Books for ds - age 8, reading age 13ish.

(43 Posts)
beansmum Thu 21-Feb-13 00:37:02

At the moment ds is getting through a book a day, things like Percy Jackson, the Alex Rider books, Artemis Fowl. I'm happy for him to read whatever he wants, I don't want to push him, but I can't keep up with the demand. I was thinking that something a bit more difficult might slow him down a bit but he's not necessarily going to be interested in books aimed at teenagers. Any ideas? It doesn't have to be fiction - he likes non-fiction too. Science, dinosaurs and history.

Mind you, I was That Kid when I was younger, used to drive my mother nuts (and also used to quietly get hold of all sorts that Wasn't Really Suitable such as HP Lovecraft and Alan Garner (far too much sexual and class tension for 8 year olds)).

Nicholas Fisk is interesting and I certainly liked some of the books as a kid, but I think they have dated a bit. Mind you, I also think that a lot of the best books for this sort of young-but-keen reader were the ones published in the late 60s and early 70s.

DS1 is 13 but his reading tastes are very different. The titles on his shelf read like the original longlist for the names of the horsemen of the apocalypse: 'The Fear', 'Plague', The Fury', 'The Enemy' etc.

I also have the following ready on the shelf:

His Dark Materials (Pullman), The Dark is Rising Sequence (Cooper), The Wizard of Earthsea (LeGuin), The Giver (Lois Lowry), Eragon (Paolini) and the Timeriders series (Scarrow).

That should be 'Guardians of Ga'Hoole'.

We had this problem with DS2. His reading age at 9 was measured as 14, and that has been the general pattern, but he doesn't like scary stories or violence.

At 8/9, he enjoyed The Water Babies, Tarka the Otter, The Ingo series (Helen Dunmore), The Gurdiams of Ga'Hoole series (Lasky), The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time (L'Engle) and its sequels.

At 10, he liked the Hitchhikers Guide series, Tripods series (John Christopher), The City of Ember and its sequels (DuPrau), Shapeshifters series (Ali Sparkes).

He turned 11 yesterday and is reading the series by Rick Riordan that has The Red Pyramid, The Serpent's Shadow and The Throne of Fire.

Did anyone say Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series yet?
It's my favourite ever children's book. First read it when I was 10, and have re-read it nearly every year since.

SOrry, meant to add, my DS is a very good reader as well, but also quite probably somewhere on the autism spectrum, so things that are a bit emotionally complex don't really work - and I wouldn't be at all keen to let him at The Hunger Games or suchlike just yet because it would just bemuse him.

Another vote for Watership Down (as long as he's not easily upset as bits of it are scary and sad). Also, DS and I are currently working through Mrs Frisby and The Rats of Nimh, which is terrific; moderately challenging vocab, interesting concepts but nothing too emotionally complicated for an 8 year old.

rockinhippy Sat 02-Mar-13 11:45:52

Gawd iPad fail again hmm

rockinhippy Sat 02-Mar-13 11:44:52

Oh I can't believe I forgot all about the massive series of books that kept my DDs book obsession fed for a long while at this age R L Steine Horror books, there's a big series called Horrorland that she absolutely loves, chattered on about them so much I even read them myself & they are good smile he also had the goosebumps series, there's hundreds of books to choose from, so well worth looking into - I should as my DDs book taste has never really been particularly girls, she still mostly favours horror & science fiction.

SilverBellsandCockleShells Fri 01-Mar-13 10:35:32

I was just coming along to post something similar so these are all great recommendations. Looking for Kindle recommendations too as bookshelves are full to bursting and I reckon the Kindle will be a good option for holidays, etc. to save taking a pile of books.

Anyway, my son's current favourite is Tales of the Five Kingdoms which I found for a bargain on Book People. He read all five in a week and has declared them better than Harry Potter (which held his heart for well over a year). Now he wants to go as one of the characters for World Book Day next week, which is a whole new problem ... :-)

rockinhippy Fri 01-Mar-13 01:21:53

I've had similar with my own DD who is a bit older, it's great but keeping me on my toes trying to keep up with her & finding books that she will read that are 12/15 rating as opposed to 18 IYSWIM - she's now eating up James Patterson Maximilian Ride Series, they are YA books & I think there's 8 of them, they were recommended by a friend who had just finished reading them as suitable for a younger advanced reader & a fantastic read - DD is now obsessed with them smile

Jessepinkman Fri 01-Mar-13 01:06:58

Not boyish but...the borrowers, the secret garden, a little princess. Anne of Green Gables, Tom's Midnight garden. Here's one for boys...Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin.

Methren Fri 01-Mar-13 00:55:58

I feel your pain aver keeping up with the book demand! Has he tried any of these?

Rosemary Sutcliff (historical fiction about Roman Britain - e.g. The Eagle of the Ninth)
Nicholas Fisk (sci-fi - e.g. Trillions, Space Hostages)
The Prince in Waiting series by Jon Christopher
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Great Brain series by John D Fitzgerald
The Adventure series by Enid Blyton (The Castle of Adventure etc)

beansmum Mon 25-Feb-13 01:39:18

So many good ideas - thanks!
Just sent granny a massive amazon wishlist...hopefully she'll bring a pile of books with her next time she visits.

I'll encourage him to re-read some of his books, and read for himself some that I have read him over the last couple of years. With some of these recommendations, and what we already have, we should be able to keep up the supply for a couple of months at least!

My DS is a very avid reader too, skulduggery pleasant is the current series of choice but trying the classics too. A fantastic book is Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. It is a children's book, beautifully written and may well be a good read? It's written in the magic-realist style and is packed to bursting with super characters, adventure and language play. (my DS is also 8)

He's also read the over sea under stone series (I had my copies still from when I was young) and really enjoyed those.

sittinginthesun Sat 23-Feb-13 20:09:39

Has he read any Michael Lawrence? Jiggy McCue etc? My DS loves them (but won't touch Swallows and Amazons or C S Lewis). The Silver Sword was a hit, though.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Sat 23-Feb-13 20:04:10

Lemony Snicket, and the classics like Just William, Jennings, Narnia, E Nesbit, Mary Poppins, Dr Doolittle, Phantom Tollbooth, are good for challenging language but suitable content. Temeraire books, whilst fun, I would consider unsuitable for an 8 year old due to content.

If you don't mind evangelical atheism then Dawkins' Magic of Reality is an excellent read for a bright 8 year old

loopsngeorge Sat 23-Feb-13 19:51:50

Was going to suggest Wolves of Willoughby Chase as well.
In the latest book people catalogue there is a series called The Mysterious Benedict Society, advertised for Harry Potter fans which looks interesting.
Eva Ibbotson is another author that has been recommended on here - DS (8) really liked One Dog and His Boy so I've got one of her fantasy stories out of the library for him. And also Emil and the Detectives for something completely different!
Just remembered Louis Sachar - DS loves the Wayside school stories and A Boy in the Girls' Bathroom. There is another one - Holes which is a year 6 reading text.
My brother used to like Betsy Byars - don't know if her books are around much now but I know they were well thought of when we were kids.

A Wizard of Earthsea (and anything by Ursula K Le Guin)
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (and anything by Joan Aiken)
Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy

lljkk Fri 22-Feb-13 10:52:24

Oh, and all the science books, like "Why is Snot Green?" "Book of general ignorance" Guiness World Book of records (maybe).

(I'll shut up now).

lljkk Fri 22-Feb-13 10:51:38

Hardy Boys, Famous 5, age-appropriate Jacq Wilson.
The Machine Gunners (not the rest of Westall, though).
Biggles! Very un-pc. But there are literally dozens of them.

Jane Blonde, if he will read books about girls.

lljkk Fri 22-Feb-13 10:44:59

My boys won't read any dated classics, either.

Up to you but I would not want my 8yo to read Hunger Games. I think even Alex Rider is pushing my comfort zone for an 8yo.

Nothing better than taking them to library & getting to know the series & books, yourself.

I am thinking likes of 39 Clues, Lemony Snicket, Measly books, Gregor of the Underground, Watership Down, Beast Quest, Tintin, My Story books, Terrible history/science books.

booksteensandmagazines Fri 22-Feb-13 08:42:19

I have two sons who are avid readers and we got them kindles with the same kindle account so they can share their books and read the same book at the same time (avoids one waiting for the other to finish a book).
They also read print books though as we love them and have a sort of library at home. So they can work together. Also their school is not keen on letting them bring e-readers in so they need print books for reading lessons.

Shanghaidiva Fri 22-Feb-13 00:36:28

Noughts and crosses is vg, but content not really suitable for an 8 year old - executions, suicide, teenage pregnancy, abortion...

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