Kids become independent readers at their own pace. In a second or third grade classroom there can be a variety of reading levels, ranging from kids who are sounding out words to those flying through the final book in the Harry Potter series.
Students often get assigned a reading level based on assessment tools like Lexile, DRA, or Guided Reading and may be encouraged to read books at their level.
There are different schools of thought on the importance of reading books at your level. I belong to the group that believes kids should be encouraged to read whatever interests them to help develop a lifelong love of reading, rather than stressing about whether a book is “the right level” or not. However, it can be a challenge for advanced readers in early elementary grades to find more complex texts that they want to read and that are still appropriate for their maturity level (i.e. not full of romantic drama, excessive violence, or swearing).
Here are 20 books recommended by young readers on Bookopolis.com, an online community where young readers share book reviews and recommendations with friends. The picks range from classic mysteries to modern fantasy to nonfiction. These books are written at a 5th-8th grade reading level, but the content is appropriate for the 7- to 9-year-old crowd.