top ten books for a gifted seven-year-old boy

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

My boss’ boss asked me to come into her office the other day.  My heart started beating fast.  I wondered if I was being fired, how I’d make rent, reviewing my week for anything that could have gone wrong… when she asked ‘Do you know of any books I could give Cole?’  Cole is her seven-year-old, a second grader, and he’s testing gifted in reading and math.  I’ve given her book ideas before, but now his reading volume is going beyond the usual bounds… and he’s already been through the Wimpy Kid books and started the Boxcar Children series in earnest.  So she asked me for recommendations (and scared me to death in the process). 

Top Ten Books for a Gifted Seven-Year-Old Boy

1. Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard – Jim Kjelgaard’s dog books were staples in my mother’s read-aloud repertoire.  Each morning we begged for just one more chapter of these stories.  As someone else said, Jack London-lite.

2. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater – Hilarious, all-ages hijinks with penguins, ill-advised decisions, and many, many blocks of ice.

3. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket  – Another funny, sarcastic book featuring three children with astonishingly bad luck.

4. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones – The first in Jones’ Chrestomanci series, this book features a pair of siblings with power to throw worlds out of whack.

5. Redwall by Brian Jacques – I’ve never read this one, but judging by how quickly my brother Joey devoured the entire series, it was a complete hit.

6. Hatching Magic by Ann Downer-Hazell – I have a weakness for books about dragons. This one reads younger than most of my favorites, and features time travel, chocolate, and (of course) magic.

7. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin – Another I’ve never read, but my sister sings the praises of this for all readers, all ages.  And yes, I will read it soon.

8. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo – The only book on the list that I’m a little hesitant about, because I haven’t read it and have only the internet (and the Newbery!) to tell me how awesome it is. Oh okay, I’ll stop.

9. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien – Talk about a film that scared the living daylights out of my siblings and me!  The book is not quite as terrifying, but just as gripping.

10. Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins – Did you know that the author of The Hunger Games wrote a middle grade series? I remember liking this book quite a lot and passing it along to my brother, who also gave it a vote of confidence.

Tell me: what books would you recommend for an avid boy reader, aged 7?


pagesunbound said...

I haven't read any of these, but you've given me some good suggestions. I love middle grade books!

Amanda said...

I loved the Lemony Snicket series so much as a kid. I would also highly recommend the Bobby Pendragon series by D.J MacHale. It's a wonderful MG series that I'm sure most boys would love!

Here's my Top Ten.

Lianne @ said...

I like the idea for this list! Definitely have to keep this in mind should it come time for a bit of gift-giving to someone that age...Redwall was a good series, my brother grew up reading those books =)

Here's my Top Ten for this week =)

Lianne @ said...

Double-post but I made a mistake, meant to say thanks for dropping by in my last comment lol *is tired and mouse-clicking-happy right now*

Melanie said...

Oh goodness, The Rats of Nimph... I totally remember them from my childhood. Evertime I see a rat I'm still somewhat afraid that they're more intelligent then we think they are. Completely creeps me out.

Perfect for a seven year old boy, though. Great recs!

Sara (of the Page Sage) said...

Aw, the Boxcar Children were my favorite when I was seven, too! haha I love #2, #3, #5 (although this may be a little advanced reading level wise for a 7 year old- maybe his mom can read it to him?), and #9.

Anonymous said...

I adored The Boxcar Children (and Because of Winn-Dixie)! Great list! My TTT: Top Ten Characters (and Literary Figures) That I’d Name My Pets After:

Alice @ Alice in Readerland

Lori said...

I adore your list and the story behind it! I haven't read any of these, but I've though about reading Suzanne's MG series before. I need to pick it up.

My Top Ten

Charlotte said...

This is right up my alley!

Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman

The Last Polar Bears, by Harry Horse

This Side of Magic, by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones

The Dragonbreath Books, by Ursula Vernon

I may well think of more...

InkkReviews said...

Great post. don't think i could come up with ten though. Check out our Top Ten Fictional Crushes
Katie @ Inkk

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Winn-Dixie is a wonderful recommendation. In fact, I'd recommend anything of Kate DiCamillo's.

Great idea for a list.

Think there isn't enough time to read? Some of the best books I've ever read are short books you can read in a night. Here's my Top Ten Best One-Night Reads!

Anonymous said...

As I was reading through your list, I was thinking "I should mention Gregor in the comments" and then there it was! Number 10 =) Gregor is such a great middle grade series. I put it in the hands of one of my students last year, a pretty reluctant reader, and she devoured them.

This is such a good list of books, Diane Wynne Jones will be enough to keep him busy for a while!

Unknown said...

You've NEVER read "Because of Winn Dixie"????? Shocked.

I'd also suggest anything by Gordon Korman. He wrote the 39 Clues series, but I like his Everest and Island series best. Those capture the spirit of adventure for any elementary school boy! (or 4th grade teacher).

kayerj said...

that's a perfect list of books for a 7 year old. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Unknown said...

I started reading Gregor but for some reason couldn't get into it. My older sister loved it though before Hunger Games ever came out! Good list :)


Liviania said...

Great choices - I love the ones I've read.

Perhaps The Invention of Hugo Cabaret by Selznick and Summerland by Chabon?

KBD said...

I love that this got so much response! Cole was excited to see Mr. Popper's Penguins and Dragon Breath (he has read these!) series. Thanks, Cecelia!!

KBD said...

And yes! Cole loved Hugo Cabaret!!

Tales of Whimsy said...

What an amazing list. It's so hard to shop for young male readers.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I have a recommendation Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Annabel Smith said...

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was such a thrilling adventure story - I read it a few times as a child and then stumbled across it as an adult and enjoyed it again.

Angela said...

What fantastic suggestions! I will definitely bookmark your list for future reference.

Alyce said...

My boys really liked The Secrets of Droon series, and since they are into Pokemon they have many of the books in the Pokemon series. The Percy Jackson books are a lot of fun, but I'm not sure if they are too advanced. I read the series out loud to my boys and they loved it. There's a new series out called The Infinity Ring - I just reviewed the first book in the series yesterday. It's a fun book and would probably be a good fit if he's into fantasy. It's about time travel, is educational, and will have multiple authors like the 39 Clues books did.

My oldest son really liked The Mysterious Benedict Society & The Warriors books when he was younger too. Oh and the Roald Dahl books - James and the Giant Peach, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, etc.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Your timing on this post is incredible! My nephew turned 7 last week and he's so ridiculously smart. I've already given him stacks of books and he just blows through them. I will be passing along a few more from your list! Also, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is one of my all-time favorite and you HAVE to read The Westing Game!

Ginny Larsen said...

yay! i was mentioned in reference to a book recommendation! :D so happy right now :D

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