bohemiancoast: (Default)
[personal profile] bohemiancoast
Hello chaps: this is a sort of semi-regular 'recommend books for my child' post.

Background. Daughter is voracious, self-directed reader who works with libraries to find the sort of thing she likes to read.

Son isn't pro-active about books, preferring non-book entertainment when it's available. But has moved on from sharecropping series such as BeastQuest and Warrior Cats, and likes Lemony Snicket and Cherub. Quite a lot of what he reads are the books his sister has just finished reading.

He's currently devouring Little Brother with great enthusiasm.

He needs, I think, plenty of plot and strong young characters. Definite bonus points for computers and video games. We have pretty much no luck with classic books for him.

Date: 2011-03-17 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Only You Can Save Mankind?

[ profile] smallclanger is devouring Doctor Who novelisations at the moment, as well as Harry Potter, the newest David Walliams one (which he finished in about 2 hours!), and my old Diana Wynne Jones books. He's read all the Wimpy Kid books recently too.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Will you be at Eastercon? We should probably introduce J to [ profile] smallclanger.

Date: 2011-03-17 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I won't this year, but he will be, with his dad ([ profile] imc). And he should have a name badge identifying himself as Smallclanger. :)

I think we met J last year during live action video games?

Date: 2011-03-17 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mark Walden, The Higher Institute of Villainous Education (H.I.V.E.) and its sequels went down well with my nephews. The hero is a trainee supervillain with lots of gadgets.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
H.I.V.E. does sound perfect.

Date: 2011-03-17 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
C. thinks that J would like H.I.V.E. and Artemis Fowl.

Date: 2011-03-17 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's popular with the marquis, too.

Date: 2011-03-17 11:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

one specific book he might like:

Gamer's Quest by George Ivanoff (it's an Aussie title)

he might also like the Matthew Reilly books or the James Patterson YA books. Both authors have been popular with capable "non-readers"

Also popular for our 10 year old students are:
The Percy Jackson series (Rick Riordan)
The hunger games series (Suzanne Collins)
Skulduggery Pleasant series (Derek Landy)
The Rangers Apprentice series John Flanagan

Yeah, they are all series but they are great stepping stones to other stuff

Date: 2011-03-17 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! He's read at least some of Percy Jackson; we did the first one as bedtime reading and M bought several of the others.

Date: 2011-03-17 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Has he tried Eoin Colfer? Those are pretty young male orientated. May still be a bit old for him, though.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, good call. Artemis Fowl is a fantastic young supergenius hacker protagonist, and that series combines great twisty plots, great characters, and delightful gadgets.

Fowler's others such as The Supernaturalist are also good, but IMHO less good than the Artemis Fowl series.

Date: 2011-03-17 12:03 pm (UTC)
drplokta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drplokta
Ender's Game. But it might not be good for him...

Date: 2011-03-17 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes to this. There was a y/a edition published by Atom a few years back.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ooh good call. I bet he'd love it.

I don't really believe in books not being good for kids, apart from books that aren't good for anybody, and books that will be better kept for later.

Date: 2011-03-17 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Has he tried the Australian author Paul Jennings? Collections of short stories, not many computers but kind of a less harsh Roald Dahl with significant little boy appeal (a boy befriends a naiad who helps him win a pissing contest, the family home is saved when a child helps his father dynamite a rotting whale and it turns out there's ambergris within, pants get microwaved and thus imbued with magical powers...)

Date: 2011-03-17 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I found James Patterson's Maximum Ride series to be exciting and action packed (and apparently there is now a computer game...). There's also F. E. Higgins - Tales from the Sinister City, a sort of gothic "Eerie, Indiana" series of stories where the "author" introduces mysterious item he has got hold of and then reveals the gut-wrenching, tragic, adventurous story behind it. I've only read "The Eyeball Collector" - the first in the series is called "The Black Book of Secrets". Garth Nix has a series for younger readers called "The Seventh Tower" - I enjoyed the first 2 books "The Fall" and "Castle", and there was also his "Keys to the Kingdom" series starting with "Mister Monday" - of course all these are more fantasy than techno. I presume you are already aware of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series and Charlie Higson's Young Bond series, and Philip Reeve's "Mortal Engines" series. He's possibly a bit young yet, but there are also Darren Shan's series - the vampire one beginning with "Cirque du Freak" was pretty good.
Good luck

Date: 2011-03-17 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Super! I think he's read at least one Alex Rider but not most of the rest of these. I've definitely seen a Garth Nix around the place but it might be M's.

Date: 2011-03-18 11:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh - also Helen Cresswell's "The Bagthorpe Saga" is very fun eccentric Englishness - don't know if you've come across this in your youth...

Date: 2011-03-18 11:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh and have you tried Heinlein juveniles - I remember really enjoying "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" and "Space Family Stone". The John Christopher Tripods trilogy as mentioned below and some of his other stuff was pretty good - he has just written an introduction prequel novella to the Tripods books explaining how aliens with technology not much better than our own managed to to take over our world).

Date: 2011-03-17 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Diana Wynne Jones (particularly The Ogre Downstairs and Archer's Goon?), Robin Jarvis, Brian Jacques?

Date: 2011-03-17 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wouldn't immediately have said that these are quite age appropriate yet, but if he's reading Little Brother ... the Patrick Ness books might be a good bet: The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask & The Answer and Monsters of Men.

Date: 2011-03-17 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd have to agree with your caveat there - the middle book in particular is very "bleak" - torture isn't really appropriate for a 10-year old, even these days. The presence of a love story might also deter a 10-year old boy!

Would strongly recommend them for everyone over the age of 13 or so, however.

Other than that - Ender's Game & Only You Can Save Mankind were my first two thoughts.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He likes the Scott Westerfeld Uglies series, which has a load of not-suitable-for-a-ten-year-old content. In general J seems to prefer stuff that's aimed at much older children, or very easy material. Little of what he reads strikes me as being obviously age-appropriate.

Date: 2011-03-17 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd try and keep him away from the Ness books for a bit longer yet. They are very disturbing, and they gave me bad dreams.

Date: 2011-03-17 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's always the parents' call as to what is and isn't suitable, but I found bits of the series disturbing and it's a long time since I found that with any series, let alone one aimed at a YA audience. The answer is read the books yourself - you won't regret it!

Date: 2011-03-17 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
M thinks they're fantastic but hasn't managed to persuade J to read them yet.

Date: 2011-03-17 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Alex Rider? (I haven't read Cherub, but I gather it's the same sort of thing. Maybe the Young James Bond series too (which I also haven't read).)

Mine are mostly reading Warhammer 40k books at the moment....

Date: 2011-03-17 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He's definitely been exposed to Alex Rider.

Date: 2011-03-17 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They might be a little old, but Scott Westerfeld's stuff is pretty good - So Yesterday is a standalone and probably aimed slightly younger than the others, so you could start there and if that suits then there's a whole bunch of other Westerfeld YA novels. Some of Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series?

The Hunger Games and the Patrick Ness books are very good, but I'm not sure how good they are for 10 year olds - the Ness is quite bleak as noted above, and The Hunger Games is probably fine but lots of violence and the last book has some discussion of the rape and torture of several of the characters. I'm sure I was reading much worse when I was ten (both in content and in quality) but you might want to check first.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, he loves Uglies & its sequelae.

Date: 2011-03-17 03:03 pm (UTC)
ext_73228: Headshot of Geri Sullivan, cropped from Ultraman Hugo pix (Default)
From: [identity profile]
He needs, I think, plenty of plot and strong young characters. Definite bonus points for computers and video games. We have pretty much no luck with classic books for him.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson? Maybe now, maybe a bit later?

Date: 2011-03-17 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Farah in The Inter-Galactic Playground talks about how boys considered to be 'not reading' are often in fact voraciously reading non-fiction. My own recollection, confirmed with my mother, is that this is very much how it was for me - what fiction I did read was Doctor Who tie-ins, though I did read an awful lot of those. Have you considered going down the non-fic route? Failing that, I think there's still mileage in Doctor Who tie-ins (as long as you stick to BBC 9th, 10th or 11th Doctor or novelizations of past stories - I wouldn't let a 10-year old loose on New Adventures).

Date: 2011-03-17 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He reads plenty of stuff online, and is fascinated by clever sciency YouTube videos (think Vi Hart here). But he doesn't much read non-fiction books.

I should probably add that I'm not trying to persuade him to read; he reads well, and happily enough. But I want to get to the stage where I can reliably contain his behaviour in boring, adult-oriented situations by giving him a book he hasn't read yet; at the moment it's very hit and miss.
Edited Date: 2011-03-17 05:54 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-17 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And apparently BBC Books are reissuing 6 early novelizations in July!

Date: 2011-03-17 04:48 pm (UTC)
ext_28681: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
If he can manage Little Brother then I would certainly try him on the Garth Nix Keys to the Kingdom books -- the first is Mister Monday. And though the protagonist is a girl, you might also see if he takes to Scott Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy. Nix and Westerfeld are both strong, fast plotters, Westerfeld especially, and write good, solid young protagonists.

Date: 2011-03-17 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Uglies & it sequels were how we first noticed that J could read anything that wasn't a starter book; he went, quite literally, straight from beginning chapter books like BeastQuest to Uglies. It was as if he hadn't previously realised that a story could be actually absorbing, and I do think that's part of it.

Garth Nix sounds like a good bet. I will consult with my daughter.

Date: 2011-03-17 06:26 pm (UTC)
ext_28681: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
If he liked the Westerfeld, you might also set him loose on the His Dark Materials trilogy by Pullman. The first two, at least, go haring along through the ever-thickening plot bunnies in a very engaging way. I'll second the recommendation for Archer's Goon in particular of Jones', also Eight Days of Luke, Dogsbody, and the Chrestomanci books. Pratchett's Bromeliad series was fun, though it's a younger read than most of the rest of the recommendations you're getting. For that matter, how about Jumper by Steve Gould? Almost anything by Daniel Pinkwater is good, though I'm particularly partial to the two Snarkout Boys books, which can be harder to find these days. Also Lizard Music.

Date: 2011-03-17 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Has he read Epic?

Date: 2011-03-17 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Captain Enthusiastic (now 11) has become quite a keen reader, when computer games are not available - I will mine this post for more suggestions :-)

CE has enjoyed these series already mentioned: Garth Nix, Mister Monday etc; the Cherub series, H.I.V.E, Artemis Fowl, etc

Barnaby Grimes
Leviathan & Behemoth
The Age of Darkness series: Wolf Brother etc

I used to love (and mostly still do) the Narnia books, "Watership Down" and "Swallows and Amazons", but I've given up on those - the younger generation have their own tastes, and the advantage is that I get some new reading matter too ;-)

Date: 2011-03-17 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I seem to recall reading that John Christopher (?) series from long ago, The City of Gold and Lead, and Lloyd Alexander, at about that age.

My Number One Son was a late and non-voracious reader, who went from dreadful chapter books straight to everything written by Brian Jacques (blessings on the school librarian for that). (Probably a little too young for J.) Then he started reading LOTR, dungeon master manuals and gaming documentation, and I decided not to worry about it. Novels with movies based on them interested him too (I, Robot and Starship Troopers).

Now he thinks Octavia Butler is The Best Author Ever, and I am trying to pry my Puffin Narnia books back from his clutches since he wanted to see what that was all about. Yes, he is a senior in college now.

Date: 2011-03-18 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One kid I know (now a teenager) loved the Redwall books. I haven't read them myself, but they come well recommended.

A friend is pushing recommending Tim Zahn's Dragonback series, which starts with Dragon and Thief.

Scott Pilgrim?

There's Adam Rex's The true meaning of Smekday, which tells the story of first contact from the point of view of a kid who's writing a report for school. I think she's slightly older than ten, but she has lots of adventures, some of them with one of the aliens.

Date: 2011-03-18 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, maybe Tamora Pierce? Un Lun Dun? Spiderwick Chronicles?

Date: 2011-03-18 08:49 am (UTC)
sraun: portrait (Default)
From: [personal profile] sraun
My going-to-be-nine-in-three-weeks grand-son adores Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz vs. ... books.

Date: 2011-04-04 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Has he read all the Horrible Science books? (available dirt cheap in a job lot from The Book People). They keep my lot quiet for hours on end.

Other top tip is Percy Jackson, but I see he's tried those.

Date: 2011-09-05 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If he's capable of handling a book with an early-teens girl protagonist, he might like Scalzi's _Zoe's Tale_, and perhaps benefit from it in Real Life in a few years.

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