Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Reading Favorites for Young Readers

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Whenever school breaks roll around, our time becomes ours to fill with our favorite pasttimes. And for many of us, our all-time favorite pasttime is Reading! Reading takes us to new worlds and old ones, and fills our moments with adventure. But for many gifted kids, finding new and interesting reading books is a challenge. Hoagies' Gifted Hot Topics Reading Lists are here to save the day!

For young readers, the challenge is to find books that meet both their advanced reading levels and interests, but don't offer an excess of drama or "scary stuff." Harry Potter is a great series, but often not for our 5- and 6-year-olds. Even Harry didn't start at Hogwarts until his 12th birthday. For my eldest, lucky enough to grow up alongside Harry, Hermione and Ron, each new book brought new strengths and challenges, and as the kids aged, new darkness. But each new book came with both Harry and my daughter a year older. It was a perfect arrangement! Today with all 7 books published, kids want to read them all, one after another. And who can blame them for wanting to stay in one world, once they've arrived? Let's give our young readers worlds they can visit and submerse themselves in, that aren't overwhelming.

Hot Topics: Reading List for Early Readers: First Chapter Books offers great young series for our youngest chapter-book readers. From the fun antics of Amelia Bedelia, the literal housekeeper, to the adventures of (the previously lonely) Henry and his canine companion, Mudge, to The Riverside Kids and The Time Warp Trio... there are hundreds of volumes for young readers to discover. Check out these and many other titles.

Our kids tend to consume every book left in their way, and quickly move to higher levels of reading and adventure. Scroll down the Hot Topics: Reading List for Early Readers to the Longer Chapter Books and find even more adventure. How about a magical cupboard that turns toys into living creatures? Kids love the Indian in the Cupboard series! Find more magic in The Secrets of Droon, where Eric, Neal and Julie explore the Rainbow Stairs and the magical creatures they find there. Looking for a little more reality in their reading? Join The Five Little Peppers and their real-life adventures, or Einstein Anderson as he solves all the mysteries he can find. Finding Einstein Anderson titles at your bookstore may be a mystery in itself, but fear not, your local library will likely have the collection. If not, it's time to learn about your public library's inter-library loan!

Some kids prefer the colorful worlds of graphic novels. Hot Topics! Reading List of Graphic Novels / Cartoons / Humor has plenty to offer. For our youngest readers, there's always Captain Underpants, but he is only one option in a brave new world. Check out Ricky Ricotta and the giant robot, the Adventures of Tintin featuring the young Alex Rider, or Asterix, before moving on to longer cartoon novel series like Bone, Herobear and The Kid, and Amulet, the adventures of two ordinary kids in a world of man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a talking fox, and a giant robot! Once they move out of the younger chapter books, many of our kids love, love, love Science Fiction and/or Fantasy novels. And I find even as adults, gifted kids love Puzzle Books.

But what if my child is a 100%, no holds barred, no characters allowed, non-fiction reader? No problem! Check out these non-fiction lists: Curious kids will find these Horribles! horribly interesting! Hands-on kids of all ages love Klutz books.

Looking for books specifically for your boy or girl? Check out Hot Topics: Girls and Young Women and Hot Topics: Teen Boys. Do you need books, fiction or non-fiction, addressing issues facing gifted kids of all ages, including friendship, perfectionism, being twice exceptional, or other social/emotional issues? Check out Hot Topics: On Being Gifted. Titles for your young adult reader? You'll love Bob Seney's Literature for Gifted Young Adults.

Collected from gifted kids the world 'round, no matter what kind of books your kids prefer, you'll find titles they love on the Hot Topics! Reading Lists.

Use the comments below to submit your kids' favorite titles to the Hot Topics lists!

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