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12 year old insisting on reading war and peace

32 replies

theduchessstill · 23/02/2019 19:40

Ds1 has an obsession with history, especially German, Prussia, Russia. He is an able reader but I struggle to get him to read fiction. I've largely given up because he does read so it's up to him what he reads.

Since finding out about W&P and that many give up on it he really wants to read it. I'm not sure it's suitable, but I suppose there's no harm in him trying and the most likely outcome is he wouldn't get through it, but can anyone recommend anything along those lines he may like that would be more appropriate?

OP posts:
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BlueMerchant · 11/03/2019 16:07

Goodness George I'm sure you would!

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wigglybeezer · 11/03/2019 16:52

If he's fascinated with Germany ( I am too) he might enjoy Germania by Simon Winder, it's a travel / history book, in style similar to Bill Bryson so factual but amusing too.

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VivianSmith · 26/04/2019 23:05

For the Russia focus, try the trilogy by Stephanie plowman. One is “three lives for the - I had a pretty good understanding of the Russian revolution after reading through those a few times!

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VivianSmith · 26/04/2019 23:06

Sorry typo - three lives for the tsar

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Stillpinching · 19/05/2019 09:19

Sorry I started this then forgot about it. To update, I got him W&p for his birthday at the end of March and he's got about 50 pages left. He worked out he needed to read 20 pages a day to read it by next Friday and has done that, with extra at weekends if needed. Not really an approach to reading I've ever had, but hey. He loved the battle bits and quite liked the ruminations on politics, Pierre and Andréi talking about being a man and he couldn't stand Natasha. I tried and failed to work out who they were from the TV adaptation...

Definitely found it a slog at times but he's pleased he did it. Going to look at some of the recommendations above now- thanks for those.

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LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD · 19/05/2019 09:23

Try to shove some biographies and autobiographies his way. I read mostly these as a child and social history books and throughly enjoyed them. Once in a while I still have a blast of ‘themed’ reading about people from a certain era or country. Last one was the Chinese cultural revolution.

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weleasewoderick22 · 19/05/2019 10:50

I can't see what the problem is, I read war and peace at 9 and "A day in the life of Ivan Denisorvitch" at 11. I was a voracious reader and these books were the only ones in my dad's collection that I hadn't read.

I didn't understand either book, but it beat reading the back of a bleach bottle!

Let your dc read whatever he wants, obviously not anything unsuitable, as each book expands vocabulary and imagination.

My poor parents were constantly buying us books to feed our need and as a result I read history at uni and my two sisters read law and English. You can't beat a good read!

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