Saturday, June 11, 2011

Books for Precocious Readers

This began as a reply to Morton Gray's comment. But then there were too many links to include in a comment. And once I get started talking about kids' books, I do get a bit long winded. I had the same troubles for many years. Patience was a precocious reader, but at eight years old found even Nancy Drew books too intense. In her defense, we had a Nancy Drew computer game. Prudence was bad at it and I was worse. Poor Nancy routinely died from our bad choices. Patience had good reason to worry over Nancy.

I found some of the most satisfying books for the kids at that age were some of the older titles. They have a complexity of language and story that is satisfying, while skirting some of the darker bits. Swallows and Amazons never caught with my kids, but is often recommended.  The Eager books however were much loved at our house. There are Mr Pooper's Penguins which is a new movie and other award winning books. Andrew Clements books are amusing and fun but still hold a place in my kids' bookshelves.

As he gets a bit older, there are some more modern books as well that appeal because of the interesting content, even after the reading level is a bit unchallenging, but still have that reassuring feeling that nothing bad would happen.

Anyone have anything else to recommend to a young reader who doesn't want to read anything too dark?


  1. Oooo a blog post inspired by me! Thank you for the suggestions. The best books we have found lately are by David Walliams - Mr Stink, The Boy in the Dress and Billionaire Boy. Mx

  2. My oldest is 10 and she's just finished Little Women and loved it. Also Black Beauty, etc, etc. Then again, she loves Nancy Drew so perhaps just ignore me. :-)

  3. My kids love Ric Riordan who writes the Percy Jackson series among others. (but they're preteen and teens) The movie (The Lightening Thief) was poorly done, but the books are really good.

  4. Jackie, Patience would never read Little Women. I think she was scarred by Prudence. When Beth died, Prudence sobbed for an hour. Same with Black Beauty.

    Aimee, we love Riordan here. Patience was crushed that The Lightening Thief movie was so bad. And she bought The Throne of Fire last Friday. She's already half done. :) It's a bit young for her, but she loves it all the same.

  5. I read a great series about a ballerina The Drina books by Jean Estoril They take her through her teen years....
    I loved the swallows and amazon books, but i sailed....