Suitable books for 5yo with reading age of 10-11?

(48 Posts)
BucketCrunderdunder Sun 10-Mar-13 18:00:01


Dd is 5yr old, in Yr1 and summer born. She isn't on the G&T register as far as I know, but she is doing very well with reading, so just popped in for advice. The school has assessed her as on Stage 17 and she is just starting on chapter books.

Trouble is, I am not sure she has the emotional maturity for some of the books she is bringing home. The school have said that unfortunately the choice is a bit limited as most of the children who are reading them are quite a bit older. The latest one she has come home with (a Treetops title) seems to be about a sinister windmill, which may have killed someone, who may have returned as a ghost (I just skimmed through it). Wondering if it might give her nightmares! The previous one was about a family moving from post-war London, to a new town and themes of change, loss etc.

I wonder if any parents with similar experiences have any ideas of how to bridge the gap between technical ability and emotional maturity. I don't want her to 'grow up' too fast by reading material that might be a bit old for her, but I do want her to read books that stretch her reading, vocabulary and comprehension etc.

So, wondering whether to ask the school if it would be better if we chose our own reading books - would that be reasonable?

Also suggestions for what may be suitable reading material would be gratefully appreciated. I have realised that most of the books at home might be a bit too simple, as none of them are anywhere near the 'Stage 17' type of level!

She likes Mr. Gum, used to like Rainbow Fairies (but now sees them as a bit 'babyish'), quite likes Secret Kingdom, but perhaps they're not that challenging to read? Roahl Dahl maybe?

duchesse Sun 10-Mar-13 18:06:31

Professor Branestawm- brilliant fun!
the "lady farmer" series- can't remember what they're called though- about a little girl who wants to be a lady farmer.
I loved James Herriott at that age- any of them
Paddington Bear- any of them, they're all brilliant.
Famous Five- I loved those

duchesse Sun 10-Mar-13 18:09:29

The lady farmer series is the Sophie series by Dick King-Smith.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sun 10-Mar-13 18:12:39

Enid Blyton? I loved them at that age. Also what about the worst witch series? Roald Dahl good idea.

KarenHL Sun 10-Mar-13 18:12:51

Also worth considering the Mary Poppins books. PL Travers wrote four books in the series. V.good and easy to find.

DD likes little house on the prairie as well, and some of the Roald Dahl books (espec' Fantastic Mr Fox).

You have to go for 'classics', in my experience. They tend to be written in a far more complex and challenging style whilst retaining suitable subject material and themes.

Mary Poppins is a great suggestion.

Noel Streatfield (Ballet Shoes and the like)

A book called 'The Greatest Gresham' but forgotten the author

The Railway Children

The Secret Garden

Anything by Edith Nesbitt (I think - Treasure Seekers, 5 Children and It etc)

Little House on the Prairie series

My 10 yr old motors through a series called Warrior Cats which is contemporary (not that it matters much in the cat world grin )

duchesse Sun 10-Mar-13 18:22:04

I agree with Queen. Too many "ishoos" covered in an inappropriate way in much of modern literature aimed at 10-11 year olds.

FWIW Five children and It and all the E Nesbitt books are fabulous.

BucketCrunderdunder Sun 10-Mar-13 18:31:24

Thank you for the very quick replies! I am compiling a reading list using the suggestions here. We have the Worst Witch on cd which she enjoyed listening to, so she may well like the books. Enid Blyton, she has the Magic Faraway Tree, but got a bit bored half way through - I'm thinking of getting her 'The Naughtiest Girl In School' as I loved it myself as a child (hope it's not too dated however). I think things to do with school life, and/or friendships might be a hit.

She's a bit of a girly girl in taste, but I am trying to widen her horizons a bit, so strong female characters are most welcome. grin

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 10-Mar-13 18:32:20

Would second Professor Branestawm, the undiluted Paddington books, and perhaps the Wombles, My Naughty Little Sister, Mrs Pepperpot, Pippi Longstocking and Olga de Polga. Worst Witch books are also very emotionally easy-going.

If she's reading at that level she doesn't need to be challenged particularly, you just need a huge heap of well-written, strong, entertaining stories for her to plough through and maintain her love of books. As long as it's not the sodding Rainbow Fairies then she'll find her own value in everything she reads - just keep it coming.

duchesse Sun 10-Mar-13 18:34:16

Oh, the Sophie series has a very strong central female character- you'll love them Whilst I take issue with the term "lady farmer" in fairness it's the one Sophie herself comes up with.

Narnia series, the borrowers, the worst witch and anything by Roald Dahl worked for my DS at that age. We started with the Teddy Robinson series and went from there.

We have found that older books are the way to go like previous posters. I like to hear him read so that we can talk about any language 'issues' fir example ... Travelling to many queer places...

Takver Sun 10-Mar-13 18:52:51

Definitely agree to the Wombles chapter books & the others suggested by LadyIsabella.

Swallows & Amazons series also great, nothing unsuitable /hard to relate to for a 5 year old and lovely stories (and there are 12 of them if she likes them)

Pretty much anything by Dick King Smith, not just Sophie (his animal books are lovely)

Much less classy, but DD loved the Animal Ark books and there are hundreds of them

Maybe Milly Molly Mandy, My Naughty Little Sister, Clever Polly & the Stupid Wolf if she hasn't read them / had them read to her.

More modern stuff - she might like the Cows In Action and Astrosaurs series both by Steve Cole, also maybe the Daisy And the Trouble With books (can't remember the author)

Duchesse, look at it this way, at least Sophie doesn't want to be a lady gardener grin

Takver Sun 10-Mar-13 18:54:08

Clever Polly is definitely a strong female character . . .

juneybean Sun 10-Mar-13 18:55:50

Definitely roald Dahl, my 5 year old dc has just enjoyed Matilda and Georges Marvellous Medicine.

BucketCrunderdunder Sun 10-Mar-13 20:01:16

That's given me at least 40 books to try out with her - should keep us busy for a while - thank you all!thanks

neolara Sun 10-Mar-13 20:04:08

The magic faraway tree and the other two in the series. My 5 year old LOVED them and I would have been fantastically grateful if he could have read them to himself.

Had the same issue with DS last year.

He's really enjoyed Roald Dahl, also lots of stuff by Dick King Smith. Think he started with The Hodgeheg.

These days I tend to go to the library and do a sweep of the shelves of anything that looks likely and present him with a pile to choose from. He's a pretty voracious reader these days, I can't keep up!

numbum Sun 10-Mar-13 22:11:59

My y1 is reading The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. She also loves Mr Gum and got bored of Mr Gum so it seems we're on the same page. I've just ordered her some Michael Murporgo, Mary Poppins and Charlotte's web.

Let me know if you find anything she loves!

numbum Sun 10-Mar-13 22:12:51

Oh and as for Roald Dahl she read The Twits and Matilda last year and love George's Marvellous Medicine and Charlie and the Chocolate factory this year

FriendlyLadybird Mon 11-Mar-13 08:58:33

Don't forget Winnie the Pooh. And never underestimate the value of a big anthology of fairy tales, traditional and more modern.

You could get her started on classical myths too. At that age I loved Charles Kingsley's The Heroes (classicist father), but Geraldine McCaughrean and Anthony Horowitz have done some good modern retellings.

StellaNova Mon 11-Mar-13 09:12:16

I was about that level at infant school and remember reading:

Any Enid Blyton I could lay my hands on
The Sam Pig stories by Alison Uttley
The Bobbsey Twins series
Alice in Wonderland
Robin Hood
Matthews Secret Surprises
Aurora and the Little Blue Car
What Katy Did
The Bobby Brewster series

Sticklebug Mon 11-Mar-13 20:07:21

Definitely the Roald Dhal books. Michael Murporgo, Enid Blyton.

My DD really enjoyed books by Elinor Lyon and Noel Streatfield at this age - a bit old fashioned, but she seemed to really get them.

Also all the Dick King Smith books (I hate them, but both DC's loved them)

Sticklebug Mon 11-Mar-13 20:09:32

Ohh, and 'The secret railway' and 'the mysterious parcel' (gerald durrell).
The Littlest ghost

Also the Moomins - loads of them...lovely to read and really silly which appeals to a 5 year old sense of humour

BucketCrunderdunder Mon 11-Mar-13 23:39:50

Thank you for so many ideas - been compiling a wishlist this evening and a few more have occurred to me!

The Wind In The Willows
*Stig of The Dump
101 Dalmations and The Starlight Barking
Mrs Pepperpot
*How To Train Your Dragon
*Nancy Drew (Book 1 Sleepover Sleuths: Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew)
*Billionaire Boy David Walliams

The ones with an asterix I've never actually read - they sound OK though.

tumbletumble Tue 12-Mar-13 11:35:14

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

sashh Tue 12-Mar-13 12:03:02

Grimms fairy tales - not the original adult ones but the sanitised children's ones.

And what about non fiction? What is she interested in?

Seeline Tue 12-Mar-13 12:18:01

If she likes history the Roman Mysteries series was enjoyed by my DD at that age.

StellaNova Tue 12-Mar-13 15:33:14

I have just read Stig of the Dump to my five year old son - he really enjoyed it, but we were both a bit startled by the scene where the rough boys offer Barney a cigarette and he accepts! (he doesn't like it).

BucketCrunderdunder Tue 12-Mar-13 15:42:44

Sashh - she does have a couple of fairytale anthologies - loves them.

Gosh good question about non fiction, as pretty much all her books have been fictional up until now! blush

Things she's interested in - she is quite arty and enjoys sitting down and drawing stuff, painting, so fairly creatively inclined. She used to go to ballet and enjoyed that, now does gymnastics and enjoys it, though I would say neither matches her love of art.

I'm actually wracking my brains as come to think of it, I haven't been very proactive in introducing her to a range of books other than stories. She has enjoyed looking through 'a How the Body Works' - type of book from the library before, also one on space - I don't think she has ever read that much in the way of factual books otherwise, apart from maybe the odd one about cerelebrations in other countries...she has a children's encylopedia at home, and an Atlas, but don't think she ever gets them out.

So in that way she is probably a bit of a blank slate - again, any suitable recommendations welcome. I will try her with a Roman Mysteries, thank you Seeline.

BucketCrunderdunder Tue 12-Mar-13 15:44:34

Quite interested in simple 'biographies' of famous women in history actually - that might be a way in...

sheeplikessleep Tue 12-Mar-13 15:46:25

Mr Twiddle?
Enid Blyton

simpson Tue 12-Mar-13 20:48:50

The Indian in the Cupboard
How to train a Dragon
Harry Potter
Any of the Horrible Histories books.

MareeyaDolores Tue 12-Mar-13 22:27:54

Fantastic list!

Greythorne Wed 13-Mar-13 09:19:17

Flat Stanley

BucketCrunderdunder Wed 13-Mar-13 20:32:40

Oh yes we have Flat Stanley - it was one of the ones we've read to her so many times, now she just wants something else.

Just got out 'The Naughtiest Girl In The School' by Enid Blyton from the library, as I remember I loved those books as a child. Am hoping it's not going to give her any ideas. Read a chapter to her first, to see if she was interested and she was all agog at the cheeky and spoilt Elizabeth! grin

rockinhippy Wed 13-Mar-13 22:07:55

If your thinking along the lines of The Naughtiest Girl in School, then I suspect she will love a junkie B Jones - it's written as a little one speaks, so she will relate to it, there's a huge series of them & they are funny, so its the sort of book they re read as they love it smile - Junie B is a cheeky little girl, with an imagination & she grows up through school as the books go on - kept my DD going for a while when she was younger & the writing style didn't hinder her in anyway

rockinhippy Wed 13-Mar-13 22:08:39

Damn you Ipadshock *Junie B Jones]

rockinhippy Wed 13-Mar-13 22:12:34
blackeyedsusan Sat 16-Mar-13 22:24:05

not how to train you dragon. it gets scary. if she is sensitive then save that for another time.

killer cat series by anne fine?
pippi longstocking
what katy did series
sophie books dick king smith
flat stanley series... there are quite a few.
silver street farm
worst witch.
mr majeika (may be too easy)

unlucky83 Sat 16-Mar-13 23:03:17

My DD1 was a very good reader - so Enid Blyton ...there are loads of them in the Dean series, Jeremy Strong (although might be too easy)
all Roahl Dahl, she also loved the Belfry Witches by Kate Saunders . I loved the Hobbit but maybe a bit old yet...
Just watch out for Jacqueline Wilson - she also writes books for older teens...
Remember my DD1 at 7-8 reading 'Girls under pressure' - later flicking through and saw there is a scene where 'Magda the Slagda' thinks she is going to be raped sad
Actually just try and keep her away for all those kind of books ...DD1 loves them won't read anything else and now just 12 has just started reading a new series 'Life of Riley' - bought 2 as part of a '3 for 2 offer on kids books' from WH Smiths - later noticed it said 'suitable for older reader' or similar on back - flicking through and there is something a girl not being liked because she put XXx's thing in her mouth in a phone box ...etc etc working out how to hide them...
Makes me so angry and sad and shock ...why? even for 14/15 yr olds...

Schmedz Tue 26-Mar-13 22:17:01

I loved the Narnia series at her age. Also fun to take her to the library and just browse...see what she chooses based on the blurbs! Librarians also bound to be able to recommend some wonderful new authors.

georgettemagritte Thu 28-Mar-13 03:21:42

Second What Katy Did, Narnia, Enid Blyton etc. also:

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Little Women
Some titles by Diana Wynne Jones -- the Chrestonanci series (eg The Magicians of Caprona), though these might be better around 7/8-ish
Anne of Green Gables

blueberryupsidedown Thu 04-Apr-13 12:02:36

Flat Stanley? DS loves them, he 'gets' the story, whereas he struggles with The Twits, or How to Train Your Dragon-type books. He can 'read' them but doesn't quite get the relationships yet, or the jokes. He does love George and marvellous medecine. And absolutely loves Flat Stanley.

He absolutely loves the Project X books from school as they are a mixture of fiction and factual information.

It might be an idea to have a coupld of non factual books, it might interest her.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 04-Apr-13 12:02:46

I meant non-fiction!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 04-Apr-13 12:21:25

Definitely Roald Dahl. Will rack my brains, but my DC with a much elevated reading age compared to chronological was a boy, so possibly different tastes.

Enid Blyton too - Famous Five & Secret Seven.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 04-Apr-13 12:23:28

If your DC is 'sensitive', then be selective with the Michael Morpurgo books.

Fleecyslippers Thu 04-Apr-13 23:56:31

Lots of great suggestions and I'd also take her along to your library and give her free reign in the kids section, especially in the non fiction sections. Our librarians are brilliant at steering towards books that get the balance between ability and understanding/emotional intelligence.

WarmAndFuzzy Sun 07-Apr-13 00:23:42

Might still be a bit old for her, but The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goodge was one of my favourites when I was about 8. Also, my son (gifted reader, aspie) steamed through all the 'How to Train Your Dragon Books' and he's got a long list of things he's scared of - he thought they were hilarious!

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