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Suggestions for sceince fiction books for a 10 yr old please?

(18 Posts)
Niecie Sat 28-May-11 22:52:37

DS1 has been asked to read a science fiction book during half term because the class is going to be doing some literacy work on this genre.

I don't know the difference between fantasy and science fiction, if indeed there is one, and Amazon are no help as they lump the two together - for all I know Harry Potter is sci fi as Amazon lists it in this category. confused

If anybody could suggest something that fits the bill, aimed at 10yrs + that would be great.

By the way, is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' suitable for children? I haven't ever read the book and can bearly remember the tv programme so I have no idea but it is a classic and would be a laugh at least and I know it is a proper science fiction


AvengingGerbil Sat 28-May-11 23:01:14

Hitchhikers should be fine - DS (11) and I have just been listening to it again on CDs. No sex, no violence, no swearing. Mind you, the whole point of the Guide itself is somewhat baffling to the internet generation - DS wondered why they didn't just use Google...

There are Star Trek and Dr Who books aplenty - both clearly SciFi, but maybe school wants to get away from TV tie-ins?

You could also try Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game - but I think that might be a bit more 'young teen' than 10 yr old.

Chamomile Sat 28-May-11 23:05:58

I would think Hitch hikers would go down well with a bright 11 yr old or maybe try some terry Pratchet?
Or If you want something def aimed at children then The Wind Singer Trilogy by William Nicholson fits the bill.

Niecie Sat 28-May-11 23:13:12

The school are taking part in a Dr Who competition - writing an sketch or something - so I think they want to look at different examples rather than rehashing Dr Who so I shall steer clear of that.

The Ender's Game looks good. DS is nearly 11 (I keep forgetting!) and in Yr 6 so edging scarily towards young teen in age as well as reading ability. I might get it and see how he goes. And Hitchhiker's Guide for me fun. smile

Niecie Sat 28-May-11 23:24:41

Thanks for your suggestion too Chamomile - The Wind Singer looks good. I can see this being a very expensive Amazon order!

Problem is I don't really know what sci fi is and I reckon DS might well have some books that fall into the category they are looking for that I am dismissing as being fantasy. I am wondering if Muddle Earth or The Edge Chronicles would count as sci fi?

Chamomile Sat 28-May-11 23:30:16

It would be a very pernickety teacher that would make much of a fuss about fantasy vs sci fi at age ten . I would think Edge chronicles counts as Sci Fi or Northern Lights saga by philip Pullman.

AvengingGerbil Sat 28-May-11 23:36:08

I think the key feature of Sci-Fi as opposed to fantasy is spaceships. Literally. If it's just set on an alternative planet/reality, then it's fantasy. Sci-Fi is much more interested in techy stuff, and tends to posit a future which develops out of the present earth-reality (and almost inevitably involves spaceships and aliens), while fantasy is freed from those constraints.

Thus, Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings = fantasy - and so I think are the Edge Chronicles. Whereas stuff like Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern stuff is Sci-Fi, because although it has dragons in it, you find out that they are bio-engineered by Earth-descendants before the planet loses interplanetary contact and slips into what then looks like a fantasy series.

Actually, McCaffrey might go down well with a young teen, too.

Katisha Sun 29-May-11 00:12:32

George's Secret Key to the Universe and George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Stephen Hawking and his daughter have been hits with both DSs - read when they were 9ish.

Science fiction but also a lot of science fact!

Snorbs Sun 29-May-11 00:48:39

Sci-fi, at its heart, is about taking one or more technological advances (or differences) and studying what effects those changes would have on people and societies. While there is, of course, a large chunk of sci-fi that has spaceships in it, there's also a hell of a lot that doesn't. Saying that sci-fi is principally about spaceships and aliens is like saying that all fantasy is about swords and sourcery. So there grin

The Hitchhiker's Guide is great but it does have a depressingly large number of anachronisms in it when read these days. I say "depressingly" because the realisation that it is so out of date makes me feel very old sad My DS really wasn't that interested in it. Northern Lights is fantastic but I think that a 10yo might struggle with it a bit as it's a complex story line with a lot of unfamiliar words.

I think Ender's Game could go down well for a nearly-11yo. Alternatively, try the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve. My DS raced through those when he was 11. Or maybe City of Ember.

madamehooch Sun 29-May-11 08:22:41

'Space Crime Conspiracy' by Gareth P Jones.

Takver Sun 29-May-11 16:45:04

A bit too young, but if he wants an 'extra' he could always include Astrosaurs as an interesting example of cross-over marketing (spaceships and dinosaurs in one book grin)

Takver Sun 29-May-11 16:45:59

More seriously, Mortal Engines is an excellent suggestion, definitely sci-fi.

Brightredstar Sun 29-May-11 16:55:43

The Larklight series is good at that age Philip Reeve again.

Brightredstar Sun 29-May-11 16:56:58

If not easily scared there is always The Grinny and Chocky. I would read them first though grin

Niecie Sun 29-May-11 18:30:44

Thanks very much for so many suggestions. I haven't heard of half of them so it was well worth asking the question. - I wouldn't know where to start as sci fi isn't my thing. A trip to the library is in order on Tuesday I think . smile

SecretSpi Wed 01-Jun-11 16:25:50

If it's not too late, can I recommend the classic "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. It's still one of my favourite books years and years later.

NathanM Mon 20-Jun-11 12:57:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Jux Mon 20-Jun-11 17:41:27

NathanM, I have reported your posts.

Blatant self-publicising; probably shite book!

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