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    « To Encourage Creativity, Get Back to Basics | Main | Books I Might Actually Read in 2009 (First Draft) »

    Top Picks: Witty Books for Kids 7 - 9

    Because the range of books for this age is so broad, this could be divided into two lists, but I've opted to keep the chapter books with the longer fiction books and show the progression. When my daughter was reading chapter books, I didn't really know where to go next! From chapter books to short fiction and beyond for kids who are reading independently. The list is ordered by complexity, as determined by my 9 year old daughter. Note: the subject matter of some of the books might be more geared to girls (i.e. mermaids, fairies) and many appeal to everyone (i.e. No Talking, The Trumpet of the Swan, the Oz series, Harry Potter...).

    The challenge for advanced readers at this age is books with appropriate subject matter (and in our house... we prefer not too scary).

    The List... in order from easier to more complex.

    The Airy Fairy books are easy chapter books about a kind-hearted but clumsy fairy: Airy Fairy Magic Muddle, Airy Fairy Magic Mess, Airy Fairy Magic Mischief, and Airy Fairy Magic Mix-Up.

    The Magic Tree House series involves time travel, a favorite amongst 1-3rd graders. Try Dinosaurs Before Dark and Viking Ships Sail at Sunrise.

    Cam Jansen Mysteries including Cam Jansen Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds and Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery. These build comprehension skills and a desire to read further in order to solve the mystery.

    Three Tales: My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett - Three adventurous tales ~ My Father's Dragon, Elmer and the Dragon, and The Dragons of Blueland.

    Utterly Me, Clarice Bean - Clarice is a sparkly character; my daughter loves the creative use of fonts to accentuate the text. {Discussion topics from CookieBooky}. Also in the series Clarice Bean Don't Look Now.

    The Tail of Emily Windsnap and the two sequels. The story of a girl who discovers that she is a mermaid. {Discussion topics from Cookie Booky}.

    Eloise - The first and best Eloise story. My daughters love, love, love Eloise. She lives in a hotel in NYC and does a lot of funny things. Her character is so unique that we invent Eloise stories with more escapades and adventures. There are several others in the original series, including the wonderful Eloise in Paris. Eloise was originally published in November 1955. Newer books written "in the style of" the author lack the original charm. {Details, including author and illustrator information at KidsReads.

    No Talking by Andrew Clements - this is a favorite author among 2nd-4th graders. This is the story of a competition between boys and girls at school about who can talk less, and the interesting reaction from the teachers. My daughter's teacher read this to her 1st/2nd/3rd grade class and it was an instant hit! {Author interview at KidsReads}.

    No Flying in the House. The story of a little girl who discovers that she is half fairy and learns to fly.

    The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat were selections in our mother-daughter book club. {Reviewed at KidsReads}.

    The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. A classic of children’s literature, the story involves a mute swan named Louis who becomes a famous jazz trumpet player to compensate for his lack of a natural voice. Our 1st/2nd grade Mother-Daughter Book Club read this and it was much loved.

    There are 14 books in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum. See Wikipedia. The first, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was published in 1900. Among my daughter's favorites, The Ozma of Oz. The entire series can be purchased in The Complete Oz: Volume I and II.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

    Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg - My daughter received this as a birthday present and I thought this was fluff. But Gail Carson Levine wrote "Enchanted," the first few books in this lengthy series and a few later books in the series. My daughter loved the interesting details of fairies lives, like the way they lived and their specialities. {Reviewed at KidsReads}. By the same author, Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand. {Author interview at KidsReads.}

    The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards.

    The Doll People series, tells the adventures of a family of friendly dolls who live in a dollhouse but can only move around at night to ensure they are not seen. {Discussion questions from CookieBooky and the first sequel}.

    Princess Tales I and Princess Tales II, two books of short stories by Gail Carson Levine.

    Harriet the Spy was one of the favorites in our 1st/2nd grade mother-daughter book club. {Literature links from EMINTS}. The sequel is Harriet the Spy: Double Agent. Newer books written in same style lack the unique character of the original.

    The Indispensable Calvin And Hobbes and The Essential Calvin And Hobbes by Bill Watterson. Devilishly funny antics.

    Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, hilarious in spots, wonderful wording, great line art.

    The first four books in the Harry Potter series, starting with Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone. We made a deal that she'd have to stop at book four for now; the series gets darker...

    The Name of this Book Is Secret and If You're Reading This, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch. This was a fun read, with a bit of mystery, a comical narrator, and adventure. My daughter especially loved the dry humour and like most books read it non-stop.

    The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, an adventure with clues and puzzles to solve along the way.

    Kid reviews and author interviews for many of these books at KidsReads.

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