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Cocoloco2014

7 yr old reads at 4th grade level - need books w/ age appropriate content

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My 7 year old son is reading at a 4th grade level. He'll be in second grade next year and he's asking for more books like Harry Potter. I've been told the first of those is ok for him (I've not read any of them as they've just not been something I'm interested in) but that moving forward In the series is not ok at this age. So, I want to keep him engaged in his reading this summer but also am concerned about finding books that are appropriate for a sensitive but bright seven year old boy. He also loves to read non-fiction like books about historical figures, sports, space, dinosaurs, etc.

 

I'd appreciate any series lists or authors or even a personal list you've kept for a kid his age. Thank you!!!

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My child was into the 39 clues series at that age. Adventure with a little history mixed in.

 

That year they also read Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything"

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We all have different viewpoints on what is and isn't appropriate. Is there anything in particular you want to avoid? I'm assuming you don't want lots of violence and kissing, but is there anything else? Like, when my kiddos were that age, I didn't give them anything with racism, which definitely eliminated a lot of classics! But some people think that's overkill and there's no reason a seven year old who can read that well shouldn't have the Little House on the Prairie books.

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We all have different viewpoints on what is and isn't appropriate. Is there anything in particular you want to avoid? I'm assuming you don't want lots of violence and kissing, but is there anything else? Like, when my kiddos were that age, I didn't give them anything with racism, which definitely eliminated a lot of classics! But some people think that's overkill and there's no reason a seven year old who can read that well shouldn't have the Little House on the Prairie books.

:iagree:

I let my kids to read everything, even about racism and terrorism, as longer there is no violence and kisses and it's not a really silly book :001_smile: 

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There, you see? Apparently there are people who don't let their kids read really silly books. And that's all right, though not at all the way I do things.

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Look at the reading lists for Sonlight, My Father's World, Heart of Dakota, Beautiful Feet, Ambleside Online, and other literature based curricula.   They will have books recommended for a range of ages, and the content will mostly be age appropriate.   Sonlight's 2nd grade Readers might be a bit "too easy" for his reading level, but the 3rd grade and 4th/5th grade Readers are very good books.   (Of the curricula I mentioned, Sonlight is the one we've used most.)

 

I also look for books that have been retired from Sonlight Cores for various reasons.   Here is one list of those titles, and anything from Core D or younger would be OK content wise.  

 

Also check out the 1000 Good Books list.

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Regarding Harry Potter, my sensitive kid read maybe half the first book and gave it back to me, telling me that it was not appropriate.

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Regarding Harry Potter, my sensitive kid read maybe half the first book and gave it back to me, telling me that it was not appropriate.

 

Yes, my (oldest) sensitive child (almost 8) could not read this book. I wanted him to, but he couldn't. We have a lot of issues finding appropriate media, because my children will cry over Tinkerbell movies (yes... the ones with the fairies...) My children had nightmares from me reading them a picture book of the little mermaid. So perhaps, my kids are not the best barometer, but they definitely are not ready for HP.

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I really appreciate this thread.  My almost 10 year old finally started reading Harry Potter this year--4th grade--despite being an early reader, he wanted nothing to do with books that didn't have pictures until recently.   He spent a lot of time reading foxtrot and Calvin and Hobbes while we encouraged him to read non-comic books.   Now though, he wants his younger sister to read the HP series, and I've said no.  Since I haven't read them myself, I was going based on the material in the movies, but it seemed like waiting made a lot of sense since she doesn't care anyways, and his judgement isn't the best.  He has no sensitivity to anything other than cussing.  

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Hoagies Gifted and Mensa for Kids have good lists.

 

 

At that age, my dc enjoyed Lynn Reid Banks, Beverly Cleary,and Natalie Babbit as well.as nonfiction.

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How sensitive is sensitive? My daughter still has nightmares about Medusa in the film version of "The Lightning Thief" -- but the first 2-3 in the Harry Potter series were no problem for her, nor were any of Riordan's books, or the Dealing with Dragons series, or the Chronicles of Prydain. She and another second grade friend both went through a Ramona phase *and* a Roald Dahl phase right at the beginning of this year, which I thought was an interesting coincidence. :) I think a couple of her classmates also had a Series of Unfortunate Events phase (DD is currently re-reading the first few).

 

Sometimes I think finding good books for a specific child's reading level is mostly a matter of throwing everything at them and seeing what sticks. We go to the library a lot and DD gets a ton of picture books and Smurf graphic novels, but I can usually toss 3-4 "good" books into her pile and sometimes one will catch on like wildfire. (I still can't believe she won't even try anything by Marguerite Henry though. I LOVED those books as a kid.)

Edited by Alison1
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I'd have to look up what my dss ready way back then, but I remember Swallows and Amazons and there are quite a few of those. Secret garden? Five children and it?

 

Ruth in NZ

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There, you see? Apparently there are people who don't let their kids read really silly books. And that's all right, though not at all the way I do things.

 

Yes, I do strongly believe that not everything you should read what there is over there. Same with TV. My kids have never watched Nickelodeon and cartoons like Ed, Edd and Eddy and etc.

On the other hand I believe you should be able to discuss about everything with your kids, especially what is currently happening in the world, parents can bring it in in a much smoother way. When mine were 3 they knew where they came from and how and now they have good knowledges about gender change and about people's differences and that they should respect every individual and why.

Controversially I would never buy them a gun and teach them to shoot, but they are expected to reach a high level of athleticism, self defense skills and to get a good level in diplomacy skills. 

Well, yes, everyone is different :)

 

 

 

 

My eldest ds read first two Harry Potter's books when he was 5yo. The youngest ds has read the first one only recently and doesn't even want to think about next one. It was quite hard for him and took him ages to finish. He will be 7 next month.

Edited by rushhush08

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Yes, I do strongly believe that not everything you should read what there is over there.

 

That did sound critical, and I apologize :)

 

I really did mean something like "Meanwhile, in my household, it's 'the sillier, the better', but I bet both of our sets of kids are turning out just fine" with no sarcasm at all.

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That did sound critical, and I apologize :)

 

I really did mean something like "Meanwhile, in my household, it's 'the sillier, the better', but I bet both of our sets of kids are turning out just fine" with no sarcasm at all.

Nope. My apology if I let you to think that. I was just in a mood to continue  :laugh:

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My son enjoyed books by Dick King-Smith at that age. Also:

 

The Little House series

Indian in the Cupboard

101 Dalmations

Phantom Tollbooth

 

His favorite at that age was nonfiction. He also enjoyed picture books. There are a lot of good picture books. He read books like Dadblamed Union Army Cow and Egyptian Diary.

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He also enjoyed picture books. There are a lot of good picture books. He read books like Dadblamed Union Army Cow and Egyptian Diary.

I agree! My younger, sensitive kid who reads well at this age just loves picture Books. He can read five or more long ones in one sitting, but just loves the pictures still. And I find the sentences and vocabulary relatively complex and rich (depending on Rhett book, of course! ) - more so than most early chapter books, at least.

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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien.

Calvin and Hobbes!  My daughter LOVED these books and my son won't look at them yet.

The Hobbit.  My son loved this book!  He had made me read it to him twice when he was 6, so he was ready to read it to himself at 7 even though it was a stretch.

 

Another factor with finding book for kids is the difficulty they can tolerate/enjoy.  My daughter was a prolific reader, but she would only read books that were within her vocabulary range, with only a few new words that could be understood in context.  My son doesn't like to read nearly as much, but he is willing (actually seems to prefer) to read a book that is somewhat over his current vocabulary range.  He feels comfortable with a little unknown content.  Things keep percolating in his head and later he will hear the word's meaning and can remember where he saw it before.  Sometimes he will ask the meaning of a word, but not as much as I wish he would.

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Here is a partial list of books my son read in 2nd grade.  YMMV with regards to whether they are appropriate or not.

 

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Mitch and Amy

Stuart Little

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Ginger Pye

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Double Fudge

The 7 Professors of the Far North

Fudge-a-Mania

Pippi Longstocking

Sarah Plain and Tall

Frindle

Otis Spofford

Alvin Ho

The Flight of the Silver Turtle

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

The 101 Dalmatians

The Cricket in Times Square

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

A Lion to Guard Us

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Indian in the Cupboard

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

James and the Giant Peach

Five Children and It

The Witches

The BFG

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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... I didn't see on the thread:

Tintin (we read in English, I got them from Timberdoodle in editions with extra historical information in each)

Life of Fred (libertarianish in philosphy, does mention G*d and church but, according to my older, not "Christianity"): there are LOTS of these. 

Beast Academy books to read for fun, if child is also advanced in math

Little Wolf books by Ian Whybrow.  So funny. 

Edited by serendipitous journey
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I don't think I've seen Chronicles of Narnia mentioned.

My 7 year old daughter has read the Narnia series a couple of times. She is somewhat sensitive and told me that one of the books bothered her a bit. Unfortunately, I can't remember which one. I do know that she skipped parts of it during her subsequent readings...but still loves, loves, loves that series.

 

My older son was also a voracious reader at that age, but he stuck to mostly non-fiction until he had become less sensitive (definitely a relative term because I would still consider him to be sensitive even as a 19 year old). I made the mistake of giving him Where the Red Fern Grows at too early of an age, so for a time he only trusted my non-fiction suggestions.  :crying:

 

All three of my children have been rabid Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts fans. When the boys were older, they also loved Get Fuzzy and Foxtrot...but those can be edgy sometimes so I haven't handed them to my daughter, yet. She tends to repeat things that she has read...I really don't need her quoting Bucky Katt to people in the check-out line at the grocery store. 

 

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Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Beverly Cleary books

Understood Betsy

Here's a Penny

 

My sensitive reader read most of the Harry Potter series at age 7 and had no problems with it.

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The Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome, as someone mentioned above, is quite good, although it might be slightly higher than a 4th grade level. One of the books in the series, Peter Duck, has a couple of chapters with a good deal of pirate violence, so if sensitivity to violence is an issue, skip that one for now. (The violence is akin to Treasure Island style....)

 

Chronicles of Narnia is great too. We have skipped The Last Battle for now because it is pretty serious and there are a couple of upsetting scenes in there that are more suitable for older children.

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I think that at that age, I was getting my son a lot of books that were in series because it helped me keep track :) Here are some that I remember:

Wizard Of Oz 

HIVE

Lemony Snicket (abandoned at about the Reptile Room stage because my sensitive reader is too sensitive!)

Mysterious Benedict Society

The 39 Clues

Swindle (he finished this series in a few days because he liked it a lot)

Treasure Hunter (Patterson)

Harry Potter (abandoned because my sensitive reader found Harry's life too sad!)

Spiderwick Chronicles (also read it in a few days)

Rowan of Rin

The Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch

Nick and Tesla

Code Busters Club

Dragon Slayers Academy (this is silly, so I am not sure if you would like it)

 

Edited by mathnerd
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I don't know exactly what level this is (though I know it's beyond most 7 year olds), but my 7 year old just started reading the Warrior cats books, and it's great for him. Exciting and full of adventure, much more plot than stuff like the Box Car children (that was his last series, so I feel like he made quite a leap here...), and very advanced language. When I read reviews online before, I read how violent they were, but I read a few of them and didn't find them violent at all (there's a big difference to me between having a cat claw at another cat's underbelly, or even get killed in battle and be bleeding, than the kind of violence I feel they're exposed to in stuff like 39 clues, which I did NOT let him read once I had read a few of them... but maybe that's just me!)

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We've read almost everything suggested above, but I've got another option for you.  I still read to him!  Yes, my 9-year-old can easily read almost anything, but I still read to him before bed every night, and I plan to for a long time.

We started Harry Potter (out loud) at about 6.  I had already read the whole series myself multiple times, but he had no issues with the first 2 books.  Then we took a pause before book 3 and another pause before book 4 (read at 8.5-years-old).  I honestly don't think he will ever be emotionally ready for book 5, but at some point we will plow through it.

Right now I am reading the Little House on the Prairie series aloud to him.  There are a few sentences that I skip (dealing with the Indians), and there are lots of things that I help interpret and discuss.  I am really enjoying reading this series with my new adult perspective - Ma is so passive, and Pa doesn't really take her opinions into account.  I didn't even see that as a kid.  And I bought the Little House cookbook for us to play around with (I'm sure Ma would be appalled that I substituted coconut oil for her lard).

 

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