two boys Book Reviews For Category: Ages 5-8

Generally best enjoyed by children between five and eight years old; but every child is unique, so only you know best.

One Riddle, One Answer

Children's Book - One Riddle, One Answer

Published: 2001
Theme: Math Riddle
Best for: 5 to 8

“Aziza learned all there was to know. But her favorite subject was numbers. And her favorite game was riddles.” This is a simple and enjoyable way to present numbers and riddles to young children who are already showing signs up interest in numbers.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Illustrated Books, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Dragon Masters

Children's Book - Dragon masters

Published: 2014
Theme: Dragons
Best for: 6 – 9

“Drake looked over at his friend Bo. he could tell Bo was thinking the same thing he was: How did the king know one of the dragons was sick?” Our school librarian gets a high demand for books about dragons, especially from the lower grade students. So she and I were delighted to find this one.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, First Chapter Book

Blue Jay Girl

Children's Book: Blue Jay Girl

Published: 2010
Theme: Be Yourself
Best for: 6 to 9

“Blue Jay Girl had a good family who loved her, and a little dog of her own. He was called Kiyu. Until now, her life had always pleased her. But today she was the very saddest girl in the village.” This small children’s book is a great addition to Native American folk literature. It reads like an oral story that has been converted to a children’s book.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Smith of Wootton Major

Children's book- Smith of Wootton Major

Published: 1967
Theme: Faery
Best for: 7 – 10

“There was a village once, not very long ago for those with long memories, not very far away for those with long legs. Wootton Major it was called because it was larger than Wootton Minor…” A truly magical yet profound tale of the skeptic world and those who ‘do believe in fairies’…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Tales from the Perilous Realm

Tolkien Children's Book- Tales from the Perilous Realm

Published: 2008
Theme: Tolkien Fantasy
Best for: 7 and up

“Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold…” This collection of shorter stories by Tolkien has something for all ages, including adults who love Tolkien’s fantasy worlds.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Roverandom

Children's Book - Roverandom

Published: 1998
Theme: Fantasy
Best for 8 and up

“Not every old man with ragged trousers is a bad old man: … a few, a very few, are wizards prowling round on a holiday looking for something to do. This one was a wizard, the one that now walked into the story.” Early on, Tolkien crafted several short novellas out of stories that he made up for his own children, and Roverandom is one of them.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Ruffleclaw

Children's Book - Ruffleclaw

Published: 2015
Theme: Monsters
Best for: 7 to 8

“Yes, he had to admit, Ruffleclaw had been quite a pest. Always hungry. Always tired. And he spat absolutely everywhere. And still… Tommy missed him.” Let’s start by admitting that this children’s book is aimed at being gross, and aimed at young boys who like to be gross…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, First Chapter Book

Dodsworth in Paris

First Chapter Children's Book - Dodsworth in Paris

Published: 2008
Theme: First Chapter Book
Best for: 6 to 8

“They sat down for lunch at a cafe. “Bonjour,” said the waiter. “That means ‘Hello'”, Dodsworth told the duck. “Oh well then, ‘banjo’ to you, too,” said the duck.” As a first chapter children’s book, this little book is more than meets the eye, with lovely illustrations, and authentic information about Paris.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Annika Riz, Math Whiz

Annika Riz - First Chapter Book, Children's Book

Published: 2014
Theme: Being yourself
Best for: Third graders

“It was all new and fascinating to Annika. She had never know that baking had so much math in it–so much tasty math!” Here’s a lovely addition to those hard to find interesting first chapter books, which, uncommonly, focuses on the early grade student’s relationship to math.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Waldorf-Aligned

Blockhead – The Life of Fibonacci

Children's Book - Blockhead,

Published: 2010
Theme: Math Biography
Best for: 6 to 9

“You can call me Blockhead. Everyone else does. One day when I was just a boy, Maestro wrote out a math problem and gave us ten minutes to solve it. I solved it in two seconds.” If you have any young children who love numbers, this is definitely a children’s book they should read – a superb biography about Fibonacci.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Biography, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Illustrated Books, Waldorf-Aligned

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

Children's Book - Mouse with Question Mark Tail

Published: 2013
Theme: Pluck
Best for: 8 to 10

“Every time a human walks out of a room, something with more feet walks in. Mice, of course, who are only a whisker away. It’s true of the room where you are sitting. It’s truer still of Buckingham Palace.” This lovely tongue-in-cheek children’s book will definitely bring smiles to readers, especially those who can grasp some of the satire.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Harriet Bean Mystery Series

Children's Book: Harriet Bean series

Published: 1990
Theme: Light Mysteries
Best for: 8 to 10

“I did not write a long letter to Aunt Veronica. All I did was introduce myself and tell her that the only reason why I had not written before was that my father had never told me of her existence.” The earliest writing of Alexander McCall Smith, this series of mystery books for children is easy to read, silly, and good entertainment.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Inspiring for Girls

James to the Rescue

Children's Book:: James to the Rescue

Published: 2015
Theme: Trust
Best for: 6 – 9

“Marvin sees crumbs under the table, but those are nothing special. The beetles find crumbs all the time. But then he sees something else. Something shiny. Something silver.” My criteria for an good children’s book for emerging readers is that it is not too daunting, and not too dull. This book meets both criteria.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Waldorf-Aligned

The Dragon of Lonely Island

Children's Book - Dragon of Lonely Island

Published: 1998
Theme: Gentleness and Bravery
Best for: 6 to 10

“‘A tridrake,’ the dragon repeated. ‘A three-headed dragon.’ Only then did the children notice that the dragon had two other necks, branching off on either side of the first neck, and two other heads… both sound asleep.” This book reads like an old fashioned tale, as each head of the dragon tells of an earlier encounter with a child who trusted and helped the dragon.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Diva and Flea

Children's Book - Diva and Flea

Published: 2015
Theme: Friendship
Best for: 5 – 8

“Diva was the gardienne’s dog, which mean that Diva was practically responsible of the whole of 11 avenue Le Play, including the courtyard. It was a very big job for a very small dog.” Hooray! An enchanting first chapter book for children that delights, amuses, is readable, and even stretches our reading muscles to read some French words.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Firefly Hollow

Children's book - Firefly Hollow

Published: 2015
Theme: Following a Dream
Best for: 7 to 9

“Firefly didn’t know if she should zoom straight up into the air or take shelter behind Cricket. There was no time to think, because with one step of his huge legs, the miniature giant was there.” If you are looking for a message about staying in one place where you belong, this is not the children’s book for that. This is adventuring, a la Wind in the Willows.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Children's Book - Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Published: 1947
Theme: Childhood Behavior
Best for: 5 to 8

“Pretty soon down the stairs came a terrible old witch with a long black dress, a tall black hat and a big gnarly black cane. Mary Lou was very scared until she saw the sparkly eyes of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle under the black hat.” Everything about this children’s book reminds me of Mary Poppins, and a spoonful of sugar with the medicine…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Classics, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Backyard Witch: Sadie’s Story

Children's Book - Sadie's Story

Published: 2015
Theme: Self-confidence
Best for: girls 8 to 10

“Sadie imagined Jess and Maya calling from the road and asking what she was up to. ‘Oh Nothing much. Just doing magic with a friend. Nobody you know.'” With a little imagination, and the help from the Backyard Witch, “a most magical and mysterious visitor, who always appears just when you need her,” Sadie’s summer, and her own sense of self-worth is transformed.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Waldorf-Aligned

Leprechaun in Late Winter

Children's book - Leprechaun in Late Winter

Published: 2010
Theme: Irish Fairies
Best for: 7 to 9

“Strange, sweet music came from the whistle. The music was both sad and happy. It was full of beauty and hope, pain and sorry. Like the fog over the river, the music seems to blend everything together.” I personally learned a lot more about leprechauns and Irish fairytales after I read this delightful children’s book.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Waldorf-Aligned

The Gaskitts Series

Gaskitts Children's Book

Published: 2005
Theme: First Chapter Books
Best for: 6 to 9

“Mr. Gaskitt was minding the baby. It was his turn. And doing the grocery shopping and opening the trunk and feeling in his pocket for the parking-lot ticket and tying his shoelace… and looking the other way.” Imagine the above sentence written with only 4 or 5 words on a line, and you can see why these first chapter children’s books are great for new readers

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet- Children's Book

Published: 1954
Theme: Space Travel
Best for: boys 8 and up

“Wanted: A small space ship about eight feet long, built by a boy, or by two boys, between the ages of eight and eleven…An adventure and chance to do a good deed await the boys who build the best space ship.” In this delightful early science fiction children’s book, we are introduced to space travel, impossible in 1954, and of course, becoming quite possible only a decade later…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Classics, Waldorf-Aligned

Appleblossom the Possum

Children's Book: Appleblossom the Possum

Published: 2015
Theme: Family
Best for: 7 to 9

“Appleblossom’s brothers and sisters move closer to one another as Mother Possum continues: “The first kind of monster is made of metal. They have wheels and bright eyes when they are out after dark. These eyes are blinding.” I liked the possum point of view in this recently published children’s book, that is sprinkled with enticing pencil sketches throughout…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud

The Legend of Hong Kil Dong

Children's Book - The Legend of Hong Kil Dong

Published: 2006
Theme: Historical Fiction Hero
Best for: 7 and up

“Once there was a boy who could not claim his Father. Kil Dong, as he was called, was the second son of a wealthy and powerful advisor to the king, Minister Hong. But Kil Dong’s mother was not the noble wife of the minister…” This historical fiction, beautifully illustrated ‘graphic’ novel, set in 16th century Korea, tells of the Korean Robin Hood…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Catcher

Children's Book: Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

Published: 1991
Theme: Deep friendship
Best for: 8 and up

“The egg shook in his hands. The dancing colors froze in place. He heard a scratching sound. Suddenly a single, sharp claw pierced the shell. The tiny talon sparkled like a jewel in the moonlight…” This particular children’s book on the theme of raising a dragon has a lovely simplicity and innocence about it…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Appeals to Boys, Contemporary, Waldorf-Aligned

Dragons at Crumbling Castle

Children's Book - Dragons a Crumbling Castle

Published: 2014
Theme: Parody
Best for: 7 and up

“To the Carpet people, the Carpet was bigger than a forest,… full of cities, towns, small villages, castles, and all sorts of tiny animals in the really thick parts that weren’t swept often…In the village of the Fallen Matchstick, the Carpet-dwellers were preparing to leave.” Here’s a glorious children’s book to discover…short stories written by renowned author Terry Pratchett when he was a teenager!

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud

Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter

Children's Book: Ronia The Robber's Daughter

Published: 1983
Theme: Independence
Best for: 10 and up

“They saw hundreds of horses charging through the forest until the ground rang under their hooves…They’re not frightened- they’re just running winter out of their bodies.” This magical children’s book is like stepping into an ancient fairytale, from who knows where, and who knows when. It has an eternal quality about it…

Posted in Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

Twelve Kinds of Ice

Children's Book: Twelve Kinds of Ice

Published: 2012
Theme: Ice Skating and Nature
Best for: 7 and up

“The first ice came on the sheep pails in the barn- a skim of ice so thin that it broke when we touched it.” Twelve Kinds of Ice is a small, inspiring ode to the beauty and simplicity of ice, ice-skating, children, nature, and simple living.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Cat Who Got Carried Away

Children's Book: The Cat Who Got Carried Away

Published: 2003
Theme: First Chapter Book
Best for: 6 to 9

“And the strange thing was – which Horace noticed- the strange thing was, the baby carriage…was barking.” This “first chapter book” is a treat – it has some humor, as well as unusual elements such as maps and timetables for the reader to follow. It has a simple plot, with an attempt for the story to be a mystery to be solved, but the clues are present on every page.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, First Chapter Book, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Dreamer

Children's Book - The Dreamer

Published: 2010
Theme: Live your dream
Best for: 8 and up

“He peeked out… and saw that the wind had also possessed his mittens. They looked like ghostly hands waving good-bye in the Chilean sky. Where were they headed? Whose hands would they cover next? ..’Where is the storehouse of lost and found?'” As I put this exquisite children’s book down, I wiped my eyes, and marveled at the quick journey I had just taken into the heart and mind of Pablo Neruda…

Posted in Ages 12-14, Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12, Biography, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Read-Aloud, Waldorf-Aligned

The Boxcar Children Beginning

Children's Book: Boxcar Children Beginning

Published: 2012
Theme: Boxcar Children prequel
Best for: 7 to 9

“They heard the sound of Papa’s old gray car in the driveway. Jessie and Henry climbed down the ladder and watched Papa walk up to the barn, carrying a cloth sack of nails and some boards for the stalls.” If you have children who are devoted to the Boxcar children series, and want to have a ‘prequel’, MacLachlan’s children’s book is just right.

Posted in Ages 5-8, Contemporary, Read-Aloud
Share this
Free Subscription to Book Reviews
Your email address will not be shared with anyone else. New book reviews are sent once a month.
Click Here to Subscribe

Click to view our newsletter archives.
Support Your Local Bookstores
Advertisement
Social Media Sites
Follow Me on Pinterest
Literature for Kids