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Twaddle but "bridge" books for reading 6 year old


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My 6 year old son chose and inappropriate book (for his age) and I need a twaddle fun book to replace it. For reference he chose Spy School which isn't that bad but it's geared toward more 4th/5th middle school age and therefore characters insult each other using 1) language he doesn't understand are insults and 2) isn't clear to a 6 year old they are even being insulting or mean. In one part a character says "Run the other way, moron!" My six year old thinks mo-ron is a nickname like sparky would be, also I don't think he can quite wrap his head around people being two-faced (nice to a person one moment but really not nice to that person).  

He enjoys comics and picture books with chapters. 

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The How to Train Your Dragon series was my son's favorite at that age. He also loved Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven series. There's crude humor in Dragons and some dated stereotypes in Blyton, just fyi.

Other series that might suit are Childhood of Famous Americans, Encyclopedia Brown, Henry Huggins, and Boxcar Childen. At that age, my kids have also liked reading nonfiction or historical fiction from the top level of leveled readers. My daughter is enjoying the Random House Stepping Stones books right now. She also really likes the Usborne Illustrated Stories series (you can find some in the series here, but there are quite a few more)-- younger-child-friendly retellings, lots of illustrations.

 

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Maybe some of the Scholastic Branch series (Eerie Elementary, Kung Pow Chicken, etc.)?
Or the Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles?
Or books at level 3 and 4 of Step Into Reading series?

And some of the usual series ideas for gaining fluency and confidence:
- The Magic Treehouse series (Osborne)
- Jigsaw Jones series (Prellar)
- Nate the Great series (Sharmat)
- Commander Toad series (Yolan)
- Dragon Slayer Academy series (McMullan)
- Secrets of Droon series (Abbott)
- Billy and Blaze series  (Anderson)
- Catwings series (Le Guin)
- The Puppy Place series (Miles)
- books by Margaret Davidson: Five True Dog Stories; Seven True Horse Stories; Nine True Dolphin Stories; etc.
- books by Clyde Bulla: Riding the Pony Express; The Secret Valley; A Lion to Guard Us; etc.

A step up (longer, higher reading level, fewer illustrations) might include:
- Henry Huggins books (Cleary)
- Wayside School series (Sachar)
- 13-Story Treehouse series (Griffiths)
- Time Warp Trip series (Scieszka) -- some burp/fart type of humor
- Warriors series (Hunter) -- some new-age-y cat mysticism

Edited by Lori D.
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On 4/24/2023 at 3:06 PM, Clarita said:

He enjoys comics and picture books with chapters. 

Then do more of this. My dd LOVED comics and read them avidly for years as her potato chip reading. Great ACT scores later, did no harm. What genres or styles or topics does he enjoy? It's good to lean in on his interests. If you want classics recommendations, at that age the Great Illustrated Classics work great. All your basic series like Narnia, Little House, etc. are good. With my ds I use a lot of newer stuff and I tend to use the hub.lexile.com bookfinder tool to get books that suit him. 

On 4/24/2023 at 3:06 PM, Clarita said:

In one part a character says "Run the other way, moron!" My six year old thinks mo-ron is a nickname like sparky would be, also I don't think he can quite wrap his head around people being two-faced (nice to a person one moment but really not nice to that person).  

Name-calling and insults typically are a 4 yo/preschool language skill. What you're describing is difficulties with social thinking and perspective taking. That's not what you asked for, but I'm just suggesting you put it on your radar as something to start thinking about or learning about. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Then do more of this. My dd LOVED comics and read them avidly for years as her potato chip reading.

Yes this is why I was asking for twaddle, because I'm absolutely OK with him reading comics and stuff with potty-humor. I just want it to be also "age-appropriate" and not going to get him in trouble because he unknowingly repeats the actions and words in the story. 

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

What you're describing is difficulties with social thinking and perspective taking. That's not what you asked for, but I'm just suggesting you put it on your radar as something to start thinking about or learning about. 

Thanks! I'm not sure if he didn't understand just because he didn't know the word or if he had trouble figuring out all the motives for the characters or both. 

1 hour ago, Tanager said:

Dinosaur Empire! (Earth Before Us #1): Journey through the Mesozoic Era

He might love that!

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On 4/25/2023 at 6:35 PM, Clarita said:

I'm not sure if he didn't understand just because he didn't know the word or if he had trouble figuring out all the motives for the characters or both. 

The name-calling word could have been anything (poopoo head, anything) and he would have inferred it, given the context. It's not about lack of exposure to the particular word. They don't test metalinguistics until later (age 9+) but it does have a section in inferencing. http://downloads.pearsonclinical.com/images/Assets/CELF-5Metalingustics/Test-Objectives-and-Descriptions/2D065535E7C7B77E2A511DB731830FDF/9042-14_CELF-5_Meta_ezine_Hr_f.pdf

There's a lot that is not completely obvious with super bright kids when they're young, so you just have these little odd things. Then they hit 10, 11, 12, 13 and it starts to hit the fan and become glaringly obvious. So I'm just suggesting it's a data point to notice. File it away for later when it becomes relevant. 🙂

Btw, have you read Dog Man? So, so funny. And absurd, but funny.

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Hey Jack series by Usborne is good for firsties who can feel like they are reading a chapter book (3 per book IIRC) but also want larger font and pictures. They are pretty tame and stand alone, so they don't have to go in order. IDK if that is twaddle enough for you/him because I am not familiar with the book he chose.

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