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Children's books

what classics should I read aloud...

27 replies

BiarritzCrackers · 22/11/2019 09:21

... while I still can? DS is 10, and I'm not sure how much longer he might want to be read to at bedtime, but I reckon I've at least a year.

We haven't deliberately divided reading up this way, but the books DS reads to himself are generally last two decades, and exH tends to read him series like Harry Potter, Secret Seven and the Roald Dahls, while I have been reading him older books.

Just started Box of Delights, before that Tom's Midnight Garden, a few of the Narnia set. Have Green Knowe lined up next, and Secret Garden.

Help me! What do you think is unmissable?

OP posts:
BillHadersNewWife · 22/11/2019 09:23

Huckleberry Fin and Tom Sawyer....a bit of Dickens...Oliver Twist maybe?

Green Knowe is the BEST...magical book.

Tuliptulip · 22/11/2019 09:27

I’m still reading to my boys at 11 and 13 - Prisoner of Zenda was popular recently. A bit more grown up than the ones you mention perhaps. Currently on the Scarlet Pimpernel- it is very wordy so am omitting bits as we go along (and slightly struggling with the French accents!)

Simkin · 22/11/2019 09:30

Railway Children went down well in our house. I love E Nesbit.

Witchend · 22/11/2019 13:05

I've been reading to my ds for ages books that I like.

I've done all of the ones you mention plus:
39 steps
Little House books
Prisoner of Zenda
Biggles
Lone Pine Series
Swallows and Amazon series
Cue for Treason
Wind in the Willows
The Daughter of Time
Various Noel Streatfields/Monica Edwards
Marston Baines Spy series

DelurkingAJ · 22/11/2019 13:08

Rosemary Sutcliffe (Eagle of the Ninth etc)
Diana Wynne Jones
Helen Cresswell (Bagthorpes are a huge hit here)
Geoffrey Trease
Robert Westall

BlueChampagne · 22/11/2019 13:24

The Dark is Rising. Currently reading Robinson Crusoe to DS2 (10 soon), at his request (Swallows and Amazons). It's slow going. He also enjoyed Jules Verne.

YY to Green Knowe

BillHadersNewWife · 22/11/2019 14:06

Ooh! Alan Garner! The Owl Service, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Elidor....all amazing. All with a somewhat supernatural element but grounded in the very ordinary, day to day lives of children. The Owl Service is magical. Some of his books are set around Alderly Edge and The Owl Service in Wales.

AdaColeman · 22/11/2019 14:41

So any of my favourites have already been mentioned, but here are a few more,
The Borrowers ~ Mary Norton
Treasure Island ~ R. L. Stevenson
The Hobbit ~ Tolkien
Black Beauty ~ Anna Sewell
Journey to the River Sea ~ Eva Ibbotson
Millions ~ Frank Cottrell Boyce

Happy reading!

AdaColeman · 22/11/2019 14:48

The Earthsea Quartet ~ Ursula K Le Guin (starts with A Wizard of Earthsea)

Time40 · 22/11/2019 14:53

I think ten is a bit young for The Owl Service, to be honest. It's a fabulous book, but it is full of complex psychology - that's rather the point of it. A lot of it would go over a ten-year-old's head. Yes to Alan Garner, but I'd go with Elidor, or The Weirdstone.

And I agree with doing The Hobbit. That's great to read aloud (have fun with Gollum!)

Witchend · 22/11/2019 16:33

I agree @Time40.
Dm read Weirdstone and moon of Gomrath to me and dsis when I was about 6yo and it was tricky, but okay. I then read the Owl Service to myself aged 9 or 10yo but I really didn't get it until I reread it as a young teen.

crosstalk · 22/11/2019 16:35

Another YY to Green Knowe.
I'd also go for Stig of the Dump.
And John Wyndham - the Chrysalids is the most suitable.

SunnySomer · 22/11/2019 16:38

Leon Garfield - Smith
Definitely Cue for Treason and the 39 Steps
One hundred and one Dalmations and The Starlight Barking

Spinelessjello · 22/11/2019 16:39

The Little Prince is lovely to read aloud.

Poems of AA Milne are also lovely to read because of the rhythm and if you do it regularly become such a favourite childhood memory.

I can still recite
James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree
Took great care of his mother though he was only three

Filmbuffmum · 22/11/2019 16:41

The Phantom Tollbooth

Ricekrispie22 · 22/11/2019 16:46

Swallows and Amazons
Just William
Goodnight Mr Tom
Stig of the Dump
Treasure Island
Jungle Book
Just So Stories
Gulliver’s Travels
The Indian in the Cupboard
Huckleberry Finn
Swiss Family Robinson

helpfulperson · 22/11/2019 16:47

It's never to old to be read too. I know a couple of couples who take it in turns to read each other chapters of book.

LittleSweet · 22/11/2019 16:51

I enjoyed reading this Mr Gum series. The characters need accents. I loved reading those books aloud, infact I told ds2 to have them for his bedtime stories after reading them to ds1.

notnowmaybelater · 22/11/2019 17:01

He's not too old for Charlotte's Web, my 12 year old is listening to me read it to my 8 year old atm (12 year old goes into his own room but insists I read loudly and calls out for another chapter Grin )

We read 5 Children and It a while ago and that was also a hit often referred back to by both boys - think teen DD listened to that too.

Swallows and Amazon's drags in places but we made it through and they enjoyed the faster moving parts.

Modern children's fiction is much faster moving than most older children's fiction which can mean children who read a lot of modern fiction themselves struggle to sustain interest in some longer works which we might have enjoyed - I doubt a modern author (or editor) would risk leaving the amount of fairly technical sailing vocabulary and description found in Swallows and Amazons in a modern children's book.

GrumpyHoonMain · 22/11/2019 17:07

War of the Worlds
Jurassic Park
Journey to the Centre of the Earth

BiarritzCrackers · 23/11/2019 12:48

Thanks for all these suggestions; they are great, with some books I don't know, and others I had completely forgotten about but should definitely be on my list!

DS quite likes reading down in age sometimes, so slightly younger books are fine - we were a bit disorganised the other evening, and only had a couple of minutes, so we read Owl Babies! And we re-read Pooh and Pooh Corner each year, because they are so lovely. I might organise this list in age order, and read those pitched at a younger age first.

I only have three nights each week to read to him, as although he sleeps here five nights, exH puts him to bed for two of those. Lots to pack in while I can.

OP posts:
DelphiniumBlue · 23/11/2019 16:28

Varjak Paw by E Said. Best children's book ever!

Moondancer73 · 23/11/2019 16:30

Stig of the dump and when he's a bit older give him the Gene Kemp books to read, I still love those books.

notnowmaybelater · 23/11/2019 17:58

If he likes comfortable younger books try Judy Blume's Fudge series. My 12 year old learnt to read and write in German and goes to an ordinary German state school and as he wasn't naturally inclined to read to himself for pleasure I encouraged German books first, and he supposed me by picking up the Fudge books in English (had them from his older sister) and really getting into them when he was 10. They are really for slightly younger children but at bedtime that's comforting and the everyday settings are familiar.

Some MN posters are sneery about any child choosing/ being pushed towards books aimed at older age groups/ adults, but there's a lot to get out of well written younger books and a lot of the content of Orwell or Huxley or Tolkien etc will go way over a ten year old's head and may put them off coming back to those author's later.

notnowmaybelater · 23/11/2019 17:58

*surprised not supposed

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