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Northern lights, (golden compass book)

31 replies

pukkapatch · 03/12/2007 23:25

i read this a couple of years ago, or three, and remmber being not very impressed withit. i thought it to adult to be a childs book, with adult themes and adult language. yet to childish to be an adult book.
anyways, scroll forward a few years......
ds, aged 10.5. hates reading, but reasonably intelligent. we have just read the first chapter together. a sort of mummy and me time thing. and i feel it is way way too hard for him. the language used etc. is this most likly because ds isnt very good at reading because he hates reading. or is it really too difficult for ten year olds?

i just thought we could perhaps read it before we went to see the film, andhe might even enjoy th ebook more. iywim. didnt work with narnia, but i live in hope.

OP posts:
pukkapatch · 04/12/2007 12:39

no thoughts on this book then?

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MamaG · 04/12/2007 12:40

I've just read it for the first time. I was considering letting my 8 year old DD read it, but I'm not sure whether its a bit odl for her. Would be interested to see replies too

witchandchips · 04/12/2007 12:43

its not a good book to read if you hate reading iyswim. You need to be able to suspend disbelief and to create pictures in your head of this surreal world he is creating. I would take him to the film and save the books til later.

MamaG · 04/12/2007 12:44

my DD loves reading, has read all the harry potter books by herself (for example). Do you think HDM are a bit old for her though? She will be able to read the words, but will she understand it

dingdongMegaLegsonhigh · 04/12/2007 12:45

DS1 received this book for his birthday (8). We started reading it together but it was a little beyond him. Think it would suit him better in a year or two.

SoupDragon · 04/12/2007 12:45

I didn't think it was a children's book either. Kind of inbetween one and the other with the child central characters but complicated ideas and language.

Zazette · 04/12/2007 12:46

It's a very complex and demanding book - not just the language, but the concepts, the narrative structure, the characterisation, the emotional complexity. As witchandchips says, you have to be quite an active, engaged reader to get much out of it.

My sis is reading it to her very bright, bookish 10 year old, who is really enjoying it, but being stretched by it. So it is at the challenging end of suitable reading for 10 year olds. Sounds like you should probably save it for a while.

ShrinkingViolet · 04/12/2007 12:49

the third book has teen sex in it (implied not actual), but there's a lot of "awakening sexuality" throughout the whole trilogy. DD1 tried it around age 10, but didn't like it, loved it a couple of years later. Haven't tried DD2 (age 9) on it yet, as it's not really her thing (doesn't really do fantasy).
Am a bit that a friend has bought all three books for her not quite 8 year old though.

EmsMum · 04/12/2007 12:49

I enjoyed it. I would think its best suited to teenagers and 10 is a bit young for it - obviously kids all vary. My DD is only 8 and I wouldn't dream of trying it on her for a few years yet.

dingdongmerrALYonhigh · 04/12/2007 12:50

Agree with Zazette, suitable for a forward 10 or average 11-12 yr old reader.

My DD is 8 and we are reading it together, she loves it - but doesn't understand it on every level - we are really reading it because I think it is a fascinating piece of children's literature and the sort of book I would have loved as a child.

Listmaker · 04/12/2007 12:51

I absolutely loved the books but also tried reading the first chapter to my dds (9 and 7) but it was too old for them and they didn't want to carry on. Maybe once they've seen the film they will be more prepared to give it a go but really think it's more for 12/13 year olds and up.

Twiglett · 04/12/2007 12:52

I don't think it's a pre-pubescent's book tbh .. I have been surprised to hear it described as a child's book ..

personally I would say a 16 year old maybe, certainly a mature post-pubescent child anyway

Zazette · 04/12/2007 12:53

just to add that I think that if you have a child who's a keen reader, it's fine to let them have a go at things that are a bit too demanding for them, so long as they are resilient enough not to be downcast or put off reading if they don't manage it. I attempted all sorts of adult books from quite early in childhood, and got a lot out of doing so, though I'm sure there was loads that went over my head. But perhaps better not to challenge more reluctant readers too much

pukkapatch · 04/12/2007 12:54

thank you for all your thoughts.
yes, i was thinking it was a bit hard for him, but not as eloquently as you lot put it.

so what to do now? the las tbook we read together was the lion the witch and the wardrobe about four yeats ago. he really really really hates reading. harry potter has been just a complete and utter waste of time. ( i think its boring, he has seen all thefilms so knows what will happen next)
so, what could we read together?

OP posts:
EmsMum · 04/12/2007 12:56

I think sometimes we are a bit too eager... theres so many childrens books now and some that they will love at 8 or 10 but would be too young for them at 12 or 14 so why not just enjoy those now and keep Northern Lights till later?

Twiglett · 04/12/2007 12:56

does he like facts? it doesn't have to be fiction

how about the I wonder why series easy to dip in and out of, an encyclopedia, greek myths etc

what does he like in his life?

pukkapatch · 04/12/2007 12:58

yes but i dont know what to try emsmum?
he has shelves of books that i have boutgh for him from school fairs etc that he wont touch.
he has brand new books dh has bought him from whsmith that he wont touch.
simpsons comics are all he will read. oh, and gerrards autobiography which started as school homework ove the summer, and he hasnt touched in months now.
i love reading. get trhough at least a book a week. and my kids hate it.

OP posts:
pukkapatch · 04/12/2007 12:58

watching tv.
avoidning doing anything.

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Twiglett · 04/12/2007 13:06

sounds like you have a teenager on your hands ..

maybe you need to back off and allow him to fester and hope he comes out the other side as a reasonable adult?

(clutches 6 year old eldest child to my breast and tells him to never grow up)

EmsMum · 04/12/2007 13:10

My DD has lots of unread books too - her read of choice is the Beano. She's starting to read a bit more now (shes 8) but does like me reading to her. Just finished Atticus the Storytellers 100 Greek myths which might or might not be OK for your son, and started on Terry Pratchetts Diggers (first of a trilogy) which I thought might be a bit old for her but she seems to be really enjoying it (I just looked on amazon and the reading level is 9-12 so I guess thats about right). Could be worth trying cos TP has written quite a few other books aimed at kids/teens and then Discworld is for perpetual teenagers.

If he likes comics... would something like Tintin suit him better than a too-wordy book? DH bought DD Tintin in Tibet and she liked that. Are there 'graphic novels' for kids now which might suit (surely there must be?)

Twiglett · 04/12/2007 13:11

DIggers is a trilogy .. really?

EmsMum · 04/12/2007 13:14

Sorry, its Truckers I'm reading her, thats the first followed by Diggers and Wings.

roisin · 04/12/2007 13:14

I think this book is suitable for age 13+ And children will appreciate it far more at this age. I also think the language is on the offputting side of demanding for most 10 yr-olds.

I managed to put off ds1 (v fluent reader) from reading it when he was very young, but he did read the series when he was 9. He enjoyed it, but I think he will get far more out of it when he re-reads it when he's older.

Have you tired your ds with things like the Alex Rider books (Anthony Horowitz) or Charlie Higson's Young Bond books. There are loads of fabulous books out there for children this age - several threads on here if you want to find something more suitable to get him hooked on reading.

Twiglett · 04/12/2007 13:16

hastily purchases Diggers and Wings (only had Truckers)

oooo I love finding TP books I haven't read

OrmIrian · 04/12/2007 13:17

10 is probably too young unless you are a very avid reader. I personally loved the book but I've tried it with DS#1 a few times but he has struggled.

I too want to read the book with him before we see the film but I suspect that won't happen. Why couldn't wait a few years..... >

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