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Reading to Children

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by T.Allen.Smith, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    I have a six year old & a four year old. Since infancy, I've read to them every night before bed...children's books mostly.

    Now, I think it's time to start actual novel length stories. I want to introduce them to fantasy & adventure stories. However, being many decades removed from childhood reading, I can't think of a lot of stories I want them to hear that are age appropriate. By age appropriate, I don't mean the exclusion of violence or potentially scary material. I just don't want graphic violence, sex, etc. Think G, PG, or maybe even PG-13 if it's the right book.

    My list so far:
    1) Treasure Island (Starting tonight)
    2) The Hobbit & LoTR
    3) The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
    4) Harry Potter books


    Hoping you all could help me add to the summer reading list.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    1. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken
    2. The Borrowers, Mary Norton
    3. The Tale of Desperaux, Kate DiCamillo
    4. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, also DeCamillo
    5. The Girl Who Could Fly, Victoria Foster
    6. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
    7. Lorelei and the Lost and Found Monster, me (cheap and short - shameless plug).

    Some of the above are longer than others. All are good. If you can find the Aiken, I remember really liking that one.
     
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  3. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    I was a fan of Brian Jacques as a kid. Redwall was great.

    Inkheart is good, by Cornelia Funke. She also wrote The Thief Lord and The Dragon Rider which I liked as a young fellow. I'm sure her others are equally as good but I grew out of her style before getting around to them.

    Other than that I know my wife loved A Wrinkle in Time, though I never read that one.
     
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  4. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    you could always go for some Roald Dahl, such as the BFG, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... the list goes on and on...

    Amazon.com: roald dahl
     
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  5. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Great suggestions.

    Thanks all.

    List is growing.
     
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  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Oh, man...CORALINE :D
     
  7. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    What's that? Seriously, I'm gonna have to look it up.

    EDIT: Neil Gaiman novella, I see. A Hugo winning piece.

    It says "horror". Not too scary I hope?
     
  8. The Princess Bride by William Goldsmith. It is a kissing book though.
     
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  9. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    They've seen the movie though.

    They haven't seen any of The Hobbit movies though. I want them to get the books before that.
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Not too much. It's for kids. The "other mother" has buttons sewn on her face for eyes. My daughter thought that was creepy.
     
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  11. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I read Coraline for the first time when I was nine or ten, and none of it creeped me out. (I loved it.) It all depends on the kid you're reading to--some have a naturally higher tolerance for creepy stuff than others.

    @T.Allen: A book series I'd suggest is the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. Those were my favorites when I was a kid. They're humorous fantasy, and subvert all sorts of tropes, from "witches are old and ugly" to "knights must rescue the princess". I'm sure your kids will get a kick out of them.
     
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  12. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    The moomin books by Tove Jansson. Start with Finn Family Moomintroll (fun and games and adventure) and then Moominland Midwinter (which deals with a bit more serious subjects). Those were some of my favorite books as a kid and I still go back and read them now and then these days.
     
  13. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

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    It depends on their reading levels and comprehension. I seem to remember being a huge fan of the "great illustrated classics"- adapted versions of Little Women, Heidi, Hans Brinker etc.

    Little Princess & The Secret Garden are also decent.

    I think my sisters were into Babysitters Club and the Box Car Children but I always gravitated towards Goosebumps. My 7yr old little sister has recently discovered the "choose your own ending" ones. She loves the concept of being able to interact with the text. I'm not sure what level they are but I do know she's precocious so idk - it kind of depends what your children are interested in. I remember "Holes" was huge when I was around that age as well. I think I read (and loved) "The Egypt Game" around this age. There's also a wonderful series that I was positively obsessed with which was basically a series of unrelated historical fiction epistolaries. "The Winter of Red Snow" was about a young girl during (I believe) the American Revolution. There was another about an Irish immigrant and a bunch of others that I only vaguely remember. I was captivated by them but I can't say they were particularly popular with the other children.

    I think there's an almost Dr. Who-like series called "The Magic treehouse" where a brother & sister travel through time together & visit a bunch of famous places (Rome and such). I never read them but a few of my younger siblings were fans as children.

    I think the L Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events might also be something to consider.

    EDIT: Apparently the HF series is called "Dear America". Here's Winter of Red Snow. The other one was "So Far from Home".

    I was also a fan of the American girl series but they're more simplistic. Molly was my favorite -- a ginger w glasses during WWII. Can you tell I've always had a thing for history?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
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  14. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

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    There's also The Witch of Blackbird Pond (which is historically inaccurate but whatevs) and The Island of Blue Dolphins.

    I forgot to add - my sister's friend recently published (what I think is a Middle grade) Fantasy/Scifi series "Child of Atlantis". It's apparently doing pretty well. Just thought I'd throw it out there as something to look @ when you're on the prowl for children's lit.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  15. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Used up all my Thankies, but thanks everyone.

    I appreciate the recommendations & insights.
     
  16. I loved Magic Treehouse as a kid. Those books and the Harry Potter books are what got me into writing my own stuff.
     
  17. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    How about the Percy Jackson series? Those are a little more mature in terms of content, but they're great books with outstanding storytelling, wacky humor, and, as plus, they teach kids Greek mythology!

    A series my sister likes is Royal Diaries, which are faux-diaries of different princesses and queens from all over the world and the timeline. Let's see...there's Grand Dutchess Anastasia, Queen Elizabeth I, Nzingha of Matamba, Cleopatra, Kaiulani (last queen of Hawaii), and many others. My sister loves them, since they offer such a beautiful glimpse into the lives of these historical figures.
     
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  18. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Yes. I do plan on reading those to the kiddos eventually. My nephews are reading them now.

    On another note, the start of Treasure Island went well. I was concerned about attention spans (with no pictures & only Daddy's voice) since the book starts a bit slow, but they were engaged and are looking forward to chapter 2.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    You're going to do Silver''s voice, right matey?
     
  20. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Arrr! Of course!

    Planning on it, at least. Haven't met Silver yet though. Just a chapter a night.
     
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