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Curve-ball classics for a very strong avid reader

(38 Posts)
Hiddeninplainsight Mon 11-Feb-19 11:00:21

Rather than hijacking the existing classics thread, I'm going to start a new one. My DD is a very strong, avid reader. She flies through books (although she does re-read them, thank goodness). I wanted to get some recommendations of books that would challenge and engage her (she is chomping at the bit to dive into YA, but she is only 10, and so I want to find other things to engage her).

I'm starting a new 'classics' thread for your more obscure recommendations please!

She could read pretty much anything, but although she has enjoyed the classics, what she really loves the pace of all things Rick Riordan. She is reasonably varied in her tastes (although she has no interest in animal stories) and is currently reading a pile of old Chalet School books, but I would like to find her something that will both engage and challenge her a little. Any thoughts of classics that we might not have thought of? Thanks!

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 11-Feb-19 11:06:14

I should add the reason for asking for obscure recommendations is that she has pretty much read everything on the other thread already.

Grumpbum123 Mon 11-Feb-19 11:10:17

Haven’t read the other thread but Brian Jacques Redwall series?

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 11-Feb-19 11:17:39

I hadn't heard of those Grumpbum. Although I'm afraid that if the characters are anthropomorphic animals I don't think they will be my daughter's thing. I may recommend them to a friend of hers though, who may well love them!

OutrageousFlavourLikeFreesias Mon 11-Feb-19 11:22:39

If she enjoys fantasy, has she read Ursula le Guin's Earthsea series? Beautiful, haunting stories - I loved them when I was her age.

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 11-Feb-19 11:30:26

Outrageous she tried Earthsea, but it didn't grab her. She likes more real-world fantasy (if that makes sense - Chrestomanci and Harry Potter were in, even the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings made it in, but she has never wanted to read Eragon, for example). She loves dystopian (what I have let her read thus far), but isn't into dragons (her words).

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Mon 11-Feb-19 11:31:58

I don't know about classic, but I read Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman books about that age. Homecoming is the first one, but Dicey's Song won the Newbery medal.

My parents used to buy me the Newbery winners - I discovered some amazing books and authors that way.

GrouchyKiwi Mon 11-Feb-19 11:33:43

Tamora Pierce? I'm sure she has some series suitable for that age. Like this: Circle of Magic

What about Matt Haig? The Father Christmas books are wonderful and he has lots of other fantastic books for different ages.

Maybe The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman?

Bittermints Mon 11-Feb-19 11:34:46

I loved The Wolves of Willoughby Chase at around that age. Joan Aiken. I think that genre is called alternate history now. Also When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and its sequels.

Mookatron Mon 11-Feb-19 11:34:58

Not a classic per se, but has the feel of one : the evolution of Calpurnia Tate. My 10 yr old loves it.

Haven't read the other thread though... Probably should....

WhenDoISleep Mon 11-Feb-19 11:35:21

How about Tamora Pierce - I loved them (still do!). She has created 2 different universes, both of which have several different series set within them.

Bittermints Mon 11-Feb-19 11:36:23

My daughter began reading Terry Pratchett at that age. Lifelong fan now!

PRoseLegend Mon 11-Feb-19 11:37:10

Tamora Peirce might be of interest to her.
Starting with the Lioness Quartet- about a girl who pretends to be a boy so that she can become a knight.
Then the next books are about her being found out, but saving the realm several times so that people accept her.
I devoured them as a 12 year old.

CMOTDibbler Mon 11-Feb-19 11:37:23

My ds is the same, and loves Terry Pratchett, and has read a lot of mythology books inspired by Rick Riordan like the Neil Gaiman norse one

StellaMorris Mon 11-Feb-19 11:38:35

Yes, Terry Pratchett

Pinnacular Mon 11-Feb-19 11:46:35

Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising sequence. Currently reading them with my 8yo. Like a more grown up famous five meets Arthurian legend.

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 11-Feb-19 11:46:36

She has read some Terry Pratchett but didn't love them. She tried the Tamora Pierce Lioness Quartet, but she tried it much too young I think (she was 7, and it was based on the recommendation of a friend who was thinking about from her teenage memories I think!). She read the first, and I think part of the second, but it got quite heavily into relationships. I have tried to persuade her back into it, but she isn't keen. She has read both Greek and Norse mythology books (thanks to RR), but I think she has moved past that interest stage now.

I have just bought her the Wolves of Willoughby Chase (from the other list). She doesn't much like historical, but i'm hoping she will make an exception. I will look at the Graveyard book and the evolution of Calpurnia Tate too.

I just looked at Homecoming - it sounds fantastic, but I'm not sure if it would be too real world (!). She doesn't like Jacqueline Wilson. Fussy child smile

Fazackerley Mon 11-Feb-19 11:47:50

The knife of never letting go trilogy

lekkerkroketje Mon 11-Feb-19 11:53:08

David Almond's books are faintly fantasy and quite dystopian and beautifully written

Hiddeninplainsight Mon 11-Feb-19 12:02:48

So, the Knife of Never Letting go looks like she would be desperate to read it, but is she not still a little young? She is Y5. She has read the Maze Runner series (based on a bookseller recommendation, which I think was probably a mistake - she was 9!). She has read Mortal Engines (which I know is softer). One of her best friends is reading the Hunger Games, which she is utterly desperate to read. Is it the same ilk as those? I was hoping to distract her from teenage stuff.

faintly fantasy and quite dystopian and beautifully written sound perfect! I think we have Skellig somewhere. I'll 'encourage' her to read it :D

And I didn't manage to get her into the Dark is Rising. I did try. I may try again, because I loved them as a child. Same with the Eagle of the Ninth. Again, I may try bribery. Sometimes needs persuasion, and then realises she quite likes it.

Fazackerley Mon 11-Feb-19 12:10:05

My dd read it in year6, ditto the hunger games

Fazackerley Mon 11-Feb-19 12:10:52

She also loved Percy Jackson at the same age and the Roman mysteries in year 5

ifigoup Mon 11-Feb-19 12:17:24

Another vote here for Cynthia Voigt.

Has she read Antonia Forest? Some of them are school stories, but they’re a lot richer and more emotionally complex than the likes of the Chalet School (but without being inappropriately grown-up for a ten-year-old).

I also liked realistic sci-fi at that age: stuff that’s often assumed to be for boys, so might not be on her radar, like John Wyndham, John Christopher, Isaac Asimov. Wyndham’s “Chocky” is probably the most accessible. With all these, although they do have quite adult themes, they’re not sexually explicit or anything.

WhenDoISleep Mon 11-Feb-19 12:31:16

Re Tamora Pierce - try the Immortals series - there is no romantic relationship for the main character until late book 3/book 4.

BlueChampagne Mon 11-Feb-19 12:31:34

Emma Tupper's Diary
Leon Garfield
Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy
Archie Greene
Alan Garner eg Elidor?

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