Book recommendations for kids!

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Book recommendations for kids!

Post by Alatar »

Well, its that time of year again and I always have books on the shopping list.

Conor is looking for more of his Beast Quest books, so thats easy.

Cliodhna still has loads of books to read, but I always like to make sure there's something in there for her. At 11, is she too young for the Inkheart series?

Aoife isn't a problem, just some early readers for her.

My big problem is my niece, who's 15. What to get for her? Last year was the Twilight series, Inkheart the previous year.

Any ideas?
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Post by axordil »

15? Jane Eyre. And Wide Sargasso Sea. Why wait for higher education to mess them up when you can start now? ;)

Seriously, I waited till my niece was 16 to send her those. :shock:

Till then, look at the Wicked Lovely books.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

My daughter loved The Lovely Bones at about that age. It's got some fairly horrific elements (rape and murder of the young narrator, who is dead at the start of the story), though mostly implied rather than described. But it's (IMO) beautifully written and quite moving. But it may not be the thing; I'm kind of an odd mother.

My daughter lost patience with the Twilight series, and I'm not sure what she's enjoyed lately. I'll ask, and post if she has some good ideas.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by themary »

I loved the Lovely Bones at age 24 but I would agree a 16 year old would also enjoy it probably for the same reason I did :).

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is one of my favorite stories although I can honestly say I've never finished reading the book. It's a story I know so well I can pick it up whenever and be in the moment.

What about a giant step up in writing quality with Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles?

I was a big fan of the R.L. Stine Fear Street books. I'm not sure if they are too young for a 15 year old, but they are generally set in the high school and involve some sort of scariness.
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Post by axordil »

The rule for YA fiction: the protagonist should be two years older than the target audience.
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Post by TheEllipticalDisillusion »

[ot] How do you pronounce Aoife? I like the name, but cannot guess the pronunciation.
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Post by Frelga »

FWIW, Lufu went through Inkheart series at 10. It's really not that sophisticated.

I assume your 11yo already read Tiffany Aching books? Lufu also liked Color of Magic, Light Fantastic, and Mort, although Wyrd Sisters lost him.

What about the Earthsea trilogy by LeGuin? Yes, it's quintology now but the later books are more philosphical and less, IMO, exciting.

Ella Enchanted by Levine is a sweet story that a girl might enjoy (Lufu is afraid to catch cooties from it, I think).

Also anything by Astrid Lindgren.

15, hm, I adored Dumas at that age.
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Post by MaidenOfTheShieldarm »

I second Jane Eyre and might add Pride and Prejudice. I read both when I was in the area of 15.

If you want to stick to something more in the line of fantasy, I'd say The Golden Compass. I first read that when I was 12 but I love it to this day.
And it is said by the Eldar that in the water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the sea, and yet know not what for what they listen.
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Post by Nin »

The Golden Compass and its sequels are awesome.

Inkheart is nice, but not so challenging and quite easy. My boys loved the Eragon series, but you know.... boys..

15? Lord of the Rings? Ever heard about it?

At 15, I read 1984 (in fact, shortly before I was 15) and loved it, also Brave New World. And .... the Diary of Anne Frank. I also The Perfume around that age (it had just come out).

Edited: There is a German author whose fantasy books I adore. His name is Walter Moers. He writes funny, witty with loads of litteral allusions, sometimes absurde... He's well-known in Germany, but I doubt he is in the UK. Here are the English titles of his fantasy book:
The Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear (hilarious! wonderfully illustrated too!)
A Wild Ride Through the Night,
Rumo & his Miraculous Adventures : a novel in two books, (lying on my des to be read soon)
The City of Dreaming Books, (Wonderful! A must read for someone who likes books!)
The Alchemaster’s Apprentice, (Wonderful too! You have to eat before the food descriptions or you will eat while reading... they are just too good!)

If you google Walter Moers you might wonder if he is appropriate for kids because he made a satiric comic series named: The Little Asshole and one about Hitler. But I swear he is great - illustrating his absurd, funny, deep novels himself and packing them so full of allusions abotu litterature that I had to search for several things although I have university degree in German litterature. The whole wrapped in stories which make you ply of laughter. These are books which have it all. I only wonder ow the translation is because his use of German is prodigious.
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Post by Alatar »

Thanks for the recommendations guys, I'll check them out.

I might look at Inkheart for Cliodhna, since she already has an interest from the Movie.

For my niece I'm looking at the House of Night Series, which are more along the "more of the same" vein as Twilight (if you'll pardon the pun!)

Anyone familiar with them?
http://www.houseofnightseries.com/pages/marked.html

TED, Aoife is pronounced Eefa, more or less.
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Post by Crucifer »

I'm going to second Walter Moers. I've read Captain Bluebear and it's totally awesome. :)
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Post by solicitr »

Watership Down. A great, great book for adults, but certainly for older children as well.

An obscure but wonderful and Newberry-winning book by William Pène du Bois, The Twenty-One Balloons, an account of the fanciful discovery of a remarkable society on Krakatoa in the years before the eruption.
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Post by halplm »

Anyone else heard of The 39 Clues? I'm not exactly sure what reading level they are most appealing to, but I enjoy them, and I'm far outside their target :).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/39_clues

I like to describe them as a cross between National Treasure, The DaVinci Code, and Amazing Race. Some decent history throughout, although the plot is rather simplistic. There is also an online contest for finding more of the clues than are revealed in the books... but it is limited to a specific age group... but I'm certain an 11 year old would be in that group.

I'm glad someone mentioned LOTR, but I would throw Narnia and Harry Potter in there as well for the blatantly obvious :).
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Post by TheEllipticalDisillusion »

I always liked The Indian in the Cupboard series. I haven't read it since... 6th grade? I don't remember when I read it.

Thanks for the pronunciation.
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Post by Teremia »

soli, I absolutely love THE TWENTY-ONE BALLOONS. Thanks for making me think of those illustrations this morning.

I'm a dissenter on THE LOVELY BONES, though. Didn't care for it at all.

Recent stuff for a teenager who liked Twilight:

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater (werewolves -- quite lyrical)
Some people really like the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
and Jane Eyre is a good suggestion, as is anything Austen.

Differently dark: THE BOOK THIEF.

Twilight is not so much my own cup of tea, but I'll ask around and see if I can get you some more titles....

Has Cliodhna read THE BORROWERS? That's an old classic and very haunting.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Two "books for kids" I loved when I found them as an adult:

T. H. White's Mistress Masham's Repose. The Borrowers made me think of that; it involves tiny people, except these were brought back by Gulliver from Lilliput IIRC, and have lived on for generations on a little island, the title, on a huge, decaying English estate. A young girl finds them.

Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians. It's much richer and more interesting than the story as told by Disney.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by Frelga »

Lufu is reading 39 Clues. I don't care much for it but nothing against it either.

Watership Down is am excellent choice, but the scene with gas is deeply disturbing. Lufu was OK with it, but he does not, in general, gets upset by such imagery.

I don't need to mention Nation, of course. An excellent book and one in which the female protagonist is not just a boy in skirts, but a lady with a scientist's mind.

There's Percy and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, which my son likes.

There's also Maximum Ride series by that guy who writes adult thrillers. It's
a bit harsh but I mostly hold against it the way it tries to pass fantasy as science fiction, and the way two first books have basically the same plot and not much of it. Still, not a bad read.
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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Post by truehobbit »

Just throwing in another vote for anything by Lindgren for children. :D
Though I'm not sure if 11 isn't already too old for her.

Nin, yep, I couldn't believe it when I noticed that Moers of all people gets translated so much. (Not that I think he's bad, just that there's a lot of great stuff that doesn't. :) )

Another German classic that exists in English translation is "Krabat" (translated as "The Satanic Mill") - a somewhat mature fairy tale for older kids. :)

And speaking of German books, the ones by Michael Ende are good for ages 10 - 15, I'd say. :)
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Hi, hobby! :wave: :hug:
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Post by yovargas »

I'd recommend Arda Reconstructed.
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