Need book recommendations for my 9yo reluctant reader ds

(18 Posts)
Springing Sat 21-Jun-14 16:40:45

He's bilingual and at a German-speaking school, though English is his mother tongue, which may explain why it's taken him longer to learn to read. He's only just started really feeling comfortable with reading this year, and reads a few pages every night but only because I tell him to!
He recently finished the first Tom Gates book, and is now reading David Almond 'My Dad's a Birdman' - both in German. (Am not going to get him reading English books until he's really confident in German, though he does read and write in English too.)

He's coming up to the fourth year of school and I really want to have him keep reading over the summer holidays so he starts the autumn term feeling confident and not struggling. I've just spent the last two hours looking up books and am having real trouble finding things for him - he's interested in spies and war, but the Alex Rider books etc., all seem way too grown up for him. He's quite sensitive and can be anxious, so I don't really want stories where one or both parents have died, which seems to rule out about 80% of children's books!

I've just ordered Roald Dahl's Matilda - I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to him a few years ago, as well as George's Marvellous Medicine. The Twits was one of the first books he read alone and voluntarily picked up and kept reading. We also have the BFG already, might be worth another try.

But what I'd really like is something exciting, that he can't put down - some sort of adventure. I was a very early reader and had read all the Enid Blyton Adventure series by the time I was 7 - I started with the Valley of Adventure when I was about 6 and thought it was amazing. But I'm sort of reluctant to go down the Enid Blyton route; from my adult perspective, the prose seems rather flat, and of course there are a lot of old-fashioned ideas. Am not fiercely against it though, if you think those are the best in that genre? Or are there contemporary equivalents? (I can't find any!) Am after innocent fun and rollocking adventures.

I liked the look of Spy School, but it hasn't been translated into German yet (another hurdle). I really need to order something asap so it arrives before we leave for the summer on Friday.

Sorry this is so long but would be really grateful for your suggestions. Thank you!

chubbleigh Sat 21-Jun-14 17:06:53

If he likes Tom Gates he will love Diary of a Wimpy Kid. There is also Timmy Failure - Mistakes were made, that has been a hit in this house. The Grest Hamster Massacre (reduced me to hysterics as well). Diamond Brothers Detectives. All are series so more if you love them.

bodiddly Sat 21-Jun-14 17:14:59

He would probably like the David Walliams books - most children like his sense of humour!

Mojito100 Sat 21-Jun-14 17:22:16

The 39 clues are fantastic. 10 in a series and my son who is dyslexic loved them. I started him on them at the age of 9. They are scholastic books which is good and have a lot of history in them (not all true but enough to intrigue). They also come with cards in them that you can go onto the website for and find clues to help along the way. Very engaging.

There are more series out now that link to the original series and you can get them in audio books which has also helped my DS.

They are about a brother and sister who compete against family members to find clues scattered all over the world.

Indith Sat 21-Jun-14 17:26:38

is mr Gum in german? ds1 is a bit younger than yours at 7 but he loves those, they make him giggle like the twits does.

stoopstofolly Sat 21-Jun-14 17:29:02

Neil Gaiman's "Fortunately, the milk". 8.5 yr old DD thought it was the funniest thing she'd ever read!

ChaffinchOfDoom Sat 21-Jun-14 17:29:54

the 'choose your own adventure' range are exciting loads on amazon

also where's wally, fun books

Bluestocking Sat 21-Jun-14 17:31:19

How about graphic novels? Tintin and Asterix might hit the spot.

JacksLady Sat 21-Jun-14 17:32:31

I came on here to recommend 2 lots of books & they have already been saidsmile
Those are The Mr Gum books & Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books.

Springing Sat 21-Jun-14 22:03:40

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions, which were all spot on - we actually have the David Walliams books already in English (I read them to him and his brother as bedtime stories) - he likes them a lot, but don't think he will bother to read them again in German. We also have Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but I think it loses something in translation (ie much of the humour!). We've got Mr Gum too, I think! Not sure whether it's German or English, will have to go and hunt it out.

I think he might like the 39 clues and the choose your adventure ones. And I have ordered the Fortunately the Milk one to get him started on the plane :-) Thank you!

Ploom Sat 21-Jun-14 22:21:48

We're in a very similar situation - my dc are bilingual English/German and my ds's (9 & 7) are reluctant readers.

Ds1 finally started reading voluntarily with the Lustiges Taschenbücher - he all of a sudden couldnt get enough of them. He moved onto Diary of a Wimpy Kid and has now moved onto the Beast Quest series. He is a very able reader in German - in English requires a bit more time but still isnt as much of a bookworm as my dd. I just make sure that I always make him take a book in the car and he often reads it the whole journey.

The other recommendations look good - will be throwing some money in Amazon's direction!

IndridCold Mon 23-Jun-14 13:33:15

Can also recommend the Cressida Cowell How to Train Your Dragon series, if available.

What about Emil and the Detectives?

iseenodust Tue 24-Jun-14 11:34:08

The Diamond Brother series by Antony Horowitz.

DS liked a series called 'On the run' by Gordon Korman. By the same author Zoo Break.

The Tintin books have spies & could be a good idea - just be aware some contain outdated views.

emmaMBC Tue 24-Jun-14 14:58:28

Have you discovered Michael Morpurgo? His books are incredibly engrossing - Kensuke's Kingdom is a great one to begin with.

Also, as a fan of David Almond already, how about The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas? Almond is on top form with this one!!

Springing Wed 25-Jun-14 11:47:46

Thanks again, these are all really good suggestions.

iseenodust Wed 25-Jun-14 13:46:38

Michael Morpurgo is great but many of his books do include death.

I second David Walliams, and I will recommend Dick King Smith. They are easy, and feel good, which is what you need really to build up a bit of passion for reading.

Thatoneoverthere Wed 25-Jun-14 14:11:22

I have just given my reluctant reader The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle, it is easy and she devoured it in a day. It's good naughty silly fun and Roddy Doyle has more complex books for them to move on to if they enjoy it, she has now gone through the series and has moved on to A Greyhound of a Girl.

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