Classics for 12 year old dd?

(64 Posts)
SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 21:44:31

Dd (12) loves reading, but prefers girlie stuff like Cathy Cassidy. I'd like her to start reading more varied stuff including some classics. Any suggestions what she could start with that would catch her attention and make her want more?!

She enjoyed The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, I can't persuade her to read The Hobbit though.

Waswondering Wed 13-Nov-13 21:46:51

Has she discovered Anne? And Emily of New Moon? Little Women?

Takver Wed 13-Nov-13 21:51:44

I have to say dd loves fantasy & reads loads of it, but wasn't inspired by the Hobbit particularly.

What about:
Anne of Green Gables series (dd loved them)
Little Women plus sequels (ditto, I would have thought them too dated, but appears not)
Flambards series (re-issued as a Puffin Classic recently)
Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books if she hasn't already read them?

I have the opposite problem and try to sneak fluffy stuff into the welter of dystopian angst grin

ReluctantCamper Wed 13-Nov-13 21:51:45

All that Katy did
Anne of green gables (god how I loved that book!)
A wizard of earth sea (although if she's not keen on the hobbit you may struggle with this one)
The jungle book
King Solomon's mines

Hmm, I may have given too much thought to what books my 2 year old DC should read.....

Takver Wed 13-Nov-13 21:51:58

X post with Waswondering!

ReluctantCamper Wed 13-Nov-13 21:52:47

Oh yes, little house on the prairie, great suggestion.

Takver Wed 13-Nov-13 21:52:50

DD also just got a box of hand me down Chalet School books and is happily working her way through them, appears she is not too old for them (tho she is a little younger, 11.5)

SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 22:10:26

Thanks. She loves Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna and Little Women. She's not keen on What Katy Did or Alice in Wonderland. I'll take a look at the others

SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 22:11:18

Yes, she's read all the Chalet School books. Also read and loved Charlotte Sometimes.

oscarwilde Wed 13-Nov-13 22:20:05

Children of the New Forest ?
Jock of the Bushveld
The Silver Brumby series
Charlotte's web
Judy Blume stories
To kill a Mockingbird

Phineyj Wed 13-Nov-13 22:25:59

Some of Astrid Lindgren's books? Possibly Rosemary Sutcliffe. Elizabeth Goudge - Linnets amd Valerians. Seconding Children of the New Forest as well.

Hassled Wed 13-Nov-13 22:27:23

Definitely To Kill A Mockingbird.
Is she too young for Catcher in the Rye?

notyummy Wed 13-Nov-13 22:30:32

White Fang
Call of the Wild
Water ship Down
When Hitler Stole pink Rabbit/The Machingunners/The Silver Sword- all brilliantly exciting intros to WW2 but not too graphic

SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 22:30:40

She's read Charlottes Web and most of the Judy Moody books. Also some Astrid Lindgren. Not sure about Catcher, may have to read it again myself to check.

Some of the others I haven't read, will check them out.

SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 22:32:03

She loved The Silver Sword but won't read Watership Down.

SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 22:33:30

I'll look for When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit. I read it ages ago and loved it. She enjoyed Anne Franks Diary so should enjoy it.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 13-Nov-13 22:34:43

Not classics but what about The a Children of Green Knowe and The Box of Delights?

MacaYoniandCheese Wed 13-Nov-13 22:37:07

Jane Eyre?

Oh please, NOT Watership Down! <shudders> <goes for a lie-down> wink.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 13-Nov-13 22:37:07

Sorry for the random 'a'...

SantanaLopez Wed 13-Nov-13 22:37:43

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

I second Rosemary Sutcliffe, loved her.

Ballet Shoes- Noel Streatfield(?)

SantanaLopez Wed 13-Nov-13 22:38:23

Possibly Pride and Prejudice?

Black Beauty might go well with the Secret Garden etc.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 13-Nov-13 22:39:25

DD (similar kind of age) suggests other Eva Ibbotsons

Journey to the River Sea
The Star of Kazan
The Dragonfly Pool

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Wed 13-Nov-13 22:53:30

Wait shock You say she's read all the Chalet School books?

All 56--ish--? (Forgotten exact number.) Impressive.

I would recommend I Capture The Castle -Dodie Smith; Lorna Doone - R. D Blackmore; The Pied Piper - Neville Shute; all the Richard Hannay books - John Buchan and a future classic by Meg Rosoff - How I Live Now (conveniently just made into an apparently inferior film.)

booksteensandmagazines Wed 13-Nov-13 22:58:08

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Some more modern but still excellent books with good story line and writing:

All Fall Down by Sally Nicholls
maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
she is not invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

SolidGold Wed 13-Nov-13 22:59:07

We borrowed the Chalet School books from a friend, she said it was the whole set. Not sure how many, but there were a lot.

Some more good ideas I'll look out for. She's asked for a kindle for Christmas, so I'll get some of these for it.

Enb76 Wed 13-Nov-13 23:00:51

Try Alan Garner and Jenny Nimmo.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 13-Nov-13 23:06:48

Jane Eyre. DD1 couldn't put it down. Also, she might like "A Girl of the Limberlost" - I absolutely loved this and still re-read it. I also got some of the same author's books free on Kindle, some of which were linked to the Limberlost one.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 13-Nov-13 23:06:53

dd is voracious. 15 now but I'll ask tomorrow. I just can't think of the titles and authors at the moment although they are all on the tip of my tongue.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Wed 13-Nov-13 23:15:10

Wow! I think it took me till my mid 30s to read them all - but it was the tracking down that made it slow. And then once I had them all I lost them somehow.sad

Enb76 This Jenny Nimmo - haven't heard of her at all. Must be beyond wonderful to be mentioned on the same page as Alan Garner? Tell...

I forgot A Tale of Two Cities. And Celandine - Steve Augarde. And The Children Who Lived in a Barn. And The Family From One End Street. And all the other Michelle Magorians if she's read Goodnight Mr Tom. And lots of children never get round to The Wind in The Willows which is really dark....

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 14-Nov-13 08:01:56

Chinese Cinderella - couple in the series I think but dd loved them. Can't get any more info out of her at present.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 08:09:40

Oh yes, she loved The Family from One End Street. I think we have Goodnight Mr Tom, will check, but no others by her.

Great ideas, thanks.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 14-Nov-13 08:21:43

Alongside Alan Garner:

Susan Cooper - The Dark is Rising series.

Philip Pullman - Northern Lights trilogy.

Also - I think 12 was about the time I got into Jean Plaidy, Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen - they're such a calming relief from the hurly-burly of school.

oscarwilde Thu 14-Nov-13 12:59:18

Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-time would be suitable I think.
The Philip Pullman Trilogy is excellent
Presume she has read Harry Potter?

I read Jilly Cooper at 12. Prob not a great recommendation though smile I was voracious reader and read everything I could get my hands on. My mum had a fit when she realised I had read Lace simultaneously "with" her.

Is she a member of a local library? They may be able to recommend a good section of cross over books so she doesn't get sucked into a diet of chick lit as a teenager. Nothing wrong with chick lit when you just want to read some rubbish but it won't help much with English GCSE's etc etc.

Some nice and usual suggestions here - Jeeves & Wooster anyone?

landoflostcontent Thu 14-Nov-13 13:04:29

May I suggest The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden Has something for everyone, part thriller, part history, part rite of passage and very readable

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 13:16:18

Dh has all The Dark is Rising books, but dd isn't so keen.

She has read all the Harry Potter books and loved them.

I'm not sure I'd want her to read Jilly Cooper yet. I think I was about 15 when I read them and loved them.

I'd forgotten about the Philip Pullman books, I'll have a look for those.

We do go to the library, but it is a small town and tbh they aren't very good with her age group, aiming more at young children.

However, as she has asked for a Kindle for Christmas, I think it will be a good opportunity to put some books on that are a bit different to the stuff she's preferring at present.

mistlethrush Thu 14-Nov-13 13:20:30

Swallows and Amazons?

I liked the Green Knowe series
And the Silver Brumby series - and the Black Stallion series (although I was horse mad).

I read Bleak House when I was 11 so Dickens not out of the question.

Enb76 Thu 14-Nov-13 13:42:46

Jenny Nimmo - my favourite was Snow Spider but her Charlie Bone stuff is good too. Jenny Nimmo

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 14-Nov-13 14:47:00

Oh absolutely The Greengage Summer - just stunning. And pretty much everything else by Rumer Godden.

Yes to Wodehouse. And Agatha Christie. And - if you want different; Josephine Tey. Totally superb, writes better than almost anyone.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:01

Thanks Enb76

Louise1956 Thu 14-Nov-13 15:05:08

Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. Delightful book, I loved it when I was twelve. Judy is a marvellous heroine, and the portrayal of college life a hundred years ago is fascinating.

Another book I loved at that age is A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley, marvellous story. very gripping, and a wonderful evocation of the Elizabethan era when the heroine slips back in time.

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge is another book I liked at that age. A period story, very exciting, with an interesting heroine.

I would say all these books are quite girly.

lljkk Thu 14-Nov-13 15:14:09

12yo DD loves Cathy Cassidy but also soldiered thru All Quiet on the Western Front recently (loves history). She loves the "My history" books and says many of the recent ones are well written.

I think I read a lot of Agatha Christie at that age.
Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

I would NOT one my 12yo to read Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 15:29:05

Oh yes, Daddy Long Legs, I loved that too. I think my mum has it somewhere.

I've never read any Agatha Christie shock blush Must look out for some.

I haven't read Curious Incident of the Dog etc, so should maybe read it myself first before deciding if dd can read it.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 15:43:33

Daddy Long Legs is free for the Kindle, in case anyone is interested.

The Giver by Lois Lowry (not sure how to spell)

Gary Paulsen books

Number the Stars

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

CoolStoryBro Thu 14-Nov-13 15:52:30

I had forgotten how much I loved Little Women. I'm going to put it on my iPad right now!

This was a gazillion years ago now but I really loved reading Agatha Christie's when I was that age. Brilliant for evoking the romance of the age.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 16:14:41

Can you suggest a good Agatha Christie for her to start with?

mistlethrush Thu 14-Nov-13 17:10:13

A tale of two cities

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 14-Nov-13 17:19:34

Well, unlike most people apparently, I prefer Miss Marple to Poirot... And prefer full legnth novels to the short stories.

So I probably suggest Murder at the Vicarage which is the first Miss Marple book. I'm sure it's not the best but a good lace to start.

You absolute don't need to read them in order - but like the Chalet School (which has much better characterisation..) they do become addictive. And the portrayal of the times is very persuasive.

And truthfully - they're only a prelude to Dorothy L. Sayers.... Harriet Vane being (along with Jo March) the ultimate girl heroine.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 14-Nov-13 17:21:19

So many mis-types! Please ignore.

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 17:31:53

Thank you smile

NoComet Thu 14-Nov-13 17:36:38

Good luck DD2 moved straight on to Twilight and teen rubbish total refuses to red anything I or school suggests

CoolStoryBro Thu 14-Nov-13 17:52:07

I was going to say Murder at the Vicarage too! I was not a Poirot fan, but I loved, loved, loved Miss Marple.

ancientbuchanan Thu 14-Nov-13 17:56:10

The London eye mystery

Cs Lewis
Antonia Forrest
The more cheerful Hardys, ie not Jude but the woodlanders, trumpet major, FFTMC.
Sherlock Holmes
John meade Falkner, moonfleet, the nebuly coat
Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series
The didakoi
My friend Flicka
The longest journey
The voyage of the kontiki
Any travel books, I read masses at that age

ancientbuchanan Thu 14-Nov-13 17:57:42

If she likes miss marple .she will like miss silver

D l sayers, prob murder must advertise.
Mary Renault

SolidGold Thu 14-Nov-13 18:51:02

Starball, that's what I'm trying to avoid. smile

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 14-Nov-13 18:56:02

I loved Jane Eyre and My Family and Other Animals around that age. Also loved the James Herriott books.

beatricequimby Thu 14-Nov-13 19:10:16

Fantastic suggestions here.

Definitely get her Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry - its an incredibly moving story about a Black girl in the US South in the 1930s. I buy it for my friends' children.

How about A Long Way from Verona, by Jane Gardam. Its about a quirky 12-year-old living in the North East during WW1. Its fab. In fact I might go and read it again now.

She might also like Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford. Its got the whole amusing Mitford aristocratic, wacky childhood, then she runs off to join the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 14-Nov-13 19:32:55

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler - E. L. Konigsburg

Elizabeth of the Garret Theatre - Gwendoline Courtney (if you can find it...)

In travel: Freya Stark is absorbing - and empowering.

SolidGold Sat 16-Nov-13 16:04:30

Great suggestions smile A long way from Verona sounds good smile

lainiekazan Sun 17-Nov-13 17:48:08

Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan - in translation of course unless 12-year-old is particularly poncey.

lilyfire Mon 18-Nov-13 23:35:07

Just finished Carrie's War with my ten year old and we both loved it. I second The Silver Sword and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - been on bit of WW2 thing.

SolidGold Tue 19-Nov-13 14:12:27

I remember reading Carrie's War too, will try and find that for dd as well.

timtam23 Sun 24-Nov-13 23:35:54

The Kevin & Sadie series by Joan Lingard - I read them when I was around 11 or 12 (about 30 years ago so they may have reached the status of modern classics!)

The Runaways trilogy by Victor Canning - again I read these aged 11/12

Sherlock Holmes
Black Beauty
Cider with Rosie
Gerald Durrell

Another vote for The Little White Horse, The Dark is Rising, and Green Knowe series. Plus anything by Joan Aiken.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now