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Which classics, modern or The Canon, for 9-11 yr boy?

21 replies

LindsayWagner · 01/05/2011 13:39

When I was DS's age (9), I loved Mallory Towers, Rider Haggard, Austen, and other bits and bobs.

Just ordered Rider Haggard, White Fang and Sherlock Holmes - any other thoughts? He's very much not an Austen kinda guy.

Thinking along the lines of Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, 1984 - all too scary for him? Animal Farm p'raps?

Am out and about today but v grateful for suggestions, will check back later.

OP posts:
LindsayWagner · 01/05/2011 13:45

Just ordered
To Kill A Mockingbird
Animal Farm
Catcher in the Rye
Lord of the Flies
The Hobbit..

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Takver · 01/05/2011 18:09

Out of your list, I think the only one that my 9 y/o DD would enjoy (and has in fact read) is the Hobbit. (And Mallory Towers, come to think of it.)

You know your DS, but I would have though 1984, Lord of the Flies etc would be a bit much for a 9 y/o. I find 1984 a bit much for me, mind you, glad to have read it but once was enough Grin

What about Jules Verne - Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Around the World in 80 days, etc - would they appeal?

There are so many excellent books for that age, I don't particularly see the point in 'rushing ahead' - though having said that, I wouldn't stop a child who was keen to read them.

pinkhebe · 01/05/2011 18:15

wow, that's a lot lof heavy reading! There is no way I'd suggest such adult themed books like 'To kill a mockingbird' for my 10 year old!

How about the Redwall series, how to train your dragon series, skulldugery pleasent, Percy jackson?

Most of those books you've suggested are GCSE reading

FranSanDisco · 01/05/2011 18:17

Dd 10 yo has just finished my family and other animals which she loved as it's very funny in parts. She's going to read Watership Down next or Carrie's War apparently.

pinkhebe · 01/05/2011 18:18

The silver sword or eagle of the nineth?

timetocallitaday · 01/05/2011 18:19

The Phantom Tollbooth

themildmanneredjanitor · 01/05/2011 18:20

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointydog · 01/05/2011 18:33

I'd take him to a bookshop and let him choose himself.

madamehooch · 01/05/2011 20:20

There are some fantastic 'modern classics' which are much more age appropriate, such as 'Aquila' and 'The Indian in the Cupboard'. By getting him to read some of the books you have chosen before he is ready for them, you could, in fact, be putting him off reading. Why not let him read more age appropriate books himself and then read 'The Hobbit' or 'Eagle of the Ninth' eg to him so that he can appreciate the story? I'd give '1984' a miss though - I think Room 101 would frighten most nine year olds to death .....

Takver · 01/05/2011 20:40

Also, what about the Midnight Folk & the Box of Delights - just been watching the tv series of the latter with dd, which reminded me of them. Definitely classics :)

LindsayWagner · 02/05/2011 10:00

Hmm interesting. Thanks for replies. I wasn't thinking of all of these for right now - agree 1984 too scary! - but I do want to have them in the house (chucked out all my paperbacks in Twenties).

He's pretty good with metaphor and symbolism and I think would be fine with, say, Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies, with a little initial input from me.

He does choose his own books generally - for eg has read all Skullduggery Pleasant books, and Train yr Dragon and Percy Jackson (he says) are too young.

What started me off was thinking that there seemed to be a lot of 'girls'' (yes I know) classics - from Enid Blyton to Secret Garden/Ballet Shoes to Austen - for this age group and slightly older, but far fewer for boys.

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LindsayWagner · 02/05/2011 10:01

My twenties, btw. Not The Twenties. That would be weird.

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ZZZenAgain · 02/05/2011 10:09

Mark Twain ? Possibly get him to read the dialect parts outloud and help if he cannot understand those bits.

D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths? Their book on Norse legends is one of dd's all time favourite books actually.

For girls that age I really liked Siobhan Parkinson's Amelia - so much in that book. dd really enjoyed Harriet the Spy at your ds' age but since the main protagonist is a girl I am not sure how well it would appeal to him.

pointydog · 02/05/2011 11:11

There is no reason why a female main character should put a boy off a book. It's such blatant sexism.

ZZZenAgain · 02/05/2011 11:12

no I don't mean it in that way but it is a book with a strong female character that interested my dd in particular for that reason and I don't know if the book would hold quite the same appeal for a boy, maybe , maybe not. I just have a dd so I don't know. She prefers books with strong female characters but doesn't obviuosly solely read those books.

LindsayWagner · 02/05/2011 18:26

As you might imagine, pointy, we have had that conversation . Unfortunately boys of 9 aren't as susceptible to reasoned argument as you might like.

In any case, literary taste is a complex and nebulous thing, rarely susceptible to argument; at 9, the ease with which one can identify with the protagonist is perhaps more important than it is in later life.

Greek myths are a good idea Zzzen - he's already done some reading, but I'd not heard of D'Aulaire's and it looks v good.

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pinkhebe · 02/05/2011 19:13

also Spooks and the Cherub series.

If you're looking at something more classic, how about Dickens? Or Lord of the Rings? 3 musketeers, ivanhoe?

Takver · 02/05/2011 21:46

Thinking a bit more about 'classic' children's books (taking a fairly loose definition) for this age group what about:

Rosemary Sutcliff - some I would say are a bit 'old' for a 9 y/o, but it depends on reading taste - lots of male lead characters
Ursula le Guin (esp the Earthsea trilogy)
Just William/Jennings/Biggles
Diana Wynne Jones - The Power of Three and Homeward Bounders are more 'serious' reads
Alan Garner
TH White (esp the Sword in the Stone)

SecretSpi · 03/05/2011 13:09

There are some good suggestions here - for more classic books what about Treasure Island, The Prisoner of Zenda or The Swiss Family Robinson?
Or from the last century, the books by Alan Garner, as mentioned - Elidor, The Owl Service, The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier or the Tripods series by John Christopher?

BlooferLady · 03/05/2011 13:26

The Hunger Games are fantastic - I seriously can't recommend them highly enough. A trilogy of novels about a post-apocalytic society in which youngsters finding themselves being gladiators. Sounds chilling and is, but is about the most thrilling a novel can get. Fantastic role models too.

BlooferLady · 03/05/2011 13:27

And yes yes yse to TH White.

I also think everyone should be forced to at least try Terry Pratchett Grin

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