Maeve Visser Knoth: Recommendations for a hard-to-please 4th grade girl

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Recommendations for a hard-to-please 4th grade girl


My daughter's birthday is coming up and I'd like to buy her some books. I'm finding that she is much tougher to buy books for than my son. I spoke with her teacher, and she suggested I contact you. She thought that since you see her in the school library each week you'd be familiar with my daughter's reading level and interests. I'm looking for classics as well as "just plain fun" books. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


-- 4th Grade Mom

Hi 4th Grade Mom,

I really appreciate your asking me for recommendations. Your daughter is rather hard to please right now and I don't know why. Each week she asks me for recommendations but may or may not follow them. I think she likes to hear me talk about books more than she likes to take my advice . Have you ever taken her to a children's specialty bookstore? Every independent children's bookstore that I have ever visited is an amazing community resource. My children receive gift certificates to Linden Tree in Los Altos, CA each year as a Christmas gift and love to go and make their own choices from the thousands of books available.

There are a few authors I will suggest for your daughter. The British author Hilary McKay is just amazing. The book DOG FRIDAY would be a great choice. Also much of Polly Horvath's work would be great for your daughter. I would not choose THE CANNING SEASON because it is too sophisticated for a fourth grader, but anything else she has written would be good, especially THE TROLLS. The series of books which begin with THE GREAT BRAIN by J.D. Fitzgerald would be fun reading too. They are real classics and your daughter can relate to the narrator who has a brainy older brother.

She might also be interested in a magazine subscription. Take a look at The Cricket Magazine group has wonderful magazines for kids and a magazine does not require the same commitment as a thick novel if she is going through a stage of not knowing what she wants to read.

Let me know if you want more ideas.



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