Nonviolent Chapter Books? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 02-21-2014, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son has been reading The Magic Treehouse books, but has been bothered by the occasional violence and fighting and good vs. evil themes.  He's a sensitive soul, and we are a family with pacifist values, so we're looking for alternatives.  Can anyone recommend chapter books at a similar reading level that are adventurous but not about using violence against the bad guys?

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#2 of 14 Old 02-21-2014, 12:40 PM
 
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It might seem too young, but depending on your son's age it might work. The original, not disney-fied AA Miline books are actually quite good. 


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#3 of 14 Old 02-21-2014, 12:58 PM
 
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Try the wizard of oz series. The bad guys try to fight but the good guys are pretty good at coming up with nonviolent solutions.


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#4 of 14 Old 02-22-2014, 01:23 PM
 
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I don't know if they would be too girlish, but my DD loved the Big Apple Barn series and I was really impressed with the thoughtfulness of the (animal) characters.  They're about horses, and have no violence whatsoever.


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#5 of 14 Old 02-22-2014, 03:55 PM
 
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We are in the middle of The Penderwicks and no violence yet.

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#6 of 14 Old 02-23-2014, 08:30 AM
 
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The Little House on the Praire Books are intersting. "Farmer Boy" chronicles the youth of Laura's husband.


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#7 of 14 Old 02-23-2014, 03:08 PM
 
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I love the little house books but some have quite a bit of violence. Farmer boy includes a story of students beating a teacher to death and the next teacher uses a whip to teach those same boys a lesson.

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#8 of 14 Old 02-24-2014, 04:41 AM
 
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Yikes... I haven't read Farmer Boy since I was a kid, didn't remeber any of that stuff! DD and I are reading Little House on the Praire, and finished Little House in the Big Woods. Thos seemed pretty non-violent.

He he read Mouse and the Motorcycle? The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series was also pretty good, although it did have some more mature themes at times.

Younger DD really likes a lot of the American Girl books, but they might not have much apeal for a little boy.


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#9 of 14 Old 02-24-2014, 07:55 AM
 
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Moomintrolls
Galaxy Zack
Tale of Desperaux
The Borrowers
Trumpet of the Swan
Charlotte's Web
The "Amazing Esme" books are AWESOME. Main character is a girl, but she has three boy cousins who are heavily featured in all of the stories. She's a circus kid, they're all unschooled (although not in a 'message-y' kind of way), and they get up to awesome adventures. There is a bit of tension (essential in many good stories), but I like how it's resolved, which is key for me. Avoid 'Pirate Circus' in the series, though. It does have violence. I liked the first two though. No violence in those.
Avoid Roald Dahl ... very dark stories with heaps of violence.
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What interests him? Does he like to read?

I'll also mention that I have an audio story website for kids, and our stories are non-violent. They star smart, curious kids doing interesting things. One of our main characters -- Henry -- is seven. Not in book form, but good stories! Even our fairytales are gently retold (Goldilocks, Three Billy Goats Gruff). www.thestoryforest.com

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#10 of 14 Old 02-24-2014, 09:02 AM
 
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There were a lot of great books listed in this thread, but I'm not sure about the violence/non-violence aspect.

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1394423/longer-chapter-book-suggestions-for-nearly-5-year-old/40#post_17549427

 

We've been reading Beverly Clearly with my nearly 5 year old (Ramona and Ralph S. Mouse so far), and she loves them.  We've been passing them onto a friend with a 5 yo son and he's similarly enamored despite the female character.  I would agree that the Little House books might not be ideal at this point if he's sensitive.  The early books might not have person-on-person violence, but Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't sugar coat the reality of life on the prairie.  We're saving them for when DD is a little older and has recovered from the trauma of meat harvesting and prairie fires. :p


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#11 of 14 Old 02-25-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

Moomintrolls
Galaxy Zack
Tale of Desperaux
The Borrowers
Trumpet of the Swan
Charlotte's Web
The "Amazing Esme" books are AWESOME. Main character is a girl, but she has three boy cousins who are heavily featured in all of the stories. She's a circus kid, they're all unschooled (although not in a 'message-y' kind of way), and they get up to awesome adventures. There is a bit of tension (essential in many good stories), but I like how it's resolved, which is key for me. Avoid 'Pirate Circus' in the series, though. It does have violence. I liked the first two though. No violence in those.
Avoid Roald Dahl ... very dark stories with heaps of violence.
Owls in the Family
Cricket in Times Square

What interests him? Does he like to read?

I'll also mention that I have an audio story website for kids, and our stories are non-violent. They star smart, curious kids doing interesting things. One of our main characters -- Henry -- is seven. Not in book form, but good stories! Even our fairytales are gently retold (Goldilocks, Three Billy Goats Gruff). www.thestoryforest.com

Love despereaux but it definitely has violence and scary parts.
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#12 of 14 Old 02-27-2014, 10:56 AM
 
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Ruth Chew wrote a lot of books about kids discovering magical things.  The ones with "witch" in the title are a bit scarier than the others, but none have violence or terribly evil characters.

 

Miss Osborne-the-Mop by Wilson Gage is a wonderful story of two cousins who don’t want to spend the summer together in the rural mountains but bond after they accidentally turn a dust-mop into a sort of person and then lose the magical power with which they created her and have to figure out how to hide her from the adults and tolerate her annoying personality.  SPOILER: In the end, the mop-person has a fatal accident, and it's just after her death that they figure out how to turn her back into a mop--so a character dies, but she is really a mop, but if your son is very sensitive about death you might want to avoid this.

 

Someone recommended Charlotte's Web, and I have to point out that that one not only includes the death of a main character but also is primarily about trying to prevent another main character from being slaughtered and eaten!!!  I found it pretty upsetting when I was 7.

 

Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol present mysteries for the reader to try to solve--and then look up the solution at the end of the book.  Some characters are a bit intimidating, but there's no violence that I can recall.

 

Eleanor Estes wrote several books about the Moffat family, kids in the 1910s doing various fun projects and having small-town adventures.


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#13 of 14 Old 02-27-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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I just want to point out that the OP asked for books at about the same reading level as the Magic Tree House books, but I don't think any of the suggestions offered in this thread so far are actually at that level - they're all more difficult books that might work as read-alouds but probably not for the OP's son to read to himself.  I'm not sure I can come up with any good suggestions myself, though.  The Boxcar Children is a bit higher reading level that the earlier Magic Tree House books, but might work.  I don't recall any violence or bad guys (in the first Boxcar Children book, anyway), but the kids have adventures.  After the first book, it turns into more of a mystery series and I wouldn't be surprised if there are some bad guys.  Probably little if any violence, but I can't say for sure.

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#14 of 14 Old 02-28-2014, 06:06 AM
 
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Ruth Chew's books are similar in reading level to Magic Tree House.  I discovered them in second grade, when they were offered on my book order form distributed at school, so they're about second grade level.


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