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Lower elementary books - no fantasy
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:05 pm
I need recommendations for books for my son who’s going into second grade.

He reads exceptionally well but I don’t want to get him any books that contain any forms of fantasy, as he has difficulty differentiating between fantasy and reality. (We’re working on it, but for now I want to avoid fantasy books/movies).

Thank you.
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amother




Ivory


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:14 pm
Nate the Great, Frog and Toad, books by Kevin Henkes (beginning of second grade level)

A to Z Mysteries (mid to end second grade level)
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:24 pm
I should really add, fantasy doesn’t just mean fantasy like sci-fi.

Even more importantly, his issue is with fantasy irl. Things that children can’t, or shouldn’t, do. Like “heroic” behaviors that are dangerous (going places alone, speaking with strangers, befriending dangerous animals etc). I know many kids books are like that, which leads him to believe that he can, too.
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amother




Magenta


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:27 pm
Beverly cleary books
Biographies- there's a series of "who was/is" biographies
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amother




OP


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:32 pm
amother [ Magenta ] wrote:

Biographies- there's a series of "who was/is" biographies


Thank you. I think this is a great idea. Are those “who was” books all appropriate for little kids?
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amother




Magenta


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:41 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you. I think this is a great idea. Are those “who was” books all appropriate for little kids?


I haven't read all of them, there are lots Very Happy I imagine you can choose ones on people that you're most familiar with.
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amother




Purple


Post  Sat, Jul 20 2019, 10:46 pm
I like the who was series except for the one about Michael jackson. It talks about how he did inappropriate things with little boys.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 9:16 am
amother [ Purple ] wrote:
I like the who was series except for the one about Michael jackson. It talks about how he did inappropriate things with little boys.


And the Thomas Jefferson one has a few pages on his relationship with Sally Hemmings.

OP, have you seen lists like the secular booklist on chinuch.org? I think it's now hosted somewhere else under another name. They're great resources.



I totally get your issue. I haven't read the A-Z books but did just read some of Ron Roy's Capital Kids series and they're problematic. The kids do incredibly dangerous things and since they save the day, all's right with the world. Among other issues with the series.

But yes, the Who Is and What Is series do have a lot of good books. You might want to read them before your son. He might be a great reader but the age appropriate books are still short enough for you to easily preview.

Now you're going to say, I just said he's reading above his age appropriate level. Yes, challenge him with something longer but I'm a big believer in not going to far above the age level. Because what happens is, kids will start a book that they'd enjoy more a grade or two later just because they can read the words but they won't get it, and then they'll quit in the middle and not pick it up at the most age appropriate time. It's really shortchanging the kids.

Hatzlacha!
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 9:35 am
PinkFridge wrote:
And the Thomas Jefferson one has a few pages on his relationship with Sally Hemmings.

OP, have you seen lists like the secular booklist on chinuch.org? I think it's now hosted somewhere else under another name. They're great resources.



I totally get your issue. I haven't read the A-Z books but did just read some of Ron Roy's Capital Kids series and they're problematic. The kids do incredibly dangerous things and since they save the day, all's right with the world. Among other issues with the series.

But yes, the Who Is and What Is series do have a lot of good books. You might want to read them before your son. He might be a great reader but the age appropriate books are still short enough for you to easily preview.

Now you're going to say, I just said he's reading above his age appropriate level. Yes, challenge him with something longer but I'm a big believer in not going to far above the age level. Because what happens is, kids will start a book that they'd enjoy more a grade or two later just because they can read the words but they won't get it, and then they'll quit in the middle and not pick it up at the most age appropriate time. It's really shortchanging the kids.

Hatzlacha!


Yes I’ve browsed that site. But books can be appropriate from a Jewish perspective and yet still feed into fantasy.

Reading above his level I don’t mean content-wise. I mean fluency and his knack for figuring out complex words/phrases. I agree, I want him to read what his mind can process.

I like Who Was books because it expands his knowledge while being true. Anything else like that?
I’m wondering if there are books that can help him gain knowledge on topics he’ll be learning in school this coming year, but in storybook form. No, I don’t want him knowing everything and sitting bored in class. But I thought getting his feet wet may help him get through second grade (and beyond) more easily. He’s the kind of kid that thinks really deeply, but because of that, may not grasp what the teacher is teaching until he let the info marinate a while.
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srbmom




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 9:39 am
My DS loved the who was series - I did read through lots of reviews on amazon to sort of screen them. I also find the ones about historical figures much more clean than the ones about modern day personalities.
Other series he really enjoyed were Reddy Freddy, and the magic school bus chapter books (not sure if that's blurring the lines of reality too much)
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 9:42 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Yes I’ve browsed that site. But books can be appropriate from a Jewish perspective and yet still feed into fantasy.

Reading above his level I don’t mean content-wise. I mean fluency and his knack for figuring out complex words/phrases. I agree, I want him to read what his mind can process.

I like Who Was books because it expands his knowledge while being true. Anything else like that?
I’m wondering if there are books that can help him gain knowledge on topics he’ll be learning in school this coming year, but in storybook form. No, I don’t want him knowing everything and sitting bored in class. But I thought getting his feet wet may help him get through second grade (and beyond) more easily. He’s the kind of kid that thinks really deeply, but because of that, may not grasp what the teacher is teaching until he let the info marinate a while.


The What Was books.

Do you have access to a Jewish library? There's some great non-fiction (and fiction too), like the Efraim Harari animal books, Yirmi Golden - Hashem Invented Skyscrapers and his new book, M. Kenan's books, Amazing Facts, and more. Also the shlichim kids series like Mendy in Siberia, etc. Menucha Publishers has some junior biographies and historical fiction too, though some I might hold off on till further into second grade.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 9:48 am
srbmom wrote:
My DS loved the who was series - I did read through lots of reviews on amazon to sort of screen them. I also find the ones about historical figures much more clean than the ones about modern day personalities.


Agree, I’d get the ones about historical figures. Don’t need him idolizing today’s idols.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 9:50 am
PinkFridge wrote:
The What Was books.

Do you have access to a Jewish library? There's some great non-fiction (and fiction too), like the Efraim Harari animal books, Yirmi Golden - Hashem Invented Skyscrapers and his new book, M. Kenan's books, Amazing Facts, and more. Also the shlichim kids series like Mendy in Siberia, etc. Menucha Publishers has some junior biographies and historical fiction too, though some I might hold off on till further into second grade.


Never heard of Jewish libraries. Who runs them? That would be great because the Jewish books are quite expensive.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 11:53 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Never heard of Jewish libraries. Who runs them? That would be great because the Jewish books are quite expensive.


I don't know where you live but many communities have lending libraries. Membership might cost but chances are it's worth it.
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behappy2




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 12:10 pm
Does your child like science and history. Therev are ca lot of kids books on these subjects.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 12:13 pm
behappy2 wrote:
Does your child like science and history. Therev are ca lot of kids books on these subjects.


Yes he does. (Although it must be factual without incorporating unrealistic ideas, like kids pretending to be scientists etc).
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 12:14 pm
your problem with fantasy will be the same in many kids books

Following for no romance no put down of boys/girls etc books.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 12:20 pm
Ruchel wrote:
your problem with fantasy will be the same in many kids books

Following for no romance no put down of boys/girls etc books.


I know, which is why I’m having a difficult time. We do have quite a few Jewish books that are good, but it’s getting expensive.

Regarding putting down women, when my son realized that many Jewish books/magazines don’t have pictures of women, he commented how weird it is that so many women have died already, which is why they couldn’t photograph them. Wink
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behappy2




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 12:22 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Yes he does. (Although it must be factual without incorporating unrealistic ideas, like kids pretending to be scientists etc).


There should be whole sections in the library.
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amother




Magenta


Post  Sun, Jul 21 2019, 12:50 pm
Yes there are lots of books on how things work even for younger kids. Also national geographic books on various topics.
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