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#1 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry if this has been covered. I don't really visit this section too often but as my son gets older, I am having trouble finding books that are appropriate for him. He is 8 years old and in the 2nd grade. The school tested him (I'm not sure of the method used) but he was found to be currently reading at a 6th-7th grade reading level. The library at their school does not offer books this high, unfortunately as the grade level only goes up to 3rd grade. (They switch to "intermediate" at 4th grade which is an entirely different school) So it is up to us to find him books that are appropriate but still challenge him. He has read all of the Harry Potter books as well as the Percy Jackson books. I am at a loss at finding other appropriate books. He still has the mind and maturity of an 8 year old boy (well, maybe slightly higher maturity but not much) so we want to find books that aren't about subjects only pre-teens and teenagers would be interested in. He is REALLY into Greek Mythology (though I think ANY mythology would hold his interest) and Science.

Any great books you recommend or a place where I could search for appropriate books? TIA!

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#2 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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Your guess is correct, there are some older threads but they tend to be scattered here, in the Books and Media forum and also in the Childhood forum, so you have to dig a little. There's also a wiki for younger children. 

 

Off the top of my head, a few books or series you might consider for middle school reading level: 

 

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (and sequels in the Queen's Thief series) (This is one of my favourite series, but it's fairly complex with plot twists, political intrigue, etc. along with lots of adventure and wonderful characters. It may be more appropriate for an older child, even if he is reading at a 7th grade level. He may not appreciate it just yet - or maybe he'll love it too)

 

The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence (and sequels - mysteries set in ancient Rome) 

 

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliffe (and sequels - about Roman Britain) 

 

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper (lots of Celtic mythology, although they are set in modern U.K.) 

 

Runemarks by Joanne Harris (some Norse mythology to try for a change from the Greek that he likes) 

 

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer (and sequels - also Norse mythology) 

 

Holes by Louis Sachar

 

Hoot by Carl Hiasson (and similar titles - Flush, Scat

 

Silverwing by Ken Oppel (and several sequels) 

 

Airborn by Ken Oppel (and sequels) 

 

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud 

 

The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix

 

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (and 2 sequels) 

 

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (personally, I couldn't stand the Artemis Fowl character, but I'm not a little boy) 

 

The Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage 

 

Eragon by Christopher Paolini (and sequels) (Both my kids made fun of these books and found them a bad and sad combination of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, but they seem to be in a very small minority. Most kids love them.)  

 

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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Hoagies has some great lists - http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/reading_lists.htm

 

I really like the scholastic book selection tool, because it allows you to choose different reading levels, and interest levels, and genre is you choose "advanced" on your search - http://www.scholastic.com/bookwizard/


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#4 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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The book "Some of My Best Friends are Books" has great recommendations for every stage of the game.

 

 


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#5 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, you guys are awesome! I will put all of those on my lists ollyoxenfree. A lot of those sound like they would be right up his ally!

Thanks for the links too -- I will check them out with him and see what he would be interested in. We have a pretty extensive home library but he just reads through stuff so fast that it's hard to keep up with him.

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#6 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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I wouldn't be at all concerned with getting the "correct" reading level books.

 

Find a good thrift store or used book store that simply has books --cheap-- and let him loose, he will have no issue finding correct level books himself. Many stores in my area also have "buy back" so get what he wants and when he is done trade them in. Most stores/thrifts like this are much better then the set library where you are sectioned off- this allows better exploration so he can find all levels in each section and still encourage the "picture" books as well - with Mythology you should have no problem with that.

 

We also use college book fairs (mostly late Spring and Summer) bag day is great-usually $5.00 - mythology usually has a great section with many $$$$ books for almost nothing.


 

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#7 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't be at all concerned with getting the "correct" reading level books.

Find a good thrift store or used book store that simply has books --cheap-- and let him loose, he will have no issue finding correct level books himself. Many stores in my area also have "buy back" so get what he wants and when he is done trade them in. Most stores/thrifts like this are much better then the set library where you are sectioned off- this allows better exploration so he can find all levels in each section and still encourage the "picture" books as well - with Mythology you should have no problem with that.

We also use college book fairs (mostly late Spring and Summer) bag day is great-usually $5.00 - mythology usually has a great section with many $$$$ books for almost nothing.

Well, I'm not concerned with him getting the correct level every time so much as at least giving him the opportunity to challenge himself since he can't at his library at school. We are unable to get to our local library often so I like to buy him used books off E-bay and Amazon so getting ones that would challenge him are my goal as he gets plenty of picture books and younger books anyway because I buy those for DD. We often do buy lots of books from our thrift store but they don't have a ton of stuff (other than comic books, which he does get) that interests him. I was just looking for specific titles to look for online.

But I didn't think of college bookfairs so I will check those out. Thanks!

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#8 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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Well, I'm not concerned with him getting the correct level every time so much as at least giving him the opportunity to challenge himself since he can't at his library at school. We are unable to get to our local library often so I like to buy him used books off E-bay and Amazon so getting ones that would challenge him are my goal as he gets plenty of picture books and younger books anyway because I buy those for DD. We often do buy lots of books from our thrift store but they don't have a ton of stuff (other than comic books, which he does get) that interests him. I was just looking for specific titles to look for online.
But I didn't think of college bookfairs so I will check those out. Thanks!


I would talk to your librarian...our school is K-5 but they carry K-8th books for advanced readers and CAN get them from the middle school shipped over for students to check out. Can your school do that? I am surprised that they dont at least carry through 4/5 grade if they go up to 3rd grade in the building.But you have to ask.

 

Talk to your public library. Ours will mail books to your door for free AND have a bookmobile. You can check out books for 2 weeks and then get up to 4 more weeks extention (renewal) so even if you go once a month, you could get a lot of books to read through and return a month later. The mail-to-your door you have to ask, but it is a free service.

 

Do you belong to any community groups? (church, YMCA, etc) I know ours do book swaps. Kiddos bring in books and 'exchange' them. Good stuff and FREE!

 

Maybe look for a Scholastic Warehouse...they do great sales a few times and year and are WELL worth a drive (ours is an hour away) to get a lot of good new books for discounted prices.

 

 

I second the Eragon series, good stuff. Shadow of the Minotaur by Alan Gibbons. How about Half Magic, Lion Witch Wardrobe, etc. Percy Jackson does a good line of Mythology based books for older Elem/middle school readers.

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#9 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would talk to your librarian...our school is K-5 but they carry K-8th books for advanced readers and CAN get them from the middle school shipped over for students to check out. Can your school do that? I am surprised that they dont at least carry through 4/5 grade if they go up to 3rd grade in the building.But you have to ask.

Talk to your public library. Ours will mail books to your door for free AND have a bookmobile. You can check out books for 2 weeks and then get up to 4 more weeks extention (renewal) so even if you go once a month, you could get a lot of books to read through and return a month later. The mail-to-your door you have to ask, but it is a free service.

Do you belong to any community groups? (church, YMCA, etc) I know ours do book swaps. Kiddos bring in books and 'exchange' them. Good stuff and FREE!

Maybe look for a Scholastic Warehouse...they do great sales a few times and year and are WELL worth a drive (ours is an hour away) to get a lot of good new books for discounted prices.


I second the Eragon series, good stuff. Shadow of the Minotaur by Alan Gibbons. How about Half Magic, Lion Witch Wardrobe, etc. Percy Jackson does a good line of Mythology based books for older Elem/middle school readers.

I think they do have up through 4th or 5th grade level, if I remember right... but he had expressed interest in higher so that's why I was looking. He does enjoy the ones he gets from their library though. He loves ALL books but I was just looking for higher leveled books for him to explore. He's not feeling deprived or anything. smile.gif I will ask if they can get some from the intermediate school though. I didn't think of that, actually. The intermediate school is right across the street so it's not like they would have to go far, lol.

Our library does have a bookmobile but I think it's only in the summer. (At least that's the only time I see it in the neighborhood) but I will look into that. That would be fantastic if they do it year round. I know they don't have a shipping option though. That would be great if they did!

I don't belong to any groups that I know of that do a book swap but I might bring it up at our community center! We are very active there so it would be a great thing to get one started as there are TONS of kids around that would probably be interested.

Great ideas to find books! We have SO many just sitting around that the kids have read multiple times and I just keep sending them to Goodwill... I definitely would rather have some sort of swap going on.

I don't think he's ever read any of the Eragon series, I will look into that. He has actually read Shadow of the Minotaur and loved it. He tried reading The Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe but had trouble with the wording (which I did too when I initially read it) so I think he just got bored and quit. I did hear there was a new Percy Jackson-type series that just came out in October. I am going to try to get that one for him for Christmas. He LOVES the Percy Jackson books. He's read the ones we have a few times each. I'm hoping to get more of those as well. smile.gif

Thanks again for all your info! smile.gif

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#10 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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The intermediate school is right across the street so it's not like they would have to go far, lol.

Alternatively ... could he get borrowing privileges at the intermediate school? Perhaps his teacher or principal could request this on his behalf? Our school library gives borrowing privileges to anyone who asks nicely ;-)

 

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#11 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Alternatively ... could he get borrowing privileges at the intermediate school? Perhaps his teacher or principal could request this on his behalf? Our school library gives borrowing privileges to anyone who asks nicely ;-)

Miranda

Good idea, I'll have to look into it. smile.gif

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#12 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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Find your local AAUW and find out where and when they have their sales - this is how my state lists, yours might too - http://www.booksalemanager.com/booksales/Pennsylvania.aspx


 

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Another source for higher level, but younger emotional level, is classic books.  Because they use a lot of antiquated wording, they are considered a higher reading level.

 

BTW, Rick Riordin has *two* new series out now--- The Kane Chronicles (about Egypt) and Heroes of Olympus --- set in the same world as Percy Jackson but slightly later (different main characters). 

 

Also, if he hasn't read all of Cornelia Funke's books, he would probably enjoy them!


 

 

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#14 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We tried some of the classic books but he gets bored with them very quickly because of the wording. I actually understand that though... I always had trouble reading them too despite my love of reading.

I did see the Heroes of Olympus but I didn't see the other one! Exciting! He will love that! Thanks!

I don't know if he's read any of the Cornelia Funke books or not. I want to say that sounds familiar but I'm not sure.

I'm loving all these ideas and titles. I'm not ashamed to admit it's as much for me as for him... I love reading his books when he's done with them. He just finished reading Stardust and I picked it up and read through it in a day.

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I would suggest reading aloud to him from books with "wording" that he balks at reading on his own. I'm guessing you're talking about more advanced, more arcane vocabulary, and more complex sentence structure and grammar. This is the stuff of literature, and it will improve his reading comprehension considerably if he gains some familiarity with more challenging wording. I just finished reading Huckleberry Finn aloud to my 8yo, and while it was a little odd to her at the start and she asked lots of questions to clarify meaning, by the end she was following much more easily.

 

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#16 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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I don't know if he's read any of the Cornelia Funke books or not. I want to say that sounds familiar but I'm not sure.
I'm loving all these ideas and titles. I'm not ashamed to admit it's as much for me as for him... I love reading his books when he's done with them. He just finished reading Stardust and I picked it up and read through it in a day.


Cornelia Funke

- Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath - there was a film released a few years ago

- The Thief Lord (of her books that I've read, this is the one I prefer) 

- Dragon Rider 

 

So Stardust = Neil Gaiman and that reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones (I think he includes her in his acknowledgements in some of his books). Among many, many good books of myth and magic, she wrote Eight Days of Luke, a fun novel about an orphan English boy and the Norse gods. I love following a winding trail through the library stacks and bookstore shelves...

 

BTW, once he's exhausted Greek mythology, and maybe the Norse too, there's always the King Arthur canon waiting for him! Lots to explore there, too. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would suggest reading aloud to him from books with "wording" that he balks at reading on his own. I'm guessing you're talking about more advanced, more arcane vocabulary, and more complex sentence structure and grammar. This is the stuff of literature, and it will improve his reading comprehension considerably if he gains some familiarity with more challenging wording. I just finished reading Huckleberry Finn aloud to my 8yo, and while it was a little odd to her at the start and she asked lots of questions to clarify meaning, by the end she was following much more easily.

Miranda

Ahhh, that makes sense. He actually started Where the Red Fern Grows last year and then put it down because it is wrote with an accent and he couldn't read it. That is one of my all-time favorite books so I picked it up and read it to him. Once he "heard" me read it the way it was written, he ended up finishing it himself later on.

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#18 of 29 Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cornelia Funke
- Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath - there was a film released a few years ago
- The Thief Lord (of her books that I've read, this is the one I prefer) 
- Dragon Rider 

So Stardust = Neil Gaiman and that reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones (I think he includes her in his acknowledgements in some of his books). Among many, many good books of myth and magic, she wrote Eight Days of Luke, a fun novel about an orphan English boy and the Norse gods. I love following a winding trail through the library stacks and bookstore shelves...

BTW, once he's exhausted Greek mythology, and maybe the Norse too, there's always the King Arthur canon waiting for him! Lots to explore there, too. 





Ahhhh, that's why it sounds familiar. He recently read The Thief Lord. He finished it but I don't think he really liked it that much. It took him longer than usual to read it and it didn't look particularly difficult for him; He also didn't talk about it much. I will try the other ones though. Something called Dragon Rider would probably interest him just from the title alone. He loves Dragons (but then again so does his Mama!)

Eight Days of Luke sounds like it would be right up his ally!

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#19 of 29 Old 11-16-2011, 05:43 PM
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Diana Wynne Jones is FABULOUS, and her Chrestomanci books are excellent.  Lloyd Alexander's Black Cauldron series (starts with The Book of Three, continues with The Black Cauldron, Taran Wanderer, and The High King, and I think, maybe? one or two others) is excellent and uses Welsh mythology.  Edward Eager has a series of books that start with Half Magic that are pretty fun and lean on English mythology in the fantasy/wish sequences.  Edith Nesbit was a major inspiration for Eager and he might enjoy checking out her books after Eager's, or he might find that the language is a little too intense to tackle along - complex sentence structure, dialect for some characters, and lots of references to children's literature of the late-19th century that tend to escape the contemporary reader.  They're good read-alouds.  Oh, and the Graveyard Book.  Great book.  

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#20 of 29 Old 11-17-2011, 02:39 AM
 
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Diana Wynne Jones, one of my all-time-favourites. I think JK Rowling owes a lot to her, actually. The Power of Three is a wonderful book, especially for gifties. Some of her books are very "old England", but if he's into fantasy it's time for him to get into that, anyway.

 

I am among the camp who could stand neither the Eragon series nor Inkheart -  interesting premises, banalized to death. I couldn't bring myself to finish either of them. The Thief Lord is a much better book IMO.


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#21 of 29 Old 11-17-2011, 12:11 PM
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My gifted 1st grader and typically developing 3rd grader both read at about a 6th grade level. Right now they are enjoying the Narnia series and the Gregor the Overlander series. My older son also likes the author Garth Nix, but I'm not sure what grade level they're at. My 1st grader plans to read The Golden Compass when he finishes Narnia and my older son wants to read the Hunger Games (he was going to check the school library today for it). There are tons of great books at this level! 

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My older son also likes the author Garth Nix, but I'm not sure what grade level they're at. My 1st grader plans to read The Golden Compass when he finishes Narnia and my older son wants to read the Hunger Games


One of my kids loved Garth Nix but I really couldn't stand the Keys to the Kingdom books. I'd put them at a 4th or 5th grade reading level. I haven't yet read Sabriel and the Old Kingdom books, which I understand are better, so I'll reserve judgment on them.

 

Your first grader is going to read the Golden Compass ... wow, that's a big jump up from Narnia! I hope he comes back to it when he's older, because although the decoding level and superficial mechanics of the plot aren't any more challenging than say the Harry Potter series, I find Pullman's series astronomically more abstract and complex from a philosophical standpoint. I think they're truly "young adult" literature in that they're best suited for gifted teens or young adults who are interested in questions of physics, theology, philosophy and epistemology.

 

My 8yo dd read the Hunger Games books last winter and I frantically read them in tandem so that I could talk to her about what she was reading, worrying all the while about the very violent and disturbing nature of the subject matter. It turns out she was fine. But if you haven't read them yourself you might want to preview them. 

 

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#23 of 29 Old 11-18-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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One of my kids loved Garth Nix but I really couldn't stand the Keys to the Kingdom books. I'd put them at a 4th or 5th grade reading level. I haven't yet read Sabriel and the Old Kingdom books, which I understand are better, so I'll reserve judgment on them.

 

Your first grader is going to read the Golden Compass ... wow, that's a big jump up from Narnia! I hope he comes back to it when he's older, because although the decoding level and superficial mechanics of the plot aren't any more challenging than say the Harry Potter series, I find Pullman's series astronomically more abstract and complex from a philosophical standpoint. I think they're truly "young adult" literature in that they're best suited for gifted teens or young adults who are interested in questions of physics, theology, philosophy and epistemology.

 

My 8yo dd read the Hunger Games books last winter and I frantically read them in tandem so that I could talk to her about what she was reading, worrying all the while about the very violent and disturbing nature of the subject matter. It turns out she was fine. But if you haven't read them yourself you might want to preview them. 

 

Miranda


 

I agree with all of the above. 

 

I didn't really like the Keys to the Kingdom either, however my kids enjoyed it, as did their friends. I didn't read the last few books in the series - I think I finished Thursday. I stuck with it because I thoroughly enjoyed Sabriel and its sequels in the Abhorsen trilogy. I think that Sabriel is targeted at a slightly older audience - teens rather than tweens - but I don't recall any specific problematic stuff in it, aside from the fact that the fantasy plot involves a young girl who discovers that she is a Necromancer who can enter the world of the dead. I don't think it would be a problem for a kid who enjoyed Harry Potter, but a more sensitive 8 y.o. might be troubled. 

 

It would be interesting to read The Golden Compass on the heels of the Narnia Chronicles and compare them. I'd expect someone older would get more out of such an exercise, unless perhaps the child recognized the Christian allegory aspect of the Narnia books. They are two excellent adventure series but there are deeper levels to both of them. 

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#24 of 29 Old 11-19-2011, 11:44 AM
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Oh, my 5 yr. old will definitely need to reread both Narnia and His Dark Materials at a later date. I'm curious to see what he gets out of The Golden Compass-- I think there's plenty to entertain a 5 yr. old. I read them as a teenager and loved them. 

I have read the Hunger Games and am wavering on whether or not to let my 8 yr. old read them. He'll be 9 in January and I know they have them in the 4th grade classrooms. He's not at all sensitive to things in books/movies and never has been. 

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#25 of 29 Old 11-19-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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I read them as a teenager and loved them. 


OMG I'm old! I bought them when the PB boxed set first came out and my dd read them alongside me. I was almost 40 at the time, I think!

 

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#26 of 29 Old 11-20-2011, 04:25 AM
 
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Your location is C'bus? Go to the youth section in the main library in UA and explain what you want. Spell out the age, interests and reading level. We've had especially good luck with the them there, especially the weekend staff. You should be able to get a UA card pretty easily as a county resident. They know a lot of out of level readers there.
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#27 of 29 Old 11-20-2011, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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UA is about 45 minutes away from us... not convenient at all, unfortunately. I actually grew up in Hilliard and I miss their library. They used to be great with this stuff. Columbus library is pretty good too but I just never know what to LOOK for, which is why I asked this question. They're helpful but it's so big that I like to go in armed with my own list and we don't get there as often as I would like as the closest branch is about 25 minutes away.

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#28 of 29 Old 11-20-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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Yikes, that reminds me to be thankful to be able to walk to two libraries. innocent.gif. We go 2-3 times a week at times! We're planning to be there when it opens today to catch our favorite librarian.
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#29 of 29 Old 11-21-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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My kids like the Garth Nix books. We've listened as audio books. He has a new series out now -- "The Troubletwisters" which is slightly easier than "The Keys to the Kingdom". 

 

Other books my kids have liked are:

 

The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley (has a strong boy character in addition to the sisters)

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (perfect for 8 yr old boys)

Pure Dead Magic series by Debi Gliori (hilarious and magical)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (there are more related books, too)

Roald Dahl books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG, etc

The City of Ember by Jean DuPrau (it's the first in a series, but I thought the others weren't as strong)

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Name of This Book is Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch  

 

hth


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