Books for young elementary readers:
Ranks: 5-Must read/4-Great read/3-Good read/2-Fair read/1-Don’t read
- 3-The Boxcar Children (and series) by Gertrude Warner
I especially appreciate how respectful the Alden children are of their Grandfather and each other. These are not Christian books, but they do offer solid moral values very age appropriately!
- 1-Mandy Series by Lois Gladys Leopard
I read these books growing up (I even owned them!), but I cannot recommend them. Not only is Mandy a very petty character, but the books delve much too much into romance. Mandy and Joe are practically engaged at 13! Personally, I feel that young readers are much too young to be reading about (and forming expectations/perceptions from) silly, idealized romances between other children. That pressure will come far to soon without introducing it in early reading material!
- 2-Cam Jansen Mysteries series by David Adler
Clean reading, but Cam does get herself into quite a few foolish pranks against the wishes of her parents (or other adult figures) who are subsequently proved silly in light of Cam’s heroic adventures. I much prefer The Boxcar Children’s respect of authority!
- 3-Miss Know It All by Carol Beach York
Some very educational facts presented in a very appealing way!
- 3-The Littles by John Peterson
Creative, imaginative, family oriented.
- 2-Horrible Harry’s Secret by Suzy Kline
Full of 2nd grade romance.
- 3-Hank the Cowdog Series by John R. Erickson
My brother loved these. I can remember him laughing just about straight through each book.
- 3-American Girl Series by various authors
I think my favorite American Girl was Kiersten (and no, I never had a doll). One great part about these books is their very historical setting–great educational material!
- 3-Amelia Bedelia series by Herman and Peggy Parish
A crazy housekeeper makes for some amusing mistakes!
- 3-Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens
- 3-Peabody series by Jeri Massi
See “Intermediate Readers”
- 2-Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
I remember enjoying these books alot growing up, but re-reading them now, I do have to say that Pippi is definitely not always so admirable a character! She is very rebellious against authority…which is part of what makes the books so entertaining. She has too much spunk for her own good, which gets her into many comical scrapes. Well written and engaging, just not quite exemplary.
- 3-The Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Three orphans learn to dance–and develop responsibility, maturity, and character along the way. Ages 8-12.
- 4-Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
Can I make a confession? Until recently, I’d never read Winnie the Pooh. Who AM I?! Little did I know what I was missing. My mother-in-law loaned me two of Milne’s books…and I LOVED them. Can’t recommend them enough. They’d be great read alouds, too–I think that’s how Tim and I will be using them.
This list will continue to grow as I continue to read!