My daughter has finally gotten interested in reading chapter books, and has finished the Harry Potter series which she loved. It seems to me that there's another similar series of books for kids who liked Harry Potter, but I don't know the title. My SIL wants to get books for the kids for Christmas, so I was thinking one of these might be good. Does anyone know which series I'm talking about?
I'd recommend The Chronicles of Narnia or the Madeline L'Engle series that starts with A Wrinkle in Time.Ishtar
Definite yes on Narnia and L'Engle! She might also like the Hobbit, it's a little tougher than Harry but not much and still full of magic. The Anne of Green Gables series was a fave of mine as an early reader, along with Judy Blume. I could tolerate Nancy Drew, but there's a bit of the 50's mentality, so *you* may not want her reading them. The Famous 5 was fun too, and full of funny British vocab (hedgerows and lorrys and things in the boot).You might want to go to the library and see what's there, but it has to be said that my memories of library books were Sweet Valley High and other romantic tripe that I wasn't terribly interested in...On Amazon they list the following as similar authors:C. S. Lewis J. R. R. Tolkien Laura Ingalls Wilder Antoine De Saint-Exupery David Colbert She might also like Beverly Cleary, or the Harriet the Spy series.Two of my other favorites were old dusty books from my mother's childhood - Heidi, and a book called Ramona (I did a search on Amazon and couldn't find it but I know it's available as an ebook. It's a story about a girl in early California, I think her family was Spanish and it's a really interesting view of the old, old west).It's a wonderful thing when kids really discover reading - I know it changed my life!!Ess
I think it might be a bit advanced, but I cannot say enough about a series called His Dark Materials. The first in the series is The Golden Compass, and it's just fantastic. Five Children and It is a lot of fun, too, and for a non-fantasty but wonderful, wonderful story, consider A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. That may be a read-aloud-by-parent book, but that's a great habit to get into.For the older crowd (adults, teens): The Princess Bride. No kidding. It's so great I just can't stand it.
Try the Redwall series too. My son is slow to pick up an unfamiliar book, but when he finally read the first in the series, he was hooked. He's now reading them aloud to his little sister.Always ;-)Hunzi
My daughter has finally gotten interested in reading chapter books, and has finished the Harry Potter series which she loved. It seems to me that there's another similar series of books for kids who liked Harry Potter, but I don't know the title. My SIL wants to get books for the kids for Christmas, so I was thinking one of these might be good. Does anyone know which series I'm talking about? I think you are thinking of "The Chronicles of Narnia"FF
similar series of books for kidsEdward Eager wrote some books which I loved as a kid. I also enjoyed them when my kids read and enjoyed them. They were written in the late '40s through the mid '50s, I think, so they're much less technological than the Potter books. They're very gentle, each has two boys and two girls, they're geared for ages 8-12, and all have some magic (but nowhere as elaborate).Magic by the LakeHalf MagicThe Time GardenKnight's CastleSeven Day MagicAnother author who wrote some very enjoyable books for the same age was Joan Aiken (daughter of poet Conrad Aiken). They're set in Victorian England, so they can be a bit grim, but not overwhelmingly so. The first two I read are very suspenseful -- my mother stayed up late till she finished the first, and I read them when I was 16 or so.The Wolves of Willoughby ChaseBlackhearts in BatterseaNightbirds in NantucketI don't know if any of these are even available anymore, but I've seen them in the library. ~~ Alison
For the older crowd (adults, teens): The Princess Bride. No kidding. It's so great I just can't stand it. It sure was a great movie.
It sure was a great movie. And the book is better! Yes! There go all my exclamation points for the rest of the year but I don't care!Seriously, it's so great, and hardly anyone reads it because they either think it's an adaptation of the movie (wrong) or it's just the same as the movie (really wrong) and they're missing out on a gem. Go, today, and find a copy. There's a new edition out that has the first chapter of Morgenstern's next book, "Buttercup's Baby," included, and there's a great little anectdote about Stephen King. That's right. Just humor me.
I think it might be a bit advanced, but I cannot say enough about a series called His Dark Materials. The first in the series is The Golden Compass, and it's just fantastic. This series is just GREAT! Absolutely fantastic. I read the first one because a friend got an advance copy because she was friend's with the cover artist. I couldn't wait to find the second one (also fantastic). I haven't seen the third, but I haven't thought about them in about a year. Now I have to go find it.Selphiras
regarding the Princess Bride: before it was a movie, I had seen this book in our library. I passed it up time after time because of the cover and the text on the back made it sound like a lame romance novel. Years after the movie came out, a friend said she had the book the movie was based on. I could wait to read it. Imagine my surprise to recognize the cover I had passed by as a teen!So, when is Buttercup's Baby coming out?????Selphiras
For the older crowd (adults, teens): The Princess Bride. No kidding. It's so great I just can't stand it. It sure was a great movie. Like almost all things, the book was better!Ishtar
Someone may have already posted this but I think you're looking for the "Lemony Snicket" series. I have absolutely no idea who the author is but apparently this books are in a similar vein (my wife reads the so I've heard a little about them.) Good luck!
So, when is Buttercup's Baby coming out?????Oh, I don't think it is, it was just an extra for this edition. The problem is that the publisher wanted S. King to do the translation this time, even though Goldman had done the last one. He's from an old Florinese family, you know, and they wanted someone with roots to do the work this time, not some upstart American (this was after America). So Goldman only did the first chapter just to see what it would look like. All of that will make sense if you read the book.
Someone may have already posted this but I think you're looking for the "Lemony Snicket" series. I have absolutely no idea who the author is but apparently this books are in a similar vein (my wife reads the so I've heard a little about them.) Good luck! A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. They're wonderful. And Tim Curry reads the books on tape, which makes me go all googly inside. I love this series. It actually reminds me a bit of The Princes Bride in its method of pulling aside and speaking to the reader. They're very funny and VERY dark.
My 12 niece loved both A Series of Unfortunate Events and His Dark Materials series.At that age I loved Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series Over Sea, Under Stone The Dark is Rising Greenwitch The Grey King Silver on the Tree
Diana Wynne Jones has written several fantasies for young people that are extremely charming.Edith Nesbit was a late Victorian-era children's author who wrote several classic such as Five Children and It, and The Phoenix and the Carpet, that are really wonderful. Highly recommend, I read them as an adult and enjoyed them tremendously (same with Diane Wynne Jones' stuff)--mapletree, not a kid but still read like one sometimes
the "Lemony Snicket" seriesWell, I haven't read Harry Potter, but I wouldn't say the series was in the same kind of vein, really. It has no magic at all. But the series is awesome. The real name of the series is "A Series of Unfortunate Events". It features three orphaned kids who demonstrate themselves to be more intelligent, resourceful, and clever than most adults. It is a little dark in it's overall premise (bad things keep happening to the kids), but I don't think too much so. There are murders, kidnappings, and threats, but nothing gorey. However, while good always wins over evil, the "narrator" does not hesitate to let the reader know that it won't do the orphans any good in the end, so it can be a bit depressing. The "narrator" delivers the story in this dry, straightforward, matter-of-fact way that is very humorous in it's contrast to the quite extrordinary events that take place in the books. And the author has this wonderfully quirky way of defining words a reader may not know, but without being insulting or boring to those who do know the words.I'd suggest a parent read the first book him/herself beforehand to determine if the series is appropriate for their child. I think it's one of those that you either love or hate, and it will be great for some kids and not right for others.
Diana Wynne Jones has written several fantasies for young people that are extremely charming.I second this. I've read almost all of the books recommended in this thread. Very few of them are truly similar to Harry Potter, except for some of the books by Diana Wynne Jones. I specifically recommend "Howl's Moving Castle" and the books of Chrestomanci (charmed life; the lives of christopher chant; the magicians of caprona; witch week). I am hard pressed to imagine a child who liked Harry Potter not liking the Chrestomanci series. These books are set in a world sideways to ours where magic works instead of unseen magic users among us, but aside from that the tone is very similar.Don't get me wrong -- these are all great books. But you said that your daughter has just started reading chapter books, so I'm recommending the more straightforward ones. If I remember the ages and personalities of your children correctly the Phillip Pullman books are almost certainly too challenging and too grim. I would also wait a year or two before the Madeleine L'engle or the Susan Cooper books. They're great books, but they can be overwhelming (the plots are significantly more convoluded than the Harry Potters; for example for me they were books I enjoyed in fifth grade). Also Madeleine L'Engle's non-fantasy books have more middle school than elementary school themes. I personally preferred Narnia when read to me; when I first read it myself I found it a bore.Another series of books that is as optimistic as and about the same reading level as Harry Potter are the books by Tamora Pierce. She has a number of series. I of course prefer the ones that came out when I was a child -- Alanna; In the Hand of the Goddess; The woman who rides like a man; lioness rampant. But any of her series are good choices. She might be ready for the "So you want to be a Wizard" series by Diane Duane. If she hasn't read Roald Dahl yet I highly recommend all of his books.Another category of books that might work well for her are the victorian children's works. That was my passion when I started chapter books; unfortunately I don't have those in front of me to recommend in detail. The Secret Garden and the Little Princess. All of those George McCarthy books. Not just the Wizard of Oz but all of its sequels.Other books I remember fondly from that age: The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweather. The Westing Game. The Rats of NIMH. Biographies of Marie Curie and any other woman I could get my hands on.I have a few more recommendations for later, or if I'm underestimating her age or ability. Robin McKinley's Blue Sword and its sequel. Jane Yolen's Sister Light, Sister Dark. Hmm. I notice in retrospect that most of the books I love and recommend here have female lead characters.-Megan
The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweather. ---------I loved this book. I think I read it at least once a year when I was in elementary school.I also liked books by Betsy Byers at that age, but I can't remember any specifics. I found one at the library and after that took out a new one each week until I had read them all.Rebecca
Other books I remember fondly from that age: The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweather. I, too, loved this book. Small correction, though. The title is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.- T.
Megan--are you my twin??? Almost every book you mentioned are some of my favorites from childhood and today!!!!Tamora Pierce's Alanna books are fantasic. I couldn't say enough about them. There is some magic, but the most focus is on a girl who wants to be a knight and goes in her twin brother's place to become a page and then a squire. She's a very strong female character who I loved so much I want to name a daughter Alanna (unfortunately, my DH doesn't like the name!).And the Westing Game--I've never heard anyone else mention that book. My brother and I read it to peices. I could still go and read it again and enjoy it even thought I know then entire answer to the mystery!Robin McKinley rocks, too. The Blue Sword is great, as are her reworks of fairy tales. (These may be too old for her, however.) I loved Beauty so much I can't stand any other tellings of Beauty and the Beast.One caution on Raold Dahl--skip _The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More_. It is not a kids book like his others. There's one really excrutiating story of bullying/abuse that I still can imagine with perfect clarity that is too awful for kids to read.I'm a little confused on your reference to George McCarthy and The Wizard of Oz. That series is by L. Frank Baum. And yes, has delightful stories after WofOz.My last rec doesn't fit with Harry Potter, but we've drifted a bit into childhood favorites--_Rutabaga Stories_. I think I first fell in love with the funny title. The stories are equally odd and delightful.Selphiras
There have been some great recommendations in this thread! Some old favorites, and some new (to me) books that you can bet I'll be hunting down at my local library.Some of my favorites that haven't been mentioned:Anything by Lloyd Alexander, but especially the five books in the Chronicles of Prydain.Most books by Zilpha Keatlty Snyder, including Black and Blue Magic and my favorites (unfortunately out of print), the trilogy that begins with Below the Root. Her most famous book is probably The Egypt Game, but I prefer her more fantasy-oriented works.Patricia Wrede's dragon series, starting with Dealing with Dragons is a favorite of mine in the "fractured fairy tale" genre - kind of like Diana Wynne Jones's "moving castle" books (which I just read for the first time last week, and loved!)Ann McCaffery's Dragonsong and Dragonsinger are also kid-appropriate, though the dragon series as a whole should wait until she's older.Probably more suitable for older kids, but worth an honorable mention in a discussion of kid's fantasy/adventure books, are John Christopher's tripods trilogy (starts with The White Mountains) and, to a lesser extent, the trilogy that starts with The Prince in Waiting.- Parkway
I'm very surprised nobody mentioned my favorite "dragon" book, "Enemy Mine".
I'm a little confused on your reference to George McCarthy and The Wizard of Oz. That series is by L. Frank Baum. And yes, has delightful stories after WofOz.Sorry for the vague conjuctions. I meant all of the goblin books (mcdonald? mccarthy?) and all of the oz books. Didn't think I had to mention Baum.-Megan
by Lemony Snicket. They're wonderful. I had never heard of Lemony Snicket till this thread. Today's Health section of the Washington Post has an article on the books and the author:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49737-2001Dec3.html ~~ Alison
I agree about the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. I loved those books as a kid. I still remember the feelings I got when I read "The Book of Three"(the first in the series) and that had to be 20 years ago!Brian
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