Book Reviews & Extras - Elementary Boys

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
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Book Reviews & Extras - Elementary Boys

Unread post by bethben »

Laura M wrote:I am having a hard time finding books that my analytical, logical, left brained son will find interesting. I am doing Adventures with him and he is reading very well although it is not his favorite thing to do. He is not ready for novel type books yet (like the Little House books) because he gets overwhelmed by how small the print, how thick they are, and there are not enough pictures for him. Any suggestions???
We've done:
* A-Z mysteries
* Cam Jansen mysteries
* Jigsaw Jones
* Larry Boy books (a boy favorite)
* Boxcar children
* Peanuts cartoon books.

The way I get my son to read new chapter books series is have him read them to me first just so he can see that he would actually like them. We also need a new group of books for boys! There's LOTS of series for girls on that level, but not as many for boys.
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Unread post by Poohbee »

I don't have boys, but children's lit. is a passion of mine. I, also, would recommend:
* A to Z Mysteries
* Magic Tree House -- or are those too young?
* Books by Matt Christopher are very popular with young boys, if he likes sports
* Nate the Great books I found to be delightful

Just a few suggestions for you.
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Julie L.
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Unread post by Julie L. »

* Sonlights Grade 3 Readers, and
* DK level 4 readers (most at library) some are not appropiate, but some are very informative and he likes the pictures.

Julie L.
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Unread post by hollybygolly »

Hi there, I neither have children as old as 8 or boys (I have 4 girls aged 5 and under), but I've heard wonderful things about books by Holling C. Holling...some titles are Pagoo and Seabird. Sounds like they might work? Hope it helps!
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Unread post by courthart246 »

My seven year old ds absolutely loves Magic Tree House books. They are chapter books, but with pictures. He likes adventures and has collected almost this whole series -- not sure if we'll read the last few.

Best wishes on finding some reading material! A fun adventure!
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Amy M in NC
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Unread post by Amy M in NC »

* Cul-de-sac kids are a good series, a fast read with chapters.
* My kids love Boxcar Kids.
* Some by Beverly Cleary, like Henry Huggins and Ralph S. Mouse.
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Kudos for Magic Treehouse books!!

Unread post by tatertreezmom »

Just wanted to say that my 13yr old loved Magic Treehouse books when he was 7-8yrs old, and my other son who is 7yrs now also loves the Magic Treehouse series. Here are just a few things that I like about the Magic Treehouse Series...

*You can coordinate many of the books with the topics that you are studying. For example some of the books available are: Thanksgiving on Thursday, Ancient Greece and the Olympics, Revoluntionary War on Wednesday, and Civil War on Sunday.

*Many of the Magic Treehouse books are available on CD or cassette. So when you need something a little different say later in the afternoon, let them listen to a book on tape while following along in the book. We did this yesterday, while out running errands, my son listened to Vikings Ships at Sunrise in the car. We are studying Vikings this week so it was perfect!

*Research guides can be purchased to use along with many of the books, perhaps as a discussion tool.

*Not to mention the books have interesting yet factual stories.

Hope this helps.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Just making sure that you realize that the Little House books and other books that are in the deluxe package are read alouds not readers for Adventures. Since you mentioned that as a book that was too much for him to read yet on his own I thought I would make sure you knew they were not intended as readers.

You have had some great ideas so far. Many that we used.

* Ds did read a few Magic Tree House books and like those.
* He also really enjoyed the upper level DK readers. He liked the adventure stories they had and the colorful, real life pictures.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
Laura M
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A big thank you!!!

Unread post by Laura M »

Thank you everyone for your great recommendations! I love this board!
So far we found some Magic Tree House books and Jigsaw Jones books at the library, and my son is really enjoying them... I am so excited that he is not dreading reading now! I will look into the other recommended books too.
Thanks again!

Married in 1998 to Nathan, the love of my life, and blessed with 4 great kids: Jonathan('99), Josiah ('00), Avalon ('02), and Elijah ('05).
Currently doing Exp - 1850

Unread post by cbollin »

momma2kact wrote:I need suggestions for chapter books to read to my 7 year old son--he is interested in baseball, and other sports(basketball, bowling. soccer--not really football)riding his bike, working with his dad(in constuction) he LOVES dogs(though we do not have one), golden labs esp. We have read the Little house books and he liked those(we both enjoyed the time period).

Anyway, he is doing fine with books to read on his own, but we could really use some suggestions for books to read together.
Do you have a copy of Honey for a Child's Heart? It probably doesn't list any baseball books <g>, but will have a collection of titles for reading together. It's sorted by age groupings up to around age 12 ish.

MFW sells it in the 1st grade deluxe package or separately.

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Unread post by Poohbee »

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:30 am

For your son, the author Matt Christopher popped into my head. He has written many sports books for young boys. I have not read one, so I do not know what they are like, but I know that they were once quite popular with young boys. You may want to check one out and read it to see what you think. He has written many books about a variety of sports.
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Unread post by kalphs »

tiffany wrote:My 6th grade son read 8 books this summer for the Barnes and Noble award program. They receive a free book from a preset list. I was wondering if any of you know about any on the list. Positive or negative critiques are welcome.
I vote for the "Castle in the Attic." This book was featured on a public television program in our area where the artist draws scenes from the book while the story is being read aloud. You can view the reviews at
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Unread post by Poohbee »

tiffany wrote:My 6th grade son read 8 books this summer for the Barnes and Noble award program. They receive a free book from a preset list. I was wondering if any of you know about any on the list. Positive or negative critiques are welcome.
I've read both Frindle and The City of Ember, and I really enjoyed them both.

Frindle is a fun book in which a boy invents a word for a pen and then gets all of his classmates to use the new word (which is "frindle"). The teachers in the school are very upset by it. But, as far as I can remember, the boy was respectful to the teachers. I read it as a read-aloud for my 5th graders when I taught public school and they loved it.

I just recently read The City of Ember, and I loved it! It is a fantasy about a city that has been built underground because something happened on the surface, but the people living underground don't know that there is a whole other world above them. Oh, but don't give these details away to your son before he reads them or it might ruin the books for him. :-)

You can read reviews of them online, but I really enjoyed both books.
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Book Series for boys

Unread post by my3boys »

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:48 am

My ds loved the "My Father's Dragon" series. We read through it together, then he's read through it twice on his own since. It was worth buying the three books. I didn't get the appeal of it - it's definitely a boy series.
Julie in MN
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Book Series for boys

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:34 am

Ah, Cyndi knows my favorite hobby :o) I had to take the challenge, so I dug thru my memory banks...

I must first say that I think my favorite source is now the MFW Teacher Manuals! I especially like the no-pressure, younger-than-reading level books. I heard David Hazell once say that adults pick up Reader's Digest, written at the 5th grade level, so what's wrong with a 5th grader picking up a 2nd grade level book?! In fact, this year my 12-year-old has been reading many of the read-alouds from Adventures during his personal reading time. If there are any MFW levels that you have missed or will miss (we missed Adventures), then be sure to check out the books in that package. Anyways... here are some my boys have enjoyed over the years:

Readers to start with:
Billy and Blaze series
Frog & Toad series
Nate the Great series (a few references are odd but went over my ds's head)
The Miller Family series by Mildred Martin (books of short stories)
A Hive of Busy Bees & Another Hive (short stories; Nature's Workshop says theirs are the complete originals)
Magic School Bus chapter books
Beginner's Bible & other Bible storybooks
Jonathan Park audio books (my son was older but I know 1st graders who love these)
Don't forget classic stories for children like Dr. Seuss & Beatrix Potter

Gradually getting older (or younger read-alouds):
Henry Huggins series
The Alex series by Nancy Simpson
Encyclopedia Brown, series
The Hardy Boys, series
The Boxcar Children series (#1 through #19, written by the original author)
Little House series (some are in MFW)
Childhood of Famous Americans series
Little Britches series (we read these later but I know some who loved them in early elementary; it's a true story & at least one scene with real cowboys has realistic language, but the father example is outstanding)

Silly series
Pippi Longstockings
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Amelia Bedelia (I think kids understand the puns better when they're older )
Homer Price

Silly series but these are best if an adult first "models" how to read the funny parts:
Anatole (use a French accent)
Hank the Cowdog (use a cowboy accent, or I've heard the audios are good)

Step Into Reading has some easy readers that have accurate facts
DK Readers have a little more info (recommended grades 2-4)
Magazines like Nature Friend & younger versions of God's World News (I preferred to read aloud & discuss in elementary)
Ken Ham books (other than the two included in MFW curriculum)
I Wonder Why....? series
Who was...? series about many famous folks, e.g. Ferdinand Magellan
Books on various holidays (including easy ones like Tomie dePaola books)
Picture books on the Pledge of Allegiance & other national symbols
Math & thinking puzzle books, such as authors Tang & Anno

Adding more
- This might be on my old posts but is fairly new to me -- there's a series which starts with the Summer with the Moodys. I think it's a great addition for this group of kids. ... g.php/1170

- Snipp, Snapp, Snurr series reprinted from the 1950s - I haven't read all of them, but I imagine they are all similar. Three little Swedish boys usually do a good deed. About the same reading level as the Billy & Blaze series.
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Good readers for 7 yo boy?

Unread post by jasntas »

705emily wrote:I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions of good books out there for my 7 yo boy. I have a lot of "girl" books, :) but he is just starting to enjoy reading and is into early chapter books--but I'm not familiar with any other than the Magic Treehouse books. Are those good for that age? I have a couple Nate the Great books--but that's about it. Any suggestions??? Thanks a bunch!
I have a 3rd grader who is a reluctant reader (and reluctant at everything else). I posted some books that I found to be helpful and interesting to him. I posted this about 3 weeks ago and since I don't know how to post the link here is what I wrote.
jasntas wrote: I recently found out that there is a set of "Rookie Read About Geography" books that cover every state. And for those of you in ECC with younger sibs, countries and even continents as well. I previously knew about the "Rookie Read About Science and History" books and have been using them throughout the year when I could match them to our unit. We have also been using "Pull Ahead" and "Step Into Reading" books for science and famous people. Also my ds has found that he really enjoys a series called "Easy Reader Classics" which features excerpts from classics such as Tom Sawyer, Jungle Book and Treasure Island.

Also, most of the books listed above I have been able to request through my local library system.

I hope this list helps others as these books have been great for my reluctant reader who now doesn't fight reading time near as much as he use to.
I hope this is helpful in getting you started and hopefully others will also post some more good books that your ds might enjoy.

* Edit * I just wanted to add that I was not implying that your ds was a reluctant reader. I started this post, then my dh started an unrelated conversation with me and I was a bit rushed to get the post finished. I'm really happy others have shared their boys' favorite books as well. They all sound great.
Last edited by jasntas on Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good readers for 7 yo boy?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Mr. Putter and Tabby and Henry and Mudge series. It's awesome to keep a basketful of those.

The Encyclopedia Brown series and Boxcar Children series are also good.

Janette Oke has a series of kids chapter books that are great, too. Several are about little boy animals that would be great for a boy that age, some may be girly.

If I had access to a real computer, I'd look for a link for you. I'm sure you'll get lots more ideas. Don't forget to look through "Honey for a Child's Heart" if you have it.
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Re: Good readers for 7 yo boy?

Unread post by baileymom »

My 7 yo boy has LOVED all the Billy and Blaze books, Mr. Putter and Tabby, and Henry and Mudge. I use Veritas Press' 1st grade Literature List for Story Books...I started out reading them to him, but now He reads them to Me.
705emily wrote:Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I sure appreciate it! I have the Billy & Blaze series and he loves those! We also have Mr. Putter and some Henry & Mudge.... So... I guess I was looking for something a little more challenging than that for him. I wondered if there was a boy series I don't know about?? Thank you!
A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith
The Night the BElls Rang by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
Balto and the Great Race by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Ice Wreck by Lucille Recht Penner
Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster by James Preller
The BEars of Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dagliesh

*Also, the Little House books, my boys LOVE Farmer Boy, Connor also reads the Cam Jansen series by Adler, and an old series called Round About America by Lois Lenski...Boxcar Children...Encyclopedia Brown...Hank the Cowdog (Very Funny...but some "off" cowboy-ish language)...

I know this kind of "in between" phase is hard...when you find some good ones, please share!
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Re: Good readers for 7 yo boy?

Unread post by doubleportion »

The Book of Matt Series by Brian Davis include: My Shoes Got the Blues, Matthew & Goliath, & Matt's Birthday Blessing

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner ( but it is in the 2nd & 3rd grade sup for 1850-Mod)

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates (if you will not do ADV) And the sequel to it A Place For Peter by Elizabeth Yates

The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford

Mr Poppers Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater

Swiss Holiday by Elizabeth Yates

A Question of Yams by Gloria Repp

Dolphins Adventure by Wayne Grover

Dolphin Treasure by Wayne Grover

Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner

Daniel's Duck by Clyde Robert Bulla

Most of these have been enjoyed by my dd when she was 7, but a boy would enjoy them just as much.

LA in Baltimore
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Re: Good readers for 7 yo boy?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

Lots of great suggestions!
I scanned quickly...Did anyone mention the Henry Huggins Series by Beverly Clearly?
Also, great boy books for a little bit older (or strong readers) are the Scripture Sleuth Series.
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A Place for Peter

Unread post by doubleportion »

We loved the ADV read alouds. We even got the sequel to Mountain Born called A Place for Peter. A Place for Peter is very much a book I would think most boys would enjoy and moves at a different pace than Mountain Born. But it is similar in written style and voice. Takes place in time after Mountain Born as Peter is a little older.

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What do you do for assigned reading for your 5th grader?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

mothergooseofthree wrote:I have a 5th grade boy using CtG. What are some titles that you assign for the "Reading" portion of the schedule? I have a few lined up, but need more. I need to keep this child busy when I am working on skills with the younger kids. Thanks!
We use Pathway readers and Abeka readers... but my oldest is dyslexic, and I need her to read to me about 3 days a week to make sure she's staying at or above grade level on her reading ability.

There is a list of titles in the back of the TM that has suggested classics to read, divided by approximate grade level.

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Re: What do you do for assigned reading for your 5th grader?

Unread post by sojen »

This year my 5th grade daughter has read three of E.B White's books, a few of the Childhood of Famous American biographies, The Three Musketeers and quite a few of the American Girl books. (guessing your son wouldn't care too much about those ;) ) We read all the time around here, and for fun reading I don't feel like it has to be part of our history studies. However, I think the Percy Jackson series may tie in some- if you have a strong reader and you preview it first. (I have not, but quite a few boys at our church LOVE those books. I am not endorsing them, just throwing out ideas of things to look into :) )
Jen in GA
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traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

Re: What do you do for assigned reading for your 5th grader?

Unread post by cbollin »

and check the back of the MFW manual for a list of "classics" in general reading. sorted by grade/age level.

Last year, I was so relaxed about book basket -- ok, more like I didn't care because I had just moved and it wasn't my library and ... well.. I just didn't want to go to the library much and I just didn't worry about historical fiction.

My 5th grader, for her "assigned" reading, really was into mysteries and Encyclopedia Brown (yes, that's "below level", so) and general fun books. She read a lot. Then, enjoyed reading books from the packages in mfw on our shelf. and she got to receive Nature magazine.

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Re: What do you do for assigned reading for your 5th grader?

Unread post by mom2boys »

My boys tend to like adventure books. Some favorites: Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Ivan and the Informer by Myrna Grant.
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