Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Age Appropriate Reading

Quick bleg for people with recent experience with older kids than our local monkeys here. I agreed at work to pick up a couple "age appropriate books" for a nine-year-old-boy as part of a holiday charity drive. (Any kid who puts down on his Christmas wish-list that he wants books should be encouraged, I figure.)

I'd been thinking maybe a couple Narnia books (after all, the movie is coming out) and maybe some mystery or adventure stuff. (YA paperbacks are pretty cheap, so the approx $20 should leave plenty of room.) But now I'm wondering if my estimate of 9-year-old reading level is somewhat inflated. After some initial resistance I became a pretty over-achieving sort of reader in my youth, so although I'm virtually certain I'd read all the Narnia books by age nine, I'm not sure if that's well outside the curve.

Any suggestions for good reading for a nine-year-old boy?


Steven said...

Dear Sir,

Much depends on whether or not the nine-year-old boy LIKES to read. For example, on some things, Samuel, who is 7 can't be budged with dynamite to read. On others (paticularly insects) he's reading 10th, 11th, and 12th grade texts (with, lots and lots of questions). I know, you probably don't know enough to know what the child would like to read.

The motivated child will whiz through Harry Potter, Eragon, Inkheart, and the like. Lemony Snicket comes to mind as well. I'm told Artemis Fowl, though I can't recommend from personal experience. The hobbit was intended for younger readers, though 9 seems awfully young.

Narnia seems likely, but it's very hard to tell.

I'll think about it some more.



Anonymous said...

Darwin, my son was not reading that much at that age, though (after I read them to him aloud) he worked his way through The Lord of the Rings.

His grandmother gave him a Hardy Boys book at that age, and after some resistance he read it and enjoyed it.

There's also Robert E. Howard's Breckenridge Elkins stories, just out in a new edition. Hilarious and very much the sort of thing a 9-year-old boy will appreciate. My son did, and he's going to be getting that book for Christmas (he's now 12).

Anonymous said...

I have a few books that tell age-appropriate quality literature for children....I look up some for you later this evening after I get back boys were both so different in their reading levels at age 9, though if the child asked for books, that's a good sign of his son was also reading Hardy Boys at age 9, but I'll look and ask my now 12 and 13 year old sons what they think and get back to you...hope you're having a blessed day...prayers going up for your whole family.

Darwin said...

That always seems like the difficulty with these "wish list for poor children" things: The requests are sometimes vague and you don't know what level people are at.

Nine is when my reading really took off, so if memory serves I worked through The Hobbit, the Naria books, the Swallows and Amazon books, a TON of those Landmark books on people and subjects in American history, some Heinlein juvies, etc in the 9-10 period. (I tried Lord of the Rings but couldn't get into it yet.)

Still, one doesn't want to give the kid a bunch of stuff he can't read. Yet I refuse to stoop to the level of Goosebumps and such...

Lemony Snicket sounds like a good idea. I never read Hardy Boys as a kid, but that had crossed my mind as well. And the Elkins books sound interesting too. (I never could seem to find any good westerns as a boy, except non-fiction.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think that 9- year-old boys actually enjoy reading as much as girls do. (There are exceptions of course.)

Whenever I took my daughter to a birthday party for boys that age, I always got "I Spy" books. They are fun books that are great for any age.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that the "Great Brain" books (I think the author is Fitzgerald) being at about the 9 or 10 year old level.

Fidei Defensor said...

9 and 7 Year old sisters have really be enjoying the Chronicles of Narnia books, thats probably a good way to go.

If they still print them, anything in the Landmark Books series is good, when I was 9 I really enjoyed one about Piere Marquette.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add that my boys loved the Encyclopedia Brown series of books by Donald Sobol. They also liked Beverly Cleary books such as Henry Huggins...good luck!

Unknown said...

I LOVED Encyclopedia Brown and the Great Brain when I was in 3rd and 4th grade.