The 10 Best Books for Gifted Children of 2021

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Some books, whether because of content or style, are perfect for gifted children. They may be full of wordplay, appeal to a child's love of fantasy or to a child's sense of right and wrong. They may, like mysteries, challenge children to think or to just enjoy the intricacies of a plot. For one or more of these reasons, the books listed here are ten of the best — and often the most popular — books for gifted children.

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Archibald Frisby

Happy father and son reading book together in bed
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This book is an easy ​read that is sure to appeal to all gifted children, but particularly those who prefer to read a book during recess rather than play basketball. Archibald's idea of fun is to read and learn about science. His mother, however, worries about him and sends him to camp to have "real" fun. His fellow campers and his mother learn that science is fun.

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Morris and Boris

All the Morris and Boris books are wonderful for beginning readers. The books are full of wordplay as Morris the moose takes things much too literally to the constant exasperation of his friend Boris the bear. In one book, Morris and Boris go to the circus. Boris points to the main tent and tells Morris it is the "big top." Then he points to an elephant that is facing away from and says, "And that is ..." but he is interrupted by Morris, who finishes the sentence with "...the big bottom."

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Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days!

Parents of gifted perfectionists don't find the trait funny, but this book offers a humorous look at perfectionism. Milo begins his quest for perfection when a book called "Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days" falls on his head in the library. He liked the idea of being perfect since he figured parents don't nag perfect children and sisters don't bug perfect brothers. Milo learns a lesson about being yourself. It's a good book to read with young perfectionists.

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The Phantom Tollbooth

Poor Milo sat bored in his room until he received a tollbooth which took him on an adventure. He got involved in a war between words (Kingdom of Dictionopolis) and numbers (Kingdom of Digitopolis). Milo must help bring Princess Rhyme and the Princess Reason back from exile to deliver the kingdoms from chaos. They had been banished for declaring words and numbers to be equally important. The book is full of great puns. It's for more advanced readers, but the young ones will also get the giggles.

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The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat

Gifted children as young as three will enjoy this book, especially those number lovers! The book consists of several vignettes, each on a different math topic. The stories have titles like "Penrose meets Fibonacci Rabbit" and "Penrose discovers the mathematics of soap bubbles." The stories are short and end with a problem or activity based on the story's topic. School-age kids who don't like math may find that they actually like it and may finally understand why they need to learn it.

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The Number Devil

What would we do without the number zero? This book answers that question and more in a fun and entertaining "novel" format! Robert hates math, but with the number devil as his guide, he learns all about mathematical principles. Kids who love math will enjoy this book and those who are not especially fond of math will look at it in a new way. How could they not with prime numbers known as "prima donnas," roots called "rutabagas, " and "unreasonable" irrational numbers?

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A Gebra Named Al

The book is about a girl named Julie who hated algebra—until she met Al the Gebra. Al takes Julie on a journey through the Land of Mathematics. Together with their Periodic horses, they encounter the Orders of Operations and Chemistrees that bear fruit resembling Bohr models. Supposedly for young adults, the math and science concepts in the book are fun and accessible to younger math and science lovers. The author, Wendy Isdell, wrote this book before she was in high school.

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A Wrinkle in Time

This book is one of the all-time favorites of gifted children. And it's small wonder since it has a little bit of everything—time/space travel, a unique family, and the lesson that friendship and love are greater forces than those trying to destroy them. On the surface, it is a coming of age story of a young girl, Meg, but it is also full of action.

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Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy

This book gets mixed reviews. Although it's called a novel, its plot is pretty thin and the characters don't have much depth. However, it makes the history of philosophy and major philosophical thought accessible to teenagers (and adults). It is a good book for those older gifted children who ask deep questions about the meaning of life.

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The Gifted Kids Survival Guide for Ages 10 & Under

Written with plenty of input from gifted children, this book can help young gifted children come to terms with their giftedness. These children often feel different and out of place. This book helps them understand why. It also helps them see they are not alone and explains how they can get along better with others.

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