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cracking reads for bright 8-year-old nephew

(20 Posts)
pottonista Mon 08-Nov-10 10:36:33

Dear mumsnetters

I'm a loving aunt (not a mum yet!) and looking for books for my nephew for Christmas. He's 8 years old, loves Star Wars and making things, bright, thoughtful and sensitive.

I'd love to get him a book or three that he'd really enjoy. Something adventure-ish that he could get absorbed in, perhaps...pirates, Ancient Rome, wizards, I dunno...possibly tmi but his mum (my SIL) and my DB recently separated, perhaps I'm projecting here but I remember when things were difficult and I was little I'd lose myself in stories and that would help.

Does anyone have any suggestions for something suitable? Is he old enough for Harry Potter? What else is out there? Any ideas gratefully received.

Thank you!

meltedmarsbars Mon 08-Nov-10 10:37:52

Marking place - also struggle to find boy books that are not Harry Potter.


JeffVadar Tue 09-Nov-10 07:39:48

The Hiccup books br Cressida Cowell. They are very funny about a Viking boy and his dragon. DS loves them.

Guidoinsteadnow Tue 09-Nov-10 07:41:04

ds1 loved Fergus Crane.

maclover135 Tue 09-Nov-10 07:52:53

I'd echo the Cressida Cowell 'dragon' series. You can also get them on CD/audio book so you could make him a little pack to escape into?

He might enjoy some of the Michael Morpurgo titles too - be careful as some might not have age appropriate content, but some are lovely, and suitable for able 8 yr olds. I understand that either Red House or Book People are selling a pack at the moment which you could break down and spread across xmas and birthday.

maclover135 Tue 09-Nov-10 07:55:32

See morpurgo

Merle Tue 09-Nov-10 08:00:54

Humphrey the Hamster books, by Betty Birney? 'The World according to Humphrey' 'Friendship according to H..' 'Adventures...'

You get the idea. Read avidly in our house.

overmydeadbody Tue 09-Nov-10 08:01:08

Andy Stanton's Mr Gum series is great, very very funny.

My 7yr old loves Tintin and Calvin and Hobbes.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is very popular among boys at the moment too.

Snorbs Tue 09-Nov-10 08:30:52

I agree on the Hiccup, Mr Gum and Wimpy Kid series. Although don't read Hiccup "How to train your dragon" and expect the movie to be anything like the same.

I'd also add Asterix and the Captain Underpants series. A box set of Roald Dahl books might go down very well, too.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 09-Nov-10 08:35:06

Message withdrawn

Takver Tue 09-Nov-10 10:47:00

Agree Asterix is ideal for this age.

Roman Mysteries series are good, though I can't remember the author (lead character a girl, but other main characters boys, if your DN is bothered by such things)

DD (age 8) is working her way through the Chrestomanci books by Diana Wynne Jones (fantasy - main characters mainly boys)

Not pirates etc, but Terry Pratchett has written quite a few childrens books (the Amazing Maurice & his Educated Rodents is one, also the Truckers/Diggers series)

crazygracieuk Tue 09-Nov-10 22:11:36

Klutz books are fab. They are basically activity books that cover all sorts of creative topics but brill for boys or girls.

bluecheesedip Tue 09-Nov-10 22:52:31

DS (8) was given The Famous Five's Survival Guide for his birthday - I think it's a lovely book and he's really enjoying it.

stealthsquiggle Tue 09-Nov-10 22:57:16

Damn - everyone else has stolen my ideas.

Hiccup (How to Train your Dragon - the whole series) and Mr Gum are laugh-out-loud funny, hide under the sheets scary and really quite touching by turns.

Also Michael Morpurgo. DH was quite shocked that DS was reading some and I was reading others to him, as some of them are quite dark, but if he loves animals then they are certainly absorbing.

Goingspare Tue 09-Nov-10 23:04:31

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series have an ancient-Greek-civilisation-brought-to modern-day-America theme. DD2 first read them at 8-9.

She read H. Potter at 6-7, but in a context of having seen some of the films and listened to some of Stephen Fry's spoken-word recordings with her older sister, so there wasn't much point worrying about their suitability. The vocabulary isn't difficult, apart from the wizarding terminology; it's just a question of stamina. Roald Dahl is probably a much more demanding read.

The Percy Jacksons are like Harry Potter on speed; none of this mooching around dealing with grief and the trials of adolescence - far too many monsters to deal with. They also offer a very solid grounding in Greek mythology.

MrsVincentPrice Tue 09-Nov-10 23:14:12

I'd second Percy Jackson, they're like narrative crack.
Captain Underpants are also great fun.

MrsVincentPrice Tue 09-Nov-10 23:20:39

But....just remembered the very strong absent parent theme in the PJs - so maybe not suitable for the specific purpose.

stealthsquiggle Tue 09-Nov-10 23:22:17

Unless the whole selection of "interesting" family situations in PJ would help him relate?

seeker Tue 09-Nov-10 23:25:12

You simply MUST get him the Hiccup books - and the audio book, brilliantly read by David Tennant (obviously having the time of his life!). My ds reads and rereads, listens, listens and reads at the same time - and we all listen in the car and we haven't go bored yet!

Another good one is Little Darlings, by Sam Llewellyn. Not sure if it's still in print, but it's worth hunting for.

Snorbs Wed 10-Nov-10 17:15:28

I used to love reading the Hiccup books to DS as there's so much scope to do silly voices. I might have to see if DD is interested to I can read them all again grin

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