Best Dickens to start a child on.

(33 Posts)
Moominsarehippos Sat 06-Apr-13 14:31:40

I have the whole lot. Not sure which is the best to start a 9 year old on. take of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist...

It's been donkeys since I read any Dickens and not sure i can remember all the plots. Has anyone any thoughts?

bigbuttons Sat 06-Apr-13 18:49:49

Christ Dickens is turgid reading.

Moominsarehippos Sat 06-Apr-13 18:59:19

And turgid is such a lovely word. I don't find it tedious at all.

maree1 Tue 07-May-13 23:57:12

Oliver Twist gets my vote. A Christmas carol is better nearer the season. A master of metaphors and every other part of speech you will be able to begin to discuss together the wonderful images the man was able to conjure up with the words he chose.

madmomma Thu 06-Jun-13 20:36:45

Yeah Oliver Twist I reckon. Certainly not David Copperfield or Great Expectations. And agree that A Christmas Carol would be great nearer Christmas. My wonderful late Dad used to read Tolkien to us when we were 7 & 9 and we hung on every word. Those are some of my happiest childhood memories. Young children can absorb complex texts and plots at a young age and get lots of enjoyment from them even though they don't understand it all. It doesn't have to be Dickens or Captain Underpants. Both have a place - that's what loving books is all about isn't it?

LondonMother Thu 06-Jun-13 20:53:14

Dickens turgid? Good grief.

Here's a bit from the the opening of Bleak House:

<<London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes—gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. ......

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little 'prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon and hanging in the misty clouds. >>

It probably helps that I live in London and love walking the streets here. I find that one of the most evocative pieces of writing about London I've ever read.

I probably wouldn't have given it to a pre-schooler, though. grin

LondonMother Thu 06-Jun-13 20:55:11

PS I read David Copperfield when I was 10 and stuck with it to the end. A Christmas Carol might be an easier start - it's certainly a lot shorter.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Wed 26-Jun-13 07:27:30

I read Oliver Twist at 9. Maybe Xmas Carol would work too for a strong reader.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Wed 26-Jun-13 07:28:50

I can't believe the number of philistines on this thread not liking Dickens! shock wink

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