A question for the Ws who either have kids or read a lot of kids books...
For a while now I've taken up the mission of trying to get my nieces to read. To start them off I got them hooked on the Harry Potter books, & the two oldest ones really got into them & finished them all by the ages of 7 & 8.
The problem I've run into though is they are resistant to other books, & I'm having a hard time finding stuff for them to read.
Do any of you guys have any suggestions for another series or stand-alone book for kids 10 & under who can handle some pretty decent length books...?
You might try Terry Pratchett's Discworld kids books. There's "Maurice and His Educated Rodents" and the two books about young witch Tiffany Aching, "Wee Free Men" and "Hat Full of Sky". They are challenging, but not too much so. If you're hoping to get the kids thinking as well as reading, I don't think you could do much better.
The Discworld series is 30 or so books now and is generally a satirical look at our world through the gloss of another world that's different, but not in really important ways.
I'll also mention Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. The only caveat I have is that the third book would be quite a challenge for any child/early teen who doesn't read a lot. There's also a ton of religious dogma that might either go right over a kid's head or lead him or her to start asking some really difficult questions.
Firstly, the only cavassing of users you should be doing is with a heavy tarpaulin, a stack of bricks and a deep stretch of water" -- BOFH speaks the truth about surveys
My sister teaches 5th grade, and my old roommate teaches 4th grade, so I know a little bit about this stuff. Plus, even though I'm a secondary ed major, I've been in a few elementary classrooms lately.
I think the problem is that the Harry Potter books were so universal for a ton of kids that when a 7 year old reads them, they then have to go back to books their "own age", which are usually thinner and less substantive. I'd say the following books are for 9-12 year olds (as stated by Amazon and agreed by me).
When I was a kid, I loved the author Avi. He's written a ton of books now, and The True Confessions of Charlott Doyle is a favorite of a lot of kids I know. It's about a 13 year old girl on a pirate ship going across the sea. I think if they can handle Harry Potter than can handle this. My favorite Avi books were The Man Who Was Poe and Something Upstairs. Both of those books are a bit scary, so if they scare easily, it might not be wise. He's got a whole series of books that take place in the Dimwood Forest. I read Poppy the other day, and all of those books seem appropriate. Of course, if you are comparing them to Harry Potter, it's much shorter, has bigger words, and has drawings, but it's a nice story.
Also, when I was a kid I was absolutely nuts for the author John Bellairs. His business was basically kid horror/suspense, but there was nothing too intense. His books took place in the 1950s, and concentrated on one of two little boys and the strange goings on in their lives. Any of his books would keep me glued to the pages for hours. And, even though he's dead, apparently somebody else has written a whole bunch of sequels with the same characters that I might actually have to pick up.
I was never into them, but I've seen a lot of Harry Potter-heads go to the Chronicles of Narnia in between releases of Harry.
My sisters' fifth graders really like two recent books by Kate DiCamillo: Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux. They're award winning books, and great for 3rd grade and up. I was at my niece's book fair/Thanksgiving pageant a few weeks ago, and my sis raved about those books to me as we waited for the play to start. She teaches Winn Dixie in class.
I have started reading "Peter and the Star Catchers" by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson to my 6 year old - it's the Peter Pan Pre-quel (the authors have recently signed to write another)- and I am having trouble not sneaking in a chapter or two myself after she goes to sleep.
Folk singers are always liberal pansies, but not me.....I sing for my fellow conservatives...care to hear "Shoot the Hippie out of the Redwood Tree" ?
The series that I read back then that I still re-read today (and that might appeal to Harry Potter fans) are The Chronicles of Narnia (but read 'em in the original published order -- no chronological-storyline-order bullshit); the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander (The Black Cauldron movie was based, crappily, on one of the books); and the Moomintroll books ("Comet in Moominland" is, I think, the first one, but "Finn Family Moomintroll" might be a better starting place).
Oh, and I second's Roy's Bellairs recommendation -- especially "The House With a Clock in its Walls." His books also often have great Edward Gorey illustrations.
P.S. And Daniel Pinkwater.
Last 5 movies seen: 7 Plus Seven - Rashomon - Kiss Me Kate - Joe Gould's Secret - God is on the Air
Originally posted by WhitebaconThat reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask. What is the right order? The set I have starts out with "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". I think that's right, no?
Yeah. 1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 2. Prince Caspian 3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 4. The Silver Chair 5. The Horse and His Boy 6. The Magician's Nephew 7. The Last Battle
Chronological storyline order comes about because The Magician's Nephew actually amounts to being a prequel of the other books, IIRC. The rest seem to go mostly in order.
NOTE: The above post makes no sense. We apologize for the inconvenience.
My absolute favorite set of books when I was a preteen was the Swallows and Amazons series of books by Arthur Ransome. I think they are still very popular in Britain, I'm not so sure on this side of the Atlantic.
Click Here (amazon.com) for the Amazon (ha!) site.
Click Here (arthur-ransome.org) for an Arthur Ransome Society site ... jeez if the guy has a society named after him the books are bound to be good right?
If I could fix me up a week of twilight hours we'd sit on the point and watch the sun continually flounder. Bathed in gold we'd plug into some kind of power and connect with those days back before all of this went sour.
The "A Wrinkle in Time" series is pretty good, although the concepts of mitochondria might be a little much(?). Other than that Roald Dahl books have never steered me wrong while reading them or reading to others.
(edited by Jericholic53 on 4.12.04 0227) it says so right here in the wcw handbook!
Originally posted by Jericholic53The "A Wrinkle in Time" series is pretty good, although the concepts of mitochondria might be a little much(?). Other than that Roald Dahl books have never steered me wrong while reading them or reading to others.
(edited by Jericholic53 on 4.12.04 0227)
I second both of these choices. I remember reading these at some point during elementary school, and loved them.
Originally posted by Karlos the JackalOh, and I second's Roy's Bellairs recommendation -- especially "The House With a Clock in its Walls." His books also often have great Edward Gorey illustrations.
Holy crap! Not one, but two people who read the Bellairs books growing up! I'll see the seconding, and I'll, uh, third the recommendation. This was the series of books that got me out of reading just Bloom County and Far Side collections and actually reading, you know, books. Excellent kid stuff.
I'd begun to think I had hallucinated all of those books, because I wanted to get one for my half-brother, who's nine, but I didn't see them in any of the bookstores I visited last weekend. I'm glad to know that I'll have a productive visit when I go to Amazon.com.
My poor children have always been required to read, but haven't always takem my recomendations.
Yes, they have read The Potter books and Artimis Fowl. The son has been through most of Twain's stuff as well as the Left Behind series (he read those this summer). He's also reading the Bible through right now.
My daughter's into Hemmingway, but when she was a bit younger, she read the Dragonriders of Pern series (starting with the books about the Harpers - Dragondrums) She also likes other stuff that looks light to me - primarily magazines.
My only requirement for them was Shakespeare. I don't think you can go wrong reading it with your kids, and explaining the language a little.
Now, is it ok for me yell THEATRE! in a crowded fire?
His website (harryharrison.com) is reporting that that he passed away yesterday from unknown causes. He was one of my favorite authors simply because, while he was broadly a Scifi writer, his body of work was so eclectic.