Books for a reluctant dd.(22 Posts)
I second Jills Gymkhana and Ruby Ferguson. (Came on here to suggest that actually). LOVED them. Also, I recently got back into the Jinny at Finmory series... jinny is 11 at the start of the series. They are BRILLIANT. They do not talk down to children at all, and are filled with all sorts of things. Adventure, and great, unusual stories. They are a GREAT read.
re; Reluctant Reader year 6, if he is into science, he might appreciate the Professor Branestawm books by Norman Hunter, about an eccentric professor who makes crazy inventions which always go wrong.
Black Beauty is still an absolutely wonderful book (autobiography of a horse). I would read her the first few chapters out loud. It is old, but not wordy or slow moving, a great story, and really changed my life, as it got me to think from the animal's point of view.
I loved the Jill's Gymkhana series by Ruby Ferguson when I was eight. they are a little dated now, but really the things in them - getting a pony when you are hard up, learning to ride, gymkhanas, pony clubs, pony trecks etc, don't change that much.
jessie40 -Depends how short and how reluctant! Look at the books published by Barrington Stoke, Ransom, ReadZone, Evans... there are other publishers dealing only with this market but those are the ones I can think of immediately. A&C Black do a reluctant-reader list, as do Hachette.
Reluctant readers come in all flavours. Some books for 11 year olds have only 30 words per page, others have 150 words per page. It's important to get the level right. Franklin Watts do some of their mainstream non-fiction titles in reluctant-reader versions, too. If you just want to get him reading, books of trivia work well. My 1001 Horrible Facts (Arcturus) is very popular with kids that age as everything is in tiny chunks. There are others in the series that are on more specific topics, such as 1001 Science Facts and 1001 History Facts.
Classic children's stories like Little Princess are not good for reluctant readers as the rather antique syntax and vocabulary, and relatively slow pace, put them off. If she's quite a good reader, just not keen, you could try the Moomin books by Tove Jansson (not about horses, but quite addictive and as each book is a series of free-standing stories she can tackle a little bit at a time). If she really wants horses, look books by Diana Kimpton (Pon-Mad Princess series); or Katherine Roberts' I am the Great Horse (the story of Alexander the Great's horse, told from his own point of view) - possibly slightly older, so if she's not a good reader it won't be appropriate yet.
If she's not a good reader as well as reluctant, look at the books published by Barrington Stoke, Ransom, and Evans (now closed, but books still on Amazon). Barrington Stoke and Ransom - and the new ReadZone - have Facebook pages so you can follow what's coming out.
Try the Mortal Choas books by Matt Dickinson - full of adventure and with short chapters (sometimes just a couple of pages) - ideal for reluctant readers but not babyish. There are three books somfar but although they follow,the same pattern they dont need to be read in sequence:
I have a reluctant reader (year 6). Can anyone recommend some interesting but shortish books.
He enjoys sport, history and has a great sense of humour .
Some great suggestions-thank you. I am looking forward to coming back to the UK for the summer and going to a library/bookshop to browse. I was blown away by the fantastic resourses at our little local library last year.
Try Geronimo Stilton series, they are fab according to my DD.
she loves Pipi Longstocking, the beast quest series, Horrible Histories.
We buy too many, but she also goes to the library and chooses there.
Special time together is me reading a chapter of a classic, I get to choose. We read Heidi, the adventures of huckleberry finn, Tom Sawyer, the burrowers.
Just had another idea, because we as parents love japanese books, we got her into the Hayao Miyazaki movies (Spirited away, My neighbour Tortoro, Nausicaa, etc). Since then she is an avid reader of Manga cartoons but also acts like Christmas has come early whenever we give her foreign tales. The library has books like traditional african/chinese/ singaporean/ indian etc stories and she absolutely adores them.
5 children and it
it depends so much on her reading age and her maturity I suppose but try anything and everything, there will be something to grab her attention somewhere. It might be find stuff which is easier than she CAN read to get her into it a bit more and then she can move up to more complex books once she is more interested in reading things and has discovered what she likes. I remember going through patches of reading stuff above my age but then I clearly remember when I was about 9-11 really wanting to just read Dick King Smith nice simple fun books, depended on how much was going on at school I think, I found many of the books too much for me, I couldn't be bothered, they were too thick, text too small, story just too heavy going whilst my sister read them fine. equally some children would have refused to read what I was reading saying they were too young for them so if she wants to read books from the 5-7 age range in shops thats fine, so long as she enjoys it
I was looking at those Ottoline books to remember for when my girls are older as I think I would have liked them.
Horse wise - My sister had a load of books about horses when she was a child which I recently gave to a charity shop as we couldn't keep everything for my kids to read (and I did keep 6 packing boxes worth of books) and I am trying to remember them. I am pretty certain that the BOOK of National Velvet is ok for youngish girls, I am not sure though so you might have to check. The film is different.
Might be worth looking round the charity shops because there were certainly loads of nice horse stories around in the '80s.
would she be interested in Ballet? I used to love Drina books, you would have to get them second hand though as out of print but nice long chapter books so much more grown up than some of the current ballet story ones yet very nice safe books to read http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ballet-Drina-Books-Jean-Estoril/dp/035611984X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365319042&sr=1-1&keywords=Drina
other classic ones (just thinking it might be the current style of writing that doesn't appeal to her so much so perhaps try some of the older ones)
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess
White Fang - not sure about age on this one, I think I was a bit older when I read it.
Anne of Green Gables
DD2 loves Ottoline and DD1 who has always loved myths and legends loved The Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub.
How about the Pony Pals series by Jeanne Betancourt or the Linda Chapman books about unicorns?
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Horrible Histories, if they won't upset her.
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Thank you all. DeWe those tiltes bring back some great memories. I loved Monica Edwards. The Ottoline books sound fab, and the Roman mysteries would also interest ds. Brilliant stuff!
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The Ottoline books are completely brilliant DD3 (8 too) is mesmerised by them and DD2 (10) is prone to covering her face in her hair, and pretending to be Mr Monroe, one of the characters. There are loads of brilliant drawings by Chris Ridell, and the books are very very funny.
What about Little House books? All mine have been enthralled by them. As she prefers non-fiction you can tell her that it's an autobiography, and about true life then-she can even reseach on the internet.
Other ones my dd1 loved were the Roman Mysteries. They've got a lot of information on the Romans round some mysteries (warning a few are a bit gruesome).
Alternatively pony books are fairly easy to get on ebay. Try Monica Edwards (Wish for a pony's her first and the easiest to read), Pat Smythe (who was a show jumper in real life, but wrote some children's fiction) Pullein-Thompson sisters, Monica Dickens...
My friend's daughter is 8 and has hundreds of horse and pony book both fiction and non fiction.
A year ago I posted about my very reluctant reader (ds) who found reading a chore. Thanks to the help I got, he has gone from Captain Underpants to Alex Ryder within a short time, and reads about 5 books a week. So we are delighted but broke.
My next challenge is dd who is 8. She may be easier to break, as is more interested in books in general, but nothing can mesmerise her in the way the Wimpys or Tom Gates did for ds at a similar stage.
Has anyone any suggestions? She loves ponies, and will read non fiction more readily than fiction. Still loves me to read to her...
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