Top 5 Wednesday: Children and Middle-Grade books

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is top 5 books for the Children.

This is an excellent topic. It made me think about the books that made me fall in love with reading. What are the books that I will give to my friends’ children as they get older (Other than those 7 books about the Boy Wizard)? This list became a list of books I read in 3rd grade. From the looks of it, I read approximately 700 books when I was in 3rd grade. Go 9 year old me.

 Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Okay, first of all, I just now when getting the cover off Goodreads that this is a series of books and I never knew that and I’m kind of sad about that. You’d better believe when I gift this to my friend’s child this Christmas, she’s getting all 3.

This book was assigned reading in third grade. The movie with Michelle Trachtenberg and Rosie O’Donnell came out around the same time. So it was, like, a thing in 1996. I loved this book. This book made me pick up a notebook and start writing.  I mean, I may have missed the main point of the book by doing that, but I might not be doing this if I didn’t read Harriet, the Spy. Considering this book came out in 1964 and held up in the mid-nineties when I read it, I think this would still hold the imagination of the next generation.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I would safely bet that I read 20 of these books, in 2nd and 3rd grades. These stories (according to Wikipedia) have been around since the 1920’s, and book #145 was published in 2016. Between books 69 and 70 there is a 50-year gap, and I’m going to take a leap that Gertrude Chandler Warner didn’t write the books after book number 69 in 1948 (mostly because she passed way in 1971). All the ones I read were in the first 69. The later ones have all been published after I moved on to a different series.

These books are about 4 siblings that have no family and live in a train car at the start of the first book. Pieces of these books still stand out, like the youngest sibling’s chipped pink cup. They are sent to live with a grandfather in the first books, and from there they go on crime solving adventures. I feel like these books were in the same category as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. There were kids that read those and kids that read The Boxcar Children. I read The Boxcar Children. I’m starting to think these books made me fall in love with crime stories.


Ramona Quimby by Beverly Clearly

I was looking for Ramona Quimby age 8 and discovered that it wasn’t the first book in the series, so I have included the first book as the cover featured. I probably read all of them, but Age 8 stands out the most in my head.

These are books about an energetic, odd little girl, Ramona, and her older sister. I think I was supposed to relate to Beezus, but I found something to connect to with Ramona as I sat in the reading corner and gobbled a bunch of these books up.



Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

This is another set of stories similar to Ramona and Beezus but about brothers. Fudge is a more popular/ gets more attention younger brother of the main character, and I remember really relating to that because my brother was always able to be the center of attention while I wasn’t ever like that, even as little kids. I was always known as my younger brother’s sister. Even now if town I say my name and they say “Oh, {my brother’s name} sister?”

Bonus, it’s written by Judy Blume and is there a better author for children than Judy Blume? {The answer is no btw}


The Little House books By Laura Ingalls Wilder

These books. Okay, so I was reading these books (there are 9 of them) when I discovered Harry Potter, and I didn’t finish the series. I started reading them in 3rd grade and loved the story. I related to Laura and it there was a bit of adventure, and I knew it was a true story.  They are fun stories, interesting historical stories about what it was like to live in the new American West in the early 20th century.





So I’ve decided that with the top 5 and top 10 lists that I will add a Special Bonus! where I ask my friend Jen what she would add to the list and include that in the post.

Jen’s suggestion for books that got her into reading is a series that I have never read, but I remember my friends in elementary school reading.


Redwall by Brian Jacques

So I read a Wikipedia article about these books and I’m still not 100% sure what these books are, but from what I gather they are books the talk about medieval times but with mice. Which, honestly, sounds pretty cool. Jen recommends them. There is magic and talking animals (except some talking horses), elements of supernatural and ghosts. It sounds pretty fantastic.

What books you remember reading in 3rd grade? Did they set up your reading choices for like like mine apparently did?

Until next time Internet,