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Old 12-07-2008, 09:01 AM
17,288 posts, read 28,974,005 times
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I mentor a group of four boys at a local disadvantaged elementary school. I have a twenty dollar budget for each of them to buy them at least one book each, and gifts for Christmas.

The boys are good overall, but of my co-workers who also mentor, MY group is the most rowdy and think they're little tough guys. Whereas friends of mine had 5th graders who enjoyed jazz and playing chess, mine like football and hip hop.

My focus is to find a good book the kids will want and like to read. They've told me they WOULD read a book if I gave them one, but I don't want to bore them to death.

When I was in 4th grade, I remember my favorite books being anything by Roald Dahl. I thought going in to this that they would like "The BFG"... but now they might think the subject matter is too "kid like" (despite the reading level maybe being right on point).

I was in the bookstore for a very long time the other night, and couldn't find anything in the alternative. Does anyone hear teach fifth graders of have young boys who enjoy reading? Can anyone suggest some "adventure" type books maybe?

Also, as a corrollary, what about other gifts for that age group that aren't ridiculous in price?

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Old 12-07-2008, 09:41 AM
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Two suggestions:
- Warrior series: Erin Hunter
- Overlander series: Suzanne Collins

Perfect for this age group. And series encourage kids to keep reading.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:41 AM
Location: Finally back "home" in Ohio
620 posts, read 1,930,040 times
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What a great thing you are doing by mentoring in the school. I have worked as a fifth grade teacher for the last several years. We need lots of volunteers in our schools!

I could give you a list of great books, but without really knowing these boys it would be difficult. You really need to understand their reading level and ability. You wouldn't want to give them a book that they would lose interest in because of the difficulty. If you know where they are with their reading , that would help.

If they are interested in sports, then try that route with books. Most of my students ( boys and girls) LOVE reading NONFICTION about the area they have a passion for. You can give nonfiction books about the interest they enjoy.

Also, many of my students LOVE graphic novels.

When you do decide what book to purchase for the boys, why not include a heart felt note in the cover. It will be something that they treasure for many years to come. When I write to my classroom kids, they tend to read the note over and over. I personally think it helps with self esteem.

You asked about the other gift too. Why not give them a book mark or a 5.00 gift card to the local bookstore where they could pick out their own book.

Also, I know this may seem silly, but when I worked with my Title 1 kids, they would LOVE any new school supplies. Even fancy pencils, pens were a hit. You have to understand ( which I am sure you do) often times, kids do not get NEW items often.

Thank you for doing what you are doing in the school. It takes a special person to commit.I am sure you are a making an impact on the lives of this group and you don't even realize it!
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:19 PM
Location: Lexington Ky
891 posts, read 3,008,938 times
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I have a 5th grade son. I second the recommendation for the Warrior series. He devoured every book and would beg for the next one in the series. He started the series last year but still looks forward to each new release.
Two other books he loved were "Hoot" (can't remember the author) and Holes by Louis Sachar.
One more thing: most boys I know that are around this age love Lego's. You can find small sets in the $9-$14 range and still have enough for a book.

Last edited by lexingtongal; 12-07-2008 at 01:43 PM..
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:59 PM
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 12,487,542 times
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My male students like:

House of the Scorpion
Maniac Magee
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
The Chalkbox Kid
Joey Pigza Loses Control
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