Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reading Suggestions for Middle Grades

Nicole had this to say
after Mrs. Rabe's last

"I am looking for books for Alex, he is in the 3rd grade but at a 7th grade reading level. He loves adventure. Do you have any thoughts?'

I have been thinking about it and
remembered a series of books that
we enjoyed. It came to me yesterday
as it was the anniversary of the
Mt. Vesuvius disaster so many
years ago.

Caroline Lawrence has written a
series that is set in Roman Times.
It follows Flavia Gemina, the daughter
of a Sea Captain, and her friends, as they
solve mysteries.

We found the series to be believable
to the time period and interesting.

The book titles are:

The Thieves of Ostia
The Secrets of Vesuvius
The Pirates of Pompeii

I see at Amazon that there are many other
titles by this author. It seems that the
characters in these books are involved in
some, if not all of these.

I found these three books at the Library but
will have to look for more titles. Chelsea would
likely still enjoy them.

I think you would find them interesting for
Alex. Of course, I always recommend previewing
everything for yourself.
Our childrens' personalities
and likes are all different.
You know better than
anyone what he would like.

For example, in the first book,
someone is killing dogs. That is
the basis of the mystery. If this
would be too upsetting to your child
it would be best to skip this book.

We didn't find it to be so gruesome
and we understood it to be fiction.
The story was very intriguing.

Does anyone else have recommendations for


Beth said...

Those sound very interesting! They might be good Christmas presents for my stepson!
My 7th grade daughter reads ALL the time and I have been looking for GOOD books for her as well! I imagine that she will be kept pretty busy this year with her schoolwork but I am always on the lookout for good things for her to read as well. I am thinking of letting her read my adult books...Christian fiction by Beverly Lewis...but I am more interested in having her read some GOOD classics. If anyone has any suggestions, I would LOVE to hear from them!
Blessings to you!! Beth

Mrs.Rabe said...


As I mentioned in my previous post, any of the Louisa May Alcott books, or Lucy Maud Montgomery books about Anne of Green Gables would be excellent. These are award winning classics.

I also have found Ann Rinaldi to be an excellent author publishing many historical fiction books based on real people such as "Red Headed Princess" about Elizabeth the 1st of England. She writes specifically for this age group. My daughter read several of her books last year. I have read one of hers called "The Last Silk Dress" which takes place during the Civil War. It was very good! We have many of her books at our small local library.

Hope you can find some great material for her! My Mom could never keep me in reading material!!!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Hi Nicole!

She's my cousin by the way!

I think that if Alex is reading at a 7th grade level he may enjoy some of the books that they sell at Vision Forum. The Ballantyne Books are well loved by many, though I believe they can be rough, not in language, but rather I should say descriptive as to battle scenes etc.

Another suggestion would be to go to Sonlight Curriculum's website and look at their lists of readers. They have great historical fiction! We have enjoyed many of their recommendations.

One thing hard to balance with a child who is reading above grade level is whether he is emotionally ready for some of the material in the upper level books.

Some titles he may enjoy are "Stink Alley", by Jamie Gilson. This is a book about the Separatists time in Holland before heading to America. It is not written from a Christian perspective, and it seemed negative regarding the strictness of the Separatists, but overall thought it was interesting to learn what life was like there. Also you meet a very young artist in the story who turns out to be a very famous artist when grown!

We all liked a book called "The Green Book," by Jill Paton Walsh. About a family who must flee a dying Earth in an old spaceship. It talks about their journey to settle a new place. It was very interesting.

We also really liked "Guns for General Washington - A story of the American Revolution," by Seymour Reit. This is the story of the men who risk their lives to bring 183 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. This books was a good read!

Hope this helps!

Nicole said...

Thanks guys! I made a note of all these books and will look into them. Like you said Deanna, he is only 8 so finding ones for his level of interest and knowing how super sensitive he is, it makes it hard to find ones at his level. Thank you again guys!