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Sci-fi for an 11 year old

(38 Posts)
PepeLePew Thu 31-May-18 08:44:23

I got such good recommendations from this board when I asked for funny books for dd that I am going to try again - 11 year old has just discovered sci-fi and his grandfather wants some recommendations for things to buy for him (he does a “new book a month” for his grandchildren which is rather sweet).

He loved Ready Player One and I, Robot and was scared half to death by the first book in The Tripods. He’s a very competent reader so adult books are fine from a language point of view (and I’d like to encourage him to push himself a bit) but he’s nervous and also quite innocent.

Series are obviously good as it helps my dad but also very open to one offs. I know dystopian fiction is huge in the YA sphere and we will give that a go but DS feels strongly that books like that aren’t sci-fi. I think it probably needs robots, space ships or damn good tech to qualify!

Guilin Thu 31-May-18 08:48:08

All of Isaac Asimov’s books on robots!

CharDeeMacDennis Thu 31-May-18 08:50:13

Also very interested in the replies to this as my 9yo (almost 10) who mostly reads non-fiction has expressed an interest in this. I had a Google, but mostly found dystopian YA, when your last line describes exactly what he wants:

I think it probably needs robots, space ships or damn good tech to qualify!

Footofthestairs Thu 31-May-18 08:51:26

What about the Star Wars extended universe books? There are absolutely loads and they tend to be made up of a series of 3-6 books that cover one particular story arc or character. The Thrawn trilogy is brilliant.

PepeLePew Thu 31-May-18 09:32:00

I’ll check out the Thrawn books - he does love Star Wars. And more Isaac Asimov is a good idea too - Grandpa will approve of that as “proper” writing. I’m going to suggest The Martian too. Minor swearing aside I think he might enjoy that.

He’s reading Enders Game at the moment and enjoying it. No idea of its suitability for that age group but the man in the bookshop said it was good!

Dottierichardson Thu 31-May-18 10:25:25

Pepe you might look at Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines it's the first in a series of steampunk/SF, written for young adults, but a lot of adults like it too. I think the first title won a children's book award.

I subscribe to an online mags that recently published a list that's specifically SF for young adults - still a lot of dystopia but some of the titles look possible. I bookmarked it for pressie ideas.
I don't know how to do that elegant one-word-link thing
bookriot.com/2018/03/01/young-adult-science-fiction-books/

Taytotots Thu 31-May-18 10:31:35

I loved John Wyndham at that age - day of the triffids, the chrysalids etc. He'd also be old enough for Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker series if he fancies some silly Sci-Fi.

SquitMcJit Fri 01-Jun-18 08:54:30

Ray Bradbury. Especially The Illustrated Man (Grandpa may also approve as “proper” writing.) Loved it myself at that age and have just read to my 10 year old, who also loved it.

Thanks for this thread - I’ll be looking for ideas too.

PepeLePew Fri 01-Jun-18 09:16:18

Ray Bradbury is a good idea.
What about HG Wells? Worried it might drag a bit for a small boy.

MissConductUS Fri 01-Jun-18 10:50:09

Robert Heinlein wrote many YA (young adult) novels. Have a look at The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as well these.

www.amazon.com/Teen-Young-Adult-Robert-Heinlein-Books/s?rh=n%3A28%2Cp_lbr_one_browse-bin%3ARobert%20Heinlein&page=1&tag=mumsnetforum-21&ie=UTF8

cloudtree Fri 01-Jun-18 10:55:25

I was going to suggest the tripods books which dS2 is currently gobbling up but see they were a bit much.

The boy in the tower is excellent (a bit like the day of the triffids)
Chocky? (although mine found it a bit old fashioned)
Mortal engines - predator cities (there are about 6 in the series) will be very popular with the movie about to come out

cloudtree Fri 01-Jun-18 10:56:41

I'd be careful with the YA stuff since a lot of them have sex in which might be a bit much at 11.

PetraDelphiki Fri 01-Jun-18 10:58:39

With the heinlein you are safe with anything less than 2cm thick...avoid the bigger books they have a lot of inappropriate sex going on (incest)...never bothered me at that age but just re read them and am a bit wtf!!!

PetraDelphiki Fri 01-Jun-18 11:00:04

If he’d consider fantasy too try the belgariad (david eddings). In the Enders game universe look at the Enders shadow series - the Enders game sequels are a bit hard for an 11 yo

FissionChips Fri 01-Jun-18 11:00:51

The Dr Who books are quite enjoyable.

Kleptronic Fri 01-Jun-18 11:03:47

Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series is epically amazing and brilliant.

cloudtree Fri 01-Jun-18 11:36:37

would time travel count as sufficiently sci-fi? DS2 is also enjoying the time riders series

Pemba Fri 01-Jun-18 14:04:13

As a kid, the first sci-fi book I read was Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time , which I absolutely loved, and that got me into sci-fi for life (well, that and the original Star Trek series). It has space travel and a bit of physics, but not really any space hardware. They don't use a space ship to travel. It is such a good story though.
There are now sequels as well, which i think weren't actually written when I was a child (I am old!), so I was unaware of them and only discovered them recently.

tharsheblows Fri 01-Jun-18 14:17:18

Mine loved the Binti series (space ships and aliens) a few years ago, I think he was maybe 14 when he read it, there's a bit of violence at the beginning: www.goodreads.com/book/show/25667918-binti and Murderbot isn't YA specific but it's great and funny (damn good tech, robots) but again some violence: www.goodreads.com/book/show/32758901-all-systems-red

BossWitch Fri 01-Jun-18 14:23:29

Throw in hitchhikers guide to the galaxy as well, still proper sci fi (aliens, space ships etc) but very very funny as well. Good summer reading.

cloudtree Fri 01-Jun-18 15:44:07

I made DS1 wait until 13 to properly appreciate Hitchhikers.

MillyTheKid Fri 01-Jun-18 15:54:57

Not sure if it would be called sci fi or fantasy but my 11 year old is into the Skulduggery Pleasant books. I sometimes read them to him and there's a bit of fighting etc but nothing too over the top.

vinegarqueen Fri 01-Jun-18 16:08:10

Terry Pratchett "Only you can save mankind"

maybe a little retro but still very funny

MrsDilber Fri 01-Jun-18 16:24:49

Robert A Heinlin - Have Spacesuit, will Travel and Starbeast. Suggestions from DH.

RueDeWakening Fri 01-Jun-18 16:48:36

DD is also 11, she reads a fair amount of fantasy/SF. I'd recommend David Eddings Belgariad and Mallorean series, Anne McCaffrey (and other authors - S M Stirling and Jody Lynn Nye both wrote at least one in the same universe on their own) Ships series inc The City Who Fought, plus some of her Pern books, Orson Scott Card stuff, Terry Pratchett especially only you can save mankind, Johnny and the bomb etc, and the Garth Nix keys to the kingdom series.

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