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09 January 2009


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Check out Usborne books--there are lots of nonfiction titles that appeal to boys (so I am told--I obviously have no experience!). Also, have you shown him the Mouse and the Motorcycle series by Beverly Cleary? My oldest got into the boxcar children at that age, as well. Historical fiction really floats my oldest's boat and she has moved into the My America, Dear America, My Name is America series' by Scholastic. One of those series is about boys, so he may enjoy that, though the reading level is about 6th grade.

Ask your children's librarian as well. They often know what is appealing to other children that age--as long as it's not Goosebumps! (BTW, my oldest really enjoyed the Magic Treehouse books, too).


Christy P

Roald Dahl! He was my favorite kid-lit for years.


Yes, I love Dahl. I've probably got the Charlie books around here somewhere -- maybe (tragically, I was not able to rescue the library of books I owned as a child from my mother's house, and I can't ever remember which books I own now and which books I owned then).


My 6-year-old is the same way -- high reading level, but not really interested in reading more complex stuff. I've been having her read through a chapter book a chapter at a time, and then narrate it back to me (to make sure she's really reading it...) We started with Betsy-Tacy, but I don't know if an 8-year-old boy would be into that. :)


My ten-year-old was the same way. I think that they just find it nice to be able to read something without having to think about it too hard and that's ok as far as it goes. This last year has really been a huge year for her in the good literature department. She's read all of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, and many others along with what I consider fluff thrown in between.

My suggestion is to keep offering books and keep reading aloud. We never required her to read certain literature as part of her school day but if I suggested a book she had to give it a decent try (i.e. more than 2 pages) and if she really didn't enjoy it or get into it she could put it down. That's worked really well for us. Journey to the Center of the Earth was a try and no go book recently. The Secret Garden was a try and no go book when she was eight and she loved it this time.

Has he read Mark Twain, Jules Verne or Grimm's Fairy Tales?


I have the same problem with my 11 year old. He really likes the Tree House books too and wouldn't even TRY any others (except Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, heh) but my daughter told him about City of Ember and he really likes that series! I read the Series of Unfortunate Events but the kids were really disturbed by them after the 4th book or so and I stopped reading them before the last book...they just weren't interested at ALL! We bought it but they all begged me not to read it. I thought that was weird because I was kind of curious about what would happen. There were sure a lot of seedy undertones that I didn't appreciate in those books. I especially hated the way the bad guy was living with a married woman who duped her husband to be with him. We all knew he was bad but that one ruined the whole series for me. It got worse with other relationships in the book that I veiw as inappropriate. The writing got tedious and sloppy and I started to get headaches from reading them to the kids. I should have just gone with my gut and quit reading them after the 2nd book. My kids said they didn't care if I threw them all in the garbage! I was surprised. They usually really treasure all books.

Meredith from Merchant Ships

My 6-yr-old boy is mostly likely to continue a 4th/5th grade level novel *on his own* when he can also play some type of internet game associated with it. This is okay with me because I am trying to show him the fun of fiction. Until now he's resisted much anything deeper than Magic Treehouse.

Right now he's hooked on the Warrior Cats series and also the online game.

We do audio books for higher reading level enjoyment. He also prefers nonfiction books that have lots of diagrams and illustration between the text.


My sons can be picky and love the familiar. One trick is to start a book as a read aloud--say at bedtime--and then if they are still interested when I've finished the chapter, send it off to bed with them. Also, Mary Pope Osborne has written a several-book series of the Odyssey...

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