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Reading Lists for your Gifted Child

"One way to approach the question of guiding gifted readers is to consider their intellectual and emotional development in light of reading and literature. What are the intellectual and emotional challenges they face specifically because they are gifted? What reading programs can be offered to help them meet these challenges successfully?" Judith Wynn Halsted, Guiding the Gifted Reader (ERIC Digest #481)

The Reader's Bill of Rights
Readers have:
bulletThe right to not read.
bulletThe right to skip pages.
bulletThe right to not finish.
bulletThe right to reread.
bulletThe right to read anything.
bulletThe right to escapism.
bulletThe right to read anywhere.
bulletThe right to browse.
bulletThe right to read out loud.
bulletThe right not to defend your tastes.
—Daniel Pennac, Better Than Life

Grief and Grieving Recommended
A collection of resources for dealing with the death of a loved one, or a beloved pet, books and sites for all ages...
 
Hoagies' Hot Topics! Recommended
Wild about science fiction, math, genetics, poetry, programming, biographies, science or other "hot" topics for gifted kids? Check this list for lots of books for all ages, on these and other Hot Topics for gifted kids!  A reading list of a different color, Hot Topics! books are listed by topic first, and reading level second...
bulletArts and Crafts
bulletOn Being Gifted / Social Stuff
bullet Biographies
bullet Cartoons / Humor
bulletClassics / Fiction
bullet Early Readers
bullet Geography / Political Science
bullet Girls and Young Women
bullet History / Philosophy
bullet Horribles!
bullet Inventions / Physics
bulletKlutz Books
bullet Mathematics / Programming
bullet Mystery
bullet Poetry
bullet Potpourri
bullet Puzzle Books
bullet Science / Genetics
bullet Science Fiction / Fantasy
bulletTeen Boys
bulletVocabulary / But Why??
bulletSeney's Young Adult Literature
 
Scholastic BookWizard BookAlike Recommended
Find books at a similar level to books your child is already reading... a handy tool!
 
Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Preschool to High School Recommended by Judith Wynn Halsted
Roeper Review says it all: "...should be on the shelf of every school library, whether that school offers gifted programming or not."  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
UK Education secretary arranges boys' bookshelves Recommended and the Full List, or better yet visit the Hoagies' Page: Hot Topics for Teen Boys version (with links)
A list of more than 160 books, from Frankenstein to Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, has been published today in a bid to encourage teenage boys to read for pleasure...
 
101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers
The CollegeBoard (the SAT folks) list for our kids... have you read them all?
 
101 Out-Of-This-World Books For Kids Ages 8-13 Compiled by Arrowhead Library System
 
Arrowhead Library System College Bound Reading List
Including titles in American and World Literature, Biography/History, Science, Drama, Poetry
 
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Newbery and Caldecott Medal Book lists, great sites for kids and young adults, tips for parents
Top 100 Banned and/or Challenged Novels of the 20th Century
Frequently Challenged Books those infamous "banned book" gifted kids love and adore!  Don't forget to celebrate Banned Books Week during the last week of September each year...
Caldecott Medal, 1938 - present awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children
Coretta Scott King Award Books 1970-present presented annually to authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream."
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the U.S., have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children
Michael L. Printz Award 2000-present awarded annually a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature
Newbery Medal, 1922 - present awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children
Pura Belpré Award presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth
Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books
Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18
YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound for students in grades 9-12 (and below!) who wish to enrich and strengthen their knowledge of various subject areas in both classic and contemporary literature, on subjects including History, Humanities, Literature and Language Arts, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those ages 12-18
YALSA Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers quick picks and top ten lists for reluctant YA readers...
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults a great new list, beginning in 2010
 
Best-Loved Books: A Unique Reading List for Gifted Students in Grades 6-12 by W. Carter
"Books that are so good that gifted kids talk about them, recommend them to others, and even line up to get their name on a waiting list in my classroom for their turn to read..."
 
Best Teen Books of 2011 by Kirk US Reviews.com
It may be easy to think that books for teens are all the same these days. Not so! Sifting through the piles of great books published for teens this year, [Kirk Reviews Editor] discovered soulful romance of the utterly normal kind, deliciously frothy historical novels, piercingly intelligent nonfiction, thrillingly inventive fantasy and science fiction and some great kickass horror, as well as some books that may leave you weeping with laughter...
 
Biographies and Autobiographies: Life Models in the Classroom by Bertie Kingore
Biographies and autobiographies frequently serve as role models for gifted students by illustrating how even prominent or successful people experience triumphs, failures, and hardships throughout their lives.  Activities are suggested, and list of recommended biographies and autobiographies is included...
 
Books for Children Featuring Gifted Children collected by Linda Silverman
A great list, with books from Judy Blume to Stephanie Tolan and lots more, plus resources for annotation, instruction, and study guidelines for many of the books.  Most of these books are older or classic literature; for newer fiction and non-fiction titles for gifted kids, visit Hot Topics Reading List: On Being Gifted
 
Boston Public Library Book Lists and Magazines
Categorical lists including lists by grade levels from Boston Public Schools and several excellent Boston private schools, and subject lists including Books about Dragons, Books for Younger or Older Boys, Series for Younger or Older Boys, and lots more!  Plus magazines to read online including Sports Illustrated for Kids, Dragonfly, and more!
 
California Department of Education Reading List
Annotated and by grade level (or range), this list includes tons of books our kids love, and gives us some idea what they're reading, too
 
Children's Literature Web List Internet resources related to books for children and young adults
Wonderful site, including reading lists, links to author's sites, Readers' Theatre, and lots more!
 
Connecticut Reading Association Journal: Children’s Literature Resources
Reading lists, including African American, American Indian, Asian American and Latino/Latina American Literature lists...
 
EagerReaders.com
To help parents and children find books they will love and never forget, we have collected a list of good titles for all ages, based on books we and our own children have read and enjoyed - the cream of the crop
 
Embracing the Child
Literature for learning and shared reading, investing in the whole child... (Note: this is good reading list, but exercise caution before clicking on their links, some of which are old, bad, or lead to link farms and other dangers)
 
An Essential Nonfiction Reading List for High School and Beyond
Including postmodern graphic novels, some new books, some older... a great list for all older teens and adults!
 
Gifted Kids, Gifted Characters, and Great Books by Bertie Kingore
The annotated bibliography in this article focuses on the following three criteria: the books are written by authors of merit; each book contains well-developed characters who display gifted behaviors; and the stories include thought-provoking problem situations, issues, or personal needs with which gifted students can identify...
 
Good Books for Good Readers
Annotated Book List, including books with gifted kids as a major character, and long books with sequels for kids who read too fast
 
Great Books for Gifted Kids Wikispace 
A collection of great books for gifted kids, featuring gifted kids.  This ever-growing resource will continue to provide old and new reading ideas for our kids...
 
Great Books For Girls: More Than 600 Books to Inspire Today's Girls and Tomorrow's Women by Kathleen Odean
For girls, a guide for parents and educators looking for books "about girls who defy the stereotypes about females in our culture." Her work introduces 600 titles, ranging from picture-story books for toddlers to biographies and novels for adolescents that depict girls and women who are self-sufficient, decisive, and assertive.
 
And Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean
For boys, one of the things that many boys give up on their way to manhood is a love of reading." This thoughtfully compiled annotated bibliography gives parents, teachers, and librarians strategies to help prevent this loss. Titles are organized by reader age and genre.
 
GT-World Reading Lists Let the reading begin!
Reading suggestions gathered from TAGFAM and GT-World mailing lists, for gifted kids of all ages and reading levels
 
The Horn Book Recommend Books
Categorical lists from Children's Classics to Graphic Novels, from African American to Asian and Pacific American to Latino books, plus the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards and many other lists...
 
International Reading Association Teachers’ Choices Booklists
Since 1989, the Teachers’ Choices project has developed an annual annotated reading list of new books that will encourage young people to read...
 
Jen Robinson's 175 Cool Boys from Children's Literature
Jen Robinson's 200 Cool Girls from Children's Literature
Boys, enjoy the adventures of the many brave, smart, intrepid, and funny boys on this list.
Girls, treasure these smart, brave, funny, independent girls from the world of children's literature.
 
Mensa Excellence in Reading Award Program
Acknowledging the value of the National Endowment for the Humanities' appreciation of classic literature for young people, the Mensa Foundation provides a year-round challenge to kids of all ages. Scroll down for the reading lists...
 
NEH Summertime Favorites
A list of recommended readings, represents the National Endowment for the Humanities' long-standing effort to highlight classic literature for young people from kindergarten through high school...
 
New York Times Children's Bestsellers List
The nation's best picture books, chapter books, paperbacks and series, every week...
 
NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books
Not a children's list, but an excellent resource for young adult and adult science fiction / fantasy readers, plus even younger kids in most cases...
 
Persnickety Snark Top 100 YA Novels (2010)
Popular vote for the top YA Novels they read in 2010, based on "the emergence of subjectivity as a development of a central character’s ability to express self-recognition or agency."  A good international list!
 
The Salt Lake City Public Library Booklists
Booklists including Picture Books for Boys, Prize Winners, World Cultures including 9 unique cultures, Kids' Lists by Subject, and more...
 
Salt Lake County Library System Graded Book Lists
Although the grades aren't necessarily appropriate for gifted kids, these are good lists, complete with short description of each book
 
Scholastic BookWizard BookAlike Recommended
Interested in a book at a similar level (or higher, or lower) to the books the child is already reading?  Type the name of a book into Scholastic BookWizard BookAlike and find other Scholastic books at a similar level
 
Smithsonian Magazine Notable Books for Children
1995, 1996, 1997, 2002 notable book lists (though you may need to adjust the age ranges for our gifted kids)
 
Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Preschool to High School Recommended by Judith Wynn Halsted
Roeper Review says it all: "...should be on the shelf of every school library, whether that school offers gifted programming or not."  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
Stephanie Tolan Reading
List - Books and Plays
Stef's great collection of fiction. Often, a gifted child can find himself in Stef's books
 
Tamora Pierce's Recommended Reading Lists
A great collection of reading lists, including books for homeschoolers, science-fiction for young adults, fantasy for young adults, books on writing, and more...
 
Wands and Worlds
Fantasy and Science Fiction for Children and Teens, with brief annotations on each book, organized by interest areas: Alchemy, Angels, Cats, Dragons, Dreams, more...
 
What's a Girl to Read?  by Justine Henning, New York Times
If you don't want to read about sex and drugs — or don't want your kids reading about them — young adult fiction can look like a minefield. Publishers rarely give age guidance on these novels, though online booksellers are sometimes more helpful; be forewarned that if the rating is "young adult" or "14 and up," that often means sexual content. Yet it's possible to avoid the thinly imagined characters, as well as the reckless, credit-card-reliant behavior, of teenage chick lit and find many superb novels for girls...
 
When Gifted Readers Hunt for Books by Richard Olenchak (full text requires NCTE membership)
An annotated list of books for the gifted child...
 
e-books - full-text books available online...
Project Gutenberg
over 18,000 free eBooks to download, the oldest producer of free eBooks on the Internet...
 
World eBook Fair
Visit during this annual eBook fair July - August each year, and download your selections from 1/3 million free eBooks, increasing annually to 1 million by July-August 2009...
 
Last updated November 17, 2014
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