Jump to content


Top 3 book recommendations JAWM

Recommended Posts



My eldest (7th grade) is a bright girl. She picks up things quickly and naturally and does not like to review or "be taught" material. She doesn't read. She can, just doesn’t. She can decode fine and there is not a vision issue. I have tried many books and options and it becomes a stand off/WW3 type situation.This girl has also flip flopped on going to PS dozens of times in the last year. She has a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). I would like for her to go the second half of the school year just to get it out! I think she needs to see and experience PS so that she can finally decide for herself what situation is best for her (obviously her dad and I will be a large part of the decision and help guide her to the "right" one if she doesn't land on it herself). I do believe she is capable of making this decision. If you disagree, please leave your book recommendations anyway!


Her writing suffers. I know that by reading good writing, her writing will improve. I need your top 3 or so book recommendations that she might actually read. She is all about peace and love (hippy girl!). She loves mystery/thriller movies, being weird, strong women leaders, animals and nature.


Please drop your best recommendations or other advice regarding reading/writing.

Edited by mysticmomma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's FOMO?


How about the book Cinder?  My kids loved it.  It's about a strong girl and it's science fiction.  It's the first book of a series.


Have you considered using audiobooks so she gets exposure to good literature that way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Updated now that age/grade has been clarified:


If she does not like to read, and has never liked to read, how is her reading fluency and decoding? Can she read nonsense words out loud? Has she had an eye exam? Maybe she has some issues with decoding and fluency that make reading hard.


I would think audio books would give her some good exposure while decoding/fluency could be worked on separately. How does she do with audio books? If she does well with audio books I would encourage exposure through audio books. Does she like read alouds? Audio plays?


As for writing, does she need something that is more systematic and helps her break things down then reassemble better? Perhaps IEW SWI-B?


Would an on-line class work better for writing so you aren't the bad guy for requirements?


As for reading recommendations, there are tons of great books out there. Have you tried book series where you start reading it with her or let her listen to the first book on audio then she has access to the printed version of the second one? That got my DD reading more on her own. Do you allow books like The Hunger Games? Or do you need something that is not as intense?

Edited by OneStepAtATime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest son became a voracious reader in elementary school when he discovered Calvin and Hobbes.  It kept him going for a while because there are a lot of them, and the vocabulary is great.  The humor is what drew him in.  You might find a comic that speaks to her interests, such as The Far Side (lots of animals and very funny!), Dilbert (also animals) etc.  These have the advantage of being able to be read in small bites, so if she finds reading tiring she can read as much or as little as she likes and not worry about losing the plot thread. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd look for a kind of writing she's more open to. My youngest brother, in a house full of readers, thought reading was a pathetic hobby, seeing it as being equivalent to how I, a reader, would view tv watching as a hobby. "Why aren't those people more active? That's a sign of being a boring person!" He was much happier reading non fiction, especially "how to" type things. Non fiction magazines went over better. Once my parents accepted that he just didn't want to spend time reading for enjoyment and helped him read for a purpose, he did much better generally. By late high school he'd even read a short, highly recommended novel and get a lot out of it, even if it was a very difficult read. Did he read Moby Dick when it was assigned in college? Nope!

Try having her read short stories in a variety of styles. Have her try essays on topics close to her heart. I love reading novels, but they aren't the only thing out there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tamora Pierce has several series of books with strong female protagonist. I've only read this one:



It technically takes place in the same place after two other series (the Song of the Lioness series and the Immortals series), but my kids didn't seem to have a problem jumping in at that point.


Here's the series that comes first:



This one would come next chronologically:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd only began to enjoy reading when she discovered biographies.  She loved reading about real people and events.  Given that your dd enjoys books about strong women, could you go to a local library and look up biographies on famous girls/women?  


I remember one book she enjoyed was A Girl and Five Brave Horses, which is a true story about a girl who was a rider on a diving horse.  She became blind after a diving accident, but eventually learned to ride and dive again.  The movie Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is based on the book, and is a great movie!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard to recommend without knowing a bit about her personality.  People are s different, what one loves another will hate.


I once gave a high school, non-reading friend a Charles DeLint novel for a gift, and he became quite addicted to them.  I was sure he'd love them, he was so keen on fantasy role playing.  



Link to comment
Share on other sites

... I need your top 3 or so book recommendations that she might actually read...


I'll just throw in there, that, in some ways, it may not matter *which* 3 books you go with (as long as they might be in the ballpark of DD's interest). Instead, it might matter *how* you do them:


- scheduled time during your school hours

- do it aloud together "popcorn" style ("you read a page, I read a page")

- discuss as you go

- make it about a shared enjoyable experience: make a special favorite snack to eat while you read, set up other children with an educational movie or computer games so it is uninterrupted just "big girls book time"


Just a thought! Some ideas for discussion-able books:



- I Am Malala (Yousafzai) -- Young Reader's Edition

- Behind Rebel Lines (Reit)

- Soul Surfer (McNamara)

- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Kamkwamba) -- Young Reader's Edition



- The Westing Game (Raskin)

- And Then There Were None (Christie)

- The London Eye Mystery (Dowd)


historical fiction (with strong female protagonists)

- Catherine Called Birdie (Cushman)

- The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avi)

- Fever 1793 (Anderson)


realistic (some set in the past, but the focus is the realistic strong characters)

- The War That Saved My Life (Brubaker)

- The Breadwinner (Ellis)

- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Kelly)

- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor)

- The Toothpaste Millionaire (Merrill)

- Hoot (Hiaasen)

- Wonder (Palacio)



- Julie of the Wolves (George)

- Island of the Blue Dolphins (O'Dell)


historical setting/speculative fiction

- The Devil's Arithmetic (Yolen)

- The Book Thief (Zusak)

- Tuck Everlasting (Babbitt)


fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction 

- Ella Enchanted (Levine)

- Princess Academy (Hale)

- Below the Root (Snyder)

- Uglies (Westerfeld)

- Among the Hidden (Peterson)

- The Giver (Lowry)

- The Graveyard Book (Gaiman)


tall tale/whimsical

- The Candymakers (Mass)

- 11 Birthdays (Mass)

- Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Grabenstein) -- mystery elements

- Greenglass House (Milford) -- mystery elements

- Holes (Sachar)




...Please drop your best recommendations or other advice regarding reading/writing


SO sorry, I couldn't quite figure out if you meant "drop" as in "drop it" / don't go there about the reading/writing, or if you mean "drop" as in "lay it on me" / give me any other thoughts on reading/writing. If you mean the first, then please ignore the following. :)


re: writing

You might just shoot for practicing on getting solid with paragraph writing to be prepared for PS. So have DD complete different types of paragraphs (of varying lengths), say, 1-2 paragraphs per week. Examples:


- descriptive (use sensory details; order the details in a logical way to guide the reader through the description)

- narrative (tells a story or biography; clear beginning, middle, and end)

- a how-to (process) paragraph

- research/factual -- on science, history, geography or other topic

- persuasive (argumentative)

- real-life writing; directions; invitation; letter; email; resume; etc

- journalism article

- comparison

- cause/effect

- literary analysis


Practice having a topic sentence, supporting body sentences that build an argument, and a concluding sentence. Work up to eventually having all of kinds of supporting sentences needed in a paragraph:

- "reason" -- a point that helps build up an "argument" of support for the topic

- "detail" -- additional sentence of info that fleshes out the "reason" or "point" sentence

- "example" -- specific fact or example that supports the "reason" or "point"

- "commentary" -- sentence that explains how/why the "example" supports the point or the topic



BEST of luck in finding what books and writing best fits your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She is in 7th. She can read, just doesn’t like it.

I don't generally use "reading comprehension " programs, but can she complete a grade level read the passage and answer some multiple choice questions? As in have you had her reading level tested to make sure she can really read and comprehend?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Giver

Streams To The River, River To The Sea by Scott O'Dell or The Ransom Of Mercy Carter by Caroline Cooney

The Little Prince



I would go so far as to suggest getting literature guides to go with the books.  MBTP mixes things up well, with projects, comprehension questions, research and study of literary elements.  You can buy just a single guide and see if it works before getting ones for the other two books you choose.

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...