Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer 2010 Young Reader High Reading Level Books

Books I've recommended to teachers, friends and family as good books for young readers with higher reading levels. I categorize the books the way my local public library does: Juvenile Literature content is generally for grades 3-7. Young Adult Literature content is generally for grades 8-11. Of course, with all books there are tremendous exceptions to these categorizations—which is so much fun for librarians to play with. For example, Patricia Polacco's wonderful picture books, January's Sparrow, Pink and Say, and The Butterfly are beautifully illustrated picture books….but are categorized as Juvenile literature, as opposed to the Easy Reader/Picture Books, because the content would be emotionally difficult for children younger than third grade to grasp. Fiction books are labeled Fic. Non-fiction books are labeled Non-fic.





The Magician's Elephant—and all by this author.

DiCamillo, Kate

Juv Fic

Kate DeCamillo's incredible and poetic writing in a beautiful literary story. Would appeal to literary girls. My daughter and I think it moves too slowly for most boys. A GREAT read aloud for parents and teachers.

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett

Juv Fic

FANTASTIC who- done-it story about a stolen Vermeer painting, coincidences---or are all events really related, pentominos—math puzzles, logical thinking. First in a GREAT series.

Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam

Cynthia Kadohata

Juv Fic

A wonderful story about a service dog in Vietnam. There is one or two scenes of battle that are tough—but ok, especially for boys ahead of peers in literary maturity and can handle the topic of war.

Carver: A Life in Poems

Marilyn Nelson

Juv Non-Fic

Book in verse about George Washington Carver. Lots to learn about this amazing African American inventor and innovator but in poems.

Home of the Brave

Katherine Applegate

Juv Fic

A Somali teen boy refugee comes to the US—Minnesota in the midst of winter and learns what it means to live in US. The book is great and ALL in verse

Pictures of Hollis Woods

Patricia Reilly Giff

Juv Fic

An artistic girl in the foster care system goes through the challenge of allowing herself to be loved and to love an adoptive family….more of a girl's book.


Cynthia Rylant

Juv Fic

Teen girl has an autistic brother but wants to make friends with a new neighbor….just as she makes friends with another special needs friend. GREAT book

The Sniper

James Riordan

YA Fic

The youngest sniper in the Russian Army during WWII is actually a girl….an amazing story that will keep both boys and girls turning pages…based on a true story that is detailed at the end of the book.

A Time of Angels

Karen Hesse

YA Fic

A young girl leaves Boston during the great flu epidemic of 1914. Incredible story

Out of the Dust

Karen Hesse

Juv Fic

The story of a girl living through the dust bowl days of the Great Depression. Winner of the Newberry Award and all in verse—great poems—emotionally challenging but informative.

Aleutian Sparrow

Karen Hesse

Juv Fic

The story of a village of Eskimos relocated during WWII. Emotionally challenging but an incredible story. The story is told all in verse.

The Wednesday Wars

Gary D. Schmidt

Juv Fic

Young boy in 6th grade gets stuck with his teacher every Wed. After some funny interactions they begin to study Shakespeare together and what the boy learns mirrors what's going on in the world at the time 1968.

Counting on Grace

Elizabeth Winthrop

Juv Fic

Young Grace goes to work in a factory in the early 1800's. Story about factory life. Grace eventually leaves to become a teacher.

F*E*G* Ridiculous Poems for Intelligent Children

Robin Hirsch

Juv Non-fic

Great poems that fit the "rules" of various types of poetry—but take poetry to the limit! Clever stuff

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

Berlin, Eric

Juv Fic

Great story for puzzle lovers—solving the puzzles helps solve the mystery. This author used to write crossword puzzles. Readers can go on-line to download puzzles if they don't want to cover their books with pencil marks.

The Potato Chip Puzzles

Berlin, Eric

Juv Fic

Second book of Winston Breen mysteries.

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