Have just 'surfed' onto this site, and thought that some of you may be interested in my site: www.learnatplay.co.nz . You can download Educational Games like: Fraction Dominoes, Decimal/Percent/Fraction Card Game, Square Root Dominoes, Contraction Dominoes, Math Cubes etc. Lots of Free Resources too.
Thanks for your time! J.B
On behalf of one of my clients I would like to get some information on books gifted children enjoy. She is almost 8 with a reading age well above that and her parents are finding it hard to get material which is suitable. I will pass any replies on to them. She seems to prefer more factual than fantasy stuff but it is the novels they are interested in.
Books are my one(?) vice. We really love our books and have thousands.
The favourites I remember as a kid, I'll list below. I must have read them between age 8 (when we came to NZ) and 12 (when we went to the UK) because I can remember they were in my bookcase in our NZ house.
Doctor Doolittle books by hugh Lofting
Ballet shoes, Apple Bough etc by Noel Streatfield
Anything by Edith Nesbit
Little Women & Little Men
Swallows and Amazons etc etc by Arthur Ransome
Finn the Wolfhound
Tarka the Otter
the Otterbury Incident
Stig of the Dump
Anything by Edward Eager
the 13 Clocks and the Wonderful O
Anne of Green Gables
Avalanche etc by Ian Serraillier
the Copper Nail by Ian Serraillier
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase etc etc by Joan Aiken
A Box of Delights etc by John Masefield
Sci Fi by John Christopher
The Owl Service, the Weirdstone of Brisingamen? etc by Alan Garner
A Little Princess etc by F Hodgson-Burnett
i didnt like Pippi Longstocking and I didnt like Moominpapa etc by Tove Janssen?
My kids liked (DS loves sci-fi and fantasy; DD hates sci fi but likes biography, social history, stories of everyday life and adventure )-
Joan Aiken (both)
Noel Streatfield (DD)
Susan Cooper (DS)
Roald Dahl (both)
Diana Wynn-Jones (DS)
John Christopher (DS)
Alan garner (DS)
Anne of Green Gables etc (DD)
Little Women etc (DD)
anything by E Nesbit (DD)
anything Cs Lewis (both)
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (DD)
Dealing with Dragons etc by Patricia Wrede (DS)
A Little Princess etc by F Hodgson-Burnett (DD)
The Phantom Tollbooth (DD)
anything by Ursula Le Guin (DS)
anything by Dodie Smith (DD)
charlottes Web etc (both)
anything by Dick King-Smith (both)
Little House books (DD)
anyting by Lloyd Alexander (DS)
anything by Cynthia Voigt (DS)
Carries War by Nina Bawden (DD)
Harry Potter is not a favourite in our house.
Neither child liked Arthur Ransome nor Doctor Doolittle but I loved them.
Wow Mary-Jane, what a great list!! I'm currently studying a Children's Literature paper at the moment, and will be adding this to my file of resources. Books we are close reading for this course include Charlotte's Web (E.B White), which is one you have mentioned. The other two are Bow Down Shadrach, by Joy Cowley, and Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. Both good examples of children's literature. Some others we have had recommended to us include The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks, The Cay, by Theodore Taylor (I have a list somewhere but can't find it sorry). However I can find a list of recommended journals about children's books that contain reviews, papers and articles about children's literature and authors. It's quite long, but here's a few ideas: British Journals: Growing Point, written by Margery Fisher; The Junior Bookshelf, Times Literary Supplement; also in New Zealand: Children's Literature Association has several branches producing valuable and authoritative lists. For information: The Secretary, Children's Literature Association, Auckland College of Education, Private Bag, Auckland.
My dau is currently really into the Horrible Histories series written by Terry Deary and available at places such as Whitcoulls. They are non-fiction, formatted like a small novel and very readable. They come in titles such as 'The Groovy Greeks', 'The Rotten Romans' and an Egyptian one, plus others. My dau has enjoyed the humourous way that information is presented.
My daughter is 8 and made the transition from non-fiction to fiction chapter books starting with the time trekkers series, puzzle adventures and magic school bus chapter books. Next stage were babysitter club books starting with little sister (reads a book in 20 mins but there are loads in the school library), then moved on to big sister and mystery.
Our best find was the lucky bookshop on Lady Ruby Drive, East Tamaki where we pick up scholastic end of lines from $0.50 to $4.00.
Current favourites (all series books) are
Secrets of Droon
Unicorns of Ballinor
Gemma James mysteries
Most of these are fantasy books about secret places or magical creatures but others are about animals (a favourite topic) or slice of life books.
For a longer read once they are established on chapter books
Molly Moon (this is huge)
I haven't listed individual books here because I find once you find a story they love they are eager to hunt down anything else in that series.
My daughter is the same age and faces similar problems. I have found that any of the older books (pre 1960's) are suitably for her age and her reading abilities. If the child prefers factual books, I can really recommend Arthur Ransom's "Swallows and Amazons" series. My daughter is currently ploughing through the series and keen to teach us all samaphore, how to sail and even how to make charcoal.
Another pre 1960 Author who does write fantasy, but makes it sound like reality is Mary Norton who wrote "the borrowers" and "The Magic Bed-knob"
Mary Jane's list is awsome, I will definitely be looking out some of hers for my daughter too.
I wasn't keen on some of the more recent series like Pony Pals, because of the teenage romance aspect creeping in. I've avoided the Harry Potter series for the same reason. I didn't think My baby needed to go there yet. Our librarian recommends saving Harry Potter for 10 year olds and up, so they can identify better with Harry as he grows into his teens.
My son loves Linda McNabb's "The Puppet Master" and "The Dragon's Apprentice", also The Redwall series by Brian Jacques. He is also trying to collect and read every book from the Horrible Histories series. (mentioned previously)
My sons and I have just been reading one of the Whitcoull's staff choices. The boys aged 9 & 10 have really enjoyed the variety of the stories. It is "Another 30 New Zealand Stories for Children" Else / Elliot (Random House).
We found Roger Hall's story, How Hugo Wart Hog Found True Happiness, to be really funny!
My son who is 8 is currently really enjoying the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. He has also read all the Lemony Snicket books (A Series of Unfortunate Events) and thought they were fantastic.
Trying to remember what my daughter liked when she was 8...quite a few off Mary Jane's list, especially The Phantom Tollbooth, and the Dr Doolittle books. Also The Never Ending Story, the Horrible Histories (and similar) series, The Runaways by Ruth Thomas, anything by Paul Jennings, The Chronicles of Narnia.
i meant to reply to this sooner but forgot.
I would be wary of leaving Harry Potter until a gifted child is 10. For average readers this might be fine but by 10 my son had grown out of HP. By 10 he was reading some adult books. He has read all the HP ones but they just didnt grab him. My nephew (gifted, but not a particularly strong or interested reader) at 7 years old has really enjoyed reading HP.
Good point, I hadn't reconed on her advice not being aimed at gifted children. I get so tied up with my own children, that I sometimes forget to take outside advice in the context it was intended.
My gifted dd is now 13, but I remember going through this problem when she was 8-9 years old. Fortunately, she discovered an author by the name of Tamora Pierce and has read everything this woman has written. Her books are fantasy literature, but the protagonist in them is a girl, so this really appealed to my dd. She has written at least 20 books, most in series of 4 books.
My dd also enjoyed Harry Potter - agree about not waiting til 10! When the last book came out, my dd was 11, and she read the whole thing in a day! She now tells me that she doesn't think she'll bother reading the next one if/when it comes out as she's "too old" for them.
Artemis Fowl books were and are also a favourite.
Around 8, she also enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables series.
At 11-12, she enjoyed the Tiggy Thompson series by Tessa Duder.
The girls of 8-9 in my ODS class are reading books by Louis Sachar (such as Holes and The Wayside School), the My Story biographies, the Deltora Quest series, the Avalon series, and Across the Nightingale Floor. One is reading Lord of the Rings. There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in things like Babysitters' Club or Saddle Club books - they tend to have read these when they 7ish!
Can anyone tell us where we can get a supply of 'early readers' for our 5 year old. Her school are only happy to lend us 'easy books' (ie books she has already read for which she has no interest) and our public library only has a limited selection. She can read 3-4 per night and we are struggling for a source to borrow from! We have purchased some of course but it's getting a bit expensive!
There is an email loop for homeschoolers selling second hand resources - a large amount of which are books and readers. It could be a good plan to subscribe (free) and then post a message asking for books/readers at the right level and upwards, we get lots of stuff for $2.each which would cost $15 to $20 new.
Another idea is an american website we use called www.starfall.com They offer some reading books and fun excersises online, but they also sell readers for between .50c and $1. each depending on the quantity you buy. adds a little cost for mailing from US though.
We have also seen readers for .50c each in second hand baby gear shops.
There are 30 or so readers available to print out for free on the following site. and if you like them subscription is available to access thousands more
My 5 year old, really enjoys a range of books from picture books to Enid Blyton. She occasionally choses an early reader but they can be rather simple. At least most picture books are designed to appeal to both adult and child, and some of them have fairly complex stories which appeal to the young gifted reader.
The junior non-fiction section of our library also carries some excellent books which are appropriate for early readers. Ask the librarian to help you. Our local librarian has got to know us so well that she sometimes recommends books for my children. She has also twigged really quickly that there are several gifted readers in the community and will suggest books on the basis that so-and-so's kids really loved them. We have very little privacy around here, but the support is tremendous ;)
This is just an invitation to read an original fiction book written by my son when he was 7 years old. It is going to be released this friday at school assembly. I'll keep in touch on how to get hold of it soon after release.
PS. Here is a copy from the book. It is going to be sold at cost just to cover the cost.
There was a power… a sword with all the power to control and to destroy every evil. Every person in that time wanted the sword but none ever survived the tasks they must do to get the sword.
… but one boy has the power to overcome this difficult task to give back peace to his country from war.
I have a nearly 7 year old who we are also having trouble finding suitable reading material for. Her teacher tells me that she is reading beyond 10 years - that is, sounding out the words and reading them perfectly but does not have the life experience to understand some of what she is reading. She also attends ODS. I will explore the suggestions made so far, but if anyone has other suggestions I would be happy to hear them.
Our son has been reading well beyond his age for a long time and is now nearly 8.
He tends towards an interest in reference books and so he has adored the "Horrible Histories", "Dead Famous", "Horrible Science" and so forth. They run out pretty quickly though when you read about one a day. He's read most of them 3-4 times now.
His taste also runs to adventure stories, and there is a huge range to choose from - the Willard Price books were polished off in a couple of weeks and "Lion Boy" and sequels were a big hit. "Famous Five" stories still work well, as do "Swallows and Amazons", "Narnia" chronicles and many others.
We actually head down to the local library every three weeks and I just sit and read while he amasses a pile of 20-30 books and we head home. Sometimes I see something that my experience tells me he will actually enjoy, even if he doesn't think so.
Ultimately it's important that our children be able to choose these for themselves, and there is very little in the children's section of the library that is going to be inappropriate.
Just a cautionary note re: young children choosing their own books from the library. My 7 year olds went to the library with their Dad and chose what they liked. Suddenly my son started asking me questions about the second world war. I discovered he had read Anne Franks Diary twice and also a very graphic book on Aushwitz, complete with photos of gas chambers, ovens and piles of bodies. Shortly after this he had trouble sleeping. When asked what his nightmares were about he wouldn't reply beyond saying, "adult things".