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#117010 - 12/02/03 10:21 AM children's book recommendations please
Alex Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/05/01
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Here at work the clinic is buying Christmas gifts for a couple kids, an 8 year old girl and a 12 year old boy. The girl requested books but didn't specify any titles. Can anyone recommend any good children's books for her and maybe for her brother too?


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#117011 - 12/02/03 10:40 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Do you know the children? Are they reading at age level?


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#117012 - 12/02/03 10:40 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
wwh Offline
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I expect to have stones thrown at me, but I think Kipling's The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories are good for those ages.


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#117013 - 12/02/03 11:24 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Dear Doc

I think Kipling's The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories are good for those ages

No stone throwing here. Just recommending also, by Kipling:

Captain's Courageous

Stalky and Co. (though perhaps for slightly older readers - best school stories ever written, Wodehouse included).

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#117014 - 12/02/03 11:46 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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With E. B. White's Charlotte's Web you can't go wrong. Perfect for the 8 year old. The 12 year old might feel a little "too old" for the tome, but I secretly read it at 12 because I missed it when I was "younger" (secretly from my friends, that is), and I loved it!


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#117015 - 12/02/03 12:35 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
Alex Williams Offline
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I do not know the kids and can only hope that they are reading at age level. Thanks for the suggestions.


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#117016 - 12/02/03 12:35 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
Flatlander Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 428
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, US
For the boy, I'd recommend Daniel Pinkwater. Some of his stuff is more for high school kids, but all of it would be great if he is at all sophisticated. His stuff is hilarious, thought-provoking, and wonderfully subversive. A more recent recommendation would be Michael Chabon's Summerland -- a fantastic novel about friendship, family, tradition, magic and baseball. Again, it may be a bit intimidating for a 12-year-old, but if he could handle Harry Potter, this will be no problem.

For the girl, I have to recommend Cat, What Is That? by Tony Johnston (Author), Wendell Minor (Illustrator). It is a beautiful poem about just what a cat is, with passages like:

It is the Slink.
It is the Sneak
on velvet toes
stalking the Squeak.

The words are rivalled by the amazing paintings, which could carry the book all by themselves. I'll look through my daughter's bookshelf tonight for more.


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#117017 - 12/02/03 01:21 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
sjmaxq Offline
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Well, I was almost an eight year old boy by the time I finished LOTR for the first time, and had started on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, so there might be a couple of options.

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#117018 - 12/02/03 03:43 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Max, don't skew the curve any more than you absolutely *have to.

Alex, since The Cat in the Hat has become Disney-pervasive (well, even if it hadn't), I'd recommend that and maybe another Seuss book for the 8-year-old. For the boy, maybe the Harry Potter books?
Anything by Daniel Pinkwater, as FlatL suggested, is a great choice, too.


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#117019 - 12/02/03 03:47 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
sjmaxq Offline
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I second the Seuss recommendation - The Lorax should be mandatory (except in those states of the US where it is proscribed).

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#117020 - 12/02/03 05:21 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA

Unless you know the kids to be above average, I suspect Max's suggestions are going to be over their heads - although they might be worth a try.

I second the Seuss recommendation(s). Even now I love them. (OTOH, I also loved Mr. Rogers into my late teens.)

I think maybe the 12 yo might like the HP books, if he has not already read them. Also, there's a trilogy called The Tripods that is quite good. (I think it was BBC that made a television series of it.) Also, the Chronicles of Narnia is good - particularly the first few books.

For the 8 yo, I recommend maybe the Captain Underpants books. (I haven't read them, but both my kids loved them.) Also, I think they liked James and the Giant Peach (didn't read that one myself either).

If you've got a few minutes to browse, you might check out the Newbery and Caldecott award winners for the last few years.

k



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#117021 - 12/02/03 08:17 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
sjmaxq Offline
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>Unless you know the kids to be above average, I suspect Max's suggestions are going to be over their heads - although they might be worth a try.

I do solemnly swear not to be facetious in a response ever again. Would it help atone if I admitted that my 7-year old self got bored with and did not finish Zen, etc.?

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#117022 - 12/02/03 08:22 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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And if the 12 year old is reading at level or over then Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Ray Bradbury should pique his interest. And Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo.


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#117023 - 12/02/03 09:43 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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I'll have more tomorrow, but for now Aussie Garth Nix' Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen are three of my 13 year old's, and my favorites. He reads constantly, I'll have to find his reading log... my nine year old twins(boys) are not quite at the heavy reading stage, but they've started to get into Brian Jacque's Redwall series, and my 13 year old still reads those too. (me, too!) other authors... Emily Rodda, Robin McKinley; more later...

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#117024 - 12/02/03 10:05 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
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Erm, I assume you do want books that would be more likely to make the kids want to read more, and not ones that would turn them off completely?
When my son was in the 5th. grade, he absolutely loved "My Side of the Mountain", by Jean Craighead George. Here's part of the summary from Amazon: Every kid thinks about running away at one point or another; few get farther than the end of the block. Young Sam Gribley gets to the end of the block and keeps going--all the way to the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. There he sets up house in a huge hollowed-out tree, with a falcon and a weasel for companions and his wits as his tool for survival. In a spellbinding, touching, funny account, Sam learns to live off the land, and grows up a little in the process.
For the girl: "Ellen Tebbitts", by Beverly Cleary. This was the first book I ever read that seemed as though what was in it really could happen. Any of the Ramona books, too.

Personal note--I will never, ever understand or agree with letting the age group The Lorax was designed for--4 to 8--read it. Ever. There will be PLENTY of time, later, for them to learn that there are bad things in the world. Let the ones they encounter personally (a classmate taking something of theirs, etc.) be enough, until then. They're busy enough trying to figure out how to operate in their immediate environment without worrying about the rest of the world. All of this aside from the fact that they're too young to handle this kind of anxiety; you wouldn't tell them every agonizing detail of Grandpa's cancer, would you?

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#117025 - 12/03/03 02:39 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
AnnaStrophic Offline
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I do solemnly swear not to be facetious in a response ever again.

Max, you can be facetious with me any time you want, you old curve-skewer.


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#117026 - 12/03/03 07:05 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
Alex Williams Offline
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Loc: Spam Factory
Do you think Lois Lowry's Number the Stars is okay for an 8-year old?


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#117027 - 12/03/03 08:04 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
gift horse Offline
member

Registered: 11/03/03
Posts: 180
Loc: Austin, TX
The thing about 8 year olds is that they usually love to be read to and could be interested in some of the same stories as the 12 year old. As long as someone reads (at least in part) to the 8 year old, these should be okay for both kids.


A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini

Holes, by Louis Sachar

Stewart Little, E.B. White

The Borrowers, by Mary Norton

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary

The Series of Unfortunate Events Series by Lemony Snicket


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#117028 - 12/03/03 08:46 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
dodyskin Offline
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Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
Personally, by eight I would have been insulted if my dad read to me. Books were private worlds for me and I could live in them perfectly well by myself. At bedtime my dad used to tell us our own stories, starring me and my sister. If we really liked one he would make it into a little picture book (he's a painter) to keep. They were cool. By the by, back to the books.
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.
It's fantastic, great for either a boy or a girl (one of each in the story), talks about philosophy and religion or can be read as a straight adventure. The individual books are called: Northern Lights, The Amber Spyglass (longlisted for the Booker) and The Subtle Knife. They really are wonderful, the sort of books that they will remember forever and re-read as adults. Continuing on the philosophy theme, Sophie's World by Jostein Gaardner is also fabulous.
As a child I particularly remember liking kids poetry like There's an Awful Lot of Weirdos in our Neighbourhood and The Sausage is a Cunning Bird. Some story books that stuck ( apart from LOTR of course) follow
Carrie's War--Nina Bawden
Goodnight Mr Tom--Michelle Magorian
Tom's Midnight Garden--Phillipa Pearce
Stig of the Dump--Dick King Smith
Matilda (hmm, might you have guessed that one , anything by Roald Dahl is good though, The Witches, BFG, George's Marvellous Medicine etc)
Red Shift, Elidor, The Weirdstone of Brisingaman--Alan Garner
A Wizard of Earthsea--Ursula LeGuin
FUNGUS THE BOGEYMAN!! but they may be a little old for that one, have a look at this http://www.coldfusionvideo.com/book/fungusbogeyman.html and decide.


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#117029 - 12/03/03 09:13 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
gift horse Offline
member

Registered: 11/03/03
Posts: 180
Loc: Austin, TX
Personally, by eight I would have been insulted if my dad read to me.

Sounds like you had a lovely childhood and an early love for and ability with reading. Very cool.

I wasn't trying to be offensive suggesting this 8 year old child could be read to. I know very little regarding the situation with the children in question who are getting these books. Many times it's needy kids who get pressies from offices who donate to the less fortunate during the holidays. In many cases lower socio-economic kids might have some developmental difficulties and won't have higher reading skills. I've no idea who these kids are, but the books I included are listed in my Child Development reader list for ages 9-12; thus my disclaimer and consideration for the 8 year old.

My son is high functioning autistic and Hyperlexic. He's been reading since before he could talk, but loves for me to read aloud to him. Hell, I still love to be read to. It's just something I grew up with and enjoy. One person's poison is another's pleasure, I suppose.


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#117030 - 12/03/03 09:19 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA


Personally, by eight I would have been insulted if my dad read to me.


My children will very soon be 11 and 14. They read very well by themselves, but I still read to them on occasion. Of course, they also read aloud to me and amongst themselves as well. My youngest, in particular, loves to read to me. She's always reading entire chapters to me and just last week she recited The Raven to me for the first time.

I hope she is this eager when I am too old to read the print myself.

k



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#117031 - 12/03/03 09:28 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
[tears in eyes] When my son was a great gangling fourteen-year-old, I pulled him onto my lap and read "Love You Forever", since I had just discovered it. I understood that he understood what I was doing, and that he was thanking me for it by going along with me.


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#117032 - 12/03/03 09:45 AM Re: children's book
Owlbow Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 389
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Sailor Moo: Cow at Sea
by Lisa Wheeler, with pictures by Ponder Gombel. The story was as lively as the questions it raised among my listeners.

Old Cricket
by Lisa Wheeler , Ponder Gombel (Illustrator)
Old Cricket doesn't feel like helping his wife and neighbors to prepare for winter and so he pretends to have all sorts of ailments that require the doctors care, but hungry Old Crow has other ideas.

Yes I know Ponder, but I really think that these are great books, perhaps for younger folk, but at 53, I enjoyed them.


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#117033 - 12/03/03 01:40 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
wwh Offline
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Dear dodyskin: I found that I was able to get my older daughter interested in Tolkien, by reading LOR to my youngest daughter. The older girls lurked, and got hooked.


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#117034 - 12/04/03 08:28 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
gift horse Offline
member

Registered: 11/03/03
Posts: 180
Loc: Austin, TX
When my son was a great gangling fourteen-year-old, I pulled him onto my lap and read "Love You Forever", since I had just discovered it.

Jackie, I love that book! I saw it for the first time just before my son was born and I sat in the store and cried while reading it. That pic of the adult son holding the elderly mother is just priceless.

Okay, so I'm a big softie. *sniff*


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#117035 - 12/04/03 09:51 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA


"Love You Forever"


Gonna check at the bookstore next time I'm there.

Plenty of room on daddy's lap.

k


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#117036 - 12/04/03 09:55 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Oh, and..Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson. With Jack Hawkins and Long John Silver you can't miss! Almost all kids love pirate stories.


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#117037 - 12/04/03 09:57 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Oh, and..Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson. With Jack Hawkins and Long John Silver you can't miss! Almost all kids love pirate stories.

And don't forget Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson.


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#117038 - 12/05/03 03:12 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
Bingley Offline
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The books I remember from age 8 are Enid Blyton, particularly The Famous Five, and the "______ of Adventure" series, and E. Nesbit. One time when we were having our reading time at school I was reading "Five Children and It" and trying desperately not to laugh out loud, giving off strange gulps and gasps and squeals. The teacher was most concerned, thinking I had given way to tears because of some dreadful event at home.

Bingley
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#117039 - 12/05/03 10:42 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Just yesterday I was telling someone how I had to clap both hands over my mouth in the school library as I was reading the "battle" scene in 'The Once and Future King'.

But what I really wanted to post was, isn't it neat--just look at all these responses. Though none of us will ever know who these kids are, we sure do want them to read!


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#117040 - 12/07/03 07:38 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
Alex Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
I love those Enid Blyton books. On this side of the pond we had the "Secret Seven" books and I read every one I could get my hands on.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. In addition to providing gift ideas you gave me some good reading prospects for my own enjoyment.


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#117041 - 12/07/03 11:13 AM Re: children's book recommendations please
Capfka Offline
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Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
Hey Alex, mentioning Enid Blyton brought back something I don't think I had thought about since primary school. When I was in what would have been my third year of school, about age 8 - 9, a trainee teacher came into class for a number of weeks. Since I think our teacher wouldn't have trusted this guy to do anything "serious", he read to us for half an hour a day. What he read was "The Magic Faraway Tree". Somehow, because he was reading it to us, I had the freedom to imaginise what was going on. And although I had been reading by myself perfectly happily since age 4, while I might well have objected to being read to, I didn't. In fact, I still quite often enjoy listening to book readings on the radio.


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#117042 - 12/07/03 03:48 PM Re: children's book recommendations please
Alex Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
We could definitely have a worthwhile thread about books on tape. I like them in the car on long road trips, but some are just awful.


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