Looking for meaning
Children with high ability in Fluid Reasoning crave content that is conceptual in nature. They often find early readers in Kindergarten and Year 1 too 'concrete' for their tastes and may even refuse to read them.
Young gifted children may particularly enjoy humorous books - the old Paul Jennings series of short stories such as 'The Round the Twist' and 'Uncanny' etc could really appeal. Other books to sample include: multi-layered picture books such as Luke's Way of Looking and Millie, Jack and the Dancing Cat as well as the Roland Harvey books. Jackie French is always good value and as a dyslexic adult she makes an excellent role model for gifted kids with learning disabilities. In the same vein Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson series, wrote these books specifically for his son who has ADHD and they tend to be a celebration of difference.
Books that gifted 6-8 year old girls may enjoy would have to include Jacqueline Harvey's series re the adventures of Alice-Miranda Heighton-Smith-Kennington-Jones. Also take a look at an oldie but a goodie - Anne of Green Gables - especially if your daughter loves words. Another oldish series to savour is the Lloyd Alexander books that wrap themselves around the Welsh myths. Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series will also be well-loved by those who enjoy magic and mischief and are grieving over the end of the Harry Potter series. For the 8-10 year olds take a look at Madeleine L'Engle's novels beginning with "A Wrinkle in Time" as it is about to be released in movie-form. Roald Dahl's Matilda is a brilliantly funny read - and is especially good read out loud, as is the BFG. For this age get stuck into the classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz as well as the classic fairytales - again reading out loud at bedtime is best.
For those a little older, the Pullman Amber Spyglass books are brilliant to discuss and ponder over. Mary Hoffman's Stravagnza series takes you to the worlds of Venice and Florence in a complex time-slip plot. Sally Gardner's book The Silver Blade is a thrilling adventure set in the time of the French Revolution. Another writer to watch is Irini Savvides. She writes superbly for older girls and SkyLegs and Aliki Says address many issues of adolesence. Finally for the history lovers - Ruth Park's Playing Beattie Bow is a wonderful look at early Sydney life - finding the places she mentions on a tour of The Rocks is a great back-up excursion.