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    #33477 12/28/08 09:30 AM
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    Hi all,
    I have run into a strange problem that I beleive the parents in this forum can relate to and help. DD5 has been tested at reading at a 5th grade level. I've found that she can read most anything, she was like this entering K this year.
    My problem is finding books (for pleasure reading) that are at her level of ability, but for a 5 year old. I've found some things like classics (she's only interested in the girly girl books, a true little princess herself) and American Girl and some sparkle books (the kittens and ponies) I've been reading them first to make sure there OK, but because the books are for 8-12 it has the problems girls that age might face, not a 5 year old. Are there books for kids like this?

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    Amelia Bedelia (if it's not too easy) and Pippi Longstocking come immediately to mind. How about the Magic Treehouse books? Too easy? Or just not princess-y enough?


    Kriston
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    I have a similar problem with DD4, though she is not reading at that level. But books that we read together at night etc. Chapter books often have stories to which she cannot relate.

    But we are still doing the Magic Tree House and things like the Tales of Desperaux.

    Good luck.
    Ren

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    I think I've solved your problem:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oz_books
    the 15 or so I've read are perfect for a princessy 5 year old, IMHO. Some are a bit weak on plot, but I think that might be a benifit for the 5ish crowd.
    Wonderful characters and lots of action and description.

    Also try -
    E.B. White
    Rold Dahl
    Bruce Coville
    Little House on the Praire series

    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/girls_women.htm
    is a wonderful resource.

    cultivating librarian friends has been a great help to us.
    Also amazon.com's 'Other people who bought this book also bought' feature.

    Best Wishes,
    Grinity



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    Dinotopia - words and pictures!


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    Also not princess-y, but I loved the mystery series Encyclopedia Brown when I was a young child.

    It's kid-based mystery, so no one dies (or ever even comes close). Even the usual bad guy/bully does little more than bluster and always gets his comeuppance thanks to EB's intelligence and cool head.

    I'd second Grin's Little House suggestion, though IMHO, you probably need to have a talk about the treatment of Native Americans in the books along the way. The attitude of the series is *ahem* not very enlightened *ahem*.


    Kriston
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    Great suggestions! Thank you everyone! She reading chapter books (with and without me), and that is exactly what I was looking for. Those links are a great resource.

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    Well, I have boys (3,5, and 7--very advanced readers and/or listeners for their ages, but pretty sensitive to violence/scariness/injustice), but I have a couple of ideas that might work for your daughter:

    -Esther Averill's "Cat Club" series are terrific--very genteel! The heroine is a female cat named Jenny; she has two brothers and a large cohort of feline friends, one of whom is a very princess-y Persian.

    -James Thurber's kids' books are brilliant, and much-loved here (and most feature princesses!): Many Moons, The White Deer, The Wonderful O, and best of all, The Thirteen Clocks, which in my opinion is the best children's book ever written!!

    -the lads like WM Thackeray's Xmas pantos, especially The Rose and the Ring (make sure you find a copy with the author's own illustrations and the rhyming couplets as the running header--accept no substitutes!)--princesses, fairies, princes, magic charms, battles, puns, it's got it all!

    -George MacDonald's children's books are wonderful--The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, At the Back of the North Wind

    -Can't go wrong with The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)

    -my nieces like Sydney Taylor's All of a Kind Family series, and also the What Katy Did books (have spaced out on the author's name of those ones)

    -there are all the LM Alcott books, of course--I vaguely remember one from my girlhood called Jack and Jill that seems to have been aimed at a slightly younger audience than Little Women and its sequels.

    -the Narnia books have queens and things...

    -also LM Montgomery--besides the Anne books (Anne of Green Gables, of the Island, of Avonlea, etc), there are the Emily books (Emily of New Moon, ...Climbs, ...'s Quest), also the Blue Castle, Pat of Silver Bush, etc.

    -there's always The Secret Garden and The Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

    -not princessy but very good for either gender, in my estimation, are the Edward Eager books--Half Magic, Knight's Castle, etc. (and there are 7 of them, wahoo!)

    -my kids have loved some of the previous suggestions here--all of the EB White books, as well as Encyclopedia Brown (worth mentioning in this context that Encyclopedia has a female sidekick named Sally); the Bruce Coville Shakespeare adaptations (comedies only at our house for now!) have been very popular here

    -I always like poetry for kids this age, too--much loved here is the Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear, and various things of WS Gilbert (of G&S fame)--Bab ballads and so on

    -the JP Martin "Uncle" books are odd but fun (an elephant king with a wacky castle and strange adventures)

    -maybe just a read-aloud now for a 5 year-old, but you must have on your shelves for later! is TH White's the Sword in the Stone--Harpo has read this over and over--and Groucho got White's Mistress Masham's Repose for Xmas, which we love so far.

    -very popular here, though possibly difficult to get outside of Canada, are Christie Harris's Mouse Woman books (MW and the Mischief-Makers, MW and the Muddleheads, MW and the Vanished Princesses)--adaptations of Haida myths--Harpo especially loved these at that age.

    -Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden is perfect! (secrets, magic, friendship, time travel...)

    -also popular here, though not very girly at all, is Kipling (Kim, Jungle Book, Just So Stories).

    We tend to gravitate toward the Victorians or Edwardians for advanced vocabulary, but age-appropriate in terms of sex/violence/scariness/sassiness.

    Sorry to babble--nothing I'd rather talk about than kids' books, though! Hope some of these might suit--

    peace
    minnie

    PS Does she like animals? Groucho loved Farley Mowat's Owls in the Family and The Dog who Wouldn't Be--I gave them to my nieces (who are extremely girly girls), and they liked them, too.

    Last edited by minniemarx; 12/28/08 12:41 PM. Reason: added postscript
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    Had a couple other ideas for fantasy-type books:

    The Hidden Folk, by Lisa Lunge-Larsen, with the most beautiful pictures in the world by Beth Krommes (stories of dwarves, nisses, water horses, selkies, etc.)

    The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton (a Canadian classic).

    minnie

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    DD4 (into princessy stuff) loves the Weather Fairy chapter book series. Very innocent and girly! She's not reading chapter books, but likes us to read these to her. She also loves Flat Stanley books. DS6 still loves the Magic Tree House series. I have heard other parents say they are too "easy" for second or third graders, but I never understood that because I could see a much older kid enjoying them. DD6 has read each book in the series at least twice. They also have "study guides" that are non-fiction books about the historical or scientific topic the story introduces.

    Last edited by Jool; 12/28/08 07:56 PM.
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