Selecting Reading Material for Young Gifted Children - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
mrsmischief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Daydreaming of a yurt in Cascadia
Posts: 188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I was curious to learn how other parents select books and magazines for their young gifted children. How do you find the balance between the correct reading level and appropriate subject content? 

 

My daughter is five years old and reading on the sixth grade level and I'm quickly running out of ideas for reading materials to share with her. She is interested in periodicals and our local paper, which I'm loathe to allow her free access to for fear she'll learn about situations and topics that prove to be too much for her to handle emotionally at this point in her development. (I recall sneaking out of my bedroom early in the morning to read my father's political  & current event magazines when I was around my daughters age and being frightened by much of what I read.) She recently finished all of the Roald Dahl and Magic Tree House books and has been caught struggling through a number of books borrowed from our bookshelves, including Focault's Pendulum which I promptly took away upon discovering her tucked away in her rook attempting to sound out words and looking up definitions in the dictionary. ;) We have several magazine subscriptions that we share as a family including National Geographic and Astronomy Magazine.

 

Right now we're working our way through the Harry Potter series together, years before I thought I'd introduce these books to her, and am hoping to find guidance in selecting books for after we get through this series. I currently have a stack of YA and sixth grade reading level books that I'm previewing for appropriate content but am open to suggestions that might extend beyond "preview, preview, preview" assuming such advice might exist. 


~Daisy~

Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif

 

 

 

 

mrsmischief is offline  
#2 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 08:35 AM
 
LuckyMommaToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Our local children's librarian has been a gold mine for me as far as content. I really trust her. I often skim Amazon reviews -- it seems like parents often mention objectionable content there.

 

Beverly Cleary is safe and wrote a ton of books. Start with Ramona the Pest!

-e


Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

LuckyMommaToo is offline  
#3 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 09:01 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,926
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

My kids read through the classics at that age... Peter Pan, Dr. Doolittle, The Wizard of Oz series, Narnia, Winnie-the-Pooh, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Tom Sawyer, Little Women, a variety of Beverly Cleary books... all those older books. Sometimes, you don't know how a kid will react. I thought "Little House on the Prairie" would be a great choice for DD at 5 but she got a chapter in and refused to read any other book in the series (and still hasn't at 15 lol.) The first chapter described life on the farm and pig boiling.... yep, too much for my sensitive vegetarian but not too much for other kids. If she likes Potter, she might like Molly Moon. My own DD loved that series as a young girl. She also loved horse novels though Black Beauty was too harsh for her. Series like Misty or Black Stallion worked.

 

Don't stress over reading level. Just look for books your child might like even if it's below level. DD loved all the Judy Blume's Fudge books we even though they were below level. DS loved the Bunnicula series despite if being below level when he read it. A good story is a good story. 

 

Keep in mind that even though they are bright, a lot will go over their head or envisioned in a much milder way that they will comprehend. I remember reading Huck Finn 3 times in my life. The first time was about 1st/2nd grade. Each time I thought "did I actually READ this book before?" My DD grabbed some books that were questionable at an early age but I found that without the appropriate life experiences, she just adapted harsher elements of books into something she could understand (and was much tamer.) Ironically, she delayed book 3 of Potter for a couple years because the first couple chapters she felt were too sad and depressing. 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#4 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 09:36 AM
 
nyssaneala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We're about a year behind you on reading level, so I don't have a lot of helpful advice, I'm more here to see what others suggest! I started reading the Magic Treehouse books with DD (4 yrs old) 2 months ago, just in that short time she has progressed to reading big chunks of the books herself.

 

My one piece of advice would be that no matter how quickly your daughter advances, don't stop reading picture books! Just because kids can read at a certain level, doesn't mean they should leave behind earlier books. Books can have beautiful illustrations, and that is an equally important part in the reading experience for kids that age. I particularly love this website: http://teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com/


 

I am also a lover of books reading.gif, treehugger treehugger.gif, and occasional soapbox stander! soapbox.gif

 

nyssaneala is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)

You can order Scholastic News in a single copy and have it delivered to your home. I'd get a much higher grade level than she is in, but even then, it's the news but in a nice way.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#6 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 10:49 AM
 
pek64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cam Jansen (not sure if I spelled the last name correctly), Encyclopedia Brown, Droon, Wizard at Work, Deltora Quest (some kind of scary stuff for 5yo, but maybe later), Jigsaw Jones, Bailey School Kids, A to Z Mysteries, Babysitters Club, Magic School Bus, another children's series Abracadabra (available only at the libray as it is no longer in print), Uncle Wiggley, when older there' Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and Dr. Suess is always fun, regardless of reading level, also there are/were other 'Little House' books about the older generations that are less upsetting to a vegetarian (and the Laura books get better in that regard after the first), A Wrinkle in Time and the rest of the quartet

Bedknobs and Broomsticks didn't work for us, but I read it as a child. Also, my son liked the Bionicles (early books, then they got redundant), but there is violence and fighting, so 5 is probably young for them.

Our library also had Sesame Street books, but I'm not sure if they are still available. Boxcar Children also was rejected, but I read them growing up.

Ask at your library and bookstore for recommendations (repeatedly, as things change) and lwt those you talk to know what you and your child thinks about other books and authors. They'll appreciate the feedback!!
pek64 is offline  
#7 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
mrsmischief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Daydreaming of a yurt in Cascadia
Posts: 188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank you for all of this feedback and advice. I am taking notes and perusing Amazon right now.

 

I'm embarrassed to admit I had forgotten about the Babysitter's Club and several other series mentioned upthread. The suggestion about Nancy Drew was very helpful too. My daughter enjoys solving mysteries and playing detective and spy making this one series she may find highly appealing in the future. 

 

Those 'choose your own adventure' books are popping into my head now that the creative juices are flowing. I remember enjoying these immensely as a child and ought to see what our local library has along these lines. 


~Daisy~

Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif

 

 

 

 

mrsmischief is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Mommykendra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We did a lot of non-fiction at that age.  Like previous poster said, I wasn't concerned about reading level, just keeping her entertained and reading.  My one concern (and valid for us) was that if she read all the age appropriate books in Kindergarten--what would she read in 1st.  Even now at 10 and reading at at least a 11th grade level, I find it hard to find age appropriate books, so she rarely reads at reading level.

I survived (great non-fiction serious about real life events)
National Geographic chapter books
If you Lived...series
I wouldn't want to ...series
Adventures with Riley...series
there is a non-fiction choose your own adventure series, but I can't remember what it's called

Other chapter books she loved
Magic Tree House
Magic School Bus
Dear America (she couldn't get into all of them, but some were really good)
Orphan Train series


 

Mommykendra is offline  
#9 of 14 Old 07-09-2012, 02:44 PM
 
grumpybear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Don't stress over reading level. Just look for books your child might like even if it's below level. DD loved all the Judy Blume's Fudge books we even though they were below level. DS loved the Bunnicula series despite if being below level when he read it. A good story is a good story. 

 

 I agree with this. DS really loves the Harry Potter books right now but he also loves the books that he has in his Kindergarten classroom.

He'll read anything, heck even a shampoo bottle. I'm ok with that.

Comic books are a huge hit here too. Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side... We tried Garfield but Garfield really annoyed me.

Lots of non-fiction although I realized that I had to put away anatomy books because I wasnt ready to discuss reproduction yet.

The Tale of Despereaux, Wizard of Oz.

We also have a Series of Unfortunate Events - he hasnt gotten into that yet.  I've seen Percy Jackson recommended a lot.

grumpybear is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 07-22-2012, 07:31 PM
 
Aufilia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

The other suggestions are great, but I have to say, probably half our books are non-fiction.  It's considerably easier to find books that are "safe" for younger kids but still at a higher reading level when you're looking at non-fiction.  We have a whole huge series of books about the world/science/nature/geography that my parents picked up at a garage sale, and a bunch of other non-fiction we've collected on the cheap from thrift stores (our local Goodwill has a large selection of kid's books, all very cheap!).

 

It's worked well also to have grandma send her magazine subscriptions for both her birthday and Christmas, so  now she gets a couple new magazines monthly.

 

Other fiction:

my daughter likes the American Girl series, and for comic-type books, the Bad Kitty books are a winner with her. 

nyssaneala likes this.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
Aufilia is offline  
#11 of 14 Old 07-24-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Tigerle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

How about Enid Blytons's detective series'? Annoyingly gendered, but inexhaustible...


Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
Tigerle is online now  
#12 of 14 Old 07-24-2012, 02:30 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,587
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post

How about Enid Blytons's detective series'? Annoyingly gendered, but inexhaustible...

 

Or even better, Arthur Ransome's books. Definitely a product of their era, but spunky girls and boys engaged in awesome adventures (with caring but incredibly trusting adults in the background). And not horridly gendered at all, even though the girls do seem to do most of the food prep....

 

Swallows and Amazons would be the logical one to start with.

 

Miranda 


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#13 of 14 Old 07-25-2012, 03:32 AM
 
Hopefulmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

DD is 6 and loves The Boxcar Children, Nany Drew, Trixie Belden, Baby Sitters Club.

Hopefulmama is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 07-26-2012, 06:06 AM
 
pek64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Andrew Lost, Blast to the Past
pek64 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off