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Can you recommend Young Adult books suitable for a 9 year old?

(64 Posts)
Blatherskite Thu 09-Feb-17 18:25:23

OK, there's no way of saying this without sounding like I'm boasting so I'm just going to apologise here - sorry - and go with it...

DS is 9. A month off turning 10. According to the school's assessment, he's been reading ahead of his age since about year 2. We've been to parents evening tonight and they've said that he's gone up to a reading level of 14.3 years!!

I'm amazed and proud and excited obviously. He loves reading and it shows. I'd love to buy him a new book to celebrate his achievement but I'm not sure what to buy. I guess to support his ability I should be looking at Young Adult type books aimed at teenagers but not all of them are suitable as he is in reality, still only 9 with all of the naivety and interests that go with that age.

Could anyone recommend some books which might be suitable?


Sidge Thu 09-Feb-17 18:41:22

My DD3 is 10 and a very capable reader, but I find the YA books in our local library have rather mature themes.

She's currently working her way through the Harry Potter series, and also likes reference books. She's also read Philip Pullman, Lemony Snicket, and loves David Walliams!

ActuallyThatsSUPREMECommander Thu 09-Feb-17 18:47:36

Percy Jackson books are a pretty good compromise between children and YA. For something really challenging you could try Frances Hardinge's Fly By Night. Terry Pratchett's Truckers/Diggers/Wings series is very good for that age.

Or go with the traditional MN advice and go Old Skool. E Nesbit, Just William, Jennings, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Doctor Doolittle etc etc. All are a bit more challenging whilst not having any questionable content (apart from some horrific class prejudice in Nesbit I guess, and terrible if well-meaning racism in the Dr Doolittle, but that's been edited out in modern editions).

And you can't go wrong with The Hobbit. If he flies through it then The Lord of the Rings is the obvious next step.

BertrandRussell Thu 09-Feb-17 18:54:29

Just because he can doesn't mean he should. Stick to age appropriate content just as you would with films.

Blatherskite Thu 09-Feb-17 18:57:51

Ooh, I have Harry Potter, Pullman, Lemony Snicket, Truckers/Diggers/Wings, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books all on the shelves! Good ideas

Blatherskite Thu 09-Feb-17 18:59:12

That was pretty much my question Bertrand. Are there any YA level books appropriate for a 9 year old.

anxious2017 Thu 09-Feb-17 18:59:12

My 8 year old is the same. He's shot through the usual Beast Quest, David Walliams, Roald Dahl stuff. He's just discovered the Warrior Cat series which he's really enjoying, loves a Harry Potter and I was thinking of the Hobbit next. Careful with content though. Some of the young adult books are more adult than young.

BertrandRussell Thu 09-Feb-17 18:59:34

Oh, god- not the Lord of the Rings- the most boring book ever written!

ActuallyThatsSUPREMECommander Thu 09-Feb-17 19:02:45

I said only if he adores the Hobbit and insist on more Bertrand. Presumably you realise that LOTR didn't become one of the best selling books of all time because everyone hates it and thinks it's unreadably dull grin

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 09-Feb-17 19:06:27

I second Percy Jackson which is pretty safe: DS has always been an avid reader well ahead of his age so we had similar problems. He also loved the Roman Mysteries.

AllTheLight Thu 09-Feb-17 19:07:15

How about the Chronicles of Narnia and the Arthur Ransome books?

Tidypidy Thu 09-Feb-17 19:07:22

My 10 yo dd is working her way through the chronicles of narnia and loves them.

Tidypidy Thu 09-Feb-17 19:07:37

Cross post!

picklemepopcorn Thu 09-Feb-17 19:09:08

Robinson Crusoe? Swiss family Robinson? Arthur ransome, swallows and amazons?
Modern ones: The Artemis Fowl books, eoghan Coulgher (?) are brilliant, and the Alex Ryder series, Anthony Horowitz.

Dabisadancemove Thu 09-Feb-17 19:09:36

Yes Percy Jackson has gone down well with my nearly 9 DD. She is just about to read her first Terry Pratchett - hopefully it will be a hit as he's written quite a few for that age group.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 19:13:15

Diana Wynne Jones - the Chrestomanci series is probably a good place to start but she wrote about a million books and they're all great.

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 09-Feb-17 19:13:44

My just turned 10 year old has read some of the younger age pratchett books including the short stories such as dragons at crumbling castle, the hobbit, goodnight Mr Tom, pull man's adventures of the new cut gang. Things like that. He likes war stories and has read a few morpurgo books too. Plus Harry Potter etc.

Sadik Thu 09-Feb-17 19:18:33

Loads of good suggestions here - would also suggest looking out for non-fiction in areas that interest him as it's likely to be 'safe' while more challenging to read IYKWIM. So eg if he has a sport he enjoys, maybe some lighter popular science if he's that way inclined.

I'd tend to avoid things badged 'YA' as they're often relatively simple in structure/language but with content aimed at teenagers.

Blatherskite Thu 09-Feb-17 19:19:46

Thanks everyone. Some great suggestions here.

Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Thu 09-Feb-17 19:21:06

The thing is, the books labelled "young adult" are those with teenage and adolescent themes (puberty, sex, drugs, fighting) rather than being special things for advanced and clever children.

We have a wealth of classic children's literature which includes complex narrative and challenging vocabulary. You would be better placed going into the children's section of the library or a large bookshop and seeking advice.

JigglyTuff Thu 09-Feb-17 19:22:25

DS (similar age) has read most of the Percy Jackson books and is now reading some books about children at Bletchley - Secret Breakers - which he's enjoying. Gone through a lot of Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett which have also gone down well.

I want him to read Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines series next.

Blatherskite Thu 09-Feb-17 19:27:41

My sister actually works in a large highstreet bookshop Where and has been helpful. But no bookseller can know everything about all books in all genres and while she loves children's books, they are not her forte. She's going to check with some colleagues for me but I thought I would tap into the knowledge of Mumsnet too.

Blatherskite Thu 09-Feb-17 19:28:58

Ooh, I might look for the Secret Breakers ones Jiggly. We live very close to "The Home of the Codebreakers" so he might like those.

Smoothyloopy Thu 09-Feb-17 19:35:03

DD 10 is enjoying The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey.

BoogleMcGroogle Thu 09-Feb-17 19:37:44

A word reading age 4 years above chronological age happens quite often ( I'm an ed psych, I see this a lot; I think that once you get to a critical mass you can just read most words. I wish schools would stop using age equivalents though as they can be very misleading for several reasons.). His 'score' doesn't tell you everything about his reading comprehension skills, especially the higher order ones and you suggest that in terms of themes, your son is well suited to books suited to children of his age. In which case, think about broadening the range of books he reads, rather than going for YA books. My daughter is a good reader at 7 and enjoys poetry ( Old Possums etc) and likes older books aimed at children such as the Just So stories. At the moment she's reading JRR Tolkein's letters to Father Christmas and she's eyeing up Michael Morpurgo's rewriting of Grimm's fairy tales next. The content is appropriate but they provide a different experience. She's only just started Harry Potter ( although now is on a book a week) as she tried them last year and was a bit upset by the themes.

However, I would also add that I am extremely grateful that as a good and early reader, my parents just gave me free run of their bookshelf and the local library. By eleven I was quite partial to Ian Fleming, Agatha Cristie and a bit of sneaky Jilly Cooper (among more highbrow works now and again). YA didn't exist as a genre then, and in a way I'm quite grateful for that.

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