Sunday, December 27, 2009

What to Read When You’re Almost Ten: The Fiction Edition

One has been reading like a madman this year, as usual. At close to ten he shows no signs of throwing books out the window in exchange for a gaming system – which is wonderful, since we’ll buy him any number of books but no gaming system, not. ever. He still reads history at bedtime each night, but he is much more devoted to all kinds of fiction. A list from this summer until now:

Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge. Magic + orphaned kids = a great adventure.

Captains Courageous – not the first Kipling he’s read but by far the favorite.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

The Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome – One has read four of these, has the middle four waiting from his Christmas stash, and after that will have four to go. He absolutely loves them, and I am so grateful to Melissa Wiley for the recommendation.

The first three books in the Hornblower series. These are also well-loved, and he’ll eventually get around to finishing the series, I’m sure.

Across Five Aprils, read while he was reading history books on the Civil War.

Journey to the Center of the Earth – his hands-down favorite Jules Verne.

Around the World in Eighty Days – the second-favorite Verne.

Oliver Twist – unfortunately an abridged version (grr) but One liked it anyway. I have a thing against abridged version – a very Charlotte Mason-ish thing. I don’t see the point to just the story; you need the language as well to get the most out of a classic book. If you can’t read it unabridged, put it down and wait a year or two. As usual, my two cents on almost everything are available to you, here, for free.

Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers. This is first in a series by Ralph Moody. Loosely autobiographical, they are about Moody’s childhood on a ranch in Colorado. There are seven books left in the series, which I’m sure One will devour at some point.

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Tom wins over Huck, which Husband tells me is quite unusual.

On deck for the book-eater:


The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright. Three more where this came from if it's a hit.

Goodbye Mr. Chips

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

The Hardy Boys, numbers 15 to 21. A Christmas present from Two.

The Switherby Pilgrims: A Tale of the Australian Bush

All Quiet on the Western Front (a read-aloud with his dad)

The Wheel on the School

And most unusual: a dislike category:

The Great Brain. One wanted to know who would put up with this mendacious, nasty kid for more than five minutes without socking him one. I have to agree.

The themes for One that ring most true: (A) adventure, (B) bravery, (C) children fallen on hard times who show (B) and have (A) as a consequence, and (D) watching kids grow up, however painful it may be.

I'll have a history post for One tomorrow. Don't worry: it's not half as long.

1 comment:

Deirdre said...

love this. And stick to your guns about the "no gaming system" rule. amen and amen sistah!

My parents never bought one and I still love reading and so does my little brother (age 39)

almost every single present this year to anyone in our immediate family was books. Barnes and Nobles loves us.