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    Joined: Aug 2010
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    I hope this is okay to start. My 11yo is outgrowing the children's section, but both of us are finding the YA section somewhat uninspiring (she is not interested in vampires, dystopia, or romance). I am transitioning her to tween-appropriate adult fiction, but this is something that requires some thought. Here is my list so far. If the book contains sexual themes, extreme violence, etc, do note it. Note--I don't intend this to really include books written specifically for the YA market, but of course some of these do land in YA sections today.

    --Little Women (and sequels)
    --Jane Eyre
    --Wuthering Heights (I hate this book, but teens often like it!)
    --Pride and Prejudice, etc (subtle--may be better for an older tween)
    --Dickens
    --To Kill a Mockingbird (rape themes)
    --Fahrenheit 451 and other Ray Bradbury
    --Terry Pratchett
    --Douglas Adams (occasional sexual jokes)

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    Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Harper Lee's To kill a Mocking bird is on my ds12 7th grade reading list this year. Along with some texts dealing with adversity, Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic and Anne Franks The Diary of a Young Girl.

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    --The Martian, by Andy Weir (swearing)

    For Terry Pratchett, I do recommend standing with the YA titles (Amazing Maurice and the Tiffany Aching series that starts with Wee Free Men). While kids will probably enjoy his other books, some of the humor is really better appreciated with a little more experience under one's belt.

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    When I was that age I was obsessed with detectives and murder mysteries: Agatha Christie books, Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe come to mind. Of course there's always a murder in the background of these - but minimal violence in the stories themselves. I remember wishing Holmes was a real person because I had a huge crush on him! Yes, I was a quirky kid...

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    I'd absolutely recommend Fahrenheit 451 to a young gifted reader, if for no other reason that because the theme would resonate strongly with them. I can't recall any adult themes offhand. And if she's interested in Bradbury, I could also recommend Heinlein's works, though I haven't read too many of them. Generally speaking, you can't go far wrong on sci-fi for a tween if it was written before the 70s, as the violence and sexuality were a lot more muted back then.

    I gave my DD a shot at some Discworld (Pratchett) material when she was 8 and expressing an interest in my bookshelf, but it didn't take, and I expect that has a lot to do with life experience. The things they make fun of are not things children are not participating in... things like government, law enforcement, communications, university staff, etc. I'm not sure I'd recommend them to an 11yo unless they're already interested in social science-y things.

    Given that you've put both Pratchett and Adams on the list, I assume satire is an interest, so I'd add two names:

    Mark Twain: Not only great satire, but also great use of language. If only we still wrote like this.

    Carl Hiassen: Until recently I would absolutely NOT have recommended his works to parents for their younger children, as they are rife with adult themes, but in recent years he has begun writing a separate set of books targeted at the young adult market, with more appropriate themes. I haven't read his young adult stuff personally (though DD has a copy of Hoot by her bed), but I can say that as satire, he's hilarious. From one adult to another, if you like Adams and Pratchett, you should give Hiassen a try.

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    A list my family recently put together for this problem:
    Jade Snow Wong
    Fifth Chinese Daughter

    Anya Seton
    Katherine (romance, but not the kind you're talking about)
    others

    Mary Renault (historical novels set in ancient Greece)
    The Last of the Wine
    The King Must Die
    The Bull from the Sea
    others

    Mary Stewart's Merlin series:
    The Crystal Cave
    The Hollow Hills
    The Last Enchantment
    The Wicked Day
    The Prince and the Pilgrim


    Beverly Cleary
    My Own Two Feet (her autobiography)

    Andy Mulligan
    Trash
    others

    Marcel Pagnol
    My Father's Glory
    My Mother's Castle

    Margaret Mitchell
    Gone With the Wind


    Jessamyn West
    The Friendly Persuasion
    The Massacre at Fall Creek
    others

    Witi Ihimaera The Whale Rider

    Michael Morpurgo War Horse

    Daphne deMaurier
    Rebecca
    The Scapegoat
    The King's General
    others

    Jack Finney
    Time and Again
    From Time to Time
    About Time
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    others

    Alfred Toombs
    Raising a Riot


    Jean Merrill
    The Pushcart Wars
    others

    Robert Cormier
    The Chocolate War
    others

    S.E. Hinton
    The Outsiders


    T. H. White
    The Once and Future King


    Richard Peck
    Paul Zindel

    Maxine Hong Kingston
    The Woman Warrior, Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

    Ray Bradbury
    The Illustrated Man
    Fahrenheit 451
    others

    Natalie Babbitt
    Tuck Everlasting
    others

    Rod Serling
    Stories from the Twilight Zone
    others
    also: not a book, The Big Tall Wish: The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas

    John Steinbeck
    The Grapes of Wrath

    Ernest Hemingway
    lots, but you might be a little young.

    Ken Follett
    Pillars of the Earth
    World Without End
    His other books are spy novels and kind of gory.

    Amy Tan
    The Joy Luck Club
    others

    Chaim Potok
    The Chosen
    The Promise
    My Name is Asher Lev

    C.S. Lewis
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (#1 of Chronicles of Narnia series)
    others

    Ursula K. LeGuin
    anything

    Tolkein
    The Hobbit
    Lord of the Rings series

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    Everyone took mine!!!! Not fair.


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    NOt sure I have too much to add. Reading level most popular adult fiction is probably well within your daughter reading level. The idea of a "teen" genre is relatively new and mostly is filled as you have found with teen romance and paranormal stuff. The big genre to avoid is adult romance which can be quite explicit. I'd say horror as well but you might have to know your child, I LOVED Alfred Hitchcock short stories as an early teen.

    It's already been suggested by mysteries particularly Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes can be good. Books like Jules Vern, 100,000 leagues under the sea, journey to the edge of the earth, etc. can be fun.

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    Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels (the original Dragonriders, and Harper Hall--can't speak to the later series written with her son)

    I read tons of British/Commonwealth drawing room and procedural mysteries at this age, as well, not only Christie, but

    Dorothy Sayers
    Georgette Heyer (known more for her period romances, but also wrote quite a few mysteries)
    P. D. James
    Catherine Aird
    Ngaio Marsh
    Margery Allingham

    also, in other genres

    P.G. Wodehouse
    Patricia Mckillip
    Arthur C. Clarke
    Isaac Asimov

    offhand.


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    Agreed on some of the Terry Pratchett comments.

    My DD10 loved Maurice and his amazing Rodents at 8 and also some of the Wee Free ones. BTW, his last book just hit the shelves The Shepherd's Crown which features a young with and the little blue men.

    She recently tried some others, loved Small Gods which makes me really happy because that is one of my faves too - enjoyed the ones featuring The Watch because she had already read LoTR and Twisted Tales - but was a bit at sea on The Hogfather so YMMV depending on real world experience to date. She does get a lot of the humor which again is very satisfying to observe.

    Mark Twain is one of the pithiest writers ever - totally agree with you, Dude.

    Idiots Abroad and Roughly It leap to mind immediately both for his engaging style and mercilessly sharp wit. The fact that they are valid from a socio-historical perspective as well doesn't do any harm either.

    At that age I really got into reading biographies of famous characters from history too.





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