My feed

to access all these features

Join in for children's book recommendations.

Children's books

Gentle easygoing for a 12 yr old

44 replies

scrappydappydoo · 06/05/2020 17:44

DD is struggling with lockdown and needs some easygoing books that she can escape into. She likes to read but isn’t at a particular high level. She’s just finished the little house on the prairie series, loves E Nesbit, Anne of green gables, what Katy did, Hetty Feather etc Any suggestions for what she could read next? Maybe something a bit more modern?

OP posts:
OnlyJudyCanJudgeMe · 06/05/2020 17:48

Harry Potter series.
Trebizon series. (Might be trickier to get though).

bookmum08 · 06/05/2020 17:50

Other Jacqueline Wilson ones. Katy by Jacqueline Wilson is actually a modern version of What Katy Did and she has also written a 'sequel' to 5 Children and It (called Four Child and It).
If she then enjoys the moderation Jacqueline Wilson's then Jean Ure is quite similar.

StarDanced · 06/05/2020 17:51

Not very modern but I really enjoyed Mallory Towers and The Naughtiest Schoolgirl series by Enid Blyton when I was her age. Both about boarding schools. Very easy to read. Some of it is a little dated now but provides good escapism.

bookmum08 · 06/05/2020 17:53

Modern Jacqueline Wilson's. I don't know where moderation came from!

TheHuman · 06/05/2020 17:54

Again, a bit of a classic, but perhaps the swiss family robinson? Its quite laid back and calm, but exciting nonetheless.

Aethelthryth · 06/05/2020 17:55

A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Noel Streatfield- Ballet Shoes, Gemma etc.

bookmum08 · 06/05/2020 18:04

At that age I was obsessed with Judy Blume and Paula Danziger books.
Would she like Graphic Novels. I absolutely love the books by Raina Telgemeier and Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson - essentially Judy Blume style teen angst but in graphic novels instead. As well as her own stories Raina Telgemeier has also adapted some Babysitter's Club books into graphic novel form.

PerditaProvokesEnmity · 06/05/2020 18:12

Ohh - more modern than the Victorians? Is she familiar with either

The Chalet School series (Elinor Brent Dyer)


The Marlow series (Antonia Forest)

both perfect, escapist lockdown reading for a twelve year old.

Girls Gone By publish some of them, (the rest can be found via the usual monolith. Prices less terrifying than they used to be). They also publish books by Gwendoline Courtney including Sally's Family and Stepmother (which, with its original title Elizabeth of the Garret Theatre, was one of my all time favourite books as a child).

If she hasn't read them I envy her! If she has ...

The House in Norham Gardens (Penelope Lively)

Small Change for Stuart ( Lisa Evans)

I Capture The Castle (Dodie Smith) is absorbing, but it's only one book.

How about P. G. Wodehouse? Masses of gentle, lighthearted reading.

In truth most of the books I'd usually be recommending for this age are the opposite of gentle ...

ThePlantsitter · 06/05/2020 18:15

Came on to say the Noel Streatfield books. Very cosy.

Katherine Rundell's books, despite being adventurous and action packed, manage to give you that safe children's book feeling too.

scrappydappydoo · 07/05/2020 00:29

Thanks for all the suggestions - she didn’t get on with Harry Potter. Loved the Jacqueline Wilson modern adaptions and liked Mallory Towers but not loved. Oh I forgot about the secret garden will def add that to the list. I shall investigate all suggestions...

OP posts:
z0fl0ra · 07/05/2020 00:40

The famous five! I read the whole series in about a month at her age I was so hooked on it! Also the naughtiest girl in the school series maybe?

ThePlantsitter · 07/05/2020 00:41

If she likes Anne of green gables, L M Montgomery did another series about Emily of New Moon. They are ace. And it's a bit wordy but the evolution of Calpurnia Tate (forgotten author sorry) is another modern one that feels like a classic.

JellyTotsGrewTooBig · 07/05/2020 00:50

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. Written in 1981 so more modern than the likes of the Little House books but not super modern. Tells the story of a family of 4 kids - the eldest of whom is 13 - who are abandoned by their mother and they journey across a few states to find some family that they never met before. They are honestly lovely books. I read the first one when in first form at school and they became firm favourites through my teen years. My DS (15) has read them all and enjoyed them, and now my DD (12) - who like your DD, likes gentler narratives - is devouring them during lockdown.

PomBearWithAnOFRS · 07/05/2020 05:02

Skylark's War.
Children of Green Knowe
Anything by Susan Cooper
Wind in the Willows
Podkayne of Mars
Willard Price's Adventure series
Enid Blyton's Barney books and Adventure series.

PerditaProvokesEnmity · 07/05/2020 07:48

Lorna Doone (R. D. Blackmore) written in the 19th century, set in the 17th, is an absolutely wonderful novel that might occupy her for days if not weeks. Packed with romance and adventure but won't add to one's worries in the way of, say, Rosemary Sutcliff or Meg Rosoff.

Oh! Just remembered - at 12 I was devouring Georgette Heyer's novels. Definitely gentle - in the sense of not causing any stress regarding one's own world. An inexhaustible supply of sparkling entertainment.

I was reading a lot of Jean Plaidy then, too - but looking back they were maybe a wee bit depressing, so might not be ideal.

Someone mentioned Susan Cooper. I guess one person's gentle is another person's heart-in-mouth ... I'd imagine no one would call Ursula Le Guin gentle - but she would probably enjoy them, nonetheless.

BlueChampagne · 07/05/2020 12:45

More modern:
Podkin One-Ear
Nobody's Horse

101 Dalmatians
Swallows and Amazons

ChateauMargaux · 07/05/2020 13:07

Current authors:
MG Leonard : Beetle Boy
Lauren St John : The White Giraffe
Catherine Doyle : The Storm Keeper's Island
Katherine Rundell : The Wolf Wilder
Ali Elphinstone : Sky Song
Jessica Townsend : The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Cressida Cowell : The Wizard's of Once
Amy Wilson : A Girl Called Owl

All LOVED by my 12 year old (when she was 12). I have read quite a few of them, The Trials of Morrigan Crow is probably my favourite!!

ChateauMargaux · 07/05/2020 21:20

DD says that the Wolf Wilder is not an easy book (lots of emotions)

Bluesponge · 13/05/2020 08:29

Eliza rose by Lucy worsley
Other historic books by Jacquieline Wilson
Have you tried Eva ibbotoson

Bluesponge · 13/05/2020 08:30

Also might be slightly harder but the 13 treasures by Michelle Harrison is a suggestion I have to give to anyone of that age

MarieQueenofScots · 13/05/2020 08:33

The Gauntlet
Goodnight Mr Tom
Tom’s Midnight Garden
Little House in Big Woods series
Emily of New Moon
The Dark is Rising series

Saisong · 13/05/2020 08:39

Eva Ibbotson books are perfect for that age. My DD also enjoyed the Last Wild and associated books (Piers Torday I think). Plus the Wolf Brother series (Michelle Paver). Also Heidi, Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Box of Delights. She loves The Dark is Rising series, but not sure they are gentle. Children of Greene Knowe too. Frank Cotrell-boyce has loads of good titles too.

PerditaProvokesEnmity · 13/05/2020 08:40

Noooo! Goodnight Mr Tom is horrifying and traumatic, even for an adult. Definitely not gentle reading.


Saisong · 13/05/2020 08:41

Oh and Gerald Durrells books are fascinating for that age - My family and Other Animals, plus several titles he wrote as semi-fiction for kids

MarieQueenofScots · 13/05/2020 08:43

! Goodnight Mr Tom is horrifying and traumatic, even for an adult. Definitely not gentle reading

I think the ending outweighs the “trauma”. Depends on the child of course, DD lapped it up aged 9ish.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.