Hi friends! I shared this post over at Mother, Daughter and Son Book Reviews back in 2015, but it was recently pointed out to me that that website is no longer active. So when a Mommynificent reader asked me to send it to her, I thought maybe I should repost it here for everyone. It’s a great list after all! So without further ado, here is our Top Ten List of Books for Young Advanced Readers.
My eldest daughter is a very advanced reader. I love that! I am so thankful that it was so easy to teach her to read (honestly, I don’t think I did anything!) Reading came easily to her and she loves it! There are many days where she reads four or more chapter books a day in addition to all our school work. She actually kept track this summer and read more than 350 books in June and July!
The only problem that comes with having such a great reader is that we run out of books. Often! Especially since we live in Penang, Malaysia, a land with no public libraries.
If you live in a place with public libraries, please stop right now and be thankful. I mean it! I’ll wait.
OK, are you back? Great!
My daughter is now in sixth grade, but it was when she was in first grade that we had the hardest time finding books. Her ability to read was in the fifth or sixth grade age range, but I had no desire for her to be reading middle grade books, complete with their middle grade issues like crushes on boys, trouble with teachers and parents, jealousy and cliques, bad attitudes, etc. Plus a lot of them deal with good and evil in ways that is beyond where a six-year old needs to be, in my opinion. I loved her naivete and wanted to keep her that way as long as I could!
I recently had a friend whose six-year old is having similar issues ask if we had any book recommendations for them, so we sat down and brainstormed a list. My 8-year old, who is also an avid reader, joined us. We came up with over 50 books to recommend, so this is just the beginning of what will be an ongoing series over at Mommynificent!
In addition to this top ten list we’re sharing here today, we’re also sharing a list today over at Mommynificent of our favorite series for young ones, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing our lists of best Kindle books under $2, best Christian children’s chapter books, and best books that still aren’t available electronically but are totally worth it anyway! I hope you’ll join us each Tuesday for the next month to see these lists!
And, if your little reader isn’t quite ready to read these on their own, they make great read-alouds for you to share together! So without further ado, here’s our top ten list of chapter books for young, advanced readers.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and buy the book or even go on to buy something else, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
1. Our top choice (which could also show up over in our series list as there have been a number of follow-up books) is Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry. This is one of the first books we read aloud as a family, and we loved it! Even daddy was begging us to wait until he got home in the evening to read the next chapter! This book is hilarious, not scary, and even teaches some storytelling tips. I feel certain that you (and your kids) will love it!
2. Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley is a gentle book of stories about a little girl, her family, and her friends. It is set in an old-fashioned world of innocence and filled with the simple delights of childhood. I have yet to meet a family who didn’t enjoy reading these stories together and who didn’t add “lid potatoes” to their family menu as a result of reading it.
3. Half Magic by Edward Eager is a clever story about four siblings who discover a magical coin that only gives half of whatever is wished for. The coin causes a whole lot of trouble, and the children have to be quite clever to finally sort out how they can wish for double what they actually want and need to set things straight. This book made for some fun and thought-provoking discussions about halves and doubles and how to quantify abstract concepts. We loved it!
4. The Magic Half by Annie Barrows is a delightful and suspenseful time-traveling story for the whole family about a lonely, little girl who finds what she’s always been missing. (Two notes: First, if, like me, you are not a big Ivy & Bean fan, I encourage you to still give this one a try. I loved it so much that I could hardly believe they were by the same author. And second, in putting together this list, we found out that there is a new sequel to this story called Magic in the Mix! We are so excited to check it out!)
5. All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor is about a Jewish family in New York City that is full of girls – five sisters “all of a kind.” This is a book full of innocence and sister adventures, holidays, and big surprises.
6. This next book could also be part of our post about our favorite series, but we decided to share it here because when we discovered it, it was just one book. It’s currently at three books with five more planned. The Sassafras Science Adventures by Johnny Congo and Paige Hudson are about Blaine and Tracy Sassafras, twins who did so poorly in their science class that their parents cancel their annual trip to summer camp in favor of their spending the summer with their crazy Uncle Cecil, a scientist who can hopefully get them caught up. What ensues is a globe-trotting adventure in which readers will “accidentally” learn a whole lot about not only about science, but also about geography and world cultures. We actually use these novels extensively in our homeschooling, but nobody really needs to know how very educational they are! The first book is about zoology, the second about anatomy, and the third about botany.
7. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes is a poignant story about a poor Polish immigrant girl who is bullied for wearing the same dress to school every day. The other children in the story learn quite a lesson as do the readers. My kids still talk about this story with sober faces, and yet it remains one of their favorite books ever. It is definitely a story with a moral and yet it doesn’t feel preachy at all; it really is quite masterfully done.
8. Maisy and the Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum is a book we came across thanks to one of Renee’s book blasts here on this very site. We have become huge fans. My 8-year old has the entire book memorized (no, I’m not exaggerating!), and my three oldest kids worked together to make a play out of the book with some of their friends. The book is well-written with a fun, kid-appropriate mystery, and I should also admit that I’m as eager as my kids to read the new ones when they come out!
9. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett is an old classic, but my kids have all loved it as a read-aloud and then read it repeatedly on their own as soon as they were able to. This author definitely understands children.
10. And, finally, to round out our top ten list, we have agonizingly settled on … drum roll, please … Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. We haven’t actually seen the movie so I have no idea how it compares to the book, but the book is delightful. Mr. Popper is so odd and quirky and so loyal to the penguins, and the penguins are such individual characters. This was another book that our whole family enjoyed together and then the kids read independently over and over.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Top Ten List for Young Advanced Readers today, and I hope you’ll remember to hop on over to Mommynificent for our Top Ten List of Series for Young Readers. Also, every Thursday, I host an all-things-books linky party called Booknificent Thursday. We would love to have you join our little book-loving community to find and share books that you are enjoying!