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books for fluent readers

(90 Posts)
robinw Tue 16-Sep-03 13:31:11

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Sonnet Tue 16-Sep-03 15:52:35

how old is your DD?
My DD is six and has enjoyed recently under her own steam: Charlie & The chocolate Factory, Matilda, Animal Ark short stories and a couple of longer ones, Dick King-Smith - Sophie.
We are reading together "The Enchanted Wood" by Enid Blyton, although she is capable of reading that on her own.
I havn't heard of any Caroline Lawrence - what sort of stroies are they, and would you recommend them??

beetroot Tue 16-Sep-03 16:07:26

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kmg1 Tue 16-Sep-03 16:21:01

Sonnet - the Caroline Lawrence books are mystery stories for children - a la Enid Blyton Famous Five etc., but without the dated language, and blatant sexism and racism. They are set in Roman times, and my son adores them. They are not as well written as, say, Michael Morpurgo books, but generally the kids love them. Also CL is very pro-active author, and if your children email her she will write back - which of course they love. The website is here and includes some sample chapters from some of the books.

I will write some more later re fave books/authors ...

tigermoth Tue 16-Sep-03 17:40:16

My 9 year old son is currently working his way through the Goosebumps books - Harry Potter gave him a taste for mystery and fantasy. I have heard good reports from a friend about the Lemony Sickit (spelling?) books, but my son hasn't yet read any. I have to say he loves re-rereading the same books again and again, so has to be cajoed a bit to try new ones.

kmg1 Tue 16-Sep-03 18:38:37

Tigermoth, it's Lemony Snicket - the Bad Beginning - they are great - I read them ... to test them out for ds1, and they are fantastic, I love the style of writing. But they come with dire warnings on the back that they are not "happy ending" books, and ds1 read the blurb and point blank refused to read them. So I guess he's not old enough to appreciate them yet! (Can't wait til he gets into Thomas Hardy myself!)

kmg1 Tue 16-Sep-03 18:48:37

Tigermoth - can you tell us more about the "Goosebumps series", it's not one I've come across.

Mummysurfer Tue 16-Sep-03 18:51:08

I was about to start a similar thread but now no need. Thank you robinw.
Mu dd is 7, she loved the Sophie stories- Dick King Smith, on holiday she read the 3 enchanted wood stories which were all in one book. She likes happy ending stories. She also loved a book of Milly Molly Mandy stories. Yesterday I ordered £30 worth of books from the Book People so hope I've chosen this space!
Today I've been to the library whilst she was at school and came home with
Pippi Long Stocking
Little House on the Prairie
The Lion The Witch & the Wardrobe

DH thinks Lion, W & W isn't a good idea as The Witches made her cry. Maybe I'll try that one together.

She doesn't like Harry Potter, sleepover books, Jacqueline Wilson. She's a very young 7, sees the world through rose tinted specs and we want to preserve this for as long as possible.

Any other ideas eagerly waited for!

Cam Tue 16-Sep-03 18:58:34

Lauren Child's latest book (not picture book) and The Wishing Chair stories (Enid Blyton)

tamum Tue 16-Sep-03 19:06:22

Not that mine have read this on their own, but I would heartily recommend Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden. I loved it when I was a child, and it seemed to have kept its magic when I read it to ds (8) and dd (5). Her other books are also great (Carrie's War, for example).

janh Tue 16-Sep-03 19:26:27

Also The Story of Holly and Ivy (makes me cry).

sallly Tue 16-Sep-03 19:36:19

Can anyone recommend a good funny book - ideally for 7-8 yr old boys. Anything with a bit of slapstick and lavatory humour always goes down well. Fav book to date is Badjelly the Witch by Spike Milligan - have read it a million times and still love it.

SueW Tue 16-Sep-03 19:58:24

I picked up at least half a dozen books in the Cats' Protection League shop today for DD. Total cost £2.40!!!! I can't remember what they all were. We got a Philip Pullman one when we were on holiday from the Oxfam shop.

The following is a list of 'Books for Boys' compiled by some NCT friends on an email list I belong to. Although it was compiled by someone who was looking for ideas for her boys to read, I think most children would like them. Some have already been mentioned but I'm going to cut and paste the lot here!

Richard Adams Watership Down

Joan Aitken Midnight is a Place

Nina Bawden Carrie’s War

Terence Blacker Ms Wiz Supermodel
Ms Wiz Smells a Rat

Enid Blyton Famous Five series
Secret Seven series

Anthony Buckeridge Jennings books

Susan Cooper Dark is Rising Sequence
The Boggart
Grey King

Helen Cresswell The Bagthorpe Saga

Richmal Crompton Just William books

Kevin Crossley Holland The Seeing Stone

Peter Dickinson The Kin

Edward Eager Half Magic
Magic by the Lake
Knights’ Castle
The Time Garden

Anne Fine Flour Babies
Goggle Eyes
Charm School
Diary of a Killer Cat
Press Play
Bill’s New Frock
Design a Pram
How to Write Really Badly
The Book of the Banshee

Leon Garfield Devil-in-the-Fog
The Apprentices
Black Jack
Fair’s Fair
Ghost Downstairs

Alan Garner Owl Service
Weird Stone of Brisingarmen
The Moon of Gomrath

Elizabeth Goudge The Little White Horse

Ursula le Guin The Wizard of Earthsea

Anne Holm I am David

William Horwood Duncton Wood

Brian Jacqes The Redwall books

Erich Kastner Emil and the Detectives

Judith Kerr When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit

Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book

CS Lewis Narnia series

Michelle Magorian Goodnight Mr. Tom
Back Home
Little Love Song
Spoonful of Jam
Cuckoo in the Nest

Geraldine McCaughrean A Pack of Lies

Violet Needham The Black Riders
The Changeling of Monte Cristo

E. Nesbit The Wouldbegoods
5 Children and It
Phoenix and the Carpet

Andre Norton The Future Took Us

Mary Norton The Borrowers

Philippa Pearce Minnow on the Say
Tom’s Midnight Garden
Dog So Small
Who’s Afraid
Elm Street Lot
Here Comes Tod
Little White Hen
Mrs. Cockle’s Cat
Pedlar of Swaffham
Ghost in Annie’s Room

Philip Pullman The Ruby in the Smoke

Tim Rowler River Boy

Ian Serralier The Silver Sword

Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events

Robert Louis Stevenson Kidnapped

JRR Tolkein The Hobbit

Mark Twain The Prince and the Pauper
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Jacqueline Wilson Sleepovers
Cat Mummy
Buried Alive!
Vicky Angel
Dare Game
Lottie Project

Diane Wynne Jones The Crestomanci series

SueW Tue 16-Sep-03 20:04:31

Have just realised that Morris Gleitzman doesn't appear on that list.

Misery Guts
Blabber Mouth
Two Weeks with the Queen
Worry Warts
Boy Overboard
The Other Facts of Life
Belly Flop
Toad Heaven
Toad Rage
Teacher's Pet
Adults Only
Gift of the Gab
Second Childhood
Puppy Fat
Sticky Beak

kmg1 Tue 16-Sep-03 20:17:35

Thanks to all who have contributed so far. SueW - what have been your dd's "top 5" this year? From our previous thread she seemed on similar wavelength to ds1. Anyway, here's my contribution. (Ds1 is just 6, and quite young and naive in some ways. I haven't yet allowed him to read Harry Potter 4 or 5, so that gives you an idea of the sort of level of content of this list).

Caroline Lawrence: Roman Mysteries (No.1 is Thieves of Ostia) see comment below - children's mystery books, set in Roman times - the kids love them.

Murporgo: loads of stuff, but especially Arthur High King of Britain, Robin of Sherwood, Sword in the stone - these are 'boys adventure books', but are fantastic literature, beautifully written, and not a simple narrative style; complex plot. We tend to read the first 2 chapters of stuff like this to ds1 to make sure he's on the right track.
Murporgo cont.: Butterfly lion, Kensuke's Kingdom, Cool

Jenny Nimmo is a real hit right now. DS1 read Midnight for Charlie Bone, and is desperate for the sequel. This definitely appeals to Harry Potter fans - similar type of story. Well written. (also her shorter stories are great reading too - Tom and the Pterosaur, The night of the Unicorn, etc.)

Norton Juster: The Phantom tollbooth - this was a new one on me (American), but ds1 loves it. Lots of long words, dictionary definitions, and loads of puns. Will appeal to a child with a wide vocab.

Madeleine de L'engle: A wrinkle in time and sequels. Another great book - good children's sci fi - time travel, etc.

Finally - we got some 'Shakespeare Collection' books from the library - basic plots of Shakespeare plays, and these were a great hit.

kmg1 Tue 16-Sep-03 20:21:47

I've never heard of Gleitzman SueW, will check him out at the library next week. Thanks for that.

candy Tue 16-Sep-03 21:02:41

Lemony Snickett is brilliant - my eight year old has devoured all of them. Jaqueline Wilson is good for girls but should be checked by parents first as some of the material is a bit "old" (eg: in Dustbin Baby mum has committed suicide). We've just got the first two of the Spiderwick chronicles series which are pretty good and very beautiful; How To train your dragon was good fun but the best girly book for this age group in my opinion has got to be Lauren Child's "Clarice bean - Utterly me" which is (utterly utterly) fantastic!

aloha Tue 16-Sep-03 21:12:17

SueW, thanks so much for your post. I remember reading and loving so many of those books as a young child and it really took me back. Adore Susan Cooper, Richmal Crompton's William, Jennings and Alan Garner. Also John Wyndham, PG Wodehouse and Agatha Christie for 10 and up. I've got my stepdaughter (just 12) onto PG Wodehouse and she loves it and she's not a fanatical reader like I was. Used to adore, adore and worship Enid Blyton at primary school. Also loved Grimm's fairy stories, Oscar Wilde fairy stories (so to speak..) and the back of cornflake packets. I still read children's books. Tom's Midnight Garden is a wonderful book.

aloha Tue 16-Sep-03 21:12:50

A Little Princess was my absolute favourite for ages. Even better than The Secret Garden.

SueW Tue 16-Sep-03 22:02:08

DD's top books this year would probably be:

Morris Gleitzman - anything she's read by him. My mum bought her Adults Only and I nearly snatched it out of her hands when she opened it at Xmas. Should have trusted Mum more! It's about a young boy whose parents run an Adults Only tourist island retreat and how he has to stay out of sight when guests are there, etc. She's since devoured anything she can find by Gleitzman and loves them. He's English-born, migrated-to-Australia IIRC and I think he would suit the appeal for humour mentioned earlier.

Enid Blyton - Secret Seven and Famous Five stories.

Philip Pullman - Clockwork is the one she's read. She thought it was brilliant but I haven't read it. Sometimes I think I am missing out on good stories/authors I haven't read. So many new authors, so little time.....

The Hobbit - she loved this. Prob partly cos she had good fun sitting and watching Lord of the Rings with DH and enjoying that it was filmed in NZ where he comes from, as much as the imagery it helped her to create when she read the Hobbit.

I've just been to check her bookshelf. She has the Butterfly Lion but I'm not sure if she's read it. Also popular were Pippi Longstocking books - another Xmas pressie.

If she gets an 'easy' book (I still pick these up for her - like Jeremy Strong 'I'm telling you they're aliens!' she'll read it in a short space of time say 30mins but still enjoy it.

I got a Collins mixed set from the Book People - Chalet School, Lion Witch and Wardrobe, Journey to Jo'burg, Ballet Shoes. I think she has read most, if not all, of these.

SueW Tue 16-Sep-03 22:03:24

LOL aloha about the back of cornflake packets! Do you also read all the small print in packs of medicines, airline tickets, bus tickets, etc?

Please tell me I'm not the only one.......

aloha Tue 16-Sep-03 22:42:36

Yup, that's me. And the papers, even now, cover to cover. Plus captions, the credits on movies, ingredients lists, etc etc etc. I even read while pushing ds on the swing or pushing the pushchair. I can even read a book while walking down the street. My dh says it makes me perfect mugger fodder!

Bogwoppit Tue 16-Sep-03 23:03:48

I am so glad I'm not the only one reading kids books. My DS is 2 so I don't even have the excuse that I am checking their suitability.
I LOVE Lemony Snicket books. next on my list to re read are malory towers /st clairs to relive my childhood.
DH thought I was mad on hol when I read Mrs pepperpot & Gobbolino the witches cat that were in the cottage we rented!

SueW Tue 16-Sep-03 23:52:45

'Boy overboard' by Gleizman is a story of a family who flee Afghanistan for Australia. 'Jounry to Jo'burg' is about a black family living under Apartheid in South Africa.

I am sure DD and I read these and took different things from them. I read them after she did and whilst she thought they were good stories, I am pleased that the concept of those things has been introduced. I haven't talked to her in any depth about them but I'm sure they have another reading left in them and could be used for discussion if necessary in the future.

robinw Wed 17-Sep-03 06:53:54

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