A real life friend asked for some suggested reads for her advanced reading 2nd grader with a RL of 4.7. While this blog is focused on advanced readers ages 8-12, I’ve spent a lot of time digging up great reads for that 5-8 age category as well. Fortunately, most of the books in the lower reading level ranges are appropriate for the Wee Ones, unless your child is tremendously advanced in reading (it happens). So, I’ve put together a suggested reading list from our family’s bookshelves, for the Wee Advanced Readers.
- Magic Tree House RL 2.6 – 4.0, with the non-fiction companions running higher in RL. I can’t say enough good things about Mary Pope Osborne for bringing these books to kids. They’re a fantastic entry into chapter books, and are good for re-reading multiple times. And we have. Believe me.
- Magic School Bus RL 2.4 -4.4 Magic School Bus books come in a variety of formats, from easy readers to chapter books to more complicated (scientifically speaking) picture books. Search around your library, or look for Scholastic sales through your school, which are a great source for these books. They are well worth owning, as they will be read, re-read, plumbed for scientific knowledge, and hauled out to settle arguments about the operation of a the water works plants (it happens, at least in our house).
- Little House on the Prairie series RL 4.9 – 5.8 These are a little higher in reading level, but solidly in the interest level for the Wee Ones ages 5-8. My kids loved the old-fashioned farm technology and living on the prairie. These books led to a fascination with the Oregon Trail for a while.
- TOM SWIFT! TOM SWIFT! TOM SWIFT! Ahem. Love this series. RL 4.8 – 5.7 Get thee to the used bookstore or Ebay to find them, though.
- Frindle RL 5.4 Again a little higher RL, but very appropriate for younger advanced readers.
- The Littles series RL 2.6 – 4.2 Another great series, that also comes in a couple different formats, with both the easy reader version for beginning readers and the chapter book version – which is the original and I find preferable. Something is lost when the Littles are made . . . smaller . . . sorry, couldn’t resist.
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle (and Ralph S. Mouse and Runaway Ralph) RL 5.1 Higher reading level, again, but love, love, love the mouse books. I think I’ve read these about 10 times between the three boys. That doesn’t count the times they’ve read them on their own.
- Charlotte’s Web RL 4.1 No explanation needed.
- Trumpet of the Swan RL 4.9 E.B. White’s other book, and I simply adore this one. I remember reading this one, hour after hour, to an entranced 4 year old. Our copy is well worn and well loved.
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle RL 4.9 – 5.5 Hilarious books, with sly teaching of manners and such. But not in a stuffy way, unless you consider a slightly English magical governess type to be stuffy. I don’t know, it worked for Mary Poppins, and I think Mrs. P has her beat.
- Choose Your Own Adventure These aren’t rated with a reading level, because there are too many possible ways to read the book! Worm Burner loves these. He has a thing for patterns, and likes to read ALL the different endings.
- Bunnicula RL 4.2 Worm Burner thought this book was a scream. I had to admit, I was intrigued by the idea of a bunny who may, or may not, be a vampire.
- Lunch Money RL 5.2 More Andrew Clements, the man’s just a genius for this age group.
- Spiderwick Chronicles RL 4.2 Wickedly funny series about all kinds of spooky critters you can’t see, unless you have special goop to look through. The movie was FAR scarier than the books. Yikes!
- Kid Who Ran for President RL 4.7 Worm Burner was fascinated by this book, and I think it warped his ideas about the electoral process, but I’m biased.
- Sir Cumference series RL 4.1 – 4.3 Based on title alone, I would have been a fan of these books. But they seriously engaged my mathematically minded son and he re-read them several times.
- The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks series RL 4.1 Another title that reels me in, and the books are just as funny.
That should keep the Wee Ones occupied for a while. Whew!
If you have any suggestions for those precocious readers, please leave them in the comments!