Yet another person has asked me about books to buy for her elementary aged son whose ability to read fluently as a child has landed him in the realm of literary social and emotional situations that are far beyond him.
So I've decided to pull together a list.
First, if you're raising a boy or have something to do with education, you absolutely should read Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by Kindlon and Thompson.
This is a NY Times Bestseller written by two child psychiatrists with experience at school sites working with kids and families from a variety of backgrounds. They point out that boys who don't develop well emotionally often become aggressive, withdrawn, and/or avoidant teenagers and depressed, lonely middle-aged men. It discusses how to build emotional resilience and depth in boys, and identifies ways that boys can inadvertently have their emotional development stunted.
Books for Advanced Readers
of Average Social Maturity
The Jon Stewart of Picture Books is funny for older kids, too.
Putting yourself in someone else's shoes, literally!
A Scieszka-like "What Really Happened," as told by cynical big-bro Hades
Clever! The historical context of Shakespeare from the point of view of a young teen.
Of Willy Wonka fame. "Boy" and "Going Solo" are auto-biographies, good for ages 11+