Mom looking for books of 4-5th grade reading level but not too mature for 2nd grader.

A new blog I found has a question. She's a homeschooling mama, planning next year's reading. If you can help, comment on her post!

Short Version:
I need suggestions for books that are at about a 4th-5th grade reading level that are not full of boy/girl romance stuff or magic (witches and

Long Version:
The reading and grammar thing has me stumped. She is supposed to be entering 2nd grade (age wise). I stopped testing her when she tested out of 4th grade for reading/language arts.
We were both tired of the process. So, I am not entirely sure what to
do. For writing, we will continue to journal and work on different
genre and styles. Any good suggestions for reading?

My problem with that is the things at her developmental level bore the snot out of her. Yet, the materials at her reading level I sometimes don't think are appropriate
for her maturity level. Does that make sense?

I am somewhat cautious of the library now, since her level carries with it some heavy topics she isn't yet ready to think about
(or I am not ready to tackle). I don't have the time to read every book
she reads before she reads them anymore.

She loves the Cul-De-Sac Kids books by Beverly Lewis. Problem is, she has read ALL of them, twice. She has the Little House Series. I need suggestions for books that are
at about a 4th-5th grade reading level that are not full of boy/girl
romance stuff or magic (witches and goblins). I also am looking for a
good line of biographies that are written at her level. So, any input
from you blog-type readers would be fantastic.

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Have you tried The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis? Some of it is does involve witches, and fantasy creatures, so I would leave it to you to judge whether you think it's appropriate or not, but those books were my favorites when I was young and they're my favorites still. Also around the time I read The Little House on the Prairie books I read the Anne of Green Gables series, which is perfect for a young girl.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes. :)

The Crowded Leaf
Rozlyn Press
These books are for interest level K-3, but written on a 5-6 grade level:
Paddington books by Michael Bond
Fairy Chronicles by J.H. Sweet
The Little Wooden Horse books by Ursula Moray Williams
Max the Dog science adventure books by Jeffrey Bennett
Flower Fairies Friends series by Pippa le Quesne and Kay Woodward
Bella Sara series by Felicity Brown
Rainbow Magic: The Petals series by Daisy Meadows
Jack Sparrow series by Rob Kidd
How about the American Girl books? I know they read them in school at the 3rd and 4th grade reading level. Has she read the Fudge books by Judy Bloom?
Beverly Cleary chapter books? Those might be great.
Perhaps you can focus on older (and I do mean older) books popular decades ago. I remember some of these from reading them myself. Beverly Cleary is one. Try Scott Corbett, whose best-known book is "The LEmonade Trick." How about "Encyclopedia Brown." Your daughter will get to solve mysteries, too. Berenstain Bears chapter books might be a good choice too.

I would try to reach out to other Homeschool groups and parents who probably will have some good suggestions. And though I know you're cautious of the library, I would go there and explain the situation PLUS your concerns. I bet there will be plenty of books there for her and for you.

Good luck!
Andrew Clements' books will be perfect. I love Frindle, which inspires imagination. They're all "school stories" so they are magic and paranormal free. Others of his will be good too. The School Story. Room One.

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Dessert First by...
Piper Reed, Navy Brat
Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald

All of these are magic free kids fiction for ages 8-12.
How to Eat Fried Worms, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Black Pearl, My Side of the Mountain, Black Beauty, Sounder, The Orphan Train series, The American Girl Series. L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) is the next step up from Laura Ingalls Wilder. Rosen Publishing has quite a few biography series that might work

This book was amazing, i haven't came across anything like this. Its a book you won't want to miss! I was really surprised at how many people didn't hear about this book, I think it has to do alot with the cover. It didn't really capture the eye. But the story itself was really good, it was about a girl who has shamer eyes. Many people try to stay away from her causing her not to have any friends. Then one night here mom is gone, not knowing where she went, the next day a man took her to her mother. Every thing changes once she goes to her mother, there's a death and a murder involved and they need the shamer's use of power. Once the shamers see that the accused murder is not what every one thinks every one try's not to face the truth and calls the shamers, betrayers. Can the shamers daughter get her family, or the betrayers, from getting eaten from the dragons? read how this girl manages to save the accused and beat off not only the solider's but dragons also. this book will take you on a adventure you won't want to miss:} TIP: this book is a book worth reading, and young readers will love it:}
One book that I love that seems to fit your criteria is Clair-de-Lune by Cassandra Golds. I think it would work for kids that want to read chapter books, but don't want stories that deal with a boy/girl love stories. I reviewed it on my blog.
I have homeschooled for twenty years and three of the best resources are :

Sonlight They have excellent reading lists that you can follow.

Ambleside Online Another great source for Living Books.

Honey for a Child's Heart This book will give you book lists for all ages.

I tried to post to her blog, but it was taking way to much brain power tonight.


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The Magic Tree House books are good for 2nd-3rd grade maturity-wise, but might be too easy for her reading level, and do incorporate some elements of "magic", although I find them pretty good for touching upon historical elements. Judy Blume has quite a few books that might be a good fit for her educationally as well as emotionally, but you would need to read them first to determine what you are ready for your little one to know about. Beverly Cleary has many age appropriate books that would probably fit the bill.

My 2nd grader (going into 3rd this year) attends an advanced track magnet school and they read How to Eat Fried Worms, Charlotte's Web, and The War With Grandpa this past year. They are definitely not too grown up as far as theme or babyish as far as content. My 5th grader (going into 6th) enjoys some of the older Judy Blume books, but the content is a little mature for a second grader.

Hope this helps.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice
The Percy Jackson series of books is excellent. The author is Rick Riordan. You may be familiar with The Lightening Thief movie that came out a few months back. It's the first in the series. My kids absolutely loved each and everyone of the books.
You might check out this blog The Newbery Project which has reviews of almost all of the Newbery Award books (from 1922 forwar). Since many of these award winning books would fall into the 4th-5th grade range, the reviews will provide you with some insight into the books.

Also, if you are interested in introducing a difficult topic such as the Holocaust, you might find my blog Holocaust Resources for children useful as I list a grade range for each book as well as lesson plans and useful information for parents or teachers.

Good luck!


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