutely hilarious. Might be a little hard for him but he should be able to read them within the next year or so. No worries just lots of fun.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Seattle on

Check the Newberry list at your local library.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.Z.

answers from Portland on

E.,
Try "Nose from Jupiter" and the Roald Dahl books. You might also try reading "The Narnia Chronicles". My 5th grader is reading the "Bunnicula" books and just read "The Spiderwick Chronicles". My son has Dyslexia and reading has been a challenge. We try to keep it light and fun.
Another thing to read would be anything Science related like Butterflys and Moths-Reptiles and Amphibians-Birds...

Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Portland on

I ran into a similar issue with books being too grown up for my daughter and got great suggestions from our local librarian. Your son I am sure is into different things than my 6 year old daughter, but my point is that you should ask your librarian. They can usually give you a few appropriate series.

As for balancing family and reading, I wouldn't limit him too much. If he chooses to read instead of playing Legos or video games, that should be okay. But, like with toys, his books shouldn't be welcome at the dinner table, after lights out, or while you are trying to talk to him.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from Portland on

Hi E., have you given him the new Spiderwick series yet? Those books are very cute, and would be great for his age. Plus as a reward if he reads them all, you could rent the movie that was out a few months ago for him. Also, the Chronicles of Narnia series is a good one. When I was younger I also liked those books where you get to choose the next path, so you could re-read them and get a different story each time. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Portland on

Talk to the school librarian or your local library. My 8 year old is also at a 5th grade reading level. Some of the books he likes are The Magic Tree House Books. Hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.F.

answers from Seattle on

Check out the Books for Kids blog on blogspot, written by a retired children's librarian. She gives great reviews, and you get a good sense of the books, and why they are or are not appropriate for your reader. http://booksforkidsblog.blogspot.com/

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.L.

answers from Anchorage on

My 8 year old daughter is a good reader as well. She loves the Peter Pan and the Star Catcher series, also Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. I just ordered the Golden Compass Series and we started the Spiderwick Chronicles. You could check out Barnes and Noble.com and look at what they have listed for his reading level for suggestions, also the library idea is wonderful. As for balancing his desire to read with family time. Have you tried reading as a family (either out loud or individually)? Once a week (usually fridays) we have family night where we all do something as a family (board games, movies, reading), it is great quality family time. Good Luck!
S. L

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Richland on

My 8-year-old grandson has been reading The Magic Treehouse series books. I even enjoy reading them to him. They're fun as well as educational.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.A.

answers from Seattle on

Hi! I have 5 kids and the ones who are old enough are avid readers. My 9 year old loves the Redwall series by Brian Jaques. They have kept him busy for over a year now because he reads them over and over. And there's a series by Ralph Moody starting with Little Britches. Ah! My husband overheard me reading this to the kids and was so entranced that he ended up reading the rest to our family. Your son could read them by himself, but you'd be missing out.

But for a truly good book list look into the Sonlight homeschool catalog. You can find it online, or get a print catalog. It is a curriculum company, but their curriculum is based on literature. So they're selling tons of great books arranged by age/class level. I homeschool with this curriculum and my kids read these books repeatedly. They are good books. Not just something to entertain, but rich with history and intelligent literature.

And you are right to be concerned with an over interst in books. We are constantly reminding the kids that the people around them are more important than the stories in their books. Sometimes they just have to lose the privilege of reading. In a time when everyone is scraping to get their kids to read, I know that sounds odd, but it is our experience.

Hope that helps.

R.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.J.

answers from Seattle on

What a lot of great suggestions you've received from other subscribers!!

A couple more that I did not see recommended are:

"The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillio (a terrific author with other books he might like when he's older too; and she's a Newberry winner)

"Dragon Rider" by Cornelia Funke (also has other books he might like when he's older)

"Tal: His Marvelous Adventures With Noom-Zor-Noom" by Paul F. Cooper and Ruth Reeves
this is an amazing yet little known book written in 1929.

And if you find books he likes, you can go to Amazon's website and put in a book he likes and then if you scroll down, there are other book suggestions of that sort that might help further your search successfully.

And yes, even though my kids were at an age that they could read themselves, we still read books together.

But I would also say to implement game night every week or every other week. This is a great family bonding tradition- not knowing the ages of your other kids, this could just be something for the two of you to begin with.

Have fun!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Seattle on

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl! My daughter was reading like a whiz in first grade as well and this was a favorite (It's also one of our favorite read-a-loud with the family books - my four year old laughed and laughed when we read this). All the Roald Dahl books are great! I would also recommend Beverly Cleary books - The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ralph S. Mouse, Henry and Ribsy, etc. He might be a little young for Harry Potter, but my daughter read all of them in second grade. The Goosebumps books are great for boys.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from New York on

When I was a kid, we ALL loved to read. My mom made sure the classics were available - we especially loved the Chronicles of Narnia. As far as keeping him "grounded", we had set times that were for family - we had to be there for dinner. We had to be there for evening prayer. No books could accompany us to these things. We could take a book in the car, but not into a restaurant or movie. That way, there WAS forced "conversation time." We also loved to play outside, acting out our books. What about encouraging acting? That way it's reading, AND it's not just "in the book"? I also loved to read Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid...any of the classics were great, because they were clean.

Hope that helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.H.

answers from Seattle on

There is a book called Books for Girls and they give a synopsis about each book. I would look into that. Also, I don't know what area you live in, but All For Kids bookstore on Blakeley, behind University Village, has a fantastic staff. I get suggestions from both places on a regular basis for my daughter (who's now 12) and my gifted middle school classroom.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.H.

answers from Portland on

There are alot of christian books that are written for kids that are adventure or stories about the heros of the scriptures that are very exciting, but there are also great old classic literature like Huck Finn and The Christmas Carol and Where the Red Fern Grows frequent the library and help him pick out books or have him join a book club for his reading level. Also pick a book that you can all read together and take turns reading to each other. We did that when our children were young and now they all have fond memories of reading as a family and they all love reading. Reading together as a family is very bonding and will spark many wonderful discussions. Good Luck!!!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches