Nice Books for Nice Kids

We have a problem in children’s literature.

There are many, many gorgeous picture books and storybooks for babies up through about…. 1st grade.

Then, something happens. We reach the “early chapter book” stage, and all of a sudden, we go from nice, friendly, stories about families supporting each other and getting along to this focus on everything annoying, mean-spirited, selfish, and disrespectful.

Let me tell you: Junie B. Jones, My Weird School, Captain Underpants, and other books, where kids are disrespectful to their parents and make fun of their classmates or siblings are NOT your only option, even if they’re the ones most commonly seen in the classroom and library today.

Here’s a list of good, quality, enjoyable literature in that upper elementary level (grades 2-4, primarily) that does NOT celebrate mean, catty girls or rude, potty-humored boys… but are still fun to read.

I’d love to know your favorites or other books that should be on the list!

In no particular order:

Gooney Bird Greene books – by Lois Lowry

Curious MacCarthy series

Ada Lace series

Encyclopedia Brown series

Zoey & Sassafrass series

Pippi Longstocking series

The Who Is/Who Was Biography series

Cam Jansen series

Timo books (Allenby)

The Littles series

Mercy Watson series

Bink and Gollie series

Mrs. Pigglewiggle series

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Monkey & Robot

Paddington books

Mrs. Noodlekugel books

Jack Prelutsky’s Poetry

this list will continue to be updated as we find new favorites.

Your turn: what are your favorite books for this age group?

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