What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Booklist for Corynn (age 9)


My Corynn is a reader.  The girl can devour a book like nobody's business...which is one thing I just adore about her.  The problem (if you could call it that) is satiating that appetite!  And not just with books akin to junk food- but with quality literature!

We go to the library once a week and because we live in the country, it is a small library with a limited supply of books.  While there are some gems tucked in and around the young adult book corner, there are plenty of stupid books too.  (Think Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Jessica Wants to Be Cool in Highschool-type books.)  Other books, are harmless but fruitless too.  There are only so many times you can read the Boxcar series.

I was getting frustrated with her selections for a while, until I had an epiphany.  "I am her mother!"  I realized.  I can DO something about this!

So this summer, when there is more time for her nose to be shoved in the spine of a book than during the school year when her attentions are stretched, I knew I had to be prepared.  So I made a list of books I thought she would enjoy reading.  Some of them she will devour in an hour or two...some she could chew on for a few days.  Some are 'educational' and some are just for fun. All, I think, are quality.

And thanks to Barnes and Nobles summer reading incentive program, when she checks off eight of them- she gets a free book!  (She already has.)

Here is the list I made for her.  I hope it will last her the summer...

Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs
Homes in the Wilderness: A Pilgrims Journal of Plymouth Plantation in 1620 by William Bradford
Calico Bush by Rachel Field
Master Skylark by John Bennett
The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
Shakespeare's Scribe by Gary Blackwood
Shakespeare's Spy by Gary Blackwood
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
Two Mighty Rivers: Son of Pocahantas by Mari Hanes
Good-bye, My Lady by James Street
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Carlson
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Justin Morgan had a Horse by Marguerite Henry
The Tree of Freedom by Rebecca Caudill
Ink on His Fingers by Louise Vernon
Poor Richard by James Daugherty

And here are some that she has already finishes this summer (and enjoyed immensely)...

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Inkheart by Cornelia Funk
Inkspell by Cornelia Funk
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funk
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
The Jungle Doctor series  by Paul White
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Five Children and It by E. Nasbit

If you have any more suggestions- I'd love to hear them!


Rosie said...

If she likes the E. Nesbit book, I'd point her towards Edward Eager as well - he pays homage to Nesbit and the books were a very fun read when I was that age :)

Julian said...

I loved to read as a girl and still love to! -my 15 year old daughter loves to read also. My boys not so much. Great list you have there!

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

There is a book called Honey for a Child's Heart, the whole thing is quality literature choices broken down into age groups and they even have a good size section on poetry.

My boys (age 11 and 9) read to the point that I can't keep up. Even more frustrating is that they read at about the 8th grade lit level, so finding books that are enhancing their vocabulary but not over their head plot wise is hard.

Mary said...

These books have a range from 9 upward
1. Books by Roald Dahl (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are some)
2. Books by Enid Blyton (classic British author who wrote the Famous Five Series, Secret Seven, Mallory Towers, all series tons of books)
3. Nancy Drew
4. Hardy Boys
5. Books by Jane Austen
6. Treasure Island
7. Lord of the Rings
8. The Hobbit
9. Chronicles of Narnia
10. Harry Potter (don't know what your views are on this, I read it and decided I would be ok with my kids reading it)
11. Percy Jackson series

Non Fiction
The Care and Keep of you (American Girl.


Rebecca said...

Oooh- that's great! Love these suggestions!

Megan- I just finished reading Honey for A Child's heart, as a matter of fact! And I just found that she has a book similar, except with the mother in mind. Something for a Woman's Heart or something. (Okay- I found it a few days ago...and now I forget!) I hope to read that one next.

PS. Curiosity killed the cat, BUT, how did you discover the reading level of your children? My guess is Corynn is pretty far up there herself but I have no way to associate it with a particular 'level' or grade. I guess it doesn't matter too much more than for my own curiosity- but I would kinda like to know where she falls.

Miranda said...

I love this list. I am working on a reading list for the kids and I'm going to have to take note of the ones we have not read yet.

I also wanted to tell you that I nominated you for a "Super Sweet Blogging Award"...jump over to my blog and see the details. Its kind a cute little way to recognize some of your favorite bloggers. Plus there is a whole lot of sweet talking going on. :)

mapleleafmom said...

cornelia funk also has thief lord which I do not remember, dragonrder..which we all loved an Igraine the Great ( I think..it's Igraine something)

we like chris d'lacey's series fire within..but check with like minded people..

my daughter also likes he warrior cats series...which I don't mind the frivolity since she also reads zoology college textbooks

Peter and the starcatcheres series is fun (peter pan)

Tracy said...

Written for adults, but simple: Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly Series

stephaniegiese said...

Barefoot Books has a series of chapter books like Shakespear's Stories that tell the stories behind what inspired his plays. There is one about the Odyssey too. I'm actually doing a Barefoot Books giveaway on my blog this week if you'd like to enter. http://binkiesandbriefcases.com/giveaway-barefoot-books/

stephaniegiese said...

As for your question about reading levels: When I was teaching we used the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) but the kit is expensive. I used to tell parents that a book is the right level for your child if it can pass the 5 finger test. Tell your child: Open to a page in the middle, try to read it, and hold up one finger for every word you don't know. If you get to the end of the page and you are holding up more than 5 fingers, that book is too hard for now. If you aren't holding up any fingers, then it is too easy.

The thing to watch out for with advanced young readers is that just because they can read higher level books doesn't mean they should. The content can start to get inappropriate for their age level. It sounds like you are great at monitoring that, though!

Anonymous said...

We like the "Trailblazer" Series. They are a series of books about Missionaries wrote from a child perspective from the time frame and place of the missionary. I think you will have to go to the website


As well we like the "Christian Heroes, Then and Now " Series you can get them from YWAM

Of course there is the "Anne of Green Gables" books and the "Little House books"
Enjoy reading!!

Anonymous said...

You may want to consider investing in a modest Kindle or Nook-there are many books free to download through the public library system that might not be available in your local library.

Mari said...

Has she read the Anne of Green Gables series, including the ones with out Anne's name (Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside)? I loved those growing up and was an advanced reader (12th grade level by 3rd grade, per the standardized test we took). I read everything I could and usually finished a Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldin (spellng?) book atin one evening. My mom was thrilled that it took me a few days to read these books because it meant she didn't have to go to the library as often.

I disagree with the recommendation of Jane Austen for a 9 year old. As funny and entertaining as I find Pride and Prejudice (when did you first realize you loved him? oh, when I saw his house! - but would Corynn really get that?)

Harry Potter should keep her occupied, but at this age, I would let her read only books 1 and 2. I know people who swear their 8 or 9 year olds have read all of them, but they get rather intense and dark as Harry and his friends get older. This the battle of good versus evil and I personally think they are too scary for younger kids. However, the entire series will ignite her imagination.

Finally, even though you home school, see if you can find the suggested reading lists for some public school systems and see what is recommended for kids in grades 4 through 7.

I do like your list and think it is age appropriate and admire that you aren't pushing the content too high for her.

Anonymous said...

Dear America books. Simple quick reads but fun. I even like them now. :-)

Abigail said...

I have some recommendations I'll give later, but I've got to scoot for a horseback ride with a certain eager Rose Red.

Two things quickly:
1. I'd be wary of putting "levels" on anyone. This year, according to one set of artificial standards, Millie and Annie tested at college level, and I'm sure Corynn would do the same. Ha! According to what standard? I know I've already blabbed at you my strong feelings about standardized testing, and you know the interweaving of Corynn's reading abilities and maturity level better than any test could gauge. I like the idea of the five finger test someone mentioned above. I think that's a tangible way to determine whether your child will be challenged overmuch by a particular text, not that she shouldn't read it, but you then could do more joint reading, vocab. defining, and slow progression than with a easier book.

2. I love your list. We have many of the books, and I can vouch for their quality. Also, if your library takes too long to ship Nesbit books, we will happily be a lending library! We have a bunch of her books as well as a half dozen of Edward Eager's. Also, I noticed L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time and Alexander's The Book of Three on your reading list. We have the complete series of both, if Corynn likes the books and wants to continue to the end. We can bring a plump bag any Sunday you'd like!

#3. I said I'd respond quickly, huh? Books trap me, every time. When we get back from the ride, I'll try to remember to pull some titles to share with you, because I get silly and excited by book lists. I love to introduce great books to younger readers because I vicariously enjoy some of the thrill of a first read through their experience. (Now you know why I shove all my favorite childhood books to the girls!)

#4. I'm sorry for gushing so much. If I put it here, you won't get an email apology later. ;)

Louise said...

Here are some books I remember loving -
Hitty- Her First Hundred Years
Caddie Woodlawn
Johnny Tremain
Cheaper by the Dozen
Belles on Their Toes
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Amy Caroline said...

Oh those look great! Awesome list.

Meighan said...

All of A Kind Family series....I discovered it one summer when staying with my Grandmother in Ohio. She sent my brother and me to the library (I think she was desperate!) It is series about a Jewish family in the early 1900's. I was about 9 or 10 when I read them and they are very sweet and age appropriate.

Meighan said...

OH! The "Shoe" series by Noel Streatfield. One of my favorites from my childhood. May be a bit hard to find, but you should be able to request them through your local library and have them shipped to you. Sorry for the double post, I just keep remembering books I read as a young girl.

The Andersons said...

Love the book list. My 5 year old just mastered reading the beginning of this Summer, so she is trying to read 8 "Magic Tree House" books on her own. She read 6 in a week and a half! I can't wait until I am doing these lists for her. My 9 year old son is only just now getting to the Magic Tree house level. He is not a strong reader and its been hard to get him to read anything. My sister told me that it will come, as long as I always encourage and share my love of reading. Her son didnt start until he was 11, and his first books were "Lord of the Rings".
Anyway, some books you may like (I love) are:
Anne of Green Gables series
Little House on the Prairie series
Diceys Song
Little Women
Little Britches
We recently read "Hook" as a family and loved it.
Alice in Wonderland
Black Beauty
Mathematicians are People too.
The Secret Garden
Trumpet of the Swan
Where the Red Fern Grows
Swiss Family Robinson

I also recommend some good poetry books.
Im sure you are already doing it, but if not...the Bible. I remember when I was 8, my mom challenged me to read one book at a time. It took me over a year, but I loved that I was able to accomplish it.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for all your suggestions everyone! I always know I can count on you when it comes to books!

Miranda- thank you! That was SUPER SWEET of you! ;-)

Meighan- NEVER apologize for commenting! Are you insane? I LOVE it. And I love All-of-a-Kind family. The SHOE I will definitely look up- we haven't read that one!

Stephanie- I like that idea about the difficulty test. Thank you!

Abigail- Another apologizer for long comments?! You people are crazy! Thank you for the wealth of book treasures you've already passed along my way- but I may take you up on the lending library bit too. Though it seems when Mildred loaned books from Corynn she always gave a free book back as interest. Your girl has set a high standard for us all. :-)

The Andersons- it really is interesting the differences in children and their abilities at certain ages to different things. But you are right- the key to having readers is showing them the joy of books. It will not encourage joy and happiness to push children to read when they aren't ready.

For later readers, I would highly encourage reading aloud to them (hey, I encourage reading aloud to GOOD readers) and giving them audiobooks. Let them know the story is worth pursuing...

Abigail said...

Here are a few from our shelves that haven't been mentioned yet and of which we haven't given you doubles, quickly (or not so quickly) while I nurse the baby (or not so babylike):

-Landmark biographies and historical books. We've about a dozen, and they're solid, interesting reads.
-Adam of the Road
-Rosemary Sutcliff historical fiction (her retelling of the Trojan War and Odysseus' voyages are wonderful, too, especially the versions sumptuously illustrated by Alan Lee)
-Otto of the Silver Hand
-The Bronze Bow
-Ben and Me
-Mr. Revere and I (by Robert Lawson; both are easy and enjoyable)
-Jean Fritz books for older readers, such as Bully for You, Mr. Roosevelt

-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
-Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
-The Twenty-One Balloons
-Journey to the Center of the Earth
-Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
-The Three Musketeers
-The Hobbit (and, if she's ready, the rest of the books, which have elevated language and density)

Fairy and Folk Tales
-Any collections by Padraic Colum
-Aladdin and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights
-George McDonald books (We have his collected fairy tales and The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and the Curdie, and At the Back of the North Wind)
-collections of English/Norse/etc. folk and fairy tales

Other enjoyable books, some modern and most in the realm of fantasy:
-The Tale of Despereaux
-The Rise and Fall of Mt. Majestic
-The 100 Cupboards and its sequels
-The original Oz books by L. Frank Baum
-The original Mary Poppins books
-Freddy the Pig books
-The Five Little Peppers series (still light and fun but a few steps finer than The Boxcar Children)
-The rest of the Borrowers books (Borrowers Afloat, Borrowers Aloft, etc.)
and, if she liked the first Borrowers book, she may also enjoy The Mennyms by Sylia Waugh (a family of life-sized rag dolls tries to live alongside humans without detection)
-The Black Fawn and other Kjelkaard books (realistic animal tales)
-The Children of Green Knowe series of books
-Knock Three Times by (all three older girls liked this; Su's reading it now, but it's still rich enough for Millie to enjoy)

and-- drum roll-- a favorite from my childhood that I haven't yet been brave enough to re-read as an adult for fear of ruining my powerful attachment to the books:
John White's John the Sword-Bearer series. I read these so many times that they're falling apart, and Mildred's multiple readings haven't helped any, either. They're available through Lamplighter Press, too.

p.s. It really bugs me that I can't underline all those book titles.

Abigail said...

It's Kjelgaard.
(Sorry, Mr. Kjelgaard.)

Abigail said...

I was just walking through the living room and saw Strawberry Girl on the coffee table. Corynn's probably read it, already, but I'm just compulsive enough to tack it on the list, anyway.

Be prepared for me to come back and comment on this post for the next five years, and don't think I'm joking. Facebook snobs have to fill their time somehow! ;)

Birdie said...

There are several more borrower books- four more I think? The borrowers, the borrowers afloat, the borrowers afield, the borrowers aloft, and poor stainless. They were my very favorite books as a little girl and I read them many times and spent a lot of time playing borrowers. :) Also, she might enjoy the Mary Francis books. They are all available for free on archive.org to download to your computer or e reader. The author's name is Jane Fryer. There is one on gardening, sewing, cooking, and other things. They are super cute.