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Alex rider books any views?

20 replies

wrenster · 27/10/2015 07:42

My 7 year old DS is a voracious reader and loves Harry Potter, Enid Blyton, David Walliams to name but a few (about 9/10 reading age)

I've seen a set of Alex Rider books on The Book People which look great in theory but because he reads so much older than his age I just want to make sure that the content is suitable. Does anyone have any views, or any other recommendations?

OP posts:
Enb76 · 27/10/2015 07:46

My y1 7 year old enjoyed the Percy Jackson series. I can't comment on the Alex Rider but I doubt it's hugely different in terms of content and peril.

BertrandRussell · 27/10/2015 07:50

I would save Alex Rider til he's 10. Many disagree with me, but I think that you should keep more or less to age recommendations with books as you do with films. But I woildn't let mine read all of the Harry Potters at 7 either......

multivac · 27/10/2015 07:53

I'd go for Percy Jackson at his age, rather than Alex Rider.

CarriesBucketOfBlood · 27/10/2015 07:55

I read them pretty much as they came out, starting around 8yo probably. They were great, I had no issues.

As for the PP who wouldn't let her children start reading HP at 7, the mind boggles.

Reading is, IMO, the reproduction of what already exists in your own mind. Because there are no visuals, the images and sounds and experiences that we get have to already be there in the first place.
That's why we can reread children's books and enjoy them again!

BertrandRussell · 27/10/2015 08:00

As for the PP who wouldn't let her children start reading HP at 7, the mind boggles.

Good lord- are there people like that?

vestandknickers · 27/10/2015 08:02

I'd maybe save them for next year. It is tricky at that age when their reading age outstrips their maturity. Have you tried The Parent Agency by David Baddiell? Not the greatest writing, but my DS loved it. How about the Narnia books?

For what its worth I also agree that the later Harry Potters are not suitable for a 7 year old. Why rush these things? They can be enjoyed to their full a couple of years later.

AuntieStella · 27/10/2015 08:21

Percy Jackson before Alex Rider, but the content of both is find for primary age. Well, the first six Alex Rider (Crocodile Tears gets rather darker).

The age ratings in books are very new (last couple of years), not universally supported and not directly comparable to film ratings (as they cover an assessed reading age rather more than they do content, and as they are guidance not rating)

CarriesBucketOfBlood · 27/10/2015 08:22

Bertrand Any 7yo child with reading skills suffient for HP is definitely capable of considering and dealing with the issues presented.

They start with the Philosopher's Stone.
The death of parents and being an orphan is pretty common in children's lit. There is no real description of what happens, only the effects.
Bullying between Harry, Malfoy etc. I'm sure some experience with bullying is near universal for 7yos.
The head on the back of a head. Probably the scariest part of the book, although the fact it comes at the end probably means that a child will have sufficiently invested in the characters to be able to deal with the 'horror'. I don't recall any of the final scene being particularly gruesome. The films are definitely a lot worse.

There are also lots of moments of suspense which is then released via comedy, eg troll bogeys, the mirror of erised and Dumbledore.

BertrandRussell · 27/10/2015 08:27

I know. Maybe you missed the but in my post where I said I wouldn't let a 7 year old read all the Harry Potters?

neolara · 27/10/2015 08:28

I wouldn't recommend Alex Rider for a 7 year old. From memory, someone comes to a very sticky end involving a giant fish tank in book number 1. Its more appropriate for a slightly older child.

The same author wrote some comedy murder mystery books, the Diamond Brothers series. They are still a bit gruesome, but probably more age appropriate. At least the one we listened to on cd was and my 8yo loved the others in the series.

multivac · 27/10/2015 08:52

My older son also enjoyed Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series at about that age; oh, and his brother adored Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books.

BertrandRussell · 27/10/2015 09:01

Don't forget Cressida Cowell!

multivac · 27/10/2015 09:06

Yes, Cressida Cowell is great - an author who writes for a younger audience, but deliberately uses sophisticated language.

slkk · 27/10/2015 09:11

Yes other Anthony Horowitz books might be a good start - groosham grange 1 and 2, the switch (this one maybe a bit grim actually), granny etc. Then there are the diamond brother books - falcon' s malteser, public enemy no. 2, south by south east etc. These books great but can have a bit of word play that might be tricky.

BertrandRussell · 27/10/2015 09:15

And both my children (girl and boy) enjoyed Hilary Mackay's books about the Casson family. They are unique in my experience in that they are family stories where the boys are as fully developed and interesting as the girls. (Although to be fair, there are more girls!) Try Indigo's Star- it's brilliant.

CarriesBucketOfBlood · 27/10/2015 09:16

In what world is your child going to get through approximately 3500 pages of text before they turn 8? The books are great because they 'grew' as children did.

multivac · 27/10/2015 09:20

Erm, my kids easily got through the whole HP series before they turned 8. Unlike you, they didn't have to wait for Ms Rowling to write 'em...

DelphiniumBlue · 27/10/2015 09:22

No, too violent and scary for 7. Ds 1( not at all sensitive) read them at about 10/11 and he was OK with them then, but DS2&3 found them too scary at 11/12. ( even though they had played assassins creed etc with no worries).
Other people have made good suggestions, he might also like Michael Lawrence Jiggy McCue series,or Caroline Lawrence Roman mysteries.
I've seen children at school enjoying Diary of a Wimpy kid, Tom Gates, and David Walliams books.

wrenster · 27/10/2015 16:06

Thanks everyone, really appreciate the comments and recommendations.

I will hang on for now and look at the other titles suggested. Lots to choose from, so thanks very much.

OP posts:
Witchend · 27/10/2015 22:38

Dd1 started reading them at about that age and loved them.
Dd2 was too scared at that age, but loved them at 10yo.
Ds read the graphic version of no. 1 at about 6yo, might have been just 7, and would love the fulll versions now at 8yo when he's finished the current (Lone Pine) series he's reading.

Depends on your child.

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