Monday, March 2, 2009

Quality Books For Kids

Finding books for my kids to read has been such a challenge.  I know I may be a little pickier than some, but I just don't like those books that focus on nasty and disrespectful attitudes or boy/girl relationships.  I don't need any more pressure on my little 9,8 and 7 year old girls on having a boyfriend and all that goes along with that.  

So, as we have starting going to the library regularly, we have started to explore the options available for the 2nd-5th grade reading level.  We have even found some that I think are great and my girls just haven't loved.  Then, we find the ones that I am not crazy about and the girls can't get enough.  But, we have been lucky enough to come to a couple of books that we both agree on and I thought I would share. 

If you have any more suggestions, I would love to hear them.  I am always looking for something new.

Katie Kazoo (this is Avery's all time favorite) - These books are about a little girl named Katie who is transformed into someone different in each book.  She gets to see and live through the body and experiences of another person.  The books encourage her to appreciate another point of view and how to adjust when you feel like you don't know what you are doing.  They are written with just the right amount of humor and approved by this mom.

Jake Maddox (Morgan's new favorite) - These books are all about sports.  It doesn't matter what sport you are into, you can find a Jake Maddox book about it.  The thing I love about these books is that they are not specific to boys.  They have books from football to cheerleading and everything in between.  These books have excitement, sportsmanship and teamwork as some of their main themes.

American Girl (none of my girls are reading these right now, but they have and love them and they love the movies) -  The best part of these books is the historical background.  Each book takes a 9 year old girl's point of view on her life during a specific period of history.  Some of my favorites are Addy, Molly, Kit, Felicity and Samantha.  I think I have learned, as an adult, just as much as my kids when we read these.  They even keep me on the edge of my seat and I want to read what happens next.  We like to use these books as part of our school curriculum and read them together.

Magic Tree House (we own several of these but are not currently reading them) - These are ones I have to be careful with.  I have read some that I think are great and encourage my children to read.  Then, I have come across a couple that are very new age oriented and I won't allow them to read.  

I have several other books that I look forward to them reading as they get older and develop more of a love for it.  This is an area that I try to encourage in spite of my personal lack of desire to read.  So, here are some of the ones for future reading.

The Chronicles of Narnia (my dad used to read these to me as a child and I have fond memories of it.  My kids have seen the movie and my mom has read one of the books to them already) - These books are written with a plot line very similar to the story of Jesus.  My children have loved these movies and I look forward to them becoming mature enough to enjoy the books even more.

The Hobbit (or any Tolkein book for that matter) - These books outline the ultimate battle between good and evil.  This is another book I heard growing up and I have thoroughly enjoyed the movies as an adult.  

So, do you have any more ideas for a mom trying to teach her kids the love of reading?  If so, I would love to hear it.


Jackie Sue said...

The Anne of Green Gables series is wonderful. I've not ever been able to talk my girls into them, probably b/c I love them so much, but they are great reading aloud to your kids books. They are just so funny...much better than the movies. I also love the Little Women series.

Anonymous said...

How about books for boys that are 14 and reading on a College Level! Yeah, it's really hard to find some appropriate books for Ben to read!

Dianna Mason

Brittani said...

thanks for going to all of this work for us :) we love reading with our kids and are always looking for the next big "hit" for bedtime :) thanks

Sarah said...

My 6 yr.old is loving the Laura Ingalls books right now. She can't read them herself yet, but loves having the read to her.
Also, I loved Encyclopedia Brown books. Also, the Boxcar children series was great.
If you are looking for educational books, I sell some that really well written....lots of biographies that are fun to read.
My site is linked from the sidebar on my blog. :-)
Good luck in finding more books!

Amanda said...

The Little Britches series is great. The main character is a boy (based on his real life) but his many adventures over the course of the series keeps both boys and girl entertained. Also, I'm not sure if they are old enough yet, but the Christy Miller (tween/teen) series is good reading.

Stacy Ann said...

The "Shoe Books" are awesome. Ballet Shoes was my favorite, I think you can find them on Amazon. And I second the LM Montgomery books, she wrote a lot more than just the "Anne" series. My favorites are Jane of Lantern Hill and The Blue Castle. Oh and the "Emily" series, those are terrific! Not sure if Blue Castle might be too grown up for your girls. Any book by Lois Lenski is awesome (Strawberry Girl is cute). Caddie Woodlawn is a fun read. I'll have to try to think of some more. I have three sisters and we all read a lot growing up and my mom was pretty particular. I remember reading a series about a young girl growing up in the late 1800's and they were very fun to read and quite charming. My sisters might remember what they are called. My dad read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer to us as well as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books. Just a few ideas for you! I'm not up on current young adult books but those are ones I remember enjoying.

Anonymous said...

Try looking at
It is used for the Accelerated Reader program at school and you can search books based on reading level (skill) and interest level (age). You can also select genre and get a very full list that will include old favorites that can only be found at the library or ebay and new publications that can be found at the local bookstore.

For Girls
The Secret Garden
The Goose Girl (a twist on Cinderella - all she wants is to be a goose girl again)

Allie Finkels Rules for Girls
Allie negotiates moving to a new home, starting a new school and being a good friend. (Do an attitude check flip through to make sure it fits your sensibilities)

The 39 Clues series
Amy & Dan find out they belong to the most powerful family on the planet - the Cahills. Famous Cahills have included Ben Franklin, Beethoven, Catherine the Great and every other influintal person in history. They choose to forgo a $1M inheritance to search for the source of the Cahill family's power which is hidden in 39 clues placed around the world. Three of the 10 books have been published. There is no "supernatural" powers or influences (at least not yet). Logic puzzles and clues take the kids around the world chased by their less ethical relatives.

More boyish, but girls like them too.
Where the Red Fern Grows
Call of the Wild
Around the World in 80 Days
The Black Stallion
Watership Down
Gregor the Overlander series
Gregor falls (Alice in Wonderland style) from New York City into the Underland populated by people who chose to go underground centuries ago, giant bats, rats and other such creatures).

Artemis Fowl series
Artemis is 12 yr old genius, but he uses his talents for profit by any means - in the first book he kidnaps a member of the LEPRecon (Lower Elements Police Recon Unit) to hold for ransom. As the series progresses, he helps his new friends, but still gets a little something for himself. As the books progress, he becomes more selfless. It is a series of teachable moments packaged in an enjoyable story.