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nice children's books about people interacting normally...?

(52 Posts)
mugOfCoffee Mon 11-Jun-18 13:36:54

A friend's daughter, aged 7, wants "books about people behaving normally and being nice to each other" - after her parents' very complicated divorce and a few years of considerable upheaval. Kid is very bright indeed (has overtaken her 10yo sibling at everything academic), but is at the lower end of the distribution of normal levels of empathy in 7 yos. This is not entirely surprising given some of the adult behaviour she's seen recently.

I suggested the Anna Hibiscus books and some of the more grounded Enid Blytons, but what else is there?

Nearly everything I read as a child was child-loses-parents-and-has-adventure kind of stuff, which isn't really modelling good interpersonal interactions.

Velvetbee Mon 11-Jun-18 13:44:05

How about the Jamie and Angus stories by Anne Fine?

mugOfCoffee Mon 11-Jun-18 17:37:18

Thanks Velvetbee - they look absolutely lovely, and I am going to find them for DS. They might be a bit too young for this kid, who is a very old, wise and highly academic head on quite young shoulders - her reading age is probably more like 12, though her empathy age is probably somewhere about 4.

Leeds2 Mon 11-Jun-18 18:01:12

Swallows & Amazons.
Little House On The Prairie.
Jeremy Strong books are much easier to read, but have a strong family unit in the My Brother's Famous Bottom books.

rhnireland Mon 11-Jun-18 18:10:42

Enid blytons Galliano circus ones are good.

Imchangingmyname Mon 11-Jun-18 18:14:11

Some of the younger Judy Blume books? Superfudge and the sequel..Fudgeamania or something like that?

kaytee87 Mon 11-Jun-18 18:15:46

Has she read the Harry Potter books,

TheHonGalahadThreepwood Mon 11-Jun-18 18:17:00

Agree with Swallows and Amazons and the Little House books.

Astrid Lindgren, the Bullerby series and Mardie's Adventures
Hilda Lewis, The Ship that Flew
E. Nesbit, Five Children and It

And if she is an advanced reader:
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Louisa M. Alcott, Little Women

YourDaughter Mon 11-Jun-18 18:17:49

I know it’s not ‘nice and normal’, but would
Judith Kerr’s “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” work?

Panticles Mon 11-Jun-18 18:18:33

Series of unfortunate events

Idontmeanto Mon 11-Jun-18 18:21:18

Jaqueline Wilson doesn’t do normal adult behaviour, but they have a lot of empathy and sad/bad stuff turning out okay in them. Would they work?

TheLocalYokel Mon 11-Jun-18 18:21:51

Beverly Cleary - the Ramona books. She's just the right age for them and they address everyday feelings in a really normal, healthy way. Everyone in them is a decent, flawed human being.

Idontmeanto Mon 11-Jun-18 18:23:36

Love all the Classic, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women ideas. Also a lot of Harry Potter deals with him finally having friends and meeting their normal families.

halcyondays Mon 11-Jun-18 18:23:38

At 7 she might still like Milly Molly Mandy and My Naughty Little Sister.
yy to Ramona.

BikeRunSki Mon 11-Jun-18 18:26:45

Harry Potter???? Where the eponymous hero's parents are dead and he lives with his uncle and aunt who hate him and treat him abysmally ?

BikeRunSki Mon 11-Jun-18 18:27:09

YY to the Ramona Books though.

tigercub50 Mon 11-Jun-18 18:29:55

Possibly What Katie Did? I loved that book as a child but might have been a bit older.

Idontmeanto Mon 11-Jun-18 18:30:17

Yes, hence the “finally”

BestBeforeYesterday Mon 11-Jun-18 18:31:38

I'd be careful with Astrid Lindgren, many of her books have orphaned children.
It's not easy finding a book that fits your description! I remember loving Ballet Shoes, it's a lovely story, but can't remember all the details so it might not all be "normal".

halcyondays Mon 11-Jun-18 18:34:44

Definitely Ballet Shoes and Astrid Lindgren's Bullerby series. It's been renamed Children of Noisy Village.

LadyPeacock Mon 11-Jun-18 18:36:14

Malory Towers?

TheFlannelsAreBreeding Mon 11-Jun-18 18:39:50

Ballet shoes starts with the three children being orphaned (violently), I wouldn't go there...

Definitely Arthur Ransome, and maybe the Emily series rather than Anne of Green Gables - it's a bit younger.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Jun-18 18:41:20

Definitely not Jacqueline Wilson! Though she has a couple of books which would be OK about the two boys who go off on holiday together - Buried Alive and Cliffhanger.

There's a lovely series of books about four sisters called The Exiles by Hilary McKay which is brilliant. The sisters are nice to each other, they do sometimes have a bit of a squabble but then they make up.

pigeondujour Mon 11-Jun-18 18:50:41

Series of unfortunate events

Surely not?!

Ballet Shoes and Anne of Green Gables are perfect ideas. There used to be a spin off from Babysitters Club called Babysitters Little Sister that would be ideal if you could get hold of them.

kaytee87 Mon 11-Jun-18 18:53:49

Harry Potter???? Where the eponymous hero's parents are dead and he lives with his uncle and aunt who hate him and treat him abysmally ?

That's only a tiny part of the story. The rest is about friendship, bravery and good triumphing over evil.

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