Books for Gifted Readers

Many gifted kids are advanced readers. The books written for typical kids of their age — for example, easy readers for kindergartners, or chapter books for third graders — are overly simple for their reading and language abilities.

Yet books that are more in line with their skill level may have content that isn’t appropriate for them.

I should say, I’m a firm believer in letting children choose at least some of what they read, even if what they pick is below their tested reading level. Research shows that children who get to pick their own books tend to read more. But when a child is eager to read something more complex, I want to help them find a great book.

Here are some books suitable for kids who need to read up. I’ve listed the book level (BL) for each, as scored by the Renaissance Accelerated Reader web site.


Note:, developed and operated by one mom, is a resource to help gifted parents. No advertising or promotional content is accepted. Books listed here are my personal recommendations, or those submitted by visitors to this site.


Ivy and Bean (series), by Annie Barrows, BL 1-2

Stella Batts (series), by Courtney Sheinmel, BL 3-4

Clementine (series), by Sara Pennypacker, BL 3-4

Friday Barnes (series), by R.A. Spratt, BL 3-4

Timmy Failure (series), by Stephen Pastis, BL 3-4

Jasmine Toguchi (series), by Debbie Michiko Florence, BL 3-4

Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, BL 4

Emily Windsnap (series), by Liz Kessler, BL 4

Lightning Thief (series), by Rick Riordan, BL 4-5 (contains fantasy violence)

Pax, by Sara Pennypacker, BL 5

Princess Academy (series), by Shannon Hale, BL 5-6

Land of Stories (series), by Chris Colfer, BL 5-6

Bomb (and other non-fiction titles), by Steve Sheinkin, BL 6

Book Scavenger (series), by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, BL 5-6 (contains instances of minor crimes)


Other places to look for books:

Tome Student Literary Society. Recommended to me by an educator, this non-profit organization creates an annual list of recently published “clean” books. Each book on the list has been vetted by adult readers. Books on the “It List” have minimal or no profanity, and no “blush-worthy sexual scenes.” They also generally have a positive message. There are It Lists for upper elementary, middle, and high school aged readers.

Some of My Best Friends Are Books, by Judith Wynn Halsted. This book, now in its third edition, sees books as tools that can help gifted children overcome social and emotional challenges they commonly face, such as isolation, sensitivity, perfectionism, and a drive to understand the world.



Would you like to suggest a book for my list?
Use this form to send me your recommendations:



%d bloggers like this: