Should I suggest ‘War and Peace’ for him??

Handsome, my eight year old son has taken to reading in bed. Due to the somewhat fiery nature of his younger brother, I asked Handsome if he would mind going to bed at the same time as his five year old sibling (there would be hell to pay from Cheeky if Handsome got to stay up later than him!). The compromise was that Handsome was given a reading light by his bed and is allowed to read for three quarters of an hour past their joint bedtime.

Since July, he has been reading the Harry Potter books. According to Yahoo Answers, there are 3407 pages when you add up the pages from all seven books. He finished the last book yesterday. So in approximately 180 days, he’s read an average of almost twenty pages each day. Not bad, for an eight year old.

He was looking forward to picking out a new bedtime book today. He spent some time after school choosing a book, then looked forward to it for the rest of the evening. So you can imagine his disappointment when it didn’t live up to expectations! He came into the lounge about ten minutes after he’d gone to bed, saying that the chapters were only a couple of pages long, and that he thought the whole book would only take him about as long as a ‘Harry Potter’ chapter, so could I please help him to choose another book which would take a little longer!

Bless him! I found him another book to try, but now I’m wondering whether he needs something a little meatier?! Thanks to the ‘Harry Potter’ books he’s an even more avid reader than he was before, so I don’t want him to be put off by a couple of less than enthusing books! At the moment he’s reading a treasury of boys’ stories including stories like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Just William’, ‘Flat Stanley’ etc. When I see which stories from there he likes, I’ll be able (hopefully) to make more helpful suggestions! However, all suggestions from you guys will be more than gratefully received!


9 Responses

  1. Try him on the Percy Jackson books. I can lend you the first three at the next S&B if you like? Here is the Amazon link to the first book
    and here is the Wikipedia link

  2. How about Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series (5 volumes, although I had it in a single volume)? It’s more traditional British mythology than in HP, and in the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, the magic is only (strongly) hinted at. From The Dark is Rising (no. 2) it becomes explicit. Actually, tell him that’s the original boy-finds-out-on-his-eleventh-birthday-he’s-magic book. The whole series isn’t much bigger than one of the last HP books, but it’s dense storytelling.

    If he wants something lighter, try Mary Norton’s Borrowers series. The Mennyms series (Sylvia Waugh) also has several volumes of consistent quality. (That’s also more recent than the rest, which are childhood favourites of my own.)

    Away from fantasy entirely, how about Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series? There are 13 volumes, which don’t necessarily have to be read in order, if you can’t get them all at once.

    Hope this helps. He sounds capable of meaty stuff! I know most, if not all, of these are in print, and your library or bookshop should be able to get them if they don’t have them in stock.

  3. I’m writing here as I can’t text you. He didn’t like that collection because it was only one chapter from each book. He thought it was pointless!

    Anyway, there are loads of books on his shelf. Let him read a couple of those Doctor Who ones. Or those ones about Pompeii, the Roman Mysteries or whatever they were called. And isn’t there a Eion Colfer or two about?

  4. Have you got the Roald Dahl books? I’ve got a couple you can have that came free with some cereal. If he likes them, I have got the boxset which I’m happy for him to borrow, although some of them might be a bit easy going compared to HP. Think I was reading Enid Blyton when I was his age.

  5. Wow! What a response!

    Jack and Becomewhatyouare – what a coincidence that you should both suggest the same author! Jack, I’ll take you up on the offer of a lend of a book, but maybe just the one to start (in case he takes a while reading it). I’m not in SnB this Thursday, but I’ll be at Milgis next week. And Becomewhatyouare – thank you for the visit and for the recommendation. It’s always good to hear what other children are enjoying. Is it Milky White who is reading them at the moment?

    Kaet – I’ve never heard of the Susan Cooper books, so I’ll have to look into them. Perhaps I’ll go down to the library tomorrow? And I’d forgotten about ‘The Borrowers’ – I’ve probably still got my copy at my parents’ house! And we have two volumes of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ here. ‘The Mennyms’ is another new one on me.

    GG – the problem our son has is that he wants a chunky book for the evenings. He said he’s happy to read the thinner ones in the days! Which leads me on to..

    WPT – we do indeed have some Roald Dahls around, and he’s brought ‘Danny Champion of the World’ home from school. However, he’s told me that these are very firmly daytime reading! Such a fussy young man! And I think I read an Enid Blyton book last year, let alone at his age! I just can’t get him interested in them.

  6. My little guy (9 years old) really loves the Series of Unfortunate Events Books. They are fairly quick reads, but so good to him that he doesn’t seem to mind. He’s also really enjoyed the Spiderwick books. The Percy Jackson books are on his want list right now too. Oh and the City of Ember books, he really enjoyed too. If I think of any others I’ll let you know.

  7. Caednkat – thank you for this list. More for me to look out for in the library! I have a feeling that we might have a Lemony Snicket book hiding somewhere.

  8. What about The Hobbit?

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