During my time as an elementary school teacher, I taught both 2nd and 4th Grade. I absolutely love children’s books at any age, but this age is a rare window when children fall in love with independently reading longer books. It thrills my soul, I tell you!
One of my own children is currently in this stage and is such an avid reader! He is the type to fall asleep with a chapter book and a flashlight. This makes my teacher-mom heart so very happy.
Earlier this week, I published two book lists on my blog: one of books I recommend from last year, and the other list of books I plan to read this year.
Keeping with the spirit of book-list making (because boy, do I know how to party), I’m sharing a list of books for your own early-independent, chapter-book-reading, flashlight and a book, little guys!
I’ve put this list together as both a former teacher (hello, potential for educational mini-lessons and deep character trait conversations) and as a mom (hello, wholesome values and well-mannered role models.) I’m only recommending the best here, friends. These books include both boys and girls as main characters. They are a mix of realistic fiction, historical fiction, classics, and adventures.
Several of these books are best when read alongside parents who can guide meaningful and thoughtful discussions. While all of these books could be read as a family and have thought-provoking and wholesome content, some simply need a bit more guidance from parents. I’ve marked the books with necessary parental-conversation topics with an *asterisk.
4) Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (This is book #3 in the series. While I think it’s a great read for boys, the boys in my classroom always loved the first two books just as much: Little House in the Big Woods and The Little House on the Prairie. This entire series is a must-read for all children.)
11) Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo This book is the most wholesome of stories. However, in one scene, Miss Franny tells Opal that “War is hell.” When reading this to children as a real aloud, I had the advantage of holding the book and changing the language to “War is bad.” If your child reads this book independently, you can have a conversation to explain Miss Franny’s use of strong language or perhaps (even better) you might each take turns reading a chapter aloud, in which case you can choose your chapters wisely in advance. The rest of this book is completely appropriate and good for elementary eyes and ears.
*12) The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1964 by Christopher Paul Curtis This book is best read with an adult when children are ready for deeper conversations and topics. It was a favorite read aloud in the Fourth Grade, so it’s a stretch for this particular list.
16) The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne The fantasy genre is not typically my favorite, but this series leans mostly in the direction of exciting, historical fiction, adventures. It is much more educational than mystical.
In addition to this list, I am looking forward to several books that have been highly recommended. I haven’t read the following titles yet, but I plan to read them with my boys soon!
Fellow mom, I hope this list will be a resource for us both for years to come as we nurture a love for reading in the hearts of boys.
Here’s a hug. We’re raising the men of the future.
From my teacher-mom heart to yours,