Books for Young Readers


Following is a listing of books recommended by members of MCGT for children. These are favorites of gifted children and the adults who love them. A synopsis and/or recommended age follows the title when the person suggesting the book included that information.

In addition, several folks on our Yahoo! member discussion site, mcgtdotnet,  recommended some  “cool books that any gifted kid in Minnesota would enjoy.” Good reading for kids and their families!

Reading List #1

Reading List #2

Books for precocious readers

Childrens Non-Fiction:

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide (for ages 10 & under) by Judy Galbraith.

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide (for ages 11 &older) by Judy Galbraith.

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide II by James Delisle and Judy Galbraith.

Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kids Guide to Personal Power and Self-Esteem by Gershen Kaufman and Lev Raphael.

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong

How to Do Homework without Throwing Up! by Trevor Romain My then 7-year-old read this over and over! Excellent, practical tips presented in humorous format.

Whats the Big Secret? by Marc Brown and Laurie Krasny Brown . It tells the facts of life in a fun, comfortable way…the kids were 7 and 8 when we first looked at it.

The Perseverance of Thomas Alva Edison by Peter Murray -Inspiration to keep on trying, regardless of success or failure.

Dorling Kindersley Picture Books – tons of details for good conversation starters
Fictional Books Gifted Children Love and Recommend:
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary. a boy deals with his parents divorce

On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier.

Call it Courage by Armstrong Perry. a folk tale of courage

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hansen. Civil War historical fiction – older readers

My name is Brain/Brian by Jeanne Betancourt . A book about being gifted and dyslexic

Black and White by David Macauley. Imaginative fantasy – interwoven tales

Fight for Freedom by Jay Liebold. Choose your own ending and learn about apartheid

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. Homelessness in a new light

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. World War II historical fiction

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Well developed story of boy, dog and nasty neighbor. Problem solving and adolescence

The Fear Place by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Gripping tale of a boy in the wilderness of Colorado, separated from his family, both physically and relationship-wise

The Treasure of Besseldorf Hill by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Light-hearted story of kids trying to solve a small town mystery.

Turn Homeward, Hannalee by Patricia Beatty. Civil War historical fiction

Shadow of a Bull by Maja Wojciechowska. the son of a bullfighter faces fear

Kokopellis Flute by Will Hobbs. Hobbs includes historical, geographical and botanical info in this mystical Southwestern U.S. story. The kids’ grandparents loved this one, too!

Changes of Latitude by Will Hobbs. Hobbs educates readers on the plight of the sea turtle while exposing the difficulties of a family torn by marital, teenage and giftedness issues. (Recommended for 12 and up…there were parts I was uncomfortable with for my 8 and 9 year olds, yet the story was so well done it gave us an opportunity to discuss those hard ideas.)

Afternoon of the Elves by Janet Taylor Lisle. Once turned off by her neighbor’s shoddy clothing and run-down house, a young girl becomes intrigued by her new friend’s insistence that elves live in the backyard.

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Brother and sister follow their dream of catching and owning a phantom pony from this historical island

The Fighting Ground by Avi. A 13-year-old farm boy discovers that war is not as pretty as he thought; he is captured by Hessians, rescues an orphaned boy and faces life and death decisions.

Moses in Egypt by Lynn Reid Banks. Exciting spinoff in print of the film “Prince of Egypt.”

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine LEngle. Gifted kids pursue their missing father in another time and space. Meg Murry, her brother, and a friend travel through time and space to find her father and must use their wits and heart to save him. The characters are gifted and respect and appreciate each other.

Lillys Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. My personal favorite kid book. Lilly sounds like a gifted kid to me!

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.

Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.

The Midwifes Apprentice by Karen Cushman.

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddin.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spear.

The Sandy Bottom Orchestra by Garrison Keillor.

Cat Running by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.

The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base. Great pictures for preschool and up, and a mystery to solve that can challenge many ages. Eleven guests are invited to an eleventh birthday. Clues in many different forms help you solve the mystery.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. A Newbery winner about racism and ignorance – a very powerful main character who had more than athletics going for him.

The Trouble with Lemons by Daniel Hayes. An ALA Best Book about Tyler McAllister who feels like the odd man out in his talented family. He and his best friend find a body and Tyler tries to find the murderer.

Series Books: My kids love series of books. When they enjoy a good book, they hate for

it to be over so going on to the next book in the series really helps.
The Orphan Train Series by Joan Lowery Nixon.

Dinotopia Series illustrated by James Gurney. Fantasy in which humans reside with (under the power of!) dinosaurs.

Garfield the Cat Books by Jim Davis. (my 8 and 9 year olds are nuts about these!)–Silly, sarcastic cat!

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. Id have never understood my children without Calvin!

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowlings. Wizard boy goes to wizard school, much to the dismay of his nonwizard guardians. (works for my 2nd, 6th, and 9th graders, all G/T)

Magic Treehouse Series Good for beginning readers. Since the travel to different times and places, readers pick up extra fun info.

Magic School Bus Series the long ones, not the ones from the TV shows

Redwall Books by Brian Jacques. (big hit for g/t 4-6 graders) These books are generally loved by all of our children who are old enough to read them. Conflict between mice and rats and interesting characterizations.

Fox Trot Comics by Bill Amend. My family and others I’ve recommended these to howl with laughter. Unfortunately, the father image isn’t that great, but the family dynamics with the older jock brother, the sister who is into girl things and doesn’t relate to math, the youngest brother who is exceptionally bright and always coming up with imaginative ways to occupy his time (often with his best buddy) and annoy his siblings, and the mother who somehow stays sane in the process of keeping things together. A lot of things hit home – maybe that’s why they’re so funny?

Fables by Arnold Lobel. whimsical and thought provoking

The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Incorporates lots of history of our area into great stories. We enjoy the plots of the books and then also talk about how they are based on real people.

The Betsy-Tacy books by Maude Hart Lovelace. Incorporates lots of history of our area into great stories. Some of the Betsy-Tacy books are set in the Twin Cities, so it is very interesting to hear about how our immediate area has changed over the years.

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. These books are like historical fiction for a fantasy world. They are so detailed that you can imagine a real place is being described.

The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. Christian thoughtful reading for older kids


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