# kids reading list # reading for kids

Wholesome Book Recommendations for Young Readers (1st, 2nd & 3rd Grade)

I always appreciate wholesome book recommendation for young readers. In today's post, I'm sharing my 7-year-old daughter's favorite books. She is an avid reader and likes to read for one to two hours every night before bed. Because of this, she burns through books very quickly. All of the series listed below are her favorites. I wanted to share them with you in case you have children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews who love to read. I would also appreciate any book recommendations you have for young readers (any age range). We can all benefit from each others' recommendations.

I discuss each of these series in more detail in today's video and wanted to list them below for your reference. Here they are in no particular order...

The Boxcar Children

A to Z Mysteries

Calendar Mysteries

Encyclopedia Brown

Cam Jansen

Who Was Benjamin Franklin?

Who was George Washington?

The Magic Tree House

Grandma's Attic series

Grandma's Attic Cookbook

Imagination Station

The Cul-de-sac Kids

Flat Stanley

Egermeier Bible Story Book

I hope you enjoy today's video.


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I would love to hear your recommendations for young readers. What books do your children love to read? Please share your list so that we may all benefit from it.

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Unknown said...

Our boys love the Magic Tree House for read alouds. I like how Mary Pope Osborne gives hints for practical knowledge about situations. I find I learn something in every other book we read. I LOVED Encyclopedia Brown when I was a kid. And Grandma’s Attic as well as the biographies have been recommended before. So, we’ll for sure check our your recommendations and also your Bible Story recommendation. I appreciate that. We have ones we like too. I like collecting them because I like learning all I can, with discernment of course. For your own learning, Dennis Prager has come out with a rational Bible for Exodus as he studied Hebrew and Hewish law most of his life and I find I’m learning a lot just of the context, history etc. My husband and I are enjoying what is being brought out with reading this. He is planning on doing ones for Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy as well.

For the kids: mine are mostly history if not all... Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace, Sarah, Plain and Tall series by Patricia MacLachlan, Thornton W. Burgess wildlife books. There are a lot but the ones I can recommend are Mother West Wind’s Children and The Adventures of Reddy the Fox as that is what we are reading now. There are many more. They bring out nature to the kids and I, in a way that makes you look closer and there is always a “lesson” of human nature in them which I really appreciate. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children is good, Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, Fairchild Family series by Rebecca Caudill, The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh, The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois, Twenty and Ten by Claire Hutchet Bishop, and Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. Also, this probably goes without saying but Little House books and A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett illustrated by Tasha Tudor ���� and for when your son gets older she also does some books for boys too. Of course I have no idea if these are too young or too old but this is what I’ve got. Thank you for your book recommendations, I always appreciate them and have read most of your recommendations and found them perfect for me and my family. Keep them coming any time!

Unknown said...

And one more The Borrowers Series by Mary Norton.

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,

Thanks for your recommendations. My niece is seven years old. These will make nice gifts for her. The Grandma's Attic series and cookbook look especially interesting. I have a soft spot for cookbooks!
My daughter is 10 years old, and she is an advanced reader. She loves an element of magic in her reading! She adored the Harry Potter series. I don't know whether these fall into the wholesome category, but I think the first three books in the series are acceptable. Most recently, she really enjoyed "Granted" by John David Anderson. Next, she will be reading "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" by Kelly Barnhill. This is a Newbery Medal winner that we picked up at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris! We had a wonderful visit!
In our other family news, our son was accepted to an outstanding college! So, I can say from experience that encouraging our children to read instead of watching TV or playing video games pays off big time in the end!

Warm best,


Karen said...

My kids are older than yours, but we also have voracious readers. I think my kids have read pretty much all of the books that you recommended. A good book source for wholesome books is Sonlight.com. They are a curriculum company, but they have an excellent book list. Also, the read aloud revival podcast/website has excellent book recommendations by age.

Mystery Reader said...

One of my favorite resources for students and their parents is the Reading A to Z/ Raz-Kids website. While it offers lots of different types of reading material for kids at their current reading level, I especially like it for non-fiction. Many readers prefer non-fiction over fiction - especially reluctant readers. I’ve also found that many kids don’t get much exposure to informational text. Informational text improves general knowledge, vocabulary and overall comprehension. Most nonfiction is written at a higher reading level but Reading A to Z allows kids access to the text at their own independent or instructional level. To sum up, if your child likes non-fiction this is a great resource.

Unknown said...

"Junie B. Jones" is a popular series for this age group.

Kelly said...

I second all Summer's suggestions, plus the Raz-kids website and the Read aloud Revival. Their booklists alone could keep your wholesome books list full for many years - which is of course, the idea. Even teenagers and adults love to be read to!

As for Junie B. Jones, they are probably not the sort of wholesome you're after. For example, one book title comes to mind - "Junie B. Jones and the stupid smelly bus!"

My son is 9, and we've also enjoyed the Penderwicks and now the Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. Both have families of 4-5 children so they are nice to see siblings interacting in positive ways. My daughter is not quite 5 yet and learning to read, so she's loving the "Princess in Black" series. Many of Andrew Clement's books will appeal to the 6-8 set, like "Frindle." And of course, Beverly Cleary's Ramona series, and the Yearling.

Unknown said...

I should also recommend the American girl doll books. I read them as a child. My favorites were Addy and Samantha. Addy is about an African American girl who was born enslaved and Samantha is about the turn of the century. They are historical and entertaining. They also make dolls. I had the Addy and Samantha dolls, your girls would love Addy and Samantha. I recommend.

Also, great videos/blogs. I’m looking forward to your show about the royal marriage. You kind of remind me of Meghan Markle. You’re both married to/marrying English men, both elegant and you even have similar exotic features.

Unknown said...

One thing I should add about American girl doll books. Some of them can get emotional/ sad. I definitely think it’s a good read for girls, but it is something to consider.

Michelle O. said...

Our kids also enjoy the Canadian Flyer Series by Frieda Wishinsky (there are 17 books); the Warriors Series by Erin Hunter (it's all about cats having adventures and I believe there are ~60 books in the series); and Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland (seven dragon tribes and their battle for a lost treasure).

L. Clarke said...

I was looking for a First Holy Communion gift for my 7 year old grandson and purchased the Bible you recommended. I found it difficult to come up with a gift commemorating this sacrament for boys as the church is already gifting the children with a missalette, rosary and scapular. So thank you for profiling this book. I know my grandson will enjoy it, as will his little brother and my daughter, their mother.

L. Clarke said...

I forgot to mention that the Chronicles of Narnia, a seven book series by C. S. Lewis, are favorite classics for children as well as adults. I like that there are also a lot of biblical analogies throughout these books without necessarily being obvious.

Zénaide said...

I adored Enid Blyton's "Famous Five" mysteries when I was about eight or nine. (Also enjoyed her "Mallory Towers" series, but they are for a slightly older child.) Beverly Cleary's books (Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby books) were also fun to read.

Your daughter will soon be the perfect age for Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne" books.

I applaud you, Jennifer, for wanting "wholesome" books for your children.

MelissaNJ said...

I am so disappointed that I couldn't read the Grandma's Attic series when I was a young girl! I so loved anything in that genre! The Little House books are wonderful and the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace is fantastic. The Who Was? series is terrific and biographies are such a great way to introduce children to history and strong role models (when properly chosen!).

Unknown said...

All-of-a-kind Family by Sydney Taylor, Homer Price by Robert Mccloskey, the Borrowers by Mary Norton,Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski and the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare was my absolute favorite book growing up but, it might be for a little bit older reading (4th or 5th grade).

Unknown said...

In addition to the excellent recommendations by Summer and Elizabeth I’d suggest Hitty: her first hundred years by Rachel Field, the Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem, Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald and The Ordinary Orincess by M.M. Kaye.

Joanna said...

The books of Enid Blyton would be about the right age for your daughter now, I think - not just the ones recommended above, but also the Faraway tree series and the Secret Seven. As a child I also had a few books of short stories by her that were split into sections of how long they would take to read as a bedtime story - 5, 10 or 15 minutes! As your husband is a Brit like me I'm sure he must have grown up on these stories too. In a similar vein I would also recommend the books of Dick King-Smith, especially if your daughter likes animals. There is also the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House), Michael Bond (Paddington Bear) and E. Nesbit but some of those might still be a bit advanced for your daughter to read on her own.

Lisa said...

Hello Jennifer,
I would like to recommend The Cobble Street Cousins series by Cynthia Rylant. She is a wonderful author, and the books are sweet, charming and engaging. I think you and your daughter will enjoy them - my daughter and I did. They are ones that I have kept even after she outgrew them a few years ago. Thanks!

Vicki Zimmerman said...

Growing up with the Nancy Drews series, it's amazing to see so many mystery series for young children offered these days and what a nice routine you have with your children before bedtime. Didn't you also recommend "Our Daily Bread for Kids" a few years ago and is this new Egermeier Bible Story book easier to understand? I agree with Lisa's post, above, that Cynthia Rylant is a wonderful award-winning author, and her books are beautifully-written. Your comments inspire me to ask for a Kindle for my birthday in June. Is there one you prefer and would recommend? Thanks!

Stephanie said...

The Guardians of Childhood series, by William Joyce.
I think this series is great for advanced young readers who aren’t emotionally ready for the content of some books. It has a lot of depth and creativity without losing its sweet innocence.
The characters in this series were the inspiration for the movie Rise of the Guardians.