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    #71975 - 03/19/10 10:39 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: shellymos]
    minniemarx Offline

    Registered: 10/31/08
    Posts: 466
    OHGrandma, so glad he found something he likes! Those are pretty fun ones--I was a ten-year-old mystery fiend myself (and I haven't really grown out of it)! When he runs out of those, you might try Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series--perfect for that age and stage, I think. I also liked Perry Mason at that age (though it seems to me that there may be some more adult-type situations in those than in NW).

    Shellymos, a possibility or two after the Narnia books might be Edward Eager's books, or LM Boston's Green Knowe books. Both fantasy series, but on the less scary side as those kinds of books go. (The Green Knowe ones are more suspenseful/mysterious than the Eager ones, but still well within my personal comfort zone for young-kid scariness.) "Tom's Midnight Garden" by Philippa Pearce is another excellent fantasy choice.

    I would say Lloyd Alexander's Prydain chronicles are too scary for 5, but some of his other books might suit--Time Cat, for instance.

    Some kids seem pretty taken with Cornelia Funke's fantasies (Harpo was keen on her books a few years ago); I haven't really warmed up to them myself yet, but they might be worth a go, too.


    #71977 - 03/19/10 10:47 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: minniemarx]
    Austin Offline

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    OOOH, I forgot about Nero Wolfe!! How about Hercule Poirot? Or George Smiley...

    This I enjoyed at that age.,_Mr._Chips

    Edited by Austin (03/19/10 10:48 PM)

    #71980 - 03/19/10 11:15 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: Austin]
    minniemarx Offline

    Registered: 10/31/08
    Posts: 466
    I still reread all of Nero Wolfe once a year; it's one of my summer rituals, man being a creature of habit! There's so much fun stuff there--the orchids, the haute cuisine, the love for New York, baseball, the passion for words--and truly do I think that Archie is one of the great, great comedic voices in American literature. The mysteries themselves are often not so mysterious, but the writing is so very good. I even have the cookbook!

    Raymond Chandler, too, OHG!

    Oh, and purist about such things though I normally am, I do very much like Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell novels. The first one in particular (The Beekeeper's Apprentice) I can see really appealing to our kids here.

    #71981 - 03/19/10 11:28 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: Austin]
    Trillium Offline

    Registered: 06/29/09
    Posts: 91
    I just finished "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" ( and am planning on handing it over to my dd9 next. It's a mystery, set around 1950, and has a precocious 11-year-old chemist/poisoner as a heroine. It's fairly predictable, as far as murder mysteries go, but Flavia, the heroine, is simply delightful. I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to want to set up a chemistry lab in the house after she's done with the book.

    #72002 - 03/20/10 06:57 AM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: minniemarx]
    OHGrandma Offline

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Thanks Minnie,and others, I'd forgotten about Nero Wolf & Raymond Chandler. Somehow, I'd completely missed Laurie R. King, that looks appealing to me. GS10 has hit a stage where he likes the main characters to be male, or at least one of the main character to be male. He may try King's 'Mary Russell' if I read them, he loves discussing books!

    I may try a few Agatha Christie's, too.

    #72032 - 03/20/10 11:20 AM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: gratified3]
    minniemarx Offline

    Registered: 10/31/08
    Posts: 466
    How kind of you, gratified3, thank you. You all have been so generous and welcoming here, and I have so enjoyed the feeling of community; I sadly have nothing at all to contribute when it comes to more important issues like dealing with schools or testing, but I thought maybe I could make a small contribution over here instead. Books have been my good friends for a long time!

    OHG, I wonder if your grandson would like Ellis Peters? I love the Brother Cadfael ones, and Harpo has started reading some of them, too (in his case, sparked more by his interest in history than by an interest in mystery, per se). She also had a series with a teenage boy (Dominic Felse) and his police detective father that might well be appropriate.

    Another group of mysteries where the sex and violence are not much in evidence are the Josephine Tey books--period pieces, very well-written, with a Scotland Yard inspector (Alan Grant) for her detective. There are about six of them, I think: The Daughter of Time (a great historical mystery), A Shilling for Candles, The Franchise Affair, To Love and Be Wise, The Man in the Queue, Miss Pym Disposes--those are all I can remember right now; Miss Pym Disposes is set in a girls' school, and thus may not be of too much interest for him, but some of the others might appeal.

    I like Eric Wright's Inspector Charlie Salter mysteries, too, though there is a certain amount of wry musing about middle age that might strike a ten year-old a little oddly, perhaps. They are quite good books, though, with interesting characters and situations; Salter has two teenage sons, so spends a certain amount of time in their world in some of the books, which might make those books interesting to a young boy.


    #72048 - 03/20/10 01:34 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: minniemarx]
    MegMeg Offline

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Gotta join in here. I have a number of favorites that rarely make it onto "best kids books lists." They vary in how advanced they are, but they are all ones I enjoy re-reading as an adult!

    The Silver Crown
    , by Robert O'Brien, is much better than Mrs. Frisby. It does have some unnerving parts, though.

    Finn Family Moomintroll
    , by Tove Janson. The other moomintroll books are quite dark, but this one is just a delight.

    Bill Bergson, Master Detective, by Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi books.

    The Gammage Cup, by Carol Kendall. Somewhat marred by a standard kill-the-bad-guys ending that is unworthy of how brilliant the rest of it is.

    Harriet the Spy. I would have hated the realism of this as a kid, but I knew kids who adored it, and as an adult I really appreciate how great it is.

    Carbonel, King of the Cats
    , by Barbara Sleigh.

    Diamond in the Window
    , by Jane Langton.

    The Changeling and The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. These two are far and away her best. The Egypt Game has one genuinely frightening bit, and The Changeling moves into teenage themes towards the end (disaffected teens committing vandalism, that sort of thing).

    Louly, by Carol Ryrie Brink, author of Caddie Woodlawn.

    While Mrs. Coverlet was Away
    , by Mary Nash.

    Haroun and the Sea of Stories
    , by Salman Rushdie.

    And as long as we're recommending mystery series, there's the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy Sayers.

    #73081 - 04/02/10 06:07 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: MegMeg]
    chris1234 Offline

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1897
    Hi, I searched Bernard Evslin on the forum and did not find any reference, so I want to recommend this author to kids who have read and loved the Percy Jackson books. Evslin has written over 70 books on greek and other myths, but mainly greek. The ones I've seen range from 6th-9th grade reading levels. We just found a pile of these at the library and ds9 is delighted! There is a 'Monsters of Mythology' series which seems to have 25 books in it, so that should hold him for a while.

    #73170 - 04/04/10 04:14 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: chris1234]
    shellymos Offline

    Registered: 08/20/08
    Posts: 847
    Loc: New York
    Thanks Minnie for the suggestions..I had forgotten about Edward Eager...we read a book a while back that DS5 liked...half magic I think. He thought it was pretty funny. Definitely will try some more of those. Headed to the library in the morning and quite excited about it. Looking on the online catalog tonight to plan out the trip. Somehow with a 5yo and 2yo you can't go in and then look for books. It doesn't work that way. : )

    #73181 - 04/04/10 08:04 PM Re: The Ultimate Book Thread? [Re: shellymos]
    intparent Offline

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Several mentions of Enid Blyton early in the thread with comments that her books are out of print. Many are still in print in the UK; I couldn't let my children miss out on "The _____ of Adventure" series, so those we couldn't find from the library, I had a friend's "mum" buy in England and ship here. You can also purchase via Amazon UK (but you will probably have a foreign transaction fee, and call your credit card company before you order, or they may reject the transaction). Hefty shipping, but for a great book... And I think I picked up one or two used on the internet in the US.

    Others my Ds really liked that haven't been mentioned yet:

    Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan - About kids helping smuggle gold out of Norway on their sleds during WWII. The book blurb claims it is based on a true story, but I have been reading up on WWII in Norway and haven't found any references yet. But it is still a thrilling story. I think gifted D read it in 2nd grade, maybe.

    Bill Bergson and the White Rose Rescue, by Astrid Lindgren (someone mentioned the other Bill Bergson book above, but this one is my favorite). A little scary, but very thrilling. One of those "kids on their own against dangerous grownup" stories. With a Scandinavian flair.

    The Case of the Silver Egg, by Desmond Skirrow. About a club of boys in England who rescue a kidnapped scientist and his invention. The boys are obviously gifted, so our kids would find it an especially fun read smile

    For picture books, our all time favorite was "I, Crocodile" by Fred Marcellino. It is a hilarious account of a crocodile brought back to Paris by Napoleon. Smart, sly, and funny.

    For early teen girls: The Beekeeper's Apprentice, by Laurie King. It is about a 13 year old girl who becomes Sherlock Holmes' apprentice. Again, I think my D loved it so much because she is very like the gifted female girl in the story. There are several more in the series, but that is the one that D read until it fell apart.

    And for those who mentioned the Moomintrolls -- D20 and I are going to Scandinavia this summer, and it is the 65th anniversary of the first publication of those books. We were trying to pick which ferry line to take from Helsinki to Stockhom, and the deal was clinched when we found out that Moomintroll characters are riding on the Silja line all summer. We didn't want to miss that!

    Edited by intparent (04/04/10 08:06 PM)

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