Pre Teens (10yr) Reading at Young Adult/Adult Level - Book Recomendations...

(51 Posts)
rockinhippy Wed 13-Mar-13 12:16:27

My 10yr old DD is a very prolific reader & reads above her age, now loving young adult books & I'm finding keeping up with her & often getting "safe" book recomendations for her a bit of a nightmare, especially as I need lots of books to keep her busy,

I've posted on the chat section before, but have only really had recommendations that were more aimed at her age, or not far ahead, or old classics that really dont interest her at all - so I'm hoping posting here will be better (she is G&T) & I also thought I'm probably not the only one dealing with this, do starting a "Book Recommendations" thread might be useful to us all, or does a site or something exist that rates books as you would films ?? & if not, why notgrin it would make my life so much easier

I naturally want to avoid anything with sexual content, the odd nod to it is fine, but however grown up she seems, she is only 10 - but horror, science fiction, etc etc - she is fine with, she has a very analytical mind & isn't bothered by even more disturbing stuff, if anything she really enjoys it & sees it for what it is, rather than be frightened by it - I know she would love James Herbert books, but every time I pick one up to re-read - odd bits of heavy sexual content make it no good & though I'm sure I remember some being okay, I can't remember which onesconfused

So I will start off with recommendations of books she's read recently & loved & hopefully you could add yours too & we can share smile

*Maximum Ride series - James Patterson*- 8 Books in the series & she was very upset to finish them.

Shift - Em Bailey DD reckons this is one of the best stories ever - sadly no more by this author yet sad

Eve & Adam, Michael Grant & Katherine Apple Gate

I think these books appeal to both girls & boys, DDs taste isn't particularly girly, but she did also enjoy Mean Girls & others by the same author, which helped her though bullying at school

Please add your suggestions smile


rockinhippy Wed 13-Mar-13 12:21:14

Oh & she's now enjoying old Pan Book Of Horror stories which is the first time I've managed to eat her interested in any old classics, she won't read any vampire, werewolf or similar horror though, so I think this is because the stories are short & varied & quite disturbing variations on real life possibilities - if that makes sense

FriendlyLadybird Wed 13-Mar-13 15:58:11

When my mother was teaching (secondary school), James Herbert visited and was absolutely HORRIFIED to discover that some of the girls had read his books. He told them that he was not writing for children or even teenagers and really did not think they were suitable.

There's a thread here or on primary education (can't remember which) about books for 11-year-old boys. It had some really interesting recommendations, so you might want to take a look.

rockinhippy Wed 13-Mar-13 19:25:34

Thanks - Really?, very bizarre that he's visiting a secondary school expecting no one to have read his work confused -

though that said, from the odd bit of sometimes hardcore smut that he adds to his tales, most, if not all aren't suitable from that POV, though I can't remember if its in them all - the rest of it I know DD would be fine with, especially as they will challenge her vocabulary, which is what she misses in the younger books, - something to challenge her - I think I saw the thread you mean, but unfortunately there was just nothing that she hadnt already read, that interested her - I'm really looking for adult/YA books

Joyn Wed 13-Mar-13 22:05:47

The hunger games
Boy in the striped pyjamas
Michael morpurgo (lots are meant for older kids & read by adults too - war horse, kensukis kingdom etc)
The hitch hikers guide to the galaxy
The phantom toll booth
Artemis fowl
Terry pratchett
The edge chronicles
Alex rider

Roseformeplease Wed 13-Mar-13 22:09:25

If she really is a good reader, what about James Herriot, Laurie Lee, Gerald Durrell. For more modern stuff, my daughter has just devoured the "Uglies" series. She also loved all the Eva Ibbotsen books. What about books by Robert Swindells (Abomination is brilliant).

Wolfiefan Wed 13-Mar-13 22:10:56

Carnegie Award!
Short list announced today. (See website.) I downloaded "Wonder" today onto my kindle and am very impressed so far. (Boy is born with problems including facial disfigurement. Book so far deals with him moving from mother schooling at home to going to school.)

Lancelottie Wed 13-Mar-13 22:12:16

Would she be interested in (carefully vetted) classic detective novels? I'm thinking Dorothy Sayers

itinerant Wed 13-Mar-13 22:15:14

Life of Pi
Curious incident of dog in the night time
Arthur c Clarke if she likes sci if, also earth sea trilogy?

FriendlyLadybird Wed 13-Mar-13 22:16:13

He was related to one of the girls, I think, and was doing a careers session on 'being a writer'. He didn't expect to be discussing his books.

If she wants to be challenged, I would push her more towards the classics tbh. I don't think much of James Patterson as a writer and Herbert's not exactly literary. How about Dickens? Her tastes seem quite sinister -- she might like him! I'd suggest Dracula, but that really did terrify me when I first read it.

Alternatively, I enjoyed the Alex Rider books, and Young Bond, and I'm a grown up with very advanced literary tastes. My DS has loved The Hunger Games (I haven't read them yet).

ClaraBean Wed 13-Mar-13 22:19:46

My dd is 11 and reads adult books.
She has read, and loved The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy series, Tolkein, Dracula, Terry Pratchett, Adrian Mole books, Cider with Rosie, and she loves, loves, loves science books so reads a lot of stuff like 'E=MC2 and why it matters' (or something like that!)

gwenniebee Wed 13-Mar-13 22:23:41

Agree about James Herriot for something "gentle". I was similar at that age and remember being really frustrated that the stories aimed at me were boring/too girly but I wasn't interested in the plot lines of the "grown up" books in our house.

I loved Michelle Magorian (she of Goodnight Mr Tom fame). She has written several that are good for young/teen girls.

I also found a series called "The Mennyms" by Sylvia Waugh which I can remember enjoying.

silverstaresatnight Wed 13-Mar-13 22:30:07

I read pan Horror stories and James Herbert at that age , but agree they are scintillating but pretty rubbish and not v suitable!
Historical novels such as by Terry Dear or, My Story series are quite good, John Wyndham books, if she is advanced in her comprehension as well as reading she would enjoy Dickens, Chekhov plays, Anne of Green Gables, agree classics are more wholesome. The modern books are annoying because they are a bit over dramatic and content a bit unsuitable.

steppemum Wed 13-Mar-13 22:43:05

Roald Dahl's - Tales of the Unexpected

John Wyndham - there are loads, most well known is Day of the Triffids horror but not OTT

On the same theme a brilliant book called Death of Grass (don't know author)

My ds and I have been reading some Gene Kemp books, start with Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler. Not very difficult, but level is ok, set in a school with 11/12 year olds and some thought provoking themes. There are several set in this school, hard to find though, I bought them second hand on Amazon (library couldn't get them)

Similar is a book What is wrong with Donovan Croft (can't remember author, and that title isn't quite right, search Donovan Croft) deals with racism 1970's schools and good story)
Joan Aitken - truly wonderful stories, quite scary, fantasy adventure, variety of levels as she writes for children and teens. Classic series begins with Wolves of Wilbury Chase

Agatha Christie? I read these at about 10 and loved them.

I would second Terry Pratchet, Hitch Hikers Guide, and James Herriott

Hmm this is giving me ideas for ds!

steppemum Wed 13-Mar-13 22:54:51

If she likes science and non-fiction, there is a funny series called 'why don't penguins feet freeze' - collection of questions and answers from New Scientist

sashh Thu 14-Mar-13 06:41:50

At 11 I was reading George Orwell, but I probably shouldn't have been.

Has she read any David Eddings? The Belgariad is a set of 5 fantasy books. The nearest thing to sex is when one male character complains that a female character has a pet snake in her dress and is asked how he knew and he turns red.

After the Belgariad there is the Mallorian, another 5 books.

Some James Herbert, Fluke maybe, would be OK but not great literature.

For sci fi what about John Wyndam? I think I was reading them at junior school.

Some John Grisham would be suitable, but not all. The client, playing for pizza,the runaway jury, and the Pelican Brief. Not A time to kill - horrible rape of a small girl. Actually I don't know why I said horrible, it couldn't be anything else.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 14-Mar-13 07:01:18

Do you have a good local library? There are some extremely complex books written for young people which will be much more interesting and relevant to her than adult fiction. Agree that Carnegie shortlist is a good place to start, last year's had a great book called Between Shades of Grey, which was incredibly thought-provoking.

I had a reading age of 15 at 8, but found plenty to read that was appropriate. I did also read my Mum's Danielle Steele, which was probably not so good.

Has she tried Adrian Mole? I loved them at that age. Although they are more like history books now!

rockinhippy Thu 14-Mar-13 11:43:31

Thank you everyone, there's lots of great suggestions here, so I think we will be okay for a while now smile

The hunger games was one she had recommended by an older DC she knows, she was very keen to read it as they said it was so good they cried when they'd read it all, but she couldn't remember the title, so thanks for mentioning that one smile & she loves the look & write ups of the Uglies series & lots more of the modern books you all suggest, including Wonder which sounds greatsmile

She really isn't interested in the classics at all, we do have plenty of them on our books shelves, but she says they are stuffy, boring & no-one talks like that any more - & I can see her point - she is 10 & its a modern world, so why would they interest her & she hates anything with vampires, werewolves etc etc - she says they are just too unbelievable & prefers stories that make her believe they could actually happen & she enjoys scaring herself, but isn't affected by it, so bar sexual content, which is okay in nods, but not explicit, I'm happy to take her lead as her comprehension is excellent & she's knows her own mind well

I was an avid Arthur C Clarke, Philip Dick, George Orwell etc at a similar age, but she just didn't like them much at all, again she found the language too dated for her - though we have just downloaded War of the Worlds which she expressed an interest in, so we'll see, but I don't believe in pushing her into anything, I want to feed her interest not put her off smile

We do luckily have a fantastic local library, but the YA section is full of vampire & werewolf books, though we have found a few that she liked there, I do think I need to try chatting to a librarian again too though, we have tried, but they were very keen on pushing all the got his type novels, which DD doesn't like

Thank you for taking the time & trouble & the great suggestions - think I can relax for a little while now - lol smile

wiganwagonwheelworks Thu 14-Mar-13 11:46:07

I read all my Grandad's Dick Francis racing detective mysteries. confused. I really loved them. But I second James Herriot - they are good. And Gerald Durrell?

rockinhippy Thu 14-Mar-13 11:47:26

Oh, sorry blush she's not liking anything gentler at the moment, she pulled faces when I offered her Gerald Durrell & the likes a while back, she's mostly wanting sci fi, horror & the odd human interest story - I have tried & she read Adrian Mole a couple if years ago - bloody hard to please - lol

rockinhippy Thu 14-Mar-13 11:48:58

Library pushed Gothic type novels - damned autocorrect

rockinhippy Thu 14-Mar-13 11:51:20

Making my list & LOVE the Garnegie award short list idea smile

wiganwagonwheelworks Thu 14-Mar-13 11:53:41

John Wyndham for sci fi like [sashh] says, definitely. Happy book hunting!

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 14-Mar-13 11:58:57

I was reading at a simular le el and stuff I really enjoyed included the James Herriot vet books, My Family and other Animals, Anne McCaffery fantasy novels (a little bit of sex, but not too much), Isaac Asimov, Georgette Heyer. If she hasn't read anything by Tamora Pierce, give her some asap- fantastic socially aware, age-appropriate fantasy novels with strong heroines.

rockinhippy Thu 14-Mar-13 14:05:44

Thank you - John Wyndham is definitely going on the list smile

but sadly she wont read Asimov etc - she didn't like them at all, again thought them dated - my favourites at that age toohmm

& we tried her with Tamora Peirce a few years ago, she liked for a short while, but soon got bored as she's not really into fantasy any more, she thinks its for younger readers & as I said she has a thing at the moment, for only reading more believable books, even if they are SciFi or Horror - Angels, Spooks & anything that is the result of science are okay as she believes in them - everything else just isn'tconfusedgrin

I just wanted to add this link, I've just found this site & it looks fantastic, so it might be of use to others with similar problems…

Teen/PreTeen books with reviews HERE

lljkk Thu 14-Mar-13 20:03:12

I read a lot of Agatha Christie at that age, can see why DD doesn't take to them, though.

There are plenty on here I wouldn't want my 10yoDD to read.

DD is 11yo and especially recently enjoyed:

Anne of Green Gables
My story (the history diary series)
Judy Blume
Lady Grace mysteries
Darren Shan (when I let her)

Mortal Engines is very depressing, 13yo DS says (he love-hates them for it).

madamehooch Thu 14-Mar-13 20:59:26

Hunger Games and James Patterson are very 'readable' books - not particularly challenging but pretty addictive.

Other 'readable' books with a suitable content (taking into account what she is currently reading) are:-

Half Brother
The Medusa Project series by Sophie McKenzie
Shiverton Hall
Secret Hen House Theatre
Hav3n (bit gory but good)
Cherub series by Robert Muchamore

alienbump Thu 14-Mar-13 21:05:41

Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness is fantastic, brilliant writing, my son read them first, passed them on to me and I've been forcing people to read them ever since.

alienbump Thu 14-Mar-13 21:10:31

Ooh, and if she's up for a bit of zombie fiction, Jonathan Maberry's young adult series is one of the best I've read. Think Rot and Ruin is the first one, but it's got great ballsy female characters in it which I really liked.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 14-Mar-13 21:12:02

John Grisham has read a couple if books for young peo

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 14-Mar-13 21:14:14

For young people. I bought them for myself featuring Theodore Boon young lawyer.

Dd us 11 and has the same issues. I was shocked when she bought noughts and crosses home from school. She likes H.I.V.E and Anthony Horowitz.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Thu 14-Mar-13 21:19:24

Curious incident drops the c-bomb. Just to let you know!

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 14-Mar-13 21:31:18

A really off the wall suggestion - Stephen Leather the Spider Shepherd series no sex fairly gritty very up to date. I would depend though on how aware she is of terrorism.

lljkk Fri 15-Mar-13 07:58:41

What is the c-bomb? It certainly drops the masturbation bomb.

RedHelenB Sun 17-Mar-13 09:35:25

At 10 I read anything & everything! The bits that were too adult to me were skipped over or just not understood but it didn't spoil the stories. I loved the Anne of Green Gables & the Emily of New Moon - the themes don't change over time like worrying about boyfriends & issues with friends.

cory Mon 18-Mar-13 13:31:47

"She really isn't interested in the classics at all, we do have plenty of them on our books shelves, but she says they are stuffy, boring & no-one talks like that any more - & I can see her point - she is 10 & its a modern world, so why would they interest her & she hates anything with vampires, werewolves etc etc -"

I think your dd may find herself out of the loop in a few years time as the bright girls will be reading Jane Austen (because of the films), Les Miserables (because of the musical), and Sherlock Holmes (because of the TV series) and quoting out of them all the time.

Dd goes to an ordinary state school with a not very affluent intake, but even so, wide and eclectic tastes do seem to be very much part of popular culture, at least in the upper sets. It's a modern world where you can get famous (as in Oscar-parties-girls-drooling-over-your-poster-famous) by playing Dickens or Tolkiens characters.

rockinhippy Mon 18-Mar-13 13:39:41

Cory, she may well change her mind by then, but if not, so what, I'm very proud to say, that so far "being in the loop" really isn't top of her list of priorities, she very much knows her own mind & doesn't read or watch just because its the popular thing to do, she follows her own interests, not others

rockinhippy Mon 18-Mar-13 13:40:31

& thanks for the other suggestions too everyone smile

Movingtimes Mon 18-Mar-13 13:50:41

Rockin - have a look at my website here list of books for 11-14 year olds - the website is mainly for secondary school English teachers but there are lots of suggestions of books your DD might enjoy.
Recent books I have read that she might like include Burn Mark by Laura Powell and Breathe by Sarah Crossan. I've reviewed both of them on my blog here.
My own 10-year-old precocious reader is reading a lot of Ali Sparkes at the moment which I think your DD might enjoy as well. The John Grisham Theodore Boone books might appeal as well.

rockinhippy Mon 18-Mar-13 13:55:46

Thanks Moving having just nosied at your book list & reviews, it looks fantastic for her - thank you

cory Mon 18-Mar-13 17:59:04

Following your own interests is admirable, rockinhippy, I was just picking up on your statement that she (and you) doesn't see the relevance of oldfashioned reading in a modern world.

And my answer would be (in part) that the modern world comprises a huge entertainment industry which is to a great extent based on traditional material. If you are talking of what is relevant to the modern world, then presumably you are talking of what is relevant to the people who live in the modern world.

rockinhippy Mon 18-Mar-13 19:53:59

But you are missing the point Cory, she just isn't interested in what is perceived as typical "female" literature & I doubt you would be so persistent if she were a BOY!!!

mrsmuffintop Mon 18-Mar-13 22:59:11

My 11 yo DD has been reading adult books since about 6. Here are some that she has enjoyed recently that (I think) others have not suggested:

Pony Club Rivals series by Stacy Gregg
Millicent Min Girl Genius and others by Lisa Yee
Two Weeks in Grade Six by Anna & Mary Pershall
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (I loved this myself at that age!)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler, and Jennifer Hecate MacBeth and Me by E. L Konigsburg
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Eleven etc series by Lauren Myracle
Secret Horse trilogy by Jane Smiley (what a wonderful writer)
Scat, Flush and Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Charmed Life (Chrestomanci Series) by Diana Wynne Jones
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle by Marcel Pagnol
Mao's last Dancer by Li Cunxin
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley
Frost in May by Antonia White
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

We also had a good laugh together at "May Contain Nuts" by John O'Farrell

mrsmuffintop Mon 18-Mar-13 23:13:25

Just to clarify: not all the above are adult books. They are books that I thought a precocious 10 year old might enjoy. Mao's Last Dancer did lead us into a long and convoluted discussion about why homosexuals were persecuted in cultural revolution China.

FriendlyLadybird Tue 19-Mar-13 17:45:16

I'm definitely siding with Cory in that I don't think you should dismiss the classics wholesale in the way that you are doing. Older writing is not 'typical "female" literature' -- it is, by and large, good literature, which is why it has survived.

I am all for people reading books they enjoy for relaxation. I know a very eminent philosopher who reads Len Deighton, for example.

But you asked for recommendations for books that would challenge her. Adult non-literary tat will not do that. Classic literary fiction, being all about human nature, is always relevant and will be challenging and thought-provoking.

She's 10, so of course she follows her own interests and thinks that things outside her immediate experience are probably 'boring'. Just don't support her in being closed-minded.

bunjies Tue 19-Mar-13 17:58:10

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.
Nancy Drew series.

rockinhippy Tue 19-Mar-13 21:19:19

Thank you all so much for all the relevant suggestions, lots of grat suggestions & we now have a good list to be going on with

I shall ignore the presumptious assumptions as far as my supporting DDs closed mindednesshmm around here we are open minded enough & not so up our own backsides to feel the need to read to just to show intellect & PUSH DCs into reading what really doesn't interest them - if that's off the mark, then apologies, but I know too many people in RL who make a big deal of reading classics for show, barely understand them & pushing their own DCs into reading such material & nothing else, its become a bit of a status symbol - Darling X is reading blah blah blah & I'm so proud & then the following week they excuse their DCs illiteracy with suspected SN & the DCs themselves own up to hating books - I don't care if allowing my DD to follow her own tastes & not put her off reading by pushing others highbrow ideas of good literature onto her - we rule nothing out - but I want to feed her passion for reading, not put her offwink

aliasPrickleandJones Sun 24-Mar-13 21:32:56

My dd is 11 yrs and a prolific reader. It has worried me for a while that she is increasingly pushed towards the 'young adult' section as she is running out of books that she has not read. She has a wide taste in books and reads very fast.

She has not really hit puberty yet and she is still very much a 'girl' rather than a 'teenager' and it worries me that she is reading books that are a bit heavy on sex and relationships she does not quite understand.

Her Easter holiday reading supplied by her school is A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly which I think includes an account of a real life murder hmm

She's recently enjoyed I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Fearless by Tim Lott.

Having said that she is currently doing a lot of comfort reading and revisiting some old favourites including Pippi Longstocking and Magic Faraway Tree!

archfiend Sun 24-Mar-13 21:42:21

Have skimmed thread so apologies if i am repeating anything. Kathy Reichs has a YA series called Virals I think - quite similar to the maximum ride series.

The Giver is excellent - think there are a couple more books after that.

What about Brave New World? Might be a bit adult in places but stunning book.

City of the Beasts by Isabelle Allende is great too.

archfiend Sun 24-Mar-13 21:48:44

Also try The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson - some adult content but nothing explicit IYSWIM.

Pythonesque Thu 25-Apr-13 16:14:08

This will be a useful thread to me too smile My 10 yr old daughter has slightly different tastes to yours I think but we share the same concerns over finding good stuff for them to read without having time to pre-read everything beforehand...

One thing my daughter has got very interested in is history, and she's found quite a lot of good modern historical fiction (eg world war 2 stuff) in her school library. Since her grandma gave her a kindle for her birthday, we've had fun remembering good "classic" stuff to look for because you can download it free. You may find that some of them will "click" with your daughter at some point. E.Nesbit's stories are great and might appeal, for example.

Another genre to perhaps consider is autobiography. I was directed into that at about that age. With science fiction, has she read any of Heinlein's younger stuff? (watch out though for his more adult boooks! Having read every book of his from my school library, I spotted "Stranger in a Strange Land" in an unfamiliar library on holiday age 13. Once I started reading it, it got hidden from my parents! Definitely better for perhaps 16+, that one!!) Other authors I enjoyed were Andre Norton and Ursula le Guin. Again there are some books by them that are more adult but a lot that is very bright-child-friendly.

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