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Where to go after Magic Tree House?

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#1 Mommy22alyns


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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:09 PM

I need some good book recs for Becca. She's reading the Magic Tree House books in a day, and that's just ridiculous, KWIM? She needs something a little more challenging, but not mature. She still seems intimidated by the idea of reading things like Little House and Ramona by herself, even though she can do it. :glare:

I don't want characters who engage in a lot of name-calling or attitude either. That's why we've never read Junie B. Jones. How are the Ivy & Bean and Clementine series for that?

#2 In The Great White North

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:49 PM

We went from Magic Treehouse to Encyclopedia Brown, then older Hardy Boys/Nancy Drews.

The Secret Seven are the same level as Encyclopedia Brown (just above Magic Treehouse) and the same author (Enid Blyton) wrote a slightly harder series, The Famous Five

#3 OrganicAnn


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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:54 PM

Just to say I loved Enid Blyton when I was a girl.

We also enjoyed the Boxcar children and some of the other older series.

#4 elise1mds


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 12:21 AM

Encyclopedia Brown, Boxcar Children... she might like Hank the Cowdog, which is my son's favorite right now... :) Don't know if your library still has any Bobbsey Twins mysteries, but she might enjoy those, too.

Edited to add she might enjoy the Winnie the Pooh books! The grammar is a bit off, but they're lovely books.

Edited by elise1mds, 02 December 2009 - 12:23 AM.

#5 lgm


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 09:43 AM

Magic School Bus
The Littles
Bobbsey Twins
Riverside Kids series by Johanna Hurwitz
Harry the Poisonous Centipede
Carolyn Haywood's Betsy series
Cam Jansen

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#6 Merry


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 01:07 PM

but I guess it depends on if your dd likes the quirky humor in this series. Try the first book and see.

#7 KarenDV


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 01:51 PM

Other Beverly Cleary books like Henry and Ribsy, Socks, etc. might be a good transition into Ramona books. I always found that if my children were put off by a book that "looked hard" I would read the first chapter aloud with them to get them hooked, then set down the book and go do something else. Generally they picked it right back up and started reading.

I also tore through Trixie Belden books at that age in addition to or instead of Nancy Drew. Books like Homer Price would be good, too, and The Ssturdays, The Four-Story Mistake and sequels.

Edited by KarenDV, 02 December 2009 - 01:55 PM.
more ideas

#8 ~Kirsten~


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 01:58 PM

I feel you on this! My daughter is exactly the same way, right down to balking at Little House and Ramona. :tongue_smilie: She starts The Boxcar Children but never gets terribly far, so I'm betting that fits into the same category as the others in our house. Additionally, she doesn't seem to like Encyclopedia Brown, which breaks my heart! :D We tossed in the Mercy Watson books, just to bide time. Anyway, I'll be watching this thread closely to see what else comes up.

Really the only suggestion I have is that The McElderry Book of Grimm's Fairy Tales was a huge hit here. Something about the type size and short-ish story length made her happy, and she plowed right through it. I know there are several others, including Greek Myths and Aesop's Fables, so I'm on the hunt.

Thanks for bringing this up! Good luck, and definitely post if something clicks!

#9 zaichiki


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 02:25 PM

How about the Animal Ark series by Ben Baglio? It's written at about a 4th grade level, but there's also a sub-series written at a slightly lower reading level (I think it's grade 3) called Animal Ark Pets.

Here's a link: http://www.amazon.co...0/dp/0439230268 to one of the books in the Animal Ark Pets series (easy links to the other series are here too).

My dd LOVES Animal Ark and is working her way through the 20+ books in the series right now. They take her a couple of days to read (she only reads a few chapters at a sitting).

OR There's the Puppy Place series which is about 2nd/3rd grade level. Different author.

AND... have you tried Cam Jansen? Dd swallows these in an hour or so, but they're a lot of fun.


Edited by zaichiki, 02 December 2009 - 02:56 PM.

#10 Kfamily


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 02:39 PM

I second the Boxcar Children series. My dd loves these too. Also, books by Clyde Robert Bulla are good too.

#11 LisaDSB


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:23 PM

How about the Animal Ark series by Ben Baglio?

I was just going to suggest that! My DS7 reads at about a grade 8 level and can read any non-fiction book he wants, but has always balked at chapter books.

Earlier this year he finally read the Magic Tree House series, which was easy for him, but he liked the factual aspects and it got him past his hangup over chapter books.

It's still hard to find something that he'll read, but he loves animals so the Animal Ark series has been just the trick. He reads a chapter or two at night in bed so it goes slowly, but at least he's reading some fiction!

#12 Jewels


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 05:52 PM

"Boxcar Children" is a great series to transition from MTH, Ronald Dahl has a few books that are small chapter books (Magic Finger, Fantastic Mr. Fox), Beverly Cleary's Ralph the Mouse books, DickKing-Smith animal tales, Little House on the Prairie/Big Woods large print version. I think young children are attracted to large print books when choosing a chapter book. My .02 I don't know if you do assigned or have Becca read out loud to you but you could try "those harding looking books" as read alouds to you. It may seem less overwhelming to her to read it with you. Just a thought.

Edited by Jewel, 02 December 2009 - 06:16 PM.

#13 Dinsfamily


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:42 PM

Ohhh, we love Hank the Cowdog here and there are over 50 of them to keep her busy for awhile. I wouldn't want my dc to read them alone though...I like reading them aloud too much! Dh often has to take laughing breaks when he reads. Then again, our dog is a black lab version of Hank, so they're a little personal.

#14 lisabees


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:26 PM

Cynthia Rylant has some great books that may be a perfect fit!

#15 Ummsamiyah


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 08:44 PM

MY DD is reading little women. she likes it because it involves girls and the book I have has pictures every couple of pictures. I know it is old school but she enjoys it nonetheless.

#16 lovemyboys


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 10:14 PM

but I guess it depends on if your dd likes the quirky humor in this series. Try the first book and see.

Hank's a favorite around here too.

Ds8 just discovered the Chet Gecko series. They're mysteries with twists on the old gumshoe classics -- he's reading The Malted Falcon right now.

#17 Kuovonne


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Posted 02 December 2009 - 10:44 PM

Sparkle was stuck at MTH books for a while too. I finally got so sick of them that I told her she wasn't allowed to check them out anymore. Then I just started checking out tons of simple chapter books every week, hoping that something would take.

Sparkle really liked "The Spiderwick Chronicles." "Boxcar Children" was okay. She's currently into "Pippi Longstocking". "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" was also a hit.

#18 Jen in PA

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:03 PM

My dd has enjoyed a lot of things by Roald Dahl, Eleanor Estes, Edward Eager, and Jenny Nimmo. They all have lots of books at the 4th/5th grade reading level. Nimmo's Charlie Bone books are nice because they aren't terribly difficult, but they are long enough to last most kids more than one day (unless they get utterly absorbed!).

#19 ChristineMM


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Posted 05 December 2009 - 09:38 AM

My son who read Magic Tree House in K & grade 1 moved on to Secrets of Droon in grade 1 & 2, loved it (fantasy genre) after read 35+ all in the series moved on to Boxcar Children (mystery) in gr 2. After that he segued in gr 3 to fiction ages 9-12 category juv lit i.e. all of Andrew Clements and 39 Clues and now in early gr 4 is loving the Percy Jackson series.

Due to the age of my son I didn't want him exposed to some content in some individual books so didn't push hard to get out of the formula series books. Some of the juv lit for ages 9-12 can have some themes I'm not interested in exposing him to yet.

If you do Hardy Boys be aware the new ones have some questionable things ie smoking cigarettes and one has suicide. Some reference dating, just not of interest & what I wanted to push on my son when he was in gr 1 or 2 or even 3.

I hate Captain Underpants. Sorry. Some boys LOVE it.

Junie B Jones IMO snarky and all school centered not the life my kids have at all, so didn't expose my boys to that. (Public school in my town was pushing readers of both geners to read it and even did some read alouds of it in grade 1 classrooms.)

There are some good animal centered books out there but neither of my sons was really into them.

Try Warriors also.

Oh and girls of course....American Girl series.

If your child cannot make the transition by grade 3 or 4 into a typical format chapter book for ages 9-12 I would strongly urge you to read a bit about eye tracking problems and see if your child has symptoms of that. I had that with my older child and no one had pointed me in that direction, I wish I had that on my radar as the symptoms were there for 1.5 yrs without anyone thinking to investiate it including an opthalmolgist. I am not saying that is the issue just putting that out there in case you need it for the future...

#20 anabelneri


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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:53 AM

We had some issue with the transition from MTH too... I think what finally did the trick was that dd was suddenly fascinated by books with fairies. We read the Spiderwick Chronicles aloud for the most part, but now and then I'd start reading one aloud but only get a chapter or two into the story and then I'd put it down to tend to other tasks (lunch, for example). I'd come by to call her to eat and she'd be reading the book herself. I never did finish the 3rd Spiderwick book!

Another set of books that helped were the Princess Tales by Levine -- they're lovely little retellings of fairy tales, but retold with a new flavor. Anyway, our library has them in small individual hardback editions, so they look small and doable, and they also have them in a compiled version. Dd had read a couple, but wanted to read another one, and the only way that the library had it available was in the compiled version. It took her a couple moments of consideration when I handed her the large-ish book, but once she realized that she'd already read 2/3 of it, she got past her block.

It's been 2 months since that incident, and she just picked up Little House in the Big Woods last week and is 3/4 of the way through it. Woot!