Topic | Replacing twaddle…suggestions for dd8.5

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  • LindseyD

    Dd8.5 was given a boxed set of 4 Junie B. Jones books for Christmas from her piano teacher. I LOATHE JBJ, but went ahead and let her read them, since I knew her teacher would likely be asking if she was enjoying her new books. Today, dd came to me, wanting to read a part of JBJ to me that she thought funny. In typical Junie B. fashion, this particular part of the book was full of disrespect, name-calling, and more to her parents and friends, without Junie B. expressing any remorse for her actions. 

    Dd and I had a long conversation about why the books were not appropriate since those are not the characteristics we value or honor in our home. I told dd that she had a choice: either I would take the books away, OR she could CHOOSE to trade them in for something better. If she chose the trade, I would replace all four books with four NEW books that are appropriate and uphold the values of our family. She chose the trade! I was so proud of her! It was a difficult decision and there were a few tears involved, but I explained that by choosing to trade, she was giving up something that wasn’t that great for something wonderful. 

    I promised her I’d do some good research to come up with four books for her and that we’d either go shopping for them together, or I’d let her help me order them online. 

    Now I need suggestions of GREAT books for an 8.5 yo little girl! (And I’m most interested in chapter books.)

    Here is what she has already read/or has on her shelves:

    Betsy-Tacy books
    Caddie Woodlawn
    Mary Poppins
    Old Yeller
    a Beatrix Potter collection of stories
    Pollyanna (both books)
    Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little
    all Louisa May Alcott books 
    The Railway Children
    Baby Island
    all Little House books
    all Narnia books
    Secret Garden, Little Princess
    Just So Stories
    the Sarah, Plain and Tall series
    The Hundred Dresses
    American Girl books 
    My Father’s Dragon series 

    She is not interested in sci-fi at all. But the types of stories that interest her aren’t just princesses and castles either. I think she would be interested in a series, since she gave up a series, but that’s not absolutely necessary.  


    Grandma’s Attic – there are more than 4 in this series but you could get her the first 4 to get started.


    These may be repeated in previous posts, but I am copy/pasting:

    Along Came a Dog

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins

    Twenty and Ten

    A Bear Called Paddington

    The Apple and The Arrow

    Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims

    Viking Adventures

    Sword in the Tree

    The Adventures of Peter Cottontail

    The Adventures of Grandfather Frog

    Alice In Wonderland

    The Box Car Children

    Swiss Family Robinson


    Henry and Ribsy


    The Courage of Sarah Noble

    Five True Dog Stories

    Along Came a Dog

    The Four Story Mistake

    Pippo the Fool

    The Whipping Boy

    The Wind In The Willows

    The Year of Miss Agnes

    Brother Francis & the Friendly Beasts

    A Treasury of Children’s Literature

    Just So Stories

    Little Pear

    Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings

    Sarah Plain & Tall

    Homer Price

    The Toothpaste Millionaire

    A Christmas Carol


    Henry Reed Inc.

    The Year of the Panda

    Charlotte’s Web

    Stuart Little

    Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm

    Little House Collection (selected works)

    Stone Fox

    Some ideas, anyway! And my now 12yo bibliophile says she is off to a great start!


    Oh, I liked the Grandma’s Attic series – my best friend and I used to trade them back and forth. All of Kind Family (Sydney Taylor) continues on in a series. Freddy Goes to Florida (Walter Brooks) we’ve only read Freddy Goes to Florida and Freddy the Dectective; but it is a series also. What Katy Did (Susan Coolidge) is on my list of books to preview, I found it on the “Top Picks” list Living Books Library (Liz Cottrill and her daughter Emily).


    Lindsey, I gave dd6 the 4 book boxed set of Grandma’s Attic for Christmas. She loves them! Yes, she’s only 6, but she reads EVERYTHING and at about a 6th grade level. They are great, sweet books. She may also like some of Margarite (sp.) Henry’s horse books. dd13 loves those and has read them tons.


    Understood Betsy


    Since she received a series, might be kind of nice to trade in for a series (great idea by the way!)

    The three Paddington books are just darling…my boys read them aloud to me once in a while and I am constantly marveling at how sweet they are.  Nicely written, too (and great litte opportunity for exposure to the British way of speaking…)

    Ditto on Christie’s mention above of the Marguerite Henry books…though I would suggest the 3 “Misty” books more so than King of the Wind or Justin Morgan…those seem more geared to an older audience, IMO.


    Another author/series you might consider:  books by Eleanor Estes.  We’ve got some Ginger Pye and and Pinky Pie (sp.) going on right now…   Prior to this we were all into the Moffats…great, wholesome reads!




    I love Eleanor Estes! Also, agree that the Misty books are the best to start with.


    We already have Stormy, Misty’s Foal, but I don’t think she’s read it. I should probably finish out the series and get them all. 

    I will look into Eleanor Estes. So far, she has chosen Capyboppy and the first in the Grandma’s Attic series. She is still undecided on the other two trades. (She is my indecisive child, so it may take a few days and LOTS of research!) Wink


    Cappyboppy is delightful!

    A couple more ideas:

    Owls in the Shower

    How’s Inky?


    Lindsey…I’m sure it’s probably listed on your Misty book…but just to make sure you know – the Misty series starts with Misty of Chincoteague, the others follow after this first intro-to-the-series book.  If your DD hasn’t read yet Stormy, you might want to hold off and have her start the series from the beginning.  I’m sure it wouldn’t ruin the series if  she started with Stormy, but just might pull it all together nicely for your DD if you started with Misty.

    I’m thrilled to hear of Grandma’s Attic series in this thread…that one slipped by me, somehow.  Will have to dig into that one!



    I am reading aloud In Grandma’s Attic at bedtime. They are delightful short stories about life in the mid 19th century with great character lessons. Sometimes there are Biblical references.

    There are historical fiction books in a series called The Imagination Station that my kids enjoy. They are like Magic Treehouse but with Christian worldviews.


    I must 2nd Understood Betsy, oh it’s sooooo good!!


    The Grandma’s Attic series is delightful as well. 


    Our dd LOVES the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard, I didn’t see that on the lists 🙂


    Blessings in your decision,



    —All of a Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor

    —Books by Kate Seredy: Philomena, The Good Master…


    This is great, my daughter will be so excited by these suggestions. She recently finished the Melendy series mentioned above by Elizabeth Enright and really enjoyed them. I think it starts with The Four Story Mistake. She has now been reading Swallows and Amazons and Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome. She was skeptical at first, but has really gotten into the adventures. Marguerite Henry was a bit difficult for her.

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