Jump to content


4th grader who reads at a college level--summer reading suggestions?

Recommended Posts

I'm asking this here for a friend whose daughter, M, is 11 and is reading Jane Austen and Henry James. In terms of speed, comprehension, and ability to interpret and discuss literary themes she is reading at a college level.


My friend and I were discussing other directions her reading might take that would be interesting and also more fun and age appropriate (although M does think Henry James is fun). I thought of those dense Edwardian novels of childhood (Five Children and It, Little Lord Fauntleroy, etc.) or European children's literature in translation (Pinnochio, for example). I also thought of narratives that take on subjects like mathematics (the Number Devil, the Man who Counted), history and science (especially physics, which she is especially interested in from a hard science perspective) but few sepcific titles came to mind.


I thought some of you here might have better suggestions, since my ideas were fairly limited.


Her family is secular in orientation. M is quite innocent and young socially, FWIW.


Many thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was about that age I really loved Sherlock Holmes and the various Agatha Christie detectives. There is some "inappropriateness" (people having affairs, love triangles, secret relationships, etc. -- and of course murder!) but it's generally discreet... no steamy scenes or anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest College Teen

My sister and I were precocious readers, too. Here are some suggestions that are fun and pretty clean/appropriate:



- P.G. Wodehouse, especially the Blandings Castle series

- Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

- Beverly Nichols, Down the Garden Path

- Clarence Day, Life with Father

- Cornelia Otis Skinner, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay

- A. A. Milne's adult books, like The Sunny Side



- Elizabeth Peters, Amelia Peabody or Vicky Bliss series

- Dorothy Sayers, the Peter Whimsy series


FANTASY (both are set during the English Regency)

- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

- Patricia C. Wrede, Sorcery and Cecelia



- Kenneth Grahame, The Golden Age and Dream Days

- the Fairacre/Village School series by "Miss Read"



My sister's free classic literature magazine for teens might be useful, too. It's www.sparrowtreesquare.com - it's secular. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try Kipling. I particularly recommend The Just So Stories.


Consider going to Gutenberg Books and sorting through the older literature for children. Heidi might be a good choice.


Here is At the Back of the North Wind, with charming illustrations:




Starting here will greatly simplify the quest:




I recommend earlier Children's literature because it tends to be written with more sophisticated language, but is still aimed at children.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...