This is a book list that I’ll add onto as we come across books that I think hold value and that the kids actually LOVE (not just the beautiful books that I wish they would love)! Because of their subject or vocabulary, they seem well-suited for gifted readers. Unless otherwise noted, the links and photos will take you to Amazon, where there are usually plenty of more reviews.
We’ll start with the book Weslandia, with which my six-year old has become besotted over the past two days. My eight-year old has read it a few times, too. The book starts with what I feel are clichés about socially rejected gifted kids, but quickly turns into a terrific tale of creativity and a true celebration of unique thinking as a little boy named Wesley invents a whole civilization based on a fabulous plant he cultivates in his back yard. The illustrations are gorgeous and full of satisfying details. The vocabulary is unusually rich and challenging for a picture book. My six-year old has been very excited by all the wonderful creations, can’t wait to plan her garden with her grandmother for next Spring, and spent last night making her own civilization “potions” with diluted markers. More importantly, she seems to want to talk a lot about Wesley’s outsider status, unique thinking, and how he eventually finds friends, so maybe those clichés are hitting a bit of a truth for her at her school. As you can see, we were reading it again this morning with my coffee.
The Eleventh Hour, by Graeme Base, has been a big hit around here. If codes and puzzles delight your children, check it out. It is the sort of picture book that all ages can enjoy.
The H.I.V.E. Series by Mark Walden has my eight-year old transfixed. He spent four hours straight (!) reading the second book in the series this afternoon, so I am including it. Yes, it is a series, and I think it follows the genre of Harry Potter, with some pretty scary enemies and only partially developed characters, so please don’t expect something tremendous here. If your child is sensitive to frightening or suspenseful content you might take a pass. But the stories, which revolve around potentially criminally talented children escaping from the “Higher Institute of Villainous Education” are clearly gripping and from the few chapters I read of the first book, the writing is pretty good. If you’ve got a long trip or plane ride or you’re looking for some good vacation reading for your child, you might consider these.
Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry
If your child loves to write, this book is a great way to encourage new skills. Lowry sets the tale within a classroom of young writers and it has some wonderful tale tales spun by a quirky protagonist. Overall, the book has a very positive and cheery vibe. If it is a hit for you, you’re in luck, because there are six in the series.