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Moms of girls ages 7-10...help?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I need some help finding some books for my nieces (I have two boys, so I have my nephew covered!) They do not read - at all. I want to get them to, not only read more, but enjoy it. Unfortunately, I'm not as up-to-date on girl's books for this age group, so I was hoping to get some help.

Niece #1 is (will be tomorrow) 10 years old and is in third grade.
Niece #2 is 8 years old and in second grade.

They are not really interested in anything in particular. They do nothing at home besides watch tv, so I want to stay away from anything character related (i.e. Jonas Brothers, Disney, etc.) They are not strong readers at all (they have to ask my nephew, who is 7, what certain words are when doing homework), so it can't be too advanced. I would prefer a series, so if they do get interested, I can keep them going.

So, what books do/did your girls love?  
post #2 of 11

The Junie B. Jones books are easy and funny.  My dd is a little younger (6) and is enjoying them, but a slightly older kid who isn't a strong reader would likely enjoy them too.  In fact there are jokes that my dd doesn't get yet (mainly when kindergartener Junie B. messes up common sayings - my dd doesn't realize she's messed them up) but an older kid would.

post #3 of 11

I suggest a gift certificate to a book store, they may get something that isn't a book but they may also choose a book that interests them.  My dd likes American Girl books, Fairy books of any sort, and Keeker books.  For a second grade reading level you might try the Fox books (Fox in Love, Fox Outfoxed), Amelia Bedelia books, or some Amanda Pig books, these books got my dd hooked on reading happily beyond Disney and Barbie related books. 

post #4 of 11

For the 8 year old, I might suggest the Rainbow Magic series. There are a ton of  them (over 70, yes, we've read them all). The text is pretty easy, the stories are predictable (which is great for an emerging reader, dreadful for a parent :lol). The link I gave was to vol 1-7, but you could buy 1-2 to start with. (Ruby the Red Fairy is the first one, or if she's got a special interest, you could try that -- there are sports fairies, weather fairies, party fairies, color fairies, pet fairies....) There's also a Disney fairies series that aren't too bad (actually they're better written than the Rainbow magic series). They're a tiny bit more challenging in terms of text (Amazon says they're for ages 9-12, I think that's a bit too old, I'd say more like 7-9). Other ones that my kids liked at that age/reading level were:

A to Z mysteries

Cam Jansen Mysteries

 

For the 10 year old, I'm guessing more because my child that age is a boy. Books that might appeal to her and are about 4th grade reading level:

 

Animal Ark

The Main Street Series (Welcome to Camden Falls is the first)

That Babysitters Club

Anastasia Krupnik by Lowis Lowry (there's 5+ books)

 

I love the Beverly Cleary books, but those range anywhere from 4th to 6th grade in reading level. They might be fine for the older child.

I've also not included any fantasy type books because my kids aren't into those.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm heading to the bookstore to check some of them out!

post #6 of 11

If you haven't found anything yet, I'd suggest the Ivy & Bean books (there are a bunch) and the Just Grace books. They are available as audio books, too. Might make a nice combination if they're not strong readers. It might get them more excited about the books. Ivy & Bean are first or second graders and I believe Just Grace is a 3rd grader. Both are contemporary (not fantasy or fairies or historical or anything like that)

 

hth

post #7 of 11

 You might also look in to graphic novels as well.  I know that upsets many lit snobs out there, BUT...graphic novels are often really good at hooking in older struggling readers in particular--esp. if many of the chapter novels at their levels don't have stories that interest them.  There are many graphic novels adapted from popular book series (Nany Drew, Boxcar Children, one-off classics, ect.).  Babymouse seems to be popular at our school, Amelia Rules, Peach Fuzz, Magic Pickle, and some other fun titles.

 

post #8 of 11

The Clementine series by Sarah Pennypacker.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

 You might also look in to graphic novels as well.  I know that upsets many lit snobs out there, BUT...graphic novels are often really good at hooking in older struggling readers in particular--esp. if many of the chapter novels at their levels don't have stories that interest them.  There are many graphic novels adapted from popular book series (Nany Drew, Boxcar Children, one-off classics, ect.).  Babymouse seems to be popular at our school, Amelia Rules, Peach Fuzz, Magic Pickle, and some other fun titles.

 

 

I just wanna second the graphic novel idea.  Graphic novels are an awesome artform in their own right, and have hooked many a young not-quite-reader. I think that they are good for kids who watch a lot of TV because they are very visually oriented, and satisfy the part of the brain that wants to see pictures.  Most libraries have a YA graphic novel selection for ideas, or check out Barnes and Noble or a comic shop.

 

In particular, manga or manhwa is pretty popular, and the series are endless.  And eventually a lot of kids move on from manga (not that it's bad and needs to be moved on from!) to other types of graphic novels. 

 

I also want to point out that not all TV tie material is useless.  Around 10, I got really interested in watching Star Trek.  Then I began voraciously reading all of the Star Trek novels whenever they weren't airing new episodes of DS9 whoops TNG.  These books are legitimate works of space opera that do more than rehash the episodes.  They are new adventures of with the same characters.  Bascially licensed fan fiction.  It's not high art, but it tied in with something I was interested in.  That led me to a wider interest in science fiction, which led me to Lois McMaster Bujold, which eventually led me to Tolstoy and Jane Austen.  It's not an obvious connection, and my mom used to pull at her hair because all I would read was "trash" until I was like 25.... 

 

I still love reading "trash" (today's trash is tomorrow's classic!) but I also got my MA in literature & wrote my thesis on a boring but legitimate member of the white man's canon... so whaddaya know.  If you get a kid reading something, anything... it's like a "gateway" drug.  They will move on.  But you gotta hook them first.  I am a lifelong reader in part thanks to TV.

post #10 of 11

My 7yo girl isn't a strong reader at all, but she really enjoys the American Girl books and Magic Treehouse series.  She looked once at a Hannah Montana book at the bookstore and then announced to us that it was too boring.  Now, the books that I mentioned that she likes, she will read with us out loud to get help with reading it but the story lines really keep her interested.  She really likes it when we read the Boxcar Children books to her (I try to remember to get one book from the series each library trip but I do forget half the time) but they are enough over her reading level that she won't try reading them herself yet.

 

Oh, and I don't know if it would be appropriate in your case, but my 7yo also LOVES her storybook bible.  That was the book that got her wanting to read in fact, she flat refused to try reading at all until she had a bible book that she could learn to read herself.

 

(and totally taking notes on this discussion, I wanted to expand our library for my girls to include more books that may appeal to them)

post #11 of 11

There's some great books suggestions here already, but I would say some of them may be too daunting for weak readers. I suggest magazines for the "hook 'em in" factor. National Geographic Kids if you think they would enjoy it. American Girl is actually very good. See what grabs you for what would appeal to them.

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