Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reading Conundrum

For those that don't know,  I have an advanced reader (actually 2, but the younger isn't an issue).  She is in the 4th grade but makes short work of anything assigned in class and rips through books for pleasure so fast that we could never afford to buy books for here.  Thank goodness for libraries. 

Our problem comes from finding challenging books that she will like, but are still age appropriate.  I am not so much worried about blood and guts as I am all out violence and/or sexual content.  A book that an 8th grader wouldn't blink at can sometimes be completely bad for a 4th grader.  I mean kissing is still gross in the fourth grade and while being interested in boys is starting to surface it isn't at fever pitch yet. 

She has currently finished the Lemony Snickett books that she started a couple of weeks ago and is waiting patiently for the next Warriors book after devouring the newest Seekers book.  I think she is stagnating though.  The books she is currently reading are pretty much the same thing she could have been reading last year.  I have had her read Gaiman's Graveyard Book, and she has Ship Breaker from Paolo Bacigalupi.  I just put Pigman and Flowers for Algernon on her library list and she has most of the classics at home.  We can force her to read stuff she doesn't want  by denying her the things she does want.  We don't want to use this technique too often.

Anyone have any suggesttions for appropriate subject matter but more complex books?


SQT said...

My daughter is in fifth grade. She's currently reading the sixth Harry Potter book. My daughter isn't all about genre though. She reads the Allie Finkle Rules for Girls books by Meg Cabot. Cabot's books are okay if they're not the ones geared for teens. I won't let my daughter read those because they are way too adult. Some classics are great too. My daughter loves Anne of Green Gables and The Little Princess. I even got her started on some Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins). Of course she loves The Wimpy Kid books-- but they're very easy and quick reads. She was into the Babysitter's Club and the Magic Treehouse books last year-- those were readily available at the library and the used bookstore. I'll have to ask her what else she likes. She's always carrying something around.

Talli Roland said...

Jacqueline Wilson? I don't read many YA books but I do know she's a very popular author.

Misha said...

I'd say go for the classics.

Advanced reading, and mostly without the issues that you mentioned.

That's what I went for when I was her age and younger.

But if she isn't interested...

Jennifer Hillier said...

I wish I had some book recommendations for you, but since I don't have kids, I don't know what's popular these days! When I was in grade 4 I was reading lots of Judy Blume (and yes, the kissing WAS gross).

I love that she reads so voraciously, though. So awesome.

baygirl32 said...

have you thought about the Hunger Games? kiddo is in 6th grade and absolutely loved them!

we loved the lemony snicket booked in my house too

thanks for dropping by my blog earlier, and taking the time to comment

Summer Ross said...

My daughter is in fourth grade as well, she has a far more mature mind then most of her classmates, her level of reading is 8th grade- but most the content is inappropriate. She has tried to convince me otherwise in length. I have a few book suggestions for you- from what my daughter has read.-

"Briggita of the whiter forest"
Its a book about a fairy girl trying to save her forest by Danika Dinsmore

Calvin and Hobbs comic book,

Horror Land books by R.L.Stine

"The last Apprentice" By Joseph Delaney

"School of fear" by Gitty Daneshvari

Joke books,

There is also an anime series book she is very into called "Shugo Chara!" translated by June Kato adapted by David Welsh

I hope this helps.

DEZMOND said...

Budd, how can blood and guts be more appropriate for kids than sexual content?

Budd said...

thanks for all the suggestions, everyone.

Dez- While she knows about sex education she doesn't quite understand it and it boys are still gross. Violence, on the other hand, is something she does understand. She has already dissected a fish and a frog, she has had pets and family members (great grandparents) die. Her psyche is just better suited to handle violence to some degree.

Plus we just don't want her exposed to it yet and are okay with violence as long as it is mostly fantastical and not realistic or over the top. The Descent, for example was too much for her, but the Ruins was okay. It is a fine line and it is constantly moving.

Lynda R Young said...

I can't imagine what might be good...anything with an emphasis on adventure. Sorry I can't be more help.