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Recommendation for pre 1914 book for ds13

(38 Posts)
auberginesrus Wed 08-Feb-17 22:43:31

My 13yo ds has been challenged by his English teacher to read a book written prior to 1914. He is singularly unimpressed with the idea. He's very bright and loves reading but only likes fantasy/magic/science fiction and mythology type stuff. We've tried him on Aldous Huxley but he can't into it at all. Any good ideas? The classics I love will most definitely not wash!

thereinmadnesslies Wed 08-Feb-17 22:45:04

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy?

traviata Wed 08-Feb-17 22:47:25

Sherlock Holmes novels/ short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Maybe 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' to start?

H G Wells 'the War of the Worlds'.

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.

SorrelForbes Wed 08-Feb-17 22:48:05

The E Nesbitt Bastable books are full of magic and fantasy but he might think them a little young? I still read them though!

traviata Wed 08-Feb-17 22:48:32

not Jude the Obscure!!! Page after page of rural bleakness interspersed with horrific tragedy...

traviata Wed 08-Feb-17 22:49:53

E Nesbitt is a good idea, maybe '5 Children and It?'

SunnySomer Wed 08-Feb-17 22:50:21

Some Dickens? Maybe Great Expectations?

traviata Wed 08-Feb-17 22:51:29

Stories by M R James, very ghostly and creepy.

rhetorician Wed 08-Feb-17 22:52:05

erskine childers, The Riddle of the Sands - adventure/early spy novel. Pub 1903, not too long

Surreyblah Wed 08-Feb-17 22:52:40

Dickens of course!

Christmas Carol if he wants a short one!

SunnySomer Wed 08-Feb-17 22:52:40

Oh. Derr. Sci fi. Maybe Jules Verne?

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 08-Feb-17 22:53:51

Yes, E Nesbitt's The Story of The Treasure Seekers is ace. Very funny and a good read. It's in serial chapters too so if he really doesn't like it he could just read a couple and still have enough to talk about.
For huuuuge bonus points he could force himself through Sarah Fielding's The Governess, which was the first novel written specifically for children (1749). God, it's dull, but would definitely bag him some kudos if only for perseverence.

BroomstickOfLove Wed 08-Feb-17 22:54:05


Surreyblah Wed 08-Feb-17 22:54:07

Dracula: v scary!

rhetorician Wed 08-Feb-17 22:54:17

or james fenimore cooper, the last of the mohicans (1826), Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903), Hawthorne, the Scarlet Letter (also short)

Surreyblah Wed 08-Feb-17 22:55:12

Room with a View

traviata Wed 08-Feb-17 22:57:08

Aldous Huxley is all just people talking and no action, so I'm not surprised it didn't appeal.

BroomstickOfLove Wed 08-Feb-17 23:01:13

Or some of the Victorian versions of Norse mythology. There's a good selection here:

confusedaboutthis Wed 08-Feb-17 23:04:15

Another vote for HG Wells 'The War of the Worlds'. Its fabulous.

AdaColeman Wed 08-Feb-17 23:06:45

Treasure Island is a cracking adventure story.

The Blue Carbunkle for a Sherlock Holmes starter?

Sadly The 39 Steps is a year too late at 1915! grin

Marmelised Wed 08-Feb-17 23:06:46

The machine stops by EMForster. 1909. Not at all like his other books. It's sci-fi and predicts the internet, Skype, tablets. More of a short story so not too onerous to read.
I read it in the 70s and rediscovered it as an adult once all the above had been invented. It was all still futuristic when I first read it!

Surreyblah Wed 08-Feb-17 23:08:47

War of the Worlds is amazing, v modern, and is partly set in surrey, smile

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Wed 08-Feb-17 23:11:43

Yes yes to the machine stops.

Sgtmajormummy Wed 08-Feb-17 23:12:58

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur.

(Nailed it. grin)

auberginesrus Thu 09-Feb-17 08:33:24

Thanks all, some great suggestions to go at - I like the sound of the Forster one.

Traviata I love Jude the Obscure, one of my all time faves but I doubt he'd make it through the first chapter! grin

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