Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Writing For Kids
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-03-2012, 05:26 AM   #1
ChristineJ
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern Canada
Posts: 38
ChristineJ is on a distinguished road
Harry Potter alternatives for young listeners?

This is a reading, rather than writing, question.

My 6 1/2 year old is completely obsessed with Harry Potter. I was comfortable reading the first two books to him, and reluctantly agreed to the third. He's nagged me so much about the fourth that I demonstrated horrible parenting (giving in to nagging) and started reading an edited version to him (cutting out the parts I think are too mature/disturbing), but as I predicted he's having a bit of trouble following the more complicated plot and more sophisticated writing style.

So I'm looking for suggestions of books that will satisfy that craving he has to get completely immersed in a book without being too mature for him. They don't have to be about wizards, but need to have that certain something that makes kids just go crazy.

We still read picture books sometimes and he's been happy enough with my recent picks of Charlotte's Web and Mr. Popper's Penguins, but they don't excite him like Harry Potter does. The last set of books he got very excited about were K. V. Johansen's Torrie books (if you haven't read these MG fantasy books, I highly recommend them).

If I don't come up with another book/series to suck him in, he's going to start bringing Magic Tree House books home for me to read to him again! (Mary Pope Osbourne has my profound respect for the reading empire she has created that has inspired so many kids to love books, but I just can't bear to read any more aloud, and he's several months away from being able to read them on his own.)

Thanks!
ChristineJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 05:37 AM   #2
Bloo
Roofied by Rylan
 
Bloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 335
Bloo is well-respected
My initial thought was the Artemis Fowl books but Eion Colfer, but in retrospect those might be to intense as well...possibly Gaiman's The Graveyard Book?
__________________
Shameless Self Serving:

Webpage
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Author Profile
Amazon Page
Bloo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 05:49 AM   #3
Kitty Pryde
i luv you giant bear statue
AW Moderator
 
Kitty Pryde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lost Angeles
Posts: 9,093
Kitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Six Crowns series by Allan Frewin Jones
Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
Time Warp Trio series by John Scieszka
Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon
Squish series by Jeniffer Holm

These are all good little-kid appropriate fantasy series that last for a while.
Kitty Pryde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 07:05 AM   #4
RuthD
careful...you'll end up in my novel
 
RuthD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 1,253
RuthD has earned our admirationRuthD has earned our admirationRuthD has earned our admirationRuthD has earned our admiration
He sounds a lot like my nephew, who will turn 7 this month. JW has listened to many, many Magic Treehouse books. He's currently obsessed with the Beastologist series by R. L. LaFevers, which my brother and sister-in-law find more stimulating to read aloud. He also really likes Ivy & Bean--they're about two girls, and they aren't fantasy, but for some reason he adores them. Probably because they sometimes misbehave, and he finds that hilarious. If I think of any more, I'll post them.
__________________
My blog: Readatouille

Last edited by RuthD; 12-03-2012 at 07:27 AM.
RuthD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 08:19 AM   #5
rwm4768
practical experience, FTW
 
rwm4768's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 11,531
rwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudgerwm4768 is better than ice cream with hot fudge
Chronicles of Narnia?
__________________
My writing blog: Ryan Mueller's Writing (updated 9/19)
Writing Advice
The Fantasy Reading List

WIP:
Empire of Chains (Epic Fantasy): 158K Revising
Sunweaver (Epic Fantasy): 105K Revising
rwm4768 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
lastlittlebird
avem narrans
 
lastlittlebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,290
lastlittlebird leaves trails of profuse coolnesslastlittlebird leaves trails of profuse coolnesslastlittlebird leaves trails of profuse coolnesslastlittlebird leaves trails of profuse coolnesslastlittlebird leaves trails of profuse coolness
Have you gone through the Roald Dahl books? James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, the BFG, etc?
It might be on the top edge of his understanding, but I read the Lloyd Alexander series The Chronicles of Prydain when I was in middle grade and adored it. It's got the whole boy growing up during an epic quest thing going for it.
Also, I was very fond of Willard Price at that age (Tiger Adventure, Volcano Adventure, etc). They aren't magic themed books, but they are about a pair of boys travelling the world, capturing animals for their father's zoo. They might be a bit outdated now, but I read all of them when I was a bit older than him (and they were probably outdated then too!).
__________________


Amazon Link: Tempting the Unicorn
(a sweet and smutty fantasy novella)
lastlittlebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
SheilaJG
practical experience, FTW
 
SheilaJG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,618
SheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthoodSheilaJG is a candidate for sainthood
I'll second the Dragonbreath series and the Beastologist series, both fun series that my son loved. He also loved Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker, and so did I. Roald Dahl is fun to read aloud.

All my kids have loved My Father's Dragon trilogy.

Have fun!
__________________
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan

Represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency
Twitter
SheilaJG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
ChristineJ
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern Canada
Posts: 38
ChristineJ is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
Six Crowns series by Allan Frewin Jones
Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
Time Warp Trio series by John Scieszka
Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon
Squish series by Jeniffer Holm

These are all good little-kid appropriate fantasy series that last for a while.
Great! I've never heard of ANY of these series. It's so exciting to discover entire series of books that weren't even on my radar. I can't wait to go to the library.
ChristineJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
ChristineJ
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern Canada
Posts: 38
ChristineJ is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by RuthD View Post
He sounds a lot like my nephew, who will turn 7 this month. JW has listened to many, many Magic Treehouse books. He's currently obsessed with the Beastologist series by R. L. LaFevers, which my brother and sister-in-law find more stimulating to read aloud. He also really likes Ivy & Bean--they're about two girls, and they aren't fantasy, but for some reason he adores them. Probably because they sometimes misbehave, and he finds that hilarious. If I think of any more, I'll post them.
Thanks! I read an excerpt of the first Beastologist on the author's website and it looks great.
ChristineJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
ChristineJ
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern Canada
Posts: 38
ChristineJ is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by lastlittlebird View Post
Have you gone through the Roald Dahl books? James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, the BFG, etc?
I was just thinking last night that it's kind of odd that I've never read any Roald Dahl to my older son. I think his dad read Matilda to him when he was about the age the younger one is now. I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was young.
ChristineJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #11
Bloo
Roofied by Rylan
 
Bloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 335
Bloo is well-respected
I was at a Barnes and Nobel this weekend and they have a beautiful hard bound edition of Narnia (all 7 books in one) for $20. Some kind of holiday promotion, so that could be a possibility as someone else above has mentioned.

I mentioned Gaiman's The Graveyard Book above, but also Stardust or Coraline by him would be good
__________________
Shameless Self Serving:

Webpage
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Author Profile
Amazon Page
Bloo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 04:07 AM   #12
MsJudy
practical experience, FTW
 
MsJudy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: california
Posts: 5,673
MsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsMsJudy is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloo View Post

I mentioned Gaiman's The Graveyard Book above, but also Stardust or Coraline by him would be good
If HP#4 is a bit mature for him, I wouldn't try Gaiman just yet. Certainly not Stardust, which isn't even technically for kids.

Another suggestion: Kate McMullan's Dragonslayer's Academy series. Very silly fantasy. And did anyone suggest the Time Warp Trio series by Sciezka?

My absolute favorite: The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
__________________
represented by Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency. Most happy.
MsJudy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 04:09 AM   #13
fireluxlou
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,090
fireluxlou has a golden reputationfireluxlou has a golden reputationfireluxlou has a golden reputationfireluxlou has a golden reputationfireluxlou has a golden reputationfireluxlou has a golden reputation
Skulduggery Pleasant, Percy Jackson.

Some other good novels are those by Susan Cooper there's even a film which I'd think is age appropriate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seeker_(film)

Also the Chrestomanci series by Dianne Wynne Jones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrestomanci

I also liked http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardians_of_Ga%27Hoole series.
fireluxlou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 10:05 AM   #14
Bloo
Roofied by Rylan
 
Bloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 335
Bloo is well-respected
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsJudy View Post
If HP#4 is a bit mature for him, I wouldn't try Gaiman just yet. Certainly not Stardust, which isn't even technically for kids.

Another suggestion: Kate McMullan's Dragonslayer's Academy series. Very silly fantasy. And did anyone suggest the Time Warp Trio series by Sciezka?

My absolute favorite: The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
Prydian is a great choice, but it gets pretty dark itself by Taran Wanderer. Y eah in retrospect Graveyard and Stardust are both probably too much, but I think Coraline would be okay. My best friend is reading Graveyard book to his kids (13, 9, 6) and they aren't having any probmes but I can understand that line of reasoning.

Slightly off topic there though LOL Prydian is good though, as are some of Alexander's other works, MAYBE the Vesper Lloyd(?...that doesn't sound right but I can't think of the character's last name) series by him. It's kind of a Victorian Lara Croft/Tomb Raider/Indiana Jones type series
__________________
Shameless Self Serving:

Webpage
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Author Profile
Amazon Page
Bloo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 09:12 PM   #15
JoyMC
practical experience, FTW
 
JoyMC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 1,076
JoyMC has earned our admirationJoyMC has earned our admirationJoyMC has earned our admirationJoyMC has earned our admiration
My daughter is almost seven and we have read all the Harry Potter books aloud many times. She is totally and completely obsessed. I didn't plan to read them all when we started (she was five!) but it was absolutely the right thing for us to do. So I don't personally think you need to beat yourself up about horrible parenting. (She has only seen the first movie.)

Some other books/series/authors she has enjoyed immensely - Narnia, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, Doctor Dolittle (racism alert) and Pegasus: Flame of Olympus. She also loves Ivy & Bean and Clementine, as have been recommended, but they definitely don't have the same adventurous bent. And we have not read the Willard Price books with my daughter, but I remember LOVING them as a kid!
__________________
WEBSITE * TWITTER* EDITORIAL SERVICES
JoyMC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #16
Katrina S. Forest
I'm already a real writer.
 
Katrina S. Forest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Querying Central
Posts: 1,804
Katrina S. Forest should run for PresidentKatrina S. Forest should run for PresidentKatrina S. Forest should run for PresidentKatrina S. Forest should run for PresidentKatrina S. Forest should run for PresidentKatrina S. Forest should run for President
I've recently started reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and I can't wait until my son is old enough to listen to it. The writing is just fun. Obviously, from the title of the series, it gets dark, but it's dark in a whimsical way, if that makes any sense.

I agree that Stardust is not at all for young children. If you want to give Gaiman a try, pick up Wolves in the Walls or The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. They are both picture books, but aimed at the older end of the PB audience.
__________________
"So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy" -Madeleine L'Engle

"An honest answer is like a warm hug." - Proverbs 24:26 (The Message)

My Every Day Fiction stories
Katrina S. Forest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #17
Bloo
Roofied by Rylan
 
Bloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hays, KS
Posts: 335
Bloo is well-respected
Man, I need to read Stardust again LOL
__________________
Shameless Self Serving:

Webpage
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Author Profile
Amazon Page
Bloo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2012, 12:31 AM   #18
Kitty Pryde
i luv you giant bear statue
AW Moderator
 
Kitty Pryde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lost Angeles
Posts: 9,093
Kitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
For Gaiman, Crazy Hair, Instructions, and Odd and The Frost Giants are good for a 6 year old. Coraline and Graveyard Book have some awfully scary bits in them, so I would not suggest them for every 6 year old.
Kitty Pryde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2012, 01:22 AM   #19
Laura J
Odessa Quinn
 
Laura J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tampa
Posts: 474
Laura J is well-respected
Peter and the Starcatchers series

or Percy Jackson

My son loved those. I agree on the Magic Tree House. They got him interested in reading, but I was glad to move on to something new.
__________________
Odessa Quinn
Facebook

Twitter

The Faery Thief~ MG rewriting, editing and revising

The Charisma Chronicles first draft

The Thread-YA
Laura J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #20
jmascia
practical experience, FTW
 
jmascia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 363
jmascia is on a distinguished road
I also like Peter and the Starcatchers (a prequel to Peter Pan) and the Percy Jackson series - good choices Laura!

If your kid like Harry Potter, he will likely like these.
__________________
The Poe Murders - My Latest Project on IndieGoGo.com

James Mascia
www.islandofdren.com

High School Heroes - NOW AVAILABLE!!!!
L&L Dreamspell Publishing

jmascia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 03:30 PM   #21
redwriter99
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 43
redwriter99 is on a distinguished road
Try The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas. If your son is into magic and wizards, this series is an easy and light read. It is no where near as intense as Harry Potter.
redwriter99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 03:51 PM   #22
profen4
Monkeys are evil
 
profen4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 1,642
profen4 has earned our admirationprofen4 has earned our admirationprofen4 has earned our admirationprofen4 has earned our admiration
Septimus Heap - Geared for younger readership than potter, but full of magic. Great books and not tough to follow at all. do lot nu goi cam ao lot nam sieu mong chau tam cao cap cho be ban si vay cong so nu chup anh hoi nghi
__________________
---

Last edited by profen4; 05-14-2013 at 05:58 PM.
profen4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 12:17 AM   #23
Sarah_Will_Write
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Sarah_Will_Write's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 29
Sarah_Will_Write is on a distinguished road
How about the Ralph S. Mouse series by Beverly Cleary? Or Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher? Gosh, I loved those! To be clear, however, NOTHING tops Harry Potter. J.K. deserves her billions of dollars. (I totally understand that they can be too dark, however...)
__________________
On submission with the fabulous Charlie Olsen of InkWell Management.

http://sarahwillalwayswrite.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/SarahSchauerte
Sarah_Will_Write is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 01:33 AM   #24
Britwriter
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 495
Britwriter is well-respected
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsJudy View Post
My absolute favorite: The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
Oh, me too, although I'm wondering if the undead soldiers would be a bit much for a 7 yo? I haven't read it to my 8 yo yet, who stuck at HP 2.

I always struggle with this, as so many of the great books that appeal to this age group also have themes that are too dark. Septimus Heap, for example, gets pretty dark.

We often get 3/4 of the way through a read-aloud book, when I suddenly remember the dark stuff, and we have to stop!

Note to someone brilliant: Please write a HP/Fablehaven/Prydain type series with all the adventure and complex plot and sophisticated language, but nothing excessively dark for 8 year olds, especially boys. At that age, they don't all want simplicity, but they're not ready for the really dark stuff. I get frustrated at the notion that all 7 & 8 year olds want simple short chapter books. I hear this plea for recommendations from parents for this age group all the time. Their kids read, or listen, to complex stories, they've read the classics, but they want fantasy and adventure and magic of the HP style. They start HP, then have to quit.

Is it possible, or is it the dark that makes the books work? I"m not sure.
Britwriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 03:03 AM   #25
Write_Askew
practical experience, FTW
 
Write_Askew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 143
Write_Askew is well-respected
Try the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. The premise is about a bunch of wild cats that live in the moors of England. Its a great series and the books are relatively non-violent. They deal with big issues- love, loss, honor, honesty, bravery...but its done in a way that isn't overt. You still get lost in the books. I'm 30 and I love them. Everyone I hang out with has had the first book pushed on them, and they've all ended up borrowing the whole series.

I wouldn't read harry potter beyond 4 to a seven year old and I would highly recommend Warriors. There's currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 books plus 5 or so super editions, plus manga. There is also a couple of other series by the same author about bears and dogs.

You can get them at B&N for about $7.99 a book. You could probably find them on Amazon or Alibris for cheaper, if you're strapped for cash.
Write_Askew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 10:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.