Fantasy book recommendations(43 Posts)
My DD is a big fantasy book fan, and a prolific reader. She has read a lot, and we are looking for ideas about what next! Her favourite is probably all things Rick Riordan, but she has also really enjoyed:
Diana Wynne Jones (she loved them when she read them but seems to be less interested)
Narnia (she didn't love but she enjoyed them all)
Lloyd Alexander Prydain books
Norse and Greek Myths
Artemis Fowl (liked first three but then got bored)
Who let the gods out
She didn't get into:
She is a good reader, has a very good vocabulary, and is very happy to read complex language/plot. Anyone got any recommendations (nothing YA theme wise)? Is the Earthsea Trilogy suitable? She has looked at the Inkheart books but hasn't been taken by them (not sure why not). Sometimes if I start reading the book to her I can get her hooked (but not with Susan Cooper), so if the Inkheart books are something she might enjoy let me know. Thanks
What age is your DD?
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
more Neil Gaiman e.g. Caroline
Queen series by Nancy McKenzie e.g. Child Queen
Rosemary Sutcliffe maybe?
Mary Stewart - Arthurian series
Quest For A Maid by Frances Mary Hendry.
Was Nix too adult or violent?
These may be too adult:
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Jim Butcher Codex Alera series and Cinders Spires series
Raymond Feist and Trudy Wurst together wrote 3 books
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
Anne McCaffery (original ones)
Also, try second hand bookshops for older series from 1970-80s (no longer available).
Google threw up loads of lists like this one: www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/02/the-30-best-fantasy-book-series-of-all-time.html?a=1
Thanks so much for those recommendations, User. She is nearly 8, which is largely what makes it tricky finding good stuff because clearly there is some stuff which isn't suitable. She was desperate to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar children but I am not letting her. I did hesitate, but I just think it is probably too YA. I was never into Fantasy, and so it is hard for me to know what treads that fine line between complexity but appropriateness! I think that Terry Pratchett might be a good author for her to try. If you have any suggestions for things that aren't suitable, that would be good. Is Good Omens going to be too old? She does actually like things a bit dark, and she likes dry humour, and although she reads well beyond her age (in interest, ability and comprehension), she is still young.
Just to add there are loads of good suggestions there. I will try Rosemary Suttcliffe too (I'm working my way through the list to find out what they all are ).
I can see why she went off the later Artemis Fowl's - they definitely get more teen as the series progresses.
There is a lot that is new out. Things my 10 YO fantasy lover has read recently includes The Apprentice Witch, Beetleboy, Scarlet and Ivy series and the School of Good and Evil series. Keep talking to librarians, book sellers or looking on goodreads because so much great 8-12 fantasy is published each year that it's a shame to need to resort to buying teen/adult fiction for her.
Also, with such an amazing reader I'd be subtly trying to encourage her widening her horizons beyond fantasy a little. (Not that there's anything wrong with reading fantasy, just variety is good too.)
Rosemary Sutcliffe is pretty dense for an 8YO. I'd recommend those for a child who likes Susan Cooper and the like but it doesn't sound like she does yet.
Thinking along the Percy Jackson lines, since that's her favourite, other mythological fantasy series are the Blackwell Pages series by K Armstrong and Kate O'hearn's Pegasus series (also her Valkyrie series but that might be edging towards teen a bit more... not sure)
Thanks Somerville. It is exactly the avoiding of teen material that is tricky (but important!). She doesn't need to be reading that now. At the same time, she does like complexity. She has been trying to read Lord of the Rings (she started it because, not being into that sort of thing, I didn't realise that it wasn't roughly the same as the Hobbit, which she really loved, and she was asking to read LoRs), she read book 1, but has not found it so easy to engage with book 2 (although she hasn't been put off totally, she is just reading other stuff too). She has read other stuff too, she liked Anne of Green Gables and has read some Noel Streatfield, and she reads Diary of a Wimpy kid when she wants something light, and will still read a Horrid Henry over breakfast, but her passion is fantasy, and I must admit, I do love the way she will get totally lost in the books she adores.
If you can find a copy, Rebecca's World by Terry Nation is a wonderful read.
Just looked at the Kate O'Hearn books - the Valkyrie ones feature a Freya (DD's name), and I saw the age range 6-11 and thought great, and then saw that they are in the Amazon YA book lists, including the love and romance one!! How confusing is that ! I will do more research into all the recommendations . Please keep them coming people.
David Edding's triologies are good - The Belgariad, Mallorian, and Elenium/Tamuli series.
I agree it's tricky with 8 year old's who love complexity. Surronding her with books, as you're doing, and looking up anything you're unsure about is definitely the right strategy. There's nothing unsuitable about LotR, they're just so long and complex - I think it's brilliant that she's tackling it at all.
I think the natural progression from fantasy for kids is historical fiction. Same kind of level of detail and sense of discovering a totally different world. So those might be what to have lying around for when she's next gobbled up all the fantasy on the shelf. A time slip historical might be fun, as it has that bit of fantasy too. One
I DD1 enjoyed was Beswitched by Kate Saunders (actually all her books are brilliant) which is basically modern girl goes back in time to 'Malory Towers'!
Have you tried the Tamora Pierce books? There are several different series
The little white horse, it's a lovely low fantasy story.
Lari Don's Fabled Beast Chronicles are very good. I have read them to/with my DDs and we all enjoyed them. There are 5 books in the series 'First Aid for Faeries' is the first in the series
Oldies but Alan garner - elidor, the owl service etc
Tamora Peirce is good but I'd stick to the Circle of Magic for now. The others may be too YA and cover aspects of puberty and growing up you might not be happy with (esp. the Lioness books,).
Which Garth Nix did she try? The Mister Monday or the Seventh Tower books are a lot less dense than Sabriel and the other Old Kingdom books. I align them with Rosemary Sutcliffe in my head when it comes to complexity.
Cornelia Funke is good. Try starting with Inkheart.
Anne McCaffery - stick to the Harpers hall books (start with Dragonsinger). The rest of the Pern books have sex, some of it non consensual in places.
Pratchett - Start with Wee Free Men.
How about classics like Five Children and it, the princess and the goblin, etc.?
I started reading LotR at 9 and like your daughter I got swamped down in book two. The other things that I was reading at that age were things like The Little House books, classic Sci Fi such as Islands in the Sky (Authur C Clarke) or I, Robot (Issac Asimov). I also read Dune (Frank Herbert) for for the first time in year 5, though you might want to check that first. I also loved the Belgariad book (David Eddings).
The Edge Chronicles
Witchworld and Witchmyth (Emma Fischel)
How to Train your Dragon
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
The Children of Green Knowe
Could also try:
Prisoner of Zenda
The Scarlet Pimpernel
I have a list of book ideas from all of these - thank you! More are very welcome - I'm going to give her a list and get her to choose the ones she fancies (it is her birthday soon!). I also think I might try her with one Rosemary Sutcliffe because we are going to Bath to see the Roman Baths in April, and I am thinking that The Eagle of the Ninth might be an interesting read. Is that a good place to start? I will probably try reading it aloud to start with, because that will hook her on most stuff.
I'm not quite sure if these count as fantasy or not, but they do feature things that couldn't happen in real life:
Indian In The Cupboard
Toms Midnight Garden
Eagle of the Ninth is very sophisticated in terms of the language (and the series can be quite bleak) so way above most 8YO - your DD might be an exception. The best intro to Sutcliffe for younger readers IMO is called Capricorn Bracelet and is a collection of short stories about the Romans in Britain, all linked by the eponymous bracelet. It's out of print last I checked but I bought it second hand on amazon. It would be a great to read together on run up to a trip to Roman Baths.
(PS Does she have a library card? She needs one if not, so she can keep gobbling up books. )
To answer your Terry Pratchett's question, there are several that are more child-friendly than the Discworld series. I'd suggest the Johnny books (Only you can save mankind, Johnny and the dead, Johnny and the bomb), the Nomes books (Truckers, Diggers, Wings), and The Carpet People.
A few of his are Discworld for younger readers, but IMO they're better if you've read the others and know the world more.
Hi, I agree with Verypunny - the David Edding trilogies were/are wonderful stories. I must have re-read them a number of times growing up. I had also enjoyed the Fighting Fantasy books, don't know if they're still around though. The idea of choosing my characters destiny based on the decision I took whilst reading through the books was really fun.
If I can be a little bold, the digital book I wrote for children called The Ponds of Wonder is also a fantasy story you'd might like to consider. It's targeted to readers from 8 years of age and older. You can find the webiste for it by searching the title of the book.
I loved the series beginning So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane. A normal 13 yr old finds a book about how to become a Wizard. Long enough to develop plot and characters fast paced and as far as I remember no older teen themes that would be too old for her. And the William Corlett books starting with the Steps up the Chimney. A bit Narnia like with 3 siblings drawn into a magical world. Was a tv series at one stage. And Oskar and the ice pick, bit younger in style but so funny and different. I bought it to read again as an adult!
I was like your daughter and ended up reading a lot of things that probably weren't that suitable! Remember reading and rereading those series though.
Oh and the winter of enchantment by Victoria walker is a wonderful book though hard to get hold of. I regret selling my copy.
Maybe the Eragon series? DD was given them for her 9th birthday and really enjoyed them.
The Lion Boy trilogy by Zizou Corder is good and definitely appropriate for an 8 y/o (but be aware that they are really one book split in 3 and book 1 at least ends on a total cliffhanger!)
The Snow Spider series by Jenny Nimmo is lovely - based on Welsh mythology (her Charlie Bone series is also good)
The Last Dragonslayer books by Jasper Fforde (most of his books are for adults, but this series is aimed at children)
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