GT-World Reading Lists


Parents of gifted and talented children are faced with many unusual challenges. With many of our children very early readers, the question is often asked "What books are good for my 4 or 5 year old who's already reading chapter books?" or "My fourth grader would rather read adults books, but I'm not comfortable with the topics. Help?" These lists are a summary of the reading recommendations from members of our GT-Families mailing list - parents and children - to answer these tricky reading list questions for our gifted children.

We've avoided assigning age or grade levels to the various sections of the list. Some of our gifted kids are reading beginning chapter books labeled for 2nd or 3rd grade by the age of four. Other gifted kids start reading at 5 or 6, only to skip quickly to advanced chapter books labeled for 4th and 5th grade. Every child is different. Instead, we've created a continuum. If your child loves the Magic Treehouse series, he might also enjoy the poetry of Shel Silverstein or the Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka. If he is outgrowing these books, perhaps he would enjoy E.B.White's or Roald Dahl's classics.

Included at the end of the childrens book lists are two more lists: a Must-Read List for Parents of gifted children, and a list of books for insight into Life as a Gifted Adult.

This is a living, growing list. Please submit your own reading list suggestions.

Let the reading begin!

Picture Books For Our Beginning Readers...
Young Chapter Books
Medium Length Chapter Books
Longer Chapter Books
Pre-Teen Reading...
Young Adult Reading...
A Must-Read List for Parents!
Life as a Gifted Adult

Picture Books For Our Beginning Readers...

Title / Series Author Comments...
Green Eggs and Ham
Horton Hatches an Egg
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Lorax
•Yertle the Turtle
Dr. Suessread, or read aloud together...
Archibald Frisby, Who Was As Crazy for Science As Any Kid Could BeMichael Chesworth Reading Rainbow Book
•Puff the Magic Dragon Meets Mr. Nobody  
Harold and the Purple CrayonCrockett JohnsonGreat things happen when Harold takes his purple crayon for a walk...
The Sky Is Not So Far Away: Night Poems for ChildrenMargaret Hillertfantasy ond poetry books
Ten in a Bed Allan AhlbergClever parodies of fairy tales and a take-charge heroine
The Giving TreeShel Silversteina touching story

Young Chapter Books

Title / Series Author Comments...
Amelia Bedilia seriesPeggy ParishA wacky maid takes everything TOO literally!
Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley seriesLaura O'NeilThe twins from Full House find adventure and mystery
Nate the Great seriesMarjorie Weinman SharmatThe intrepid detective returns...
Knights of the Kitchen Table
Your Mother was a Neanderthal
The Good, The Bad, and the Goofy
The Not-So-Jolly Roger
Jon ScieszkaTime Warp Trio Series
The Stinky Cheese Man
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
Jon Scieszkaby the author of The Time Warp Trio
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad PigEugene TrivizasThis fractured fairy tale has a subtle message... it's role-reversal time!
•Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle seriesBetty MacDonaldsilly humor
•Wayside School seriesLouis Sacharalso very silly
•The Enormous Egg
•The Trouble with Jenny's Ear
Oliver ButterworthHilarious tale two boys' explosive initiation into the electronic age...
•Betsy and Tacy seriesMaud Hart LovelaceAdventures of 12-year-old Betsy, Tacy, and Tib as they explore...
Fudge seriesJudy BlumeFudge Hatcher--the five-year-old human hurricane--and his antics...
Cam Jansen Adventures seriesDavid A. AdlerCam Jansen has a photographic memory that helps her solve all sorts of crimes...
Magic Treehouse seriesMary Pope OsborneTwo kids travel through time from a magic treehouse full of books
•Howliday Inn
•The Celery Stalks at Midnight
•Return to Howliday Inn
James and Deborah HoweA vampire bunny who sucks the juices from vegetables...
•Pippi LongstockingAstrid Lindgrenclassic tale
•The Golden Name Day
•The Silver House
•The Crystal Tree
Jennie Lindquistkind of sappy, but well liked
•Aldo series:
 •Aldo Applesauce
 •Aldo Ice Cream
 •Aldo Peanut Butter
Johanna HurwitzWhen their parents go away...
•Hank the Cowdog seriesJohn R. EricksonThe adventures of the canine Head of Ranch Security...
Black BeautyAnna Sewellclassic horse story
•Einstein Anderson series S. D. SchindlerA boy and girl outsmart the bullies with their brains, with a science tidbit in every story
•The BorrowersMary NortonThe adventures of the family of miniature people...
•Blue Moose
•Return of the Blue Moose
•Fat Men From Space
•The Magic Moscow
•Attila the Pun
Daniel M. PinkwaterMelvin recounts his extraordinary adventures in time and space...
•Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
•Return to the Mushroom Planet
•Mr. Bass's Planetoid
Eleanor Cameron1950's series about 2 boys who build their own spaceship
•Christmas in the Big WoodsLaura Ingalls WilderMy First Little House Books...
•My Father's DragonRuth Stiles GannettNewbery honor book
•Jolly Postman seriesJanet Ahlbergfun for all who like reading letters, especially other peoples
•The Paper Bag Princess
•Princess Smarty Pants
Michael MartchenkElizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald...
•Finn Family MoomintrollTove JanssonFunny (even for an adult reading aloud) and innocent fantasies about the adventures of trolls and various unlikely creatures
•And To Think It Happened On Mulberry Street How a little imagination can get away from you
Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Light in the Attic
Shel Silversteinpoetry

Medium Length Chapter Books

Title / Series Author Comments...
•American Girl Series:
Felicity (1760), Josephina (1824), Addy (1860), Kirsten (1904), Samantha (1904), Molly (1940)
published by The Pleasant Companyhistorical fiction
•Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective seriesDonald J. Soboldetective series
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankweilerE. L. Konigsburgmystery
•Boxcar Children seriesGertrude Chandler Warnermystery
Dear America seriesassorted authorsWritten from the point of view of a young girl in that time...
My Name Is America seriesassorted authorsWritten from the point of view of a young boy in that time...
Math CurseJon ScieszkaVisit Mrs. Fibonacci's math class and become obsessed
The Gifted Kids Survival Guide (For Ages 10 and Under)Judy GalbraithThis is THE BOOK on such aspects of giftedness

Longer Chapter Books

Title / Series Author Comments...
•Star Wars Junior Jedi Knights series  Nancy Ann Richardson science fiction
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K. Rowlingwonderful, magical tales...
Time CatLloyd AlexanderTime travel...
The Chronicles of Narnia (set)C. S. Lewisfantasy
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wind in the Door
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Madeleine L'EngleNewberry winner
Charlotte's Web
Stuart Little
The Trumpet of the Swan
E. B. Whiteclassics
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Great Glass Elevator
James and the Giant Peach
Danny the Champion of the World
Raold Dahlclassics
Harriet the SpyLouise Fitzhugha story of a gifted girl
•The Gizmo
Paul Jennings 
•Anastasia KrupnikLois LowryThe ups and downs of a precocious ten-year-old girl...
Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret
Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great
Judy BlumeSummer is fun for ten-year-old Sheila, even though her friends make her face up to some self-truths she doesn't want to admit...
•Oz seriesFrank L. BaumThe timeless adventure of the Wizard, Dorothy...
•The Voyages of Dr. DoolittleN. H. KleinbaumChronicles of the delightful voyages of Doctor Dolittle...
•Babe The Gallant Pig
•Sophie's Tom
Dick King-SmithHorn Book Honor Book
The Indian in the Cupboard series Lynne Reid BanksA magic cupboard that turns small toys into living creatures...
Portraits of Little Women series Susan Beth PfefferAn introduction to the characters and lives of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
•Henry and the Donut shop
•Henry Rigsby
•Henry and Beezus
•The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Beverly ClearyThe gang on Klickitat Street is at it again...
•Magic By the Lake seriesEdward EagerFour children find themselves with an entire lake full of magic...
•Trailblazer Booksvarious authors
published by Bethany House Publishers
Adventures introduce young readers to Christian heroes
•Little House on the Prairie booksLaura Ingalls WilderHomesteading in the 1880s...
•There's a Boy in the Girls' BathroomLouis SacherHe may be the weirdest kid in school, but he's not completely hopeless!
•Nekomah CreekLinda CrewSome kids at school think it's weird that Robby's father stays home to take care of the twins while his mother works...
Misty of ChincoteagueMarguerite Henryclassic horse story
•The Forgotten DoorAlexander Keyadventure
My Side of the MountainJean Craighead GeorgeA boy lives in a hollow tree in the mountains and learns to live entirely by his wits
Story of My LifeHelen KellerInspirational story of courage
•With Love From Karen
Marie KillileaAbout her daughter with cerebral palsy...
•WingsBill Brittaina story about growing up, accepting families, discovering oneself and true friendship
•Dragons in the CliffsElizabeth Annenbergfictionalized history
science, women, and history
•The HobbitJ. R. R. Tolkienfantasy classic
•In the Year of the Boar and Jackie RobinsonBette Bao LordIn 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn...
•The Phantom TollboothNorton JusterMilo, a bored ten-year-old, comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room...
•Crystals and Gems, etc.
Eyewitness Bookslots of science topics
The Island of the Blue DolphinsScott O'Dell Newbery Medal winner
•Hardy Boys seriesFranklin W. Dixondetective series
Anne McCaffreyPern series for younger readers
Math CurseJon ScieszkaVisit Mrs. Fibonacci's math class and become obsessed
Algebra the Easy Wayby Douglas DowningReal algebra, real fun!
•Robot Zoo (A Mechanical Guide to the Way Animals Work)John Kelly, Obin, and Dr Philip Whitfieldillustrations of unusual real animals drawn as if they were composed of mechanical parts
•The Terrible Tudors
•The Awesome Egyptians
•The Vile Victorians
•The Rotten Romans
Terry DearyHorrible Histories - Read-aloud books that appeal to younger children, teenagers, AND their parents!
The Great Gilly HopkinsKatherine PatersonNewbery Honor Book
Anne of Green Gables seriesLucy Maud MontgomeryClassic story of a girl with determination, guts and brains
•Rebecca of Sunnybrook FarmKate Douglas Wiggenstrong female characters, set in another time and place
The Gifted Kids Survival Guide (For Ages 10 and Under)Judy GalbraithThis is THE BOOK on such aspects of giftedness

Other Reading Resources...

American Library Association

Newbery and Caldecott Medal Book lists, great sites for kids and young adults, tips for parents

Reading Lists FAQ for Advanced Readers...

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Books Music Enter keywords...


This page last updated on 7/17/99 by Carolyn K.
Please submit all questions and answers directly to Carolyn. Thank you.
Copyright © 1998-1999 by Carolyn K.
All Rights Reserved