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Help me plan a storming summer reading list for DC

(51 Posts)
BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 08:09:06

I want to really get behind the reading challenge in DD1s school - and extend it to her brothers - even planning to put up prizes! All I need is a storming reading list for each DC covering different genres.

Ages are 11 (girl), 8 (boy) and nearly 7 (boy).

11yo is an ultra-speed reader (normal kids paperback chapter book read in a night). I thought to maybe put an extra condition on her reading challenge (eg all books must be 100+ years old).

8 yo was a keen and prolific reader at one point - but he was very conservative in his choices. Now he's read all the Mr Gum books and Mr Majeika books, he's kind of stopped reading. I don't know whether to just go down a 'books for 8 year olds' list - or maybe build a list around a theme (eg Prehistory...?)

Nearly 7 yo is fine with reading - but quickly defaults to 'its too haaaaarddd'. He's read a few of DS1s Mr Gum - but he generally defaults to comic books and joke books. I want to set him up with some sure-fire winners very easy chapter books to build his confidence. He's a sensitive soul who doesn't care much for Dragon Quest or Football.

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 08:23:29

Harry Potters are being read together.

They know Roald Dahl inside out ( & like them).

Takver Sat 09-May-15 09:18:20

What about some non-fiction for your 11 y/o? DD enjoyed The Philosophy Files around that age. She also really liked Sophie's World & has re-read it several times.

A Little History of Science is a very good read - I liked it too as an adult.

Takver Sat 09-May-15 09:20:27

For your 8 y/o - might he like The Lion Children. It's an amazing book - written by three of the children - about their life in a camp in Botswana where their mother is studying lions.

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 12:02:24

Thank you - I'll look at those. Did your DD like Sophie's World? I read it in my early teens and found it a bit plodding and contrived (which is kind of what I think of philosophy as an adult too - so I guess it is a good introduction to philosophy in that sense!!)

Do you think the 'thematic' thing would work? So - if I got DS Lion Children - then run with the Africa theme and get half a dozen books set in/about Africa but written in different styles/genres?

I can't figure out if its inspired (since staying in the same topic will help with unfamiliar vocabulary, reinforce some factual knowledge, and give me 'license' to steer him away from his comfort zone of Mr Gum/Jeremy Strong) or just daft & artificial.

ImperialBlether Sat 09-May-15 12:10:57

Hard to know for your daughter without knowing what she's already read. Has she read any Agatha Christie? She's written 100 so there's plenty of scope there! Anne of Green Gables?

Did you ever read Mary Stewart books? I really loved them - give her The Ivy Tree and watch her enjoy her first unreliable narrator!

ImperialBlether Sat 09-May-15 12:11:50

The thing is that if you follow a theme, you might find they find it too much like school work.

IndridCold Sat 09-May-15 12:18:25

Have you tried the Cressida Cowell How To Train Your Dragon books? Also, the Paddington stories are fun. The Jiggy McCue books are fun too, and my DS adored Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth at that age. It's an enjoyable read, but has quite a lot going on too.

I agree that non-fiction route is also worth exploring too. The vital thing here is just to keep them in the habit of reading, I think.

Can you bear the idea of Enid Blyton? A friend of DS pretty much gave up reading at 9, but his mum gritted her teeth as he read his way through the Famous Five, and it did the trick. Personally, I don't mind them too much, so long as I never have to read them myself.

IndridCold Sat 09-May-15 12:21:06

For your DD, if she hasn't read them already,

Michell Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising

Blinkinwinkin Sat 09-May-15 12:30:11

Is your daughter mature enough to start on some YA literature? My dd aged 12 started reading from this genre last year, it's great 'cause I read them too and we can discuss. So things like miss peregrine's home for peculiar children (currently being filmed by Tim Burton, starting Judy Dench and Samuel Jackson so likely to be a big hit next year among her age group) also the 100 year old man who climbed out of the window, Rosamund Pitcher - my sister lives on the mantelpiece. Check out the YA lists!

Perhaps some Malorie Blackman for your 8 year old, such as Hacker or the one about the dad who is an inventor who gets kidnapped and his daughter solves the mystery. Sorry can't remember what it is called!!

Takver Sat 09-May-15 12:50:54

I think dd would have liked a theme when she was younger - so eg Lion Children, the Alexander McCall Smith children's books (Akimbo and the Lion?). But I guess it depends on the child.

Yes, she definitely liked Sophie's World - I've never read it, and DH has part read it and gave up, so neither of us encouraged her - but it obviously appealed to her somehow.

Takver Sat 09-May-15 12:51:57

On a lion theme (!), I read the Lion Boy trilogy to dd when she was about 8, and we both enjoyed it.

Bexicles Sat 09-May-15 12:56:02

My DS 8 loves Diary of a wimpy kid, Horrible Histories, all the David Walliams, Lemony Snicket. We recently read The Phanton Tollboth together and enjoyed it.

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 13:00:51

YA - DH is protective of DD - but (for example) a friend gave her a book people box set of Hunger Games - and she enjoyed those without obvious trauma. I don't think she'd really enjoy 'relationship' themes though - just darker adventure books.

Indrid I'll look those up. DD has read all the How To Train your Dragon - & maybe DS is ready for them now... I think DS is somehow put off swiping 'DDs' books.... I'm slowly persuading DD to relinquish the David Walliams and the Wimpy Kids to the 'family' book shelf - but the boys haven't picked them up yet.

Imperial Agatha Christie... no... would a child enjoy them? She read the first Anne of Green Gables and moved on without much enthusiasm to stay with the series. She's a bit of a tomboy - so books about plucky girls learning to become ladies turn her off.

I tried reading Famous Five out loud... it was a bit slow tbh ... kids lost attention... maybe our palate has been ruined by modern books.

Verbena37 Sat 09-May-15 13:03:18

Check out Elen Caldecott books for your 8 yr old. She is a great writer for both sexes.

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 13:13:59

The theme thing... its not essential - but I'd really like this to be a springboard to broaden their reading. For example, Stig of the Dump has been sitting on DS1s shelf for 9 months, repeatedly passed over for re-reads of Mr Gum. Lovingly picked Dick King Smith on DS2s shelf don't get touched blasted Mr Gum capturing another son .

AuntieStella Sat 09-May-15 13:38:51

How about Swallows and Amazons (and other stuff by Arthur Ransom) tied in to a day out on a boat (if you're near a suitable waterway)?

Or sharing one author across all three of them? Anthony Horowitz springs to mind: list here and you could join in with House Of Silk.

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 14:24:43

DD loves Horowitz.

I've honestly never read any.

Could you recommend a starter Horowitz for a younger child?

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 14:24:55

DD loves Horowitz.

I've honestly never read any.

Could you recommend a starter Horowitz for a younger child?

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 09-May-15 14:29:58

How come your kids will read the books you want them to? Mine are bookworms but strictly on their own terms envy

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 14:37:51

Well, they won't - that's the point.

DD1s school have a reading challenge - and I've reached a tentative agreement with DC that we'll all do the reading challenge - and that they'll let me pick five books each for them. I'm putting up some tantalising prizes to motivate them - and I want to make the most of a rare chance to steer them and extend their tastes.

Last Christmas I bought a pile of books from various recommendations - but the DC aren't really spontaneously approaching anything that isn't by an author they already know.

AppleSnow Sat 09-May-15 15:12:08

Mortal Engines series, Larklight, Mothstorm (Philip Reeve)
The Other Side of Truth (Beverley Naidoo)
Mallory Blackman
Indian in the Cupboard series (Lynn Reid Banks)
My Family and Other Animals (Gerald Durrell)
North Child (Edith Pattou)
Roman Mysteries (Caroline Lawrence) - very good for details about Roman Life - might appeal to the boys
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry (Mildred D Taylor)
The Windsinger (William Nicholson)
Rosemary Sutcliffe - The Eagle of the Ninth etc
The Borrowers (Mary Norton)
Artemis Fowl books (Eion Cofer)
The Legend of Spud Murphy (Eion Colfer) for youngest son
Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan)

Most of the above will be more appropriate for your daughter.
My two are teenagers and too old to be read to alas (I'm willing, they're not) but maybe reading some new authors to them will inspire them to pick up new books (which you probably already do).

I hope you have a great summer reading!

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 15:56:18

OK - the list of genres is:

Non Fiction

BookSnark Sat 09-May-15 16:09:36

Categorising the recommendations I've had already (I have to look some of them up - and I've probably missed some because its hard to scroll on my phone)

Swallows and Amazons (8 yo)
Malorie Blackman (8 yo)
Horowitz (..all...?)
Agatha Christie (11yo)

Indian in the Cupboard series (Lynn Reid Banks) ( 8yo)
The Legend of Spud Murphy (Eion Colfer) (6yo)
The Borrowers (Mary Norton) (8 yo)
Artemis Fowl books (Eion Cofer) (... A bit ambitious for 8yo..?)
How to train your dragon (8yo)


Rosemary Sutcliffe - The Eagle of the Ninth etc ( 8yo...? )
Lion Children (8yo)

Non Fiction
Horrible histories (6 yo)
Philosophy files (11yo)

Diary of a wimpy kid (8 yo )
David Walliams (8yo)
Paddington (6yo)


Allgunsblazing Sat 09-May-15 16:19:05

The school of good and evil
The Gone series
Cleopatra in space
Adrian Mole


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