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    #235741 - 01/02/17 10:01 AM Adult lit "gateway drug" books?
    MegMeg Offline

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Hi everyone! I haven't been around for a while because things have been going smoothly, but right now I could use some input from the hive mind.

    I'm looking for ideas for what to read to DD8, who has very high verbal intelligence. (I read to her for hours a day, because her comprehension level is way beyond her own reading fluency.) I still read her lots of children's novels, but it's getting harder to find ones that hold her interest. And young adult lit is obviously not a good next step for an 8yo.

    So we've been dipping our toes into "real" literature. So far I've read her these:
    Pride & Prejudice
    The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, by E.T.A. Hoffmann
    A Christmas Carol
    Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
    Much Ado About Nothing
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    Tom Sawyer

    She has enjoyed all of these and understood them on a pretty sophisticated level.

    On my list of other things to maybe try:
    Sherlock Holmes
    O. Henry stories
    The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
    Treasure Island and Kidnapped
    Homer's Odyssey, with me skipping some of the dull parts
    parts of the Canterbury Tales

    I'd love to hear other ideas of adult literature that is engaging and fun and will get a kid hooked at an early age. Obviously, I don't want to hit her with Bartleby the Scrivener and Waiting For Godot!

    (P.S. Yes I've looked at the book lists on this board, and also lists on the web of kid-friendly books for ahead-of-their-age readers. These don't really work for my kid's particular problem, or else we've already read them!)

    #235742 - 01/02/17 10:29 AM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: MegMeg]
    ElizabethN Offline

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Does she (do you) like science fiction? If so, I recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Time travel and screwball comedy. It's a sequel, but it stands fine on its own. The previous book, The Doomsday Book, is also very funny but pretty heavy at the end with a lot of deaths of sympathetic characters, so I hesitate to recommend it for an eight-year-old.

    #235744 - 01/02/17 11:33 AM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: MegMeg]
    polarbear Offline

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    MegMeg, have you read her Jane Eyre? I didn't see it on your list, and it was my older dd's favorite novel from a very young age. My ds loved Journey to the Center of the Earth.

    Not sure what your specs are re quality of literature or subject matter, but fwiw, I loved all the Lassie and Alfred Lord Tennyson books when I was around your dd's age. I've also enjoyed many of the tween and teen novels that are popular now, or have been popular in the past 10 or so years. Have you/she read series such as Guardians of the Gahoole, Percy Jackson etc?

    Re science fiction - my ds loves loves loves science fiction - but I had a bit of a tough time picking titles for him to read because I'd never read much myself, and there can be a lot of adult-nature subject matter in classic science fiction.

    Happy reading!


    #235746 - 01/02/17 11:39 AM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: ElizabethN]
    MegMeg Offline

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Originally Posted By: ElizabethN
    I recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

    Oo, good one, I've read that!

    #235747 - 01/02/17 11:50 AM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: polarbear]
    MegMeg Offline

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Originally Posted By: polarbear
    Not sure what your specs are re quality of literature or subject matter

    Yes, that's always the rub, because each person has their own idiosyncracies. So I'm open to a wide range of suggestions, hoping we'll find some ones that work.

    DD does like a bit of blood-and-thunder, stories with bad guys and so on. But they can't be TOO creepy. She definitely doesn't like "sweet" books where ordinary girls have ordinary adventures growing up, along the lines of Anne of Green Gables. But then, she's got this Jane Austen obsession, so go figure.

    What would you recommend as a first Tennyson to read?

    And when you say the Lassie books, do you mean starting with the original Lassie Come-Home?

    #235748 - 01/02/17 12:55 PM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: MegMeg]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4957
    If your daughter enjoyed Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, have you considered Mark Twain's somewhat more controversial Huckleberry Finn?

    #235750 - 01/02/17 01:25 PM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: indigo]
    MegMeg Offline

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    If your daughter enjoyed Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, have you considered Mark Twain's somewhat more controversial Huckleberry Finn?

    My problem with Huckleberry Finn is not that it's controversial but that she would find it boring.

    #235753 - 01/02/17 05:16 PM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: MegMeg]
    Cookie Offline

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    Taming of the shrew?
    Agatha Christie?
    PG Wodehouse
    I loved Louisa May Alcott and Jules Verne at 9
    My son loved Sherlock homes

    #235754 - 01/02/17 06:51 PM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: MegMeg]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3990
    Thinking of the kind of thing I liked or would have liked around that age...

    Chronicles of Narnia
    Charles Dickens
    Dorothy Sayers
    Anne McCaffrey's original two Pern series. There is a little adult content in them, as there is in Dickens and Sayers, though more discreetly so in Dickens and Sayers, probably because of the eras in which they were written.

    Don't forget to check out the book thread by age, elsewhere in this RResources forum.
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #235756 - 01/02/17 09:37 PM Re: Adult lit "gateway drug" books? [Re: MegMeg]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    We ran through a number of Newbery medalist and honor titles at this age.

    I'm personally a huge fan of Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, but it's likely a bit much at 8. It's quite slow, probably.

    What type of content does she like, generally?

    I read many of Kate DiCamillo's books to DD at 7-8yo. Lois Lowry's works are another idea-- those are surprising deep, in terms of theme and content, but are definitely aimed at a youth audience for all their sophistication. Gathering Blue is the less well-known of her dystopian novels.

    Caddie Woodlawn was a book that I liked at this age-- but DD found them boring.

    Trixie Belden-- those are back in print now, and they are slightly "younger" than Nancy Drew, but just as 'clean' in terms of nonsexual themes. I was obsessed with them at 8-10yo, but those are probably best for her to read, not for reading aloud.

    Dickens. Looking at your list, I'd definitely suggest Dickens-- it's lovely for reading aloud.

    Richard Adams' books-- Watership Down is THE book here... though... The Girl in A Swing, ehhhhh... probably not. I won't spoil the ending, but it's seriously creepy. On a tangent, DD texted me over the holiday, with a tearful note about the BBC's elegiac headline upon his recent passing. He's a personal favorite of hers and mine.

    Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael books-- there are quite a few of these.

    James Herriot's books are a wonderful introduction to memoir if the accounts of Anne of Green Gables or Caddie Woodlawn don't appeal.

    Some of Gaiman's works, but preview these carefully.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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