Book suggestions for advanced 4th grader

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Jan 26, 2015

    I have a girl in my class who has read numerous classics and modern favorites who needs some new book recommendations. Does anyone know of a list or website that I could pull some suggestions from?

    She just finished Les Miserables, which I can't imagine reading as an adult. I don't want to give her anything that contains mature content. I don't know much about Les Miserables, and it may contain adult content, however, since these are books she reads at home, I have no idea if she's actually comprehending all of what she's reading or if some of the themes are over her head.

    She's also read everything I can think to suggest, from Harry Potter to The Secret Garden.

    Maybe a top 100 books list for an avid young reader would be appropriate?
     
  2.  
  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    791

    Jan 26, 2015

    Les Mis definitely has some adult themes to it, but a student could definitely comprehend the book without picking up on the sexuality to it. My first thought here is that you should get acquainted with the book (find out what translation she read, etc) and have a conversation with her about it. If she's actually comprehending the book and understanding the themes of the book, then children's lit probably ain't gonna cut it for this kiddo.

    If she's actually demonstrating comprehension of a book like Les Mis, then I'd try to steer her in the direction of "vetted" adult writers.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,005
    Likes Received:
    450

    Jan 26, 2015

    Wednesday Wars
    A Series of Unfortunate Events series
    A Wrinkle in Time
    The Hobbit
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and narnia series
    Gordon Korman--any books by that author.
    Nancy Drew series



    Lots of good books out there..so many she has read, but sure there are many she hasn't.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Jan 27, 2015

    If she actually comprehended Les Miserables, then traditional advanced literature for that level wouldn't work - any idea what her reading level is at?

    Something like Ender's Game might be good - though it has some profanity in it.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,598
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 27, 2015

    Hm. I'd definitely want to know how much of the story this kid actually grasped - this is actually two questions: (a) which translation she was reading, and whether the language worked for her; (b) the extent to which her background knowledge and maturity were up to the demands of the story.

    I'd also want to know whether she liked it and wants other books like it.

    If the translation isn't very contemporary (that is, the language is archaic) and she liked it, she should be fine with Dickens - following on Les Miserables, she might enjoy A Tale of Two Cities.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Jan 27, 2015

    Thanks for all the replies :)

    I wasn't aware that there were so many translations of Les Miserables. I will ask her, but I'm not sure that she'll know which version she was reading, either (without having the book to check). Looking on lexile.com, I am seeing at least three different versions, ranging from 800L to 1010L.

    Charles Dickens is a good idea. I will suggest that.

    If anyone is interested, I searched for a while to find a perfect list, and thought that this one had a good list of current and classic books for kids: http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/207315023/the-ultimate-backseat-bookshelf-100-must-reads-for-kids-9-14
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,165
    Likes Received:
    1,503

    Jan 27, 2015

    It's difficult satisfying a high reading/comprehension level without running into maturity and even interest issues.

    "The Hobbit" would be good.
    Folklore and myth comes in all shapes and sizes and would be a study in its own right.

    I'd also hand her the Newbery list.

    In my humble opinion, if she's that high a reader she is certainly up for selecting her own material. I'd prefer that to unnecessarily trying to challenge her.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,946
    Likes Received:
    2,093

    Jan 27, 2015

    :thumb: ICAM...I have some high readers in grade three and subscribe to the idea that just because a student is CAPABLE of reading something doesn't necessarily mean they SHOULD be reading it. I'm sure the student reading Les Mis would get more out of it when she has more life experience, maturity and schema...
    If she's stuck, you might suggest she look into nonfiction texts in topics that interest her.
     
  10. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jan 27, 2015

    Nonfiction texts are probably a good idea. When I was a kid, I had a 4 volume illustrated encyclopedia that was probably designed for high school students. I loved it and read it over and over again.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,131
    Likes Received:
    2,255

    Jan 27, 2015

    ICAM. I was a high skills young reader, and a teacher turned me towards the nonfiction subject matter that included science, biographies, ancient world history, and natural history. Later, I took a shine to the works of Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, and my fascination with Sherlock Holmes has never waivered. As a teacher myself, I know that she was trying to keep me OUT of material that I would be required to read in the near future, just so I wouldn't become bored. However, the broad range of subject matter certainly made my life more interesting and colorful. I am forever in her debt. :)
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    442

    Jan 27, 2015

    We're running into this problem with my nephew. He reads at a very high level. He's in the second grade, and so far he's read all of the Harry Potter books, and he's working on the Percy Jackson series now, and then the Artemis Fowl series, but we're trying not to have him read anything too mature. Parts of Harry Potter really scared him, and even those we know he will appreciate more when he's older. He loves nonfiction, especially science and mythology, and just absorbs all of it! One thing we've found helps is having him reread books he likes to see if he finds something new he didn't notice before, like a book detective, and he loves doing it!

    I was a pretty advanced reader, too, and I just read anything I got my hands on. I loved reading books that were more age appropriate for me, I just would read them in a day instead of a week or longer like my classmates. Then I'd read another one!
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,165
    Likes Received:
    1,503

    Jan 27, 2015

    As an elementary student, I was the super high reader, but I was also a bookworm. I recall liking to challenge myself with the advanced tough books, but I mostly enjoyed reading Nancy Drew, the Babysitter's Club, etc. I still like fluff reading.
     
  14. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Jan 27, 2015

    I was a high level reader too. When I was in 5th grade, I remember reading books after my mom finished them - books like Where the Heart Is and Angela's Ashes. Both of those are adult books with adult content, and I enjoyed them. I think whether these books are appropriate depends a lot on the particular kid. However, I'd still be hesitant to recommend similar books - it's different than the child picking the book herself.
     
  15. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,413
    Likes Received:
    1,161

    Jan 27, 2015

    I've been using this site:
    http://www.learnalytics.com/wkar/

    more and more to help create lists for kids, understanding that I only know a small percentage of the books out there, and that this can help me key in on creating lists of books within the reading range, interest level (perhaps they have a high reading level, but I want to make sure it's age appropriate), certain subjects they may enjoy, and then between fiction/non-fiction. Even better, it lists by popularity from last year. You might play around with it and then could even provide a list of possible books to glance at next time they go to the library!
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Jan 27, 2015

    This looks really cool. Thanks.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Jan 27, 2015

    Have him read some older fiction/fantasy novels. From like 2nd-4th grade, I read all of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series. It's pretty much prototypical fantasy - came out in the 60s. It's a good introduction to the fantasy genre.

    There's also the... odd Disney adaptation from the 1980s. There was some absolutely beautiful animation in it, along with one of Disney's best non-musical soundtracks.

    There's another series that is very very good, read it from like 2nd-4th grade by David Eddings - The Belgariad Quintilogy, then it's sequel quintilogy, The Mallorean. They were written in the mid-80s and they are pretty much your standard swords-and-horses fantasy fare that is much more mainstream nowadays.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,598
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 28, 2015

    Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles is very good; the Disney adaptation is, if memory serves, of The Black Cauldron, augmented with some bits from the rest of the series. Alexander has a number of other standalone books and series that should also serve; The House With a Clock In Its Walls and its sequels might do nicely.

    Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is deceptively simply written, and the boy might get a good many of the sly jokes. The rest of the Discworld books, it might make sense to wait on, or at any rate parents should read first (I adore the lot).

    Another good classic series is Susan Cooper's series that either begins with or is named The Dark is Rising.

    If he's not unalterably against books with female protagonists, then Sherwood Smith's Wren series (Wren to the Rescue, Wren's Quest, Wren's War) is quite good; her Inda series is more adult but very fine. Garth Nix's Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen are excellent. Consider also Diane Duane's remarkable urban-fantasy Young Wizard series, beginning with So You Want to Be a Wizard. (Duane's series began in the '80s, I think, ran into the '90s, then went on hiatus and resumed a few years ago. It's fascinating to see her treatment of technology change.)
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,598
    Likes Received:
    1,083

    Jan 28, 2015

    And I almost forgot Diana Wynne Jones!
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Jan 28, 2015

    You are correct about Disney's adaptation.

    Terry Pratchett does have his Young Adult's series with Tiffany Aching & The Wee Free Men - starts with The Wee Free Men. It's pretty good for a young adult book.
     
  21. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 28, 2015

    Has she read the Chains/Forge/Fever triology by Laurie Halse Anderson? I'm reading Chains the 1st book now with my 2 advanced students and I might be enjoying it as much as they are. They're historical fiction. Chains takes places in NYC in 1776 told through the point of view of a slave girl. We're also reading "Sophia's War" by Avi which covers similar content.

    I think middle school historical fiction books would be a good challenge for her. She might be the best reader in the world, but if she's not familiar with the time period she might have to read some non-fiction books as a companion to help her understand the books. That's what I've been doing with my students. You could probably find lots of middle school level historical fiction books that would be appropriate for a 4th grader.
     
  22. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 28, 2015

    I'd definitely be careful before recommending those books to a 4th grader. It's one thing to give them to your child as a parent, but it's another as a teacher. I've only seen the movie "Where the Heart Is" but I've read "Angela's Ashes" a bunch of times and I would not feel comfortable giving it to a 4th grade student.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,946
    Likes Received:
    2,093

    Jan 28, 2015

    One can get a list of books on goodreads at the student's guided reading level.
     
  24. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Jan 28, 2015

    Just to clarify, my point was that I wouldn't give a kid those books! However, "Where the Heart Is" is a book with a lexile of 950, and many adult-theme books are around that level. I just want to be sure I'm challenging my high readers without recommending inappropriate material.

    The book list that I posted in an earlier post seemed to answer her questions about what to read next. It's not that she can't pick out books on her own, she just wanted recommendations. I think it is pretty cool that a young kid likes reading challenging books, so I want to keep encouraging her to read at a high level if she's up to it.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,383

    Jan 28, 2015

    I'll check out goodreads too. I haven't used that site much.
     
  26. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 30, 2015

    Oh okay, I missed your point. It can be tricky to find books for advanced elementary school students. I'm afraid to give them most books on their level without really vetting them to make sure there isn't anything age-inappropriate.
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Jan 31, 2015

    My teachers would do it by pretty much telling my parents to buy me books to read, because "it wasn't her job" since I was reading beyond grade level.
     
  28. physteach

    physteach Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    24

    Jan 31, 2015

    Has she read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. Backroads,
  3. MrsC,
  4. Linguist92021
Total: 292 (members: 5, guests: 267, robots: 20)
test