I found myself with a dilemma when Elijah was six-years-old. He was reading so many books that he was running out of age-appropriate reading material, and I didn't know what to give him next. This is a problem some of us don't talk about because we should just shut up and be happy that our kids are enjoying reading. Nevertheless, it is a valid problem. As Elijah grew, so did his love for reading. And then along came Simon who didn't start the reading party until later, but now he reads even more than Elijah did at his age.
For the last eight years I have worked hard to find age-appropriate books for my kids that were not only quality literature, but would also keep their attention. I wanted to give them a variety of genres while also providing books about different cultures and places. The result of my effort is several reading lists.
I have seen other homeschool moms with a dilemma similar to mine: young kids reading everything in sight and moms not sure where to steer them. I hope sharing these lists will be a blessing to you, moms of voracious readers.
Here are a few questions you may have before you check out the lists:
Did your children really read all of these books?
Yes. These lists are kid tested, mother approved.
Did your children read books that weren't on the list?
Yes. I can't keep up with two voracious readers.
How did you determine the lists?
I generated the lists by asking friends, reading reviews, checking out award winning books, and by pre-reading as many books as possible. You may want to read this post: Choosing Books for Your Homeschool.
It seems like some of the books on your list are above recommended grade level while others are below recommended grade level. Why?
I purposefully give my kids books with different reading levels. Good books are good books are good books–no matter the level. I firmly believe children should NOT be reading at the tippy-top of their reading level all the time. If you disagree with me, please spend one week only reading at the top of your reading level. Report back and let me know how much you enjoyed skipping the newspaper, your favorite non-academic periodicals, blogs you enjoy, and even your cookbooks.
Asking or requiring children to only read at the top of their reading level is one way to help kids to hate reading.
Another reason some books may seem a bit too easy for the suggested grade level is because they were not published in time for us to read them at a younger age, or we didn't find out about them until the boys were older.
Some of the most beloved books in children's literature aren't on your lists. Why?
You're right. Some classic books such as Mr. Popper's Penguins, Pippi Longstocking, and Charlotte's Web don't appear on these lists. The biggest reason is because we have used these as read-alouds. Often my children will pick up the books and re-read them, but I forget to record them.
Reading Lists for Voracious Readers
Here are the lists. I hope to publish the 4th grade list soon. I also have a few other posts in the works for moms of voracious readers, so please check back. If you have questions, please don't be shy. Leave me a comment.