Having written recent blogposts with suggestions for great reads for adults, infants and 9-11 year olds, it seemed I was being rather dismissive of the 7-9 community. To right this heinous wrong, I have compiled a list of chapter books that might be suitable for the Lower KS2 contingent. Of course, you know who you’re dealing with. Some 7-9 year olds may find these rather tricky still and may need you to help read them, some might be ready for something more: have a peek at the picture book list or the titles that I have suggested for older children and see if there’s anything that looks right.
Apols for the repetition if you’ve read the previous posts, but I am a shameless book pusher and as a teacher can’t overstress the benefits that reading good stuff brings to your little students. It’s true it’s better to be reading anything than reading nothing, but it’s so much better still to be reading something great.
I have taught Year 3 or 4 (7-9 year olds) for years and lots of the books below have been introduced to me by members of my class.
If you’re not quite sure what’s going to be the right level for your little reader, then a good browse in the library or a book shop is the best way to go to find something suitable and appealing. The reviews on Amazon are another useful resource for this; I have provided links for each. (Should you go on to buy anything through them, do know that I will receive a teeny commission, but fret not, it won’t affect the price you pay.)
There are tons of The Daisy Books by Kes Gray and they’re all fun and easy reads. The writing is big and it’s broken up with pictures, so it’s not over-facing for fairly new readers.
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown – ace classic, enjoyed equally by boys and girls. Again there are loads of different titles, which are all entertaining, fairly short reads.
The Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith is a classic – the story on which ‘Babe’ (the film, rather than the 1993-Mark-Owen-voiced-number-1-Take-That-hit) was based. Almost all of DK-S’s books are good for this age range, including The Hodgeheg and Sophie’s Adventures.
Stuart Little by E.B. White is another oldie – I read it when I was about 7 – but it’s another goody. Charlotte’s Web is another by the same author – also suitable, also great – but quite a lot longer, should this sway your decision.
Precious and the Monkeys by Alexander McCall Smith is a lovely, gentle read, set in Botswana. These are the children’s precursor to the The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books.
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell is the first of 4 books. It’s fab; the story of Ottoline, a mistress of disguise with a talent for crime solving is great and the intricate illustrations add a lot to the whole affair.
Iggy and Me by Jenny Valentine – these are a little bit ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ and lots of fun. It’s almost a collection of short stories, which is good for those who are still developing reading stamina and might be overfaced by anything too long. There are illustrations throughout as well, which is always a good thing.
I love Eva Ibbotson, whose stories are clever and beautifully written. Journey to the River Sea may be my very favourite children’s book of all time, but it might be a bit much for most Year 3 and 4 readers. One Dog and His Boy is probably more manageable, and will appeal to any dog-lover or wannabe dog owner.
Another good one for less confident readers is Cat Tales: Ice Cat by Linda Newberry. It’s a nice big font, so not too many words to a page for those for whom this is of paramount importance. I’ve got this lined up for Christmas for my own little cat-lover.
Malorie Blackman is a great author, but most of her books are for older children. Operation Gadgetman! is a great way for younger readers to enjoy her storytelling.
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton is lovely. It’s a story where not very much seems to happen, but the characters are engaging and amusing and the language is great. My class loved it.
I literally CANNOT BEAR the cartoon series, but the Horrid Henry books are tolerable. Kids love them. The Early Reader version are even shorter and a good way into chapter books.
Let me know of any other good reads and I’ll add them to the list!