June 22, 2010

Book Recommendations

Mary has hit a slump in her reading. Lately she can't seem to find any books she is interested in.

I welcome ANY suggestions you might have for 9-10 year old girls! Help!

P.S. She hates fantasy. She prefers books about "real" people in every day life.

UPDATED: Thank you so much for all of the great suggestions! You all are wonderful! She has read (and liked) many that were suggested, but that's actually a good thing because then I know you are suggesting the kind of books she will like. There were some I haven't heard of, but quite a few I had just forgotten about. Many thanks!


  1. When I was her age I read biographies and autobiographies like there was no tomorrow. There were quite a few written at my reading level. I'd suggest checking with a local librarian.

    You might also be interested in

    I check out quite a few books my boys want to read at their site before letting them dive in.

  2. I also just thought has she checked out any of Andrew Clement's books?


    While they are fiction they are all written about realistic life situations. Our whole family enjoys them.

  3. Oh man, so some of these are hit and miss as far as age goes, but I tried to think of books I enjoyed that weren't 'fantasy':

    - My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
    - The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (not fantasy - more of a practical princess story. It's a favorite of my mother's and all of my sisters.)
    - Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield (haven't read this one, but have had it recommended)
    - Baby Island (can't remember the author)
    - Old Fashioned Girl / Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
    - Up A Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
    - Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow
    - Anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder, L M Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett
    - Ramona Books
    - Boxcar Children Books
    - Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn
    - Call of the Wild / White Fang
    - Johnny Tremain
    - Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
    - The Chosen by Chaim Potok
    - Where the Red Fern Grows - by Wilson Rawls
    - Devil's Arithmetic (by Jane Yolen?)
    - May want to start her on Dickens?
    - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    - Emma or P&P by Jane Austen

  4. As a side note, since reading C Dawn Bucket's comments, I think she is going to very quickly run out of books in this niche, so she should either turn to biographies / history, or start reading more challenging books. I found I started reading more challenging books because I wasn't that interested in biographies and so I just started reading classics. (I think I started reading Austen and the Scarlet Letter in 7th grade... ?) If she is very picky, then push her to read more challenging books to read the style of book she likes - or maybe expand her horizons to a style of fantasy she might like (not all fantasy books are equal!)

    good luck!

  5. These are shots in the dark, since I don't know what she has already read, or what reading level she prefers.

    Eleanor Estes books
    Lois Lenski books
    Anne of Green Gables books (if not now, eventually)
    From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
    The Great Brain books
    Tales of a 4th grade nothing (and others of that series)
    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books
    island of the Blue Dolphins
    Caddie Woodlawn
    Little House books
    All-of-a-Kind Family books
    Homer Price books
    Charlotte's Web
    Noel Streatfield books
    Johnny Tremaine
    The Incredible Journey

    These are mostly older books, but they avoid the current trends of TMI and fantasy. You could also go into Amazon, find a book she already likes, and check out the Listmania entries for more suggestions.

  6. gamma6:33 AM

    And here's a blog I just found that may interest you.


  7. My girls enjoyed the "American Girl" series. There are several sets to choose from, and I enjoyed reading them myself. Look for them at the library.
    Happy Reading.

  8. Lots of great books mentioned already! I am not even sure how I stumbled upon your site, but as a complete stranger I offer a few ideas both old and new:

    The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall - and there is also a sequel

    Fifteen by Beverly Cleary (this is a step up from the Ramona & Henry Huggins books, but quite sweet and totally suitable for a younger girl)

    Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

    I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (may be a bit too old for her, but worth looking at for later anyway)

    Magic Summer by Noel Streatfeild - I think his best, along with the Shoes books. And there's no magic or fantasy, despite the title.

    Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

    These are just off the top of my head - hope they are helpful to you!

  9. Awesome suggestions. She might be a little old for Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew but I loved them at her age (I sense kids are older earlier if that makes sense). She might be young for the Austens' series by Madeleine L'Engle but maybe not. They are nothing like ML'E's sci-fi (Wrinkle in Time, etc.), but focus on a family with four kids in some turbulent times (but nothing vulgar or shocking): Meet the Austins, The Moon By Night, A Ring of Endless Light--and if she likes those, there are "spin offs" of them too, though I didn't like them as much (The Young Unicorns, The Arm of the Starfish).
    Also, there is a great blog called The Diamond in the Window that takes exactly this kind of question and the author answers it and puts it out there to her readers--you might try there too. Good luck!

  10. I agree with most of the suggestions but have to add a sweet book about a girl about your daughter's age. "Love, Ruby Lavendar" I'm an adult and loved it - laughed, cried, and I had my mom read it and she loved it too. I've had my nieces read it and they enjoyed it too. The author has written other great stories too.


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