Fiction books for early readers that are NOT fantasy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-25-2012, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I have nothing against fantasy books at all but I'm having trouble finding fiction for my dd that isn't about princesses or fairies or wizards, etc. They seem to be the overwhelming majority of the series out there and she just doesn't enjoy them. I'm looking for something about people doing pretty regular things. Just going about life and the things that happen along the way.

I hope that makes sense. She likes the Animal Ark series and anything by Cynthia Rylant if that helps. I'm thinking about this


Any ideas are really appreciated. She is five and reading pretty well on her own already but I also read aloud to her so any reading level for ages maybe 4-9 would be fine. 

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#2 of 4 Old 06-25-2012, 02:53 PM
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i am not sure if this level would be too advanced for her but The Little Bear ( by Else Minarik) books are wonderful

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#3 of 4 Old 06-25-2012, 09:08 PM
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There are tons of good books out there about ordinary kids.


Some she could likely read herself:

The Jamie and Angus Stories - Anne Fine

The Children on Troublemaker Street - Astrid Lindgren

The Children of Noisy Village - Astrid Lindgren

Did You Carry the Flag Today, Charley? - Rebecca Caudill

Happy Little Family - Rebecca Caudill

Betsy-Tacy - Maud Hart Lovelace

Ramona the Pest - Beverly Cleary

Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sadie and Ratz - Sony Hartnett

Freckle Juice - Judy Blume

the Horrible Harry series - Suzy Kline

the Stink series - Megan McDonald

the Judy Moody series - Megan McDonald

the Clementine series - Sara Pennypacker

Stuart Goes to School - Sara Pennypacker

Gooney Bird Greene - Lois Lowry

the American Girl books

the Sophie books - Dick King-Smith

The Boxcar Children - Gertrude Chandler Warner

the Nate the Great series - Marjorie Weinman Sharmat


And some you might need to read to her:

Day of the Blizzard - Marietta Moskin

All-of-A-Kind Family - Sydney Taylor

Understood Betsy - Dorothy Canfield

Star in the Storm - Joan Hiatt Harlow

Ginger Pye - Eleanor Estes

The Trolley Car Family - Eleanor Clymer

Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Richard and Florence Atwater

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Nim's Island - Wendy Orr


Many of the above have sequels, too.  Most of the ones I listed are about pretty ordinary events, but a few of them, like Nim's Island or Mr. Popper's Penguins, are about ordinary people but aren't realistic or typical of ordinary life.

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#4 of 4 Old 06-27-2012, 08:37 PM
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We almost liked "Betsy-Tacy" until the baby died. They're period stories and were written in the 40s and 50s and are set in the late 1800s/early 1900s, so I think the baby getting sick and dying (really a minor part of the story) was realistic, but my girls were very done with that book after that.


In the same vein, but w/o that trauma, is the "Milly Molly Mandy" book.


Contemporary books my girls have loved are the "Ivy & Bean" series (dd2 has loved this for a couple of years about two seven year old girls), the Clementine series about a 3rd grader with a penchant for getting in trouble she didn't intend, and for a long read aloud you might consider the Penderwicks, but it may be a little bit too old for your dd. My dd2 likes Judy Moody and Just Grace, too


My dd2 loves Junie B Jones, but I hate her so she can only read those to herself. On the plus side there are a million of them and they're the right age for your dd. 


I think for a girl your dd's age check out Ivy & Bean. They're really funny.

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