Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Good reads for girls in junior primary

Popps is now 7 years old and in at least one thing in her life, she takes after me!

We both really love to read.

I have constantly found sourcing new books for her to be a challenge. Some classics are written in a language she doesn't understand or can not handle at this stage, modern books can be too simplistic for the 6 - 9 age group. Popps has made her way through close to 100 Enid Blyton books in the last year,  gee could Enid write! I googled to see exactly how many books she did write and it was 1802 books with 11,125 short stories! The lady could sure spin a tale.

But finding something more than Billy B Brown and not as full on as Little Women is hard for the junior primary girl. It could be for the boys too, but I don't have a boy and I have no idea what little boys like.

The things being re read here this term have included:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

This is the 7th book in the series of Wimpy Kids. To be honest I don't get these books. But as a 7 year old Popps thinks these are extremely funny. She read the entire 217 pages on Monday night after I bought her this book as a reward for an excellent report from the dentist. She has marked some of her favourite pages - which is pretty much the whole book.

Next we have something more 'girly'.

 Bridget Lucy wants needs a pet
by Leonie Norrington

The highlight of this book is that the illustrations have colour, which is of course rare in chapter books, but really it is a shame that more don't have them. Young children's books have such beautiful illustrations at times and then all of a sudden as chapter books become the norm you start to miss out on the artwork. Note to authors of kids fiction - don't skimp on the artwork for your story.

This is the third book in the set of Bridget Lucy books. The font is a good size, the words that need emphasis are often highlighted with a different font, for children that need to improve their reading out loud or reading with expression this can be a useful reader.

More diaries...

Dear Dumb Diary

These books are all about coping with the dynamics of school. I have found so far that the politics of the playground can be much more distressing than any other part of daily school life. Dear Dumb Diary is funny. Really really funny if you are in grade one. Popps also likes this book because the characters are older than her, it is a bit like reading a book about the big kids at school. These books are not literary classics, this is not The Secret Garden, but if you are happy for your children to read for enjoyment, give Dear Dumb Diary a go.

Last for today is

Truly Tan by Jen Storer 

Tan is a female character that I like, she is smart, she is funny, she is adventurous and she is very interesting. The writing in Truly Tan is much more complex than in the other books I have mentioned today. I would suggest this book is for more advanced readers in junior primary, the website suggests it is designed for children aged 9 and above, I would expect that boys would also like reading Truly Tan, I am half way through it myself!  Truly Tan has some small illustrations scattered through it for those readers who are still keen for the text to be broken up. There is a second Truly Tan book called Jinxed.

Any other suggestions for the junior primary school years? 

P.S. I am Lighting the Night to help raise a cure for Leukaemia. Join in if you can.


  1. Have you tried the Tom Gates series? My avid reader, Jed (8), loves them and can't get enough. Not sure if they appeal to boys more than girls but they are quite similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid (which he also loved). He also loves the Tashi series.

  2. Oh and my daughter's favourite book is Horse Crazy by Alison Lester. I also read it and thought it was very well written and the story is quite charming.

  3. Into the Go Girl at the moment.!
    Hey Jack for the 8yr Boy.
    they all look great books

  4. Both the 7 year old and the 10 year old (boys) love Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I used to 'censor' and read their books before I let them read it - but after two pages of Wimpy Kid, I sorta figured they were ok (since discovered the big kid skips the kissing bits!)

    They also both love with many hearts the Captain Underpants books. Apparently, they're hysterical. Plus, the skinny Roald Dahl ones and the Tree House books, there's another one called the Very Bad Book (I think?) All slightly gross and amusing!

  5. I don't get Diary of a Whimpy Kid either, but Miss 8 loves them and laughs all the way through reading them - she must have read the series at least a dozens time.
    Try Jacqueline Harvey's books Miranda "in New York", "in Paris", "on holidays" etc.

  6. Are your girls Roald Dahl fans? I loved his books when I was a kid. Also devoured all of Mum's Enid Blyton books.
    +1 for Captain Underpants for silly fun.
    +1 Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton adventures.

    I recall having a sizeable collection of Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High (forgive me my sins) - for an older audience of course. I think they'd be considered quaint these days!

  7. Miss 8 is into puppy tales at the moment. She borrows one from the library every week and has a collection she saved up for at book club. Also loves Geronimo Stilton. Really hoping she gets into human characters soon.

  8. Anything Alison Lester goes does well here. She does a range of difficulties that suit across the ages. My two also love the horsey themes. There is one - Snow Pony - that I would wait awhile for reading as the themes are complex but otherwise great. Jacqui French would be another "next step". Miss 9 is not quite there but Miss 10 loves them. The Clarice Bean series of three which lead into the Ruby Redforts are very much laugh out loud books. Just a bigger and older version of Charlie and Lola. Ivy and Bean is a brilliant series. About 12 books so far and more new coming. Great for solo or reading aloud. And both of my girls have loved the Famous Five.

  9. Thanks, I'll check some of these out - I have a voracious Year 1 reader! My Miss 6 loves Pearlie books by Wendy Harmer :)

    1. That's great Francesca, Pearlie was a favourite here for a little bit too. If you have not already started with Billie B Brown that is a great next step. It is a big jump from Pearlie to Truly Tan, but there are lots of fun books to read inbetween.

  10. Hey there, has see churned though any of the Holly Webb books yet? We receive a fair few requests for those! How about The Long Walk by Kerry Greenwood, caters for closer to late primary but knowing Popps, she'll whip through it.We just added Irina the Wolf Queen [series] to the van, again suit strong mid primary readers, but really wholesome books with a decent storyline if you're into wizardry, tough princesses and fables. (Actually I've got two of these as reading copies, I'm done with them so I'm going to send them to you).


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