Book Reviews & Extras - Elementary Girls

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
lyntley
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Book Reviews & Extras - Elementary Girls

Unread post by lyntley » Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:24 am

momma2kact wrote:I have another question: I am needing book ideas for my 9 year old niece to read to herself (she reads about a book a night--chapter books). I am quite conservative in the books I will read to my children and/or let them read themselves.

Thanks so much for any and all suggestions!
Debbie Carlson
Your 9YO niece sounds like my dd.

She enjoyed The Sugar Creek Gang books. The characters are boys but they are great stories of adventure and Finding God in in the midst of them.

She also liked a series of princess diaries. I'll have to ask her exactly what the names of them were. They were written like a journal of different historical women like Queen Elizabeth, Marie Antoinette, and others but starting when they were just young girls.

These are somewhat smaller chapter books so to slow her down just a little I printed out a form on Donnyoung.org that after each chapter she would just write out a few lines in her own words what happened. This has helped her tremendously in being able to narrate back after reading the entire story.
Lynnette: Wife and Mother by the will of God.
ECC 07/08 with 9,7, and 2
CTG 08/09 with 10,8, and 3
www.homeschoolblogger.com/lyntley

Poohbee
Posts: 394
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Location: North Dakota

Unread post by Poohbee » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:30 am

Hi!

For your niece...has she read all of the books in the Anne of Green Gables series? There are 8 books in that series, and I found all of them to be delightful!

Also, L.M. Montgomery (the author of the Anne books) has a series about a girl named Emily. The first one is called Emily of New Moon. I enjoyed those, too.

I would also recommend for her the book Christy, by Catherine Marshall. Marshall also has a book called Julie.

And, one of my favorite Christian authors of all time is Janette Oke. Her books are WONDERFUL, and there are many to choose from.

All of the books I have recommended are historical fiction. They are wholesome and inspirational. The books Christy, Julie, and the books by Janette Oke are not children's books, but if your niece is a voracious reader, like I was as a child (and it sounds like she is), she may really enjoy these books. And, they are books by Christian authors, so they would be okay for her to read.

Those are just a few recommendations for you. Hope they help!
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

RachelT
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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Unread post by RachelT » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:03 pm

Honey for a Child's Heart is a great idea.

My children are now almost 7 and just turned 5 and here are some books we've enjoyed:
- They have loved listening to the Boxcar Children series on and off for about a year.
- We are doing more of the Chronicles of Narnia now.
- We read Mr. Popper's Penguins last year for our penguin crazed ds!
- We've also read Charlotte's Web.
- I hope to start doing some Laura Ingalls Wilder books this spring because I LOVED them as a child and still have my own set.
- I have also heard of the Billy and Blaze books, but we have not found them, yet. They sound good for boys.

Also, do you have a local children's librarian that you could ask for recommendations? I think they can be a great source of help and they usually enjoy talking about books!

Just some of my thoughts!
Happy reading!
Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

Lucy
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:55 pm

RachelT wrote: I hope to start doing some Laura Ingalls Wilder books this spring because I LOVED them as a child and still have my own set.
Rachel
Hey Rachel,

Just thought looking at your kids that you would be doing Adventures next year. There are 2 Little House books in the read aloud set. I thought you may like to know that ahead of time.

My son read Billy and Blaze books at the end of first beginning of 2nd and we were able to find them in our library. They are great for boys.

Happy Reading to you too! My kids are older now and I remember so many of the books that have been mentioned. Enjoy the time. It really does go quickly.

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Willow
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:05 pm

Unread post by Willow » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:39 am

Have you seen "Books Children Love" by Elizabeth Wilson? It is a fantastic reference guide to children's literature.
Kris
2007/08 ECC with 1st & 4th grade dc

Natesgirl
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:50 pm

Unread post by Natesgirl » Sat May 31, 2008 11:41 pm

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:51 am

Have you heard of the Sisters in Time series? They are very much like the American Girl, but from a Christian perspective. My daughter (4th grade) has this series and loves it! She is also enjoying the books from the Life of Faith series (Elsie Dinsmore and others).

Also, I bought some of the Trailblazer series for my son to read, but my daughter read them, too and really enjoys them. These are written by some of the same people who authored the YWAM missionary stories and are loosely based on famous historical people and happenings from the point of view of a fictitious person who "knew" them.

Believe it or not, I have been able to find some these books through the Interlibrary Loan system (we live in GA).

705emily
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Unread post by 705emily » Sat May 31, 2008 11:42 pm

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:37 pm

We have several volumes of the Elsie Dinsmore collection on CD and dd LOVES them!

kalphs
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:46 am

Books for Girls (Gail Carson Levine and Anne of Green Gable

Unread post by kalphs » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:20 pm

baileymom wrote:Both of my daughters have read Neverland books by Gail Carson Levine. My oldest daughter has also read Ella Enchanted, and last summer we watched the movie as a family, and it was pretty good.

BUT..now that we are being more careful about what the girls are reading/watching (my DH recently banned Hannah Montanna...sooo much boys), I was just wondering if any moms out there have run across any problems with GCL's books?

She is loving Anne of Green Gables, yay! Speaking of the Anne books...are the movies any good, will it keep the whole family's attention? We googled today and saw there is a new series coming out this fall on CTV (not sure what that is). We see there are 8 books and a 1994 miniseries???
Kathi
The Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea series which were done by Wonderworks in the mid 1980's are excellent! The movies star Megan Follows as Anne, Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla and Richard Farnsworth as Matthew. We purchased the dvd set from christianbook.com . The books are outstanding! We have the entire collection in our family library.

I highly recommend other books written by L.M. Montgomery: Jane of Lantern Hill (this was also made into a series by Wonderworks), Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, Emily's Quest, The Story Girl and The Golden Road. These books were the basis for the series "Road to Avonlea" which was on the Disney Channel in the late 1980's early 1990's. The series can be purchased on dvd at christianbook.com

I would also recommend Lousia May Allcott's works "Little Women, Jo's Boys, Little Men and Eight Cousins.

Another series to look at is "Christy Miller" written by Christian author, Robin Jones Gunn. She is also the author of the "Sisterchicks" series for women.
Kathy aka as "Ms. Frizzle"
Married to Professor Logic
Mother to Little Miss Logic

dhudson
Posts: 320
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Unread post by dhudson » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:22 pm

I have personally read the Gail Carson Levine books and some I've read are okay for our family but some are not. I'd be careful about the Fairest - it's for an older age range than the Fairy Dust Series. Make sure you pre-view them, is what I would recommend.

LM Montgomery is a great writer and along with the Anne books (oh the miniseries are great - the first two especially) there is the "Emily of New Moon" series, Pat of Silverbush and my personal favorite, "The Blue Castle".

Louisa May Alcott is a good choice although my favorites are the Rose series. I think it's "Eight Cousins" and " Rose in Bloom".

My 7 year old daughter loves the American Girl series although I sometimes have to talk to her about being too independent and the end doesn't justify the means that sometimes is portrayed in these books.

The Trixie Belden series are great fun for girls who like mysteries. They are teenagers in the books but I never have come across anything objectionable.

Lois Lenski is great and has many regional books that are fun as well.

For older kids Gene Stratton Porter is great - I just finished re-reading several of hers.

I love to read - it's what I do for fun so it's great to be able to talk about them.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Books for Girls (Gail Carson Levine and Anne of Green G

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:26 pm

baileymom wrote:Speaking of the Anne books...are the movies any good, will it keep the whole family's attention?
The series of movies was very good, we thought.

Just a bit of trivia: We also watched the black-&-white older version & were not impressed with the amount of change from the book. Also, the actress in that version actually changed her real name to "Anne Shirley" -- something's not right about that ;O)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Unread post by dhudson » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:56 am

baileymom wrote:Thanks everyone. Kylie actually just finished Little Women last week, so maybe the Rose books would be good.

I was hesitant about Fairest (the cover even looks like it's for olders) so I will probably have her wait on that one.

I'll keep getting the Anne books from the library...usually if it's here, she'll read it, but if we go to the library, she'll pick out some doozies...

I try to keep some easier books here too for fun reading, but I think she's moved past the American Girls/Sisters in Time/My America books. It's hard to find GOOD easy books for her age. Someone in another thread mentioned Janette Oke, those seem more like "easy" reading, but would they be OK (age appropriate?...comparable to the AG books).

I have never heard of some of the authors you mentioned Dawn, so I'll look into those. I love to read too. I'm trying to be creative and fit it into my busy day. It's not working out so well, but I've learned to have my books everywhere and read when I can (even if it's only for a few minutes). I'm moving past having to be at a chapter break to stop. How do you fit it in?

I'll see if Blockbuster online has some of the movies. Thanks again.
The Janette Oke books are good and clean but they are heavy on the romance so if you are hesitant to add that in, I would wait on those.

If your daughter like fantasy you might try the Donia K Paul books starting with Dragonspell. They are Christian but they do talk about magic and dragons. I love the way they portray God (Wulder) and Jesus (Paladin). The Hobbit is another option - my 10 yr old just finished reading it and loves it. We'll wait a bit on the rest of the JRR Tolkein and don't forget all the Narnia's.

Okay, that's probably enough of my obsession! I read whenever I can. I also give myself "reward" breaks to read - you know," I'll clean all the toilets then I'll read for 15 min." Sad, I know!
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

AES
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:35 am

Gentle books

Unread post by AES » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:53 pm

Cyndi (WA) wrote:I have a dd who is advanced in reading skill and comprehension, but very sensitive when it comes to subject matter. She can read on about a 5th grade level, but I'm guessing her true comprehension is closer to 3rd grade.

We have almost weekly trips to the library for easy readers, but now she's getting bored. I'd like to get books from which she can read a chapter aloud to me each day during school time. Where can I find books that would be suited to her level, yet "gentle" in content? Should I go off of Sonlight's and Abeka's lists for third grade? Do you think the books in the 9-12 year old sections of Honey for a Child's Heart would all be O.K. for my easily frightened girl, or would I need to preview them? She loves the Little House books, but wants some different subject matter. She can only read Charlotte's Web and Heidi so many times . . . Help?!
In addition to other booklists you've mentioned, have you considered the one by the Bluedorns? There is a revised edition (which I do not have yet) but it roughly lists age appropriateness and has a review. Their list includes books such as the Misty series, Pollyana, of course Heidi, etc. as well as ones with increasing difficulty.

With your daughter being sensitive, you may want to preview them anyway.

I have a hodge-podge of Abeka readers, and I do use some of SL's book suggestions, but some seem a little mature.
Amy E.

cbollin

Good lit for little kids

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:54 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:51 pm

One idea in my head. You mentioned you want to have her read out loud to you. I tend to prefer "below" reading level books for that, especially given her age.

Just a quick glance at Honey for a Child's Heart for the 9-12 range.... I think you should wait. I realize just how many of those book titles my 12 y.o has read this year as part of book basket/reading time. (And she's an avid reader.) Some of the titles will be fine, but they will just make more sense in a few years.

Some brainstorming ideas for books she can read to you...
check the poetry sections in Honey for a Child's Heart --- maybe reading poetry would be a nice change of pace for a while

Also check chapters 22, 23 of Honey for a Child's Heart. And also look at chapter 13 --- even though it says "more picture books", some of those are longer and would still be more age appropriate. And it won't exhaust your child to read them out loud to you.

-crystal

Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:55 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:37 pm

Amy, I hadn't even thought about the Bluedorn's having a booklist. I will check into it. And thank you for the insight about the Abeka and SL readers.
cbollin wrote:One idea in my head. You mentioned you want to have her read out loud to you. I tend to prefer "below" reading level books for that, especially given her age.
Was I supposed to know that?! Seriously, I read that comment and took a ten-gallon sigh of relief. I have a very babyish dd that happens to read very well - I'm really not trying to push, just nurture. If you prefer below reading level books for reading out loud, then I'm stickin' with it! We are coming close to Day 125 of MFW1 where I am supposed to have her read aloud everyday "from a children's book" and I just now realized that my definition of "a good book" is not what Marie meant.
cbollin wrote:Just a quick glance at Honey for a Child's Heart for the 9-12 range.... I think you should wait. I realize just how many of those book titles my 12 y.o has read this year as part of book basket/reading time. (And she's an avid reader.) Some of the titles will be fine, but they will just make more sense in a few years.

Some brainstorming ideas for books she can read to you...
check the poetry sections in Honey for a Child's Heart --- maybe reading poetry would be a nice change of pace for a while

Also check chapters 22, 23 of Honey for a Child's Heart. And also look at chapter 13 --- even though it says "more picture books", some of those are longer and would still be more age appropriate. And it won't exhaust your child to read them out loud to you.
Thank you! I was fairly certain those 9-12 yo books would be far too much for her to handle, but I was trying to find something decent to read. Good lit for little kids is hard to find! (Maybe that's because they're not ready for it, Cyndi . . . . ) Anyway, I have to admit I hadn't even looked at the chapters of Honey that you mentioned because they were too far in the back of the book! Poetry is a great idea, because she loves Zondervan's Rhyme Bible - and it is a very juvenile book. Keeping her in "fresh" books is a constant challenge, thankfully she likes to re-read her favorites. I truly appreciate your advice - I feel so silly now.

Mommyto2
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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:14 am

Unread post by Mommyto2 » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:57 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:27 pm

Another thought is to try to find some of the antique or older books from the used bookstore. Something that maybe your grandparents read from the Dick and Jane era. These tend to be a lot more sensitive in subject matter.

Also try more nonfiction books. Just some thoughts.
Brenda

RB
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Unread post by RB » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:58 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:17 pm

A favorite that comes to mind was "B is for Betsy".

We were in the same boat last year when dd was in 1st grade, and even this year it is tricky, as she is a sensitive 2nd grader and I don't want to push her into books with advanced subject matter.

She is currently having fun with, "Boxcar Children" series, and just picked up "Mr Popper's Penguins" to read herself (we read it aloud a year or 2 ago). She also read a few American Girl books last year. Just a few thoughts :)

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:37 am

The Cobble Street Cousins series by Cynthia rylant is fun...kind of a more challenging easy reader. They do have a party for Winter Solstice in one book but all they do is eat stew and read a poem...no spiritual content.

My dd read a few Magic Tree House books last year, but I think opinions on those are mixed...they certainly are not classics.

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:48 pm

Another FUN series by Cynthia Rylant is a set of animal mysteries that start with, "The Case of..." Some examples are "The Case of the Missing Monkey" and "The Case of the Baffled Bear." They are really cute and my younger daughter (now 6 1/2) has read them all and they are her favorites. They are in the easy reader section, and are about the same level as "Henry and Mudge."

Colleen
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:12 pm

Unread post by Colleen » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:59 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:40 pm

I'd second the Boxcar Children books. Those kept my daughter interested for quite a while. She also enjoyed the Bobbsey Twins and All of a Kind Family Series'. I also found that she even enjoyed the used "readers" from Abeka that I would pick up at curriculum sales. Also, you may want to be careful with the American Girl books. I have not read all of them, but of the ones I have read, some I heartily approved and some I did not let my dd read (or wished she hadn't already read it!).

Mom2MnS
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Unread post by Mom2MnS » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:00 am

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:42 pm

We are just finishing the 6th book in the "Animal Friends" series by Janette Oke. They are such good books and would make good read alouds for you to read or for your dd to read. They are chapter books, and the chapters are three pages (full of words) or so each.

We bought our set (books 1-6) at christianbook dot com for $28, and I found them to be worth every penny. They are gentle stories with a character challenge, addressing everything from attitude to lying to obeying, etc.

Best of all M (6) and S (2) love them!

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Unread post by my3boys » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:00 am

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:49 am

We also love Paddington Bear books if you can find them. The chapters are short and just loosely related to each other, which makes for an easy read. My kids think he's so funny. We have about four of those. Ds also likes Amelia Bedelia and Dr. Seuss, which make good reading aloud material for kids.

JohnsWife
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:48 am

Unread post by JohnsWife » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:01 am

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:07 pm

I also recommend the series from Janette Oke. We have 4 of the books and they are so sweet. Liz Curtis Higgs has a couple of children's books as well. Oh, and there is a children's book by Beth Moore that is great.

niki
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

Unread post by niki » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:02 am

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:21 pm

Just another idea...my kids love/d reading the science readers from Christian Liberty Press. They are really enjoyable and informative.

caod
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Unread post by caod » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:03 am

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:21 pm

One suggestion might be the McGuffey Readers. My 1st grader found them enjoyable. We have also enjoyed the Rod and Staff Readers. We just use the books and read the stories. They are very wholesome to say the least. My dd loves them.
Connie

TriciaMR
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:04 am

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:53 am

We have enjoyed Cynthia Rylant books. There is a Henry and Mudge series and a Mr. Putter and Tabby series. I read these aloud to my 3.5 year old twin boys while my dd is doing her seatwork (she is listening in). She always sneaks the books later to read them herself (she is almost 8). We found one Cynthia Rylant book in the older juvenile section at the library, but I forget the name. Also, there are "Poppleton," Poppleton in Winter," etc. I forget the author. They are funny and the kids enjoy those. These are all in the "easy readers" section at our local library. My dd is enjoying The Boxcar Children - she is reading those to herself.
-Trish

mamanamadee
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:29 pm
Location: Missouri

Unread post by mamanamadee » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:07 am

Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:46 pm

Our 5th grade dd (with much the same reading comprehension issues) really likes the Moody Family Series by Sarah Maxwell. There are 4 books in the series--Summer with the Moodys, Autumn with the Moodys, etc. The author is a hs graduate, and her main characters, the Moodys, are a hs family. You can find them online at Titus2.com, along with a lot of other resources for hs families.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Library Building books? esp Elizabeth Yates

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:22 am

doubleportion wrote:I am looking for input on more books to add to our collection beyond those that are recommended in the TM under General Reading.

We have acquired the sequel to Mountain Born after reading it in ADV. It is "A Place for Peter". We enjoyed it so much. I was wondering if anyone has read any other Elizabeth Yates novels that might be appropriate for my dd 8 yrs old?

Also any other favorite gems which are not part of the usual list of general reading?
:)
Edie
Hi Edie,
You'll be happy that MFW uses a total of 3 Yates books (Sarah Whitcher, Mountain Born, and Amos Fortune). Those are the only 3 I've read. Excellent stuff! I'll have to keep my eye out for the Peter book.
Edited to add: Since then, I have read The Journeyman by Elizabeth Yates, but it has a little romance and personally I would use it around age 12 or so. I posted a review of it at ChristianBook.

Here are some previous conversations about books for girls: [above]

I'd be happy to think about more books we've loved, but your question is so broad that I might crash the board with my lengthy list :) Are you mostly looking for 8-year-old type books? Are you looking for non-history books? Any other ways to narrow it down?

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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