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Book suggestions for child who is able, but too young to read later Harry Potter books

49 replies

brilliotic · 15/07/2017 16:25

DS is nearly 7. He is an able and scarily fast reader (for me anyway, I read slowly). He has just devoured book four of the Harry Potter series (The Goblet of Fire) in 9 days. Now he is clamouring for more.

I was hesitant to let him read The Goblet of Fire in the first place and do not want him to proceed on to the next three books for a good while yet - though some of his classmates have been reading them. I need to present him with some other great books, just as fun but more age appropriate. To stop him from badgering me all the time about The Order of the Phoenix!

I have seen the recent 'bereft after HP' thread but feel that the books on there are way too 'old' for DS.

Any suggestions?
Preferably something a bit meaty, and ideally a series, or an author who was written lots of books, so that he can keep going for a while :)

OP posts:
brilliotic · 17/07/2017 09:38

It's tricky isn't it? You want to quietly look through the books in the library, but after about 30 seconds find yourself completely distracted by the younger child, and before you know it, you're working out how you can leave the library quickly with some (any!) new books but without actually stealing them.
OP posts:
Somerville · 17/07/2017 09:40

The summer reading challenge is up and running in libraries again this summer. There are usually teenage volunteers to help children find books they like - quickly explain to them 'loves fantasy but sensitive - nothing scarier than the BFG!'

DreichAgain · 17/07/2017 09:46

My son had similar tastes.

He liked Secret Seven books and Famous Five!

Also Stig of the Dump.

I know kids that age who really like Spy Dog books by Andrew Cope.

DreichAgain · 17/07/2017 09:50

The only Roald Dahl he really loved was Matilda.

A teacher read the first Warrior Cats to the class and it was really well received, there is a huge series.

Allthebestnamesareused · 17/07/2017 10:03

The Roman Mysteries - there are15 of them! Bit like famous five set in roman times.

Percy Jackson series

DreichAgain · 17/07/2017 14:06

Another series my ds liked at that age was The Wicket Chronicles by Joan Lennon. Very gentle mediaeval adventure with a bit of magic thrown in in the form of a living gargoyle!

MipMipMip · 17/07/2017 20:27

Have you tried Terry Pratchett's gnome series? First one is Truckers. Three utterly brilliant books. Mild peril but overcome, some deaths but light (if that makes sense). You will likely end up reading them while he is in bed to check they are OK.

Bitlost · 18/07/2017 05:39

Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
Dragon Rider, Cornelia Funke
The Swiss Family Robinson
Kaspar, Prince of Cats by Morpurgo

DD (7) also likes the Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aitken and the Laura Marlin series by Lauren St John.

She's also reading some Willard Price at the moment but not too keen on those as they are of their time...

BlueChampagne · 18/07/2017 13:09

Next time you're at the library, see if you can collar a librarian in the first couple of minutes. Pack DS off with him/her to hunt for books (suggestions from non-parents can be more likely to be taken up!), and then you can relax with DD and find some nice books for her too.

If Roald Dahl is a bit scary, I'd leave the Roman Mysteries for now.

gybegirl · 18/07/2017 13:17

There are some great suggestions already. I don't think these have been mentioned yet...

Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton.
Tom Gates by L Pichon
Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

My DD must have read every Beast Quest book about 12 times. The librarian kept saying 'you've had this one out a few times already you know'. She'd just nod and continue reading. Eventually she moved onto different things - thank goodness.

Clembarrass · 18/07/2017 13:25

Has Eva Ibbotson been mentioned yet? Not really a series as such, but she has written lots of age-appropriate fantasy books.

How about the William books by Richmal Crompton or the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge? They are not remotely scary, and there are loads of them, and the Jennings ones are set at a boarding school (though not a magical one).

Also I would recommend "Nicobobinus" by Terry Jones, for a bit of fantasy that isn't scary and is funny.

NicolaMarlowsMerlin · 23/08/2017 14:10

I tenth (or whatever we are at now) DWJ. You might start him though not with chrestomanci but with others - try 'the ogre downstairs', 'wilkins tooth' or 'eight days of luke' - a few of her earlier books which have her magic touch but are shorter and very funny, particularly the ogre.

nonicknameseemsavailable · 03/09/2017 21:30

I spend an enormous amount of time looking through Amazon for ideas, you can read the descriptions, see inside and read reviews. then you can ask your library to get books in that sound possible for him to look at. I have 2 girls, both a bit older, both stopped from reading more HP books for the same reasons. I would look back at some of the older books from our childhood. The adventure series by Enid Blyton is nice because it isn't the famous five or secret seven so seems a bit different - only 6 or 7 in the series I think. Wind in the Willows? E Nesbit books like the Phoenix and the Carpet, Enchanted Castle etc might be good. they are a bit more wordy but for an able young reader they are fine and they aren't scary.

BlueChampagne · 06/09/2017 12:34

Archie Greene - like early HP

emmaMBC · 12/09/2017 15:12

How about... You Can't MAke Me Go To Witch School? We really enjoyed it.

threestars · 23/09/2017 22:10

The Nowhere Emporium is a good one, although a one-off as yet. But based upon magic too.

brilliotic · 09/10/2017 12:51

Coming back to report on our continued struggles, and finally success in getting past the Harry Potter slump! Thank you everyone for these excellent suggestions, there seem to be some amazing children's books out there. It reaffirms my conviction that having an early/proliferous reader should mean that the child gets to read more of the many many excellent children's books that exist, rather than that they should move onto 'older' books as soon as they are 'able' to read them.

So DS has just devoured Ronia The Robber's Daughter (Astrid Lindgren). I admit I bribed him into starting to read it... Gave him a pile of books (so he had a choice) and promised him a small reward (a Harry Potter fake Lego minifigure, it is still HP that draws) for getting to the middle of any book from that pile.
He stated that it was the best book he'd ever read! And now is super keen for more Astrid Lindgren (but that is for another thread).

Below is how we got on with some of the suggestions from this thread.

  • Bought the first Charlie Bone book but DS didn't get past the first couple of chapters.

  • DS is keen on the Percy Jackson books but had to order from library and hasn't arrived yet.

  • How to train your Dragon series leaves him cold (me too, frankly!)

  • We did the Swallows and Amazons (first book), and the Hobbit, as bedtime story (he read a few chapters by himself too), we both enjoyed it but he hasn't shown any indication of wanting the sequels.

  • We picked up a Mabel Jones book from the library but it went back unread - I think the problem may have been the female title character (we're working at overcoming this issue - in fact, Ronia may have solved it). Same for Garth Nix The Frogkisser - the blurb didn't do it for DS.

  • Have Dragonrider (Cornelia Funke) waiting, did the first chapter as bedtime story, DS seems keen to continue. Also found a Just William book in the charity shop, hasn't caught his interest yet though.

  • He generally enjoys Secret Seven and Famous Five books, and incorporates them in his play all the time, but just won't pick them up to read in this post-HP-slump.

  • He read a couple of Mr Gum books and had fun, but they're not the kind of book you can sink into a world IYSWIM.
OP posts:
BlueChampagne · 09/10/2017 13:03

Has no-one suggested the Worst Witch series yet? He'll go through them in a trice but never mind.

You could look at Edge Chronicles too.

Notrightnowww · 10/10/2017 10:21

Thanks for updating, OP.

I have a similar ds, almost 7 but can read anything (but I've stopped him after the second HP book). He is desperate to read Percy Jackson, but from what I've read on here, I might make him wait a bit on that too!

I've got the Charlie Bone set, so I hope he likes that. He's been reading Lari Don books recently, so I've also got Ali Sparkes Shapeshifters to try out and we'll try some of the other suggestions on the thread too. Left to his own devices in the library he just goes back to Beast Quest..

CountFosco · 10/10/2017 21:55

Agree it's worth going to the classics with a good reader, the language is so much more challenging than modern kids books and the themes are less adult.

DD1 has just devoured the first Wolves of Willoughby Chase book despite claiming to only like fantasy (obsessed with HP) so the whole series is now on her wishlist. Loving Narnia at the moment, you could try The Magician's Nephew instead of TLTWATW. Another vote for the Green Knowe books. What about The Box of Delights for Christmas reading or might that be too scary? What about Tom's Midnight Garden?

brilliotic · 01/02/2018 14:02

Coming back to this thread half a year on, to remind myself of some ideas I had wanted to pursue and what to keep a look out for in the charity shops.

Had to smile at the last post, talking about the 'classics' ... DS got hooked on Percy Jackson and, in an extension of that, on Greek mythology. He rates 'D'Aulaires' book of Greek myths' as the best book he has ever read... and is talking about wanting to learn Latin! May be that I have a little classicist in the making ;)

As for reading material, he is deep into Rick Riordan, and I have a feeling this phase won't end until he's gone through the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse mythology. Can't say I mind, especially if he continues to go beyond the RR books to read the 'original' myths they are based on.

Before, and in parallel to that, we have been reading (together/bedtime reading) The Accidental Pirates (books 1&2) which I can thoroughly recommend (pirates, magic, dragons, mystery of origin, all wrapped up in excellent writing with a focus on friendship development; also alternating boy hero/girl heroine viewpoints); and the Polar Bear Explorers Club, a fun read with lots of fairytale elements.

OP posts:
Leeds2 · 01/02/2018 19:28

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey.
Jiggy McCue series by Michael Lawrence.
Swallows & Amazons.
Just William series.


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hels71 · 03/02/2018 20:05

Following suggestions on here I bought Charlie bone for DD. She did not like at first but then devoured the lot and is now hooked on crestomanci!

AnthonyNordvikNash · 17/02/2018 15:05

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