You might remember that I l-o-v-e audio books. I’m always looking for a new one at the library to share with the kids. When Lydia was really little I grabbed Junie B. Jones and within minutes turned it off because I didn’t want my little girl to copy Junie’s whining and disrespectful words. (Am I the only one?)
Last year I ran across some chapter books published by Focus on the Family about a little girl who lived on a farm in the 20’s. I found all the books in the series and started reading them to Lydia before bed. We both enjoyed them until the main character’s best friend was kidnapped from her front yard and missing for several days. (Isn’t that weird? That is not a situation my always-thinking little girl needed to be introduced to!) Thankfully, I read ahead and realized what was happening and we never finished the book.
So, as Lydia becomes more competent and confident in her reading, I’m getting more nervous about letting her read just any old book I pick up at the library. Is that crazy? I mean, one of my favorite things to do at the library was comb through the books and pick one based solely on it’s cover and title.
It’s not just about desiring books with God-honoring, positive role models–I also want to make sure the books aren’t ridiculous fluff! Over the summer, when we were retrieving our free book from Barnes and Noble’s summer reading program, I looked through all the books that are not quite chapter books but harder than “I Can Read” books. And most of them were about candy-fairies, pink puppies or bathroom humor. They were ridiculous!
Lydia is pretty spot-on as far as reading level (at least she was at the end of last year). She likes to read but (I think) won’t pick up a substantial chapter book mainly because it’s intimidating–not so much that she can’t actually read it, you know?
Anywhoo. Here’s a few books we’ve liked and then I’d LOVE to hear some suggestions of books you and your kids love. Especially in that not-quite-ready-for-Little-Women but a-little-bit-over-Disney-Princesses-Get-a-Pony.
Ruby Slippers School by Stacy Towle Morgan
This is a series about a girl and her sister who are homeschooled (hence the name Ruby Slippers School…there’s no place like home. Get it?) and travel with their dad meeting intersting people around the world and solving mysteries along the way. We read the first one together but I’m going to have her read the rest on her own.
The Fairy Bell Sisters by Margaret McNamara
Mainly, I let Lydia get this book because the illustrations were so cute. It’s a spin-off story of JM Barrie’s Tinkerbell (not to be confused with Pixie Hollow of Disney Fairies!). Each book in the series is about one of Tink’s sisters. This one was about a fairy not old enough to go to a ball but she ended up saving the entire fairy kingdom from trolls (or something like that–I scanned it!)
Cul-de-Sac Kids by Beverly Lewis
This is another one I only scanned because I’ve read some books by Beverly Lewis and figured I could trust her. The first one is about a family who adopt two kids from Korea. I’ve got the second one on hold at the library.
Imagination Station by Marianne Haring and Paul McCusker
I told you how much we love these. I read the first one and she’s read the second one. We’ll also be reading one of these for school this year!
I challenged her to read Betsy-Tacy this summer but she didn’t make it very far. I have also been thinking about the Mandie books. I loved those in 3rd grade. My friend Mandi said her girls are devouring the Nancy Drew Notebooks.
Your turn: Am I over-thinking this? Should I just let my 2nd grader wander the juvenile section of the library? What are some good (quality and moral) books that aren’t going to bog her down as a new-ish reader? Go—>
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