Great Books for Gifted Kids

Gifted readers are always looking for their next book. These voracious consumers of the written word will quickly devour the standard fare, then often turn to books that are above their age level.¬†A book list of high-quality, age-appropriate books is our most frequent request from parents. We’ve assembled a list of favorites. Most of the commentary below is from our kids ūüôā


The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stuart

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. This is a puzzle-solving, imaginative series about gifted children. Adults will enjoy as much as their children.

Chasing Vermeer, Blue Balliett

A fun mystery with a dash of history and code-breaking.

The Name of This Book is Secret, Pseudonymous Bosch

Frindle, Andrew Clements

We love Andrew Clements.¬†Frindle is exceptionally special,¬†and a great read for gifted kids who will probably identify with many of the protagonist’s feelings. Funny, thought-provoking, and amazing! 100% appropriate.

No Talking, Andrew Clements

Another Clements classic. Sends positive messages and shows an understanding between kids and adults. Intelligent and compassionate characters. Safe for all ages.

Half Magic, Edward Eager

This book is a lunchtime read-aloud favorite at our school. Appropriate and engaging for all ages.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L Konigsburg

Another kid favorite that is often re-read year after year.

Because of Mr.Turrupt, Rob Buyea

The characters are funny and have diverse personalities. You feel like you are inside what is happening and feel the emotions of the story. 

Parents should know: Near death of the teacher, but lovely support. No swearing or profanity. Parent problems.

A Snicker of Magic, Natalie Lloyd

Homework Machine, Dan Gutman

Great book with a great plot and characters. Cheating on homework, but shows that bad things happen when you do.  

Spy School, Stuart Gibbs

This is the first book in an AMAZING series. Is there any kid who doesn’t like Spy School? Funny, compelling. Make sure you start it in the morning, or you’ll be up all night until you finish it.

The Spy School series is still growing. Spy School Goes South is the most recent release. My kids re-read this series every year.

Dash, Kirby Larson 

Based in Seattle soon after Pearl Harbor. Shows how it was in World War II. Goes from happy to sad many time throughout the book. Funny and lovable characters. Some non-Japanese people help the main character, which makes it an amazing story. Parents should know: Some racist content against the main characters.  Smoking and stealing involved.

Postcard, Tony Abbott

Postcard has an interesting plot and characters with twists that will keep readers on their toes until the book is finished. Parents should know: Mild swearing. Adults smoking. Man shot at and hit in the head with dull objects and man killed in a war. Adults threaten minors.

The Hobbit

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne

Treasure Island

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

Kinder – 3rd Grade

Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight: And Other Funny Bedtime Poems, Debbie Levy

Diary of a Spider, Doreen Cronin

The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Beverly Cleary

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Betty MacDonald

Geronimo Stilton (series), Geronimo Stilton – Fun, colorful mystery/adventure stories that make kids smile. Safe for all ages.

A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein

Ramona the Brave, Beverly Cleary

Squish #1: Super Amoeba, Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Jedi Academy, Jeffrey Brown

Frindle, Andrew Clements

No Talking, Andrew Clements

We’d recommend anything by Andrew Clements, but Frindle and No Talking are exceptional.

The Homework Machine, Dan Gutman

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Richard Atwater

The BFG, Roald Dahl

4th – 6th Grade

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riodian

Masterminds, Gordan Korman

A Week in the Woods, Andrew Clements

Spy School, Top Secret Collection, Stuart Gibbs

Fun Jungle series, Stuart Gibbs

Dash (Dogs of WWII), Kirby Larson – This book is about internment during WWII. While tear-provoking in parts, the story is discussion-provoking and inspirational. I’d recommend that parents pre-read for sensitive kids.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Reader’s Edition, Michael Pollan

Artemus Fowl (3 book series), Eoin Colfer

My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George

Flush, Carl Hiaasen – Flush and Hoot are environmental mystery stories. ¬†I think of Hiassen as a modern-day Jean Craighead George ūüôā

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster РA classic of word-play, philosophy and creativity.  The content is safe for all ages, but older children 4th grade+ will be more likely to understand the layers of meaning in this book.

The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin

Adult Level Books for Advanced Readers

These books are appropriate, but some passages can be intense. Please pre-read these books with your own child in mind!

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing

River of Doubt, Candice Millard

A riveting adventure about Theordore Roosevelt’s exploration of the Amazon. Historical fiction at its finest from Candice Millard, a former NY Times and National Geographic writer.

Destiny of the Republic, Candice Millard

George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved The American Revolution, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

We use Amazon Affiliate links for some of our recommendations. Funds raised from Amazon will be donated to a charity chosen by the children. The current pick is the International Rescue Committee. We also love the Oregon Humane Society!