PDA

View Full Version : Books you want to share with kids



Medievalist
07-19-2013, 04:19 AM
I love buying books for my friends' kids. (Yes, I check with the parents first) but it made me wonder:

What are the books you love to share with others who haven't read them? Not just kids books, but books in general—what books do you recommend with "you gotta read this, it's amazing!"

VictoriaWrites
07-19-2013, 04:27 AM
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein. There aren't many books that I feel like I have to share with everyone, but that one was beautiful.

Kateness
07-19-2013, 04:29 AM
Frindle, by Andrew Clements (http://andrewclements.com/books-frindle.html). If any writer here hasn't read it, it's still worth your time.

I can't think of many other books that inspire such a love of words. It's always been powerful to me.

KateJJ
07-19-2013, 05:13 AM
Connie Willis' Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, which I thrust upon anyone over the age of thirteen or so.

For 11 year olds or so, a couple of Heinlein's juveniles. Dated, sometimes silly, but still some of the best gateway SF ever written. A copy of Have Spacesuit Will Travel in a kid's hands is a dangerous thing.

amergina
07-19-2013, 05:29 AM
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis. It's the kind of book I wish I had read as a kid. Mind-opening and historical.

OJCade
07-19-2013, 06:04 AM
There are lots of picture books for kids that I simply adore. I confess, I collect some of my favourites, hoping that kids will never get their sticky, crayon-filled hands on them, but that doesn't mean I can't gift other copies of them.

My personal favourite was "The Big Orange Splot" by Daniel Pinkwater, but I really love the picture books by author/illustrator Peter Sis, especially his one on Galileo, "Starry Messenger". And "The Sad Book" by Michael Rosen is just lovely.

GingerGunlock
07-19-2013, 06:21 AM
For picture books, I love This is Not My Hat (Jon Klassen), Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey, The Wonder Room (Sergio Ruzzier), the Pink Refrigerator (Tim Egan), The Dark (Lemony Snickett), The Enchanted Book (Janina Porazinska)

For bigger-than-picture-books, there's Just So Stories (Rudyard Kipling), The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgeson Burnett), Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery), The Higher Power of Lucky (Susan Patron), Arabian Nights, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales, My Side of the Mountain (Jean Craighead George), Watership Down (Richard Adams), A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens), Black Beauty (Anna Sewell), The Black Stallion (Walter Farley), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain), Nancy Drew books, The Happy Hollisters (another mystery solving family of that sort of time period)


I'm sure there are more. There are always more. And I was a precocious reader.

ElaineA
07-19-2013, 06:47 AM
For PBs, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf as told to Jon Scieszka. Still makes me laugh and my oldest is 20.

Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men is a great read-aloud novel for kids done with picture books and still willing to sit for a reading.

mrsmig
07-19-2013, 06:48 AM
When I had wee nieces and nephews, I presented several of them with their very own boxed set of The Voyage to the Bunny Planet books by Rosemary Wells (of Max and Ruby fame). The three little books are so peaceful and sweet without being saccharine, and make great bedtime reading. All those wee ones are mostly grown now, some even with wee ones of their own, so I'm anticipating another round of giving as soon as the new littles are a bit older.

Older kids get different books for different reasons. To a nephew who, at twelve, was turning into a male chauvinist piglet, I gave a copy of The Island of the Blue Dolphins (and guess what? he turned out okay). Another nephew admired my collection of Hergé's TinTin books so much that he got his own. A wistful niece with a literary bent got A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as well as Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.

I love buying books for kids. And some of those kids have turned me on to some terrific books I might have otherwise passed over.

lolchemist
07-19-2013, 07:20 AM
How to Win Friends and Influence People. It's not a novel but I think it's something every kid should read. In this day and age a book that gives you basic suggestions like smiling at people and being polite and kind and genuine is so needed.

LJD
07-19-2013, 07:27 AM
The Balloon Tree (Phoebe Gilman)

jennontheisland
07-19-2013, 07:51 AM
My personal favourite was "The Big Orange Splot" by Daniel Pinkwater
*insert weird freak out here*
This is it!!!

(sorry, been trying to find the title of this one for a long freaking time, and this is it!!!)

My mom is convinced this book is what made me weird.

Tirjasdyn
07-19-2013, 07:51 AM
Vampire$ by John Steakley

An amazing piece of writing almost no one has read but has had a really bad movie made from it kind of (if you count taking the names and one scene and calling it based on the book).

jennontheisland
07-19-2013, 07:57 AM
Also,

Serendipity (the one with the pink seamonster on the front)
Frog Girl (The Boy loved this one)
Henry P. Baloney (seems like nonsense but they really are words!)
C.C. Poindexter (better for early teens)
Santa Claws (intro to horror via xmas)

katiemac
07-19-2013, 08:15 AM
The Wainscott Weasel.

benbradley
07-19-2013, 08:37 AM
Know a high school kid (or anyone) who's good at math and/or very interested in it? Here's my review of "Journey Through Genius:"
http://www.amazon.com/review/RJ8V2LZTDUFY1/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=014014739X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=
Someone didn't find my review helpful, but I stand behind it, and I gave the book five stars just as most other reviewers did.

I think it's arguable that must subjects in school should be taught this way, with the history of discoveries/inventions interwoven with the facts themselves.

JoNightshade
07-19-2013, 08:57 AM
My favorite two books as a small child were Corduroy and The Velveteen Rabbit.

My favorite non-picture books that were read to me, and which I will be sharing with my child, are The Call of the Wild, All Things Great and Small, Survive the Savage Sea, and Burro Bill and Me.

My favorites to read myself, when I got to be old enough to read my own books, were anything by Jane Langton and The Mouse and His Child - the latter of which I still think is hands-down one of the best books in the English language. Very under-appreciated.

For grown-ups, I think the only book I have ever purchased and given to people is The Time Traveler's Wife. No kidding. :)


For 11 year olds or so, a couple of Heinlein's juveniles. Dated, sometimes silly, but still some of the best gateway SF ever written. A copy of Have Spacesuit Will Travel in a kid's hands is a dangerous thing.

I may or may not still have a very tattered, taped-up, coverless copy of Starman Jones on my bookshelf...

GingerGunlock
07-19-2013, 09:04 AM
Oh, did I seriously forget Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in my first post? I did. Ugh.

Also, E.B. White's books, and Beverly Cleary's. And The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, though the sequel, The Book of Sorrows, should perhaps be delayed until later than childhood.

(okay, I'll stop now, before I just list every book I've loved ever)

OJCade
07-19-2013, 09:11 AM
*insert weird freak out here*
This is it!!!

(sorry, been trying to find the title of this one for a long freaking time, and this is it!!!)

My mom is convinced this book is what made me weird.

Ha! That's awesome. Happy to have been of help. :)

Chasing the Horizon
07-19-2013, 09:13 AM
I like to talk unsuspecting people into reading House of Leaves.

I also tell people to read Poe to their kids (because if I had to spend my early childhood in terror of The Raven coming for me, so should everyone else).

ladybritches
07-19-2013, 09:29 AM
The book I've been telling everyone about lately is "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell.

I also wish I could get my friends to read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" and "Slaughterhouse Five". Don't think it's ever going to happen though. :(

juniper
07-19-2013, 09:53 AM
"Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon. It's a picture book about a lost baby fruit bat who is growing up with a bird family and wondering why she's so different, why she doesn't fit in.

Beautiful pictures. When I worked in a bookstore 15 years ago we often sold it with a companion little plush bat. I still have the bat hanging in my room.

http://www.amazon.com/Stellaluna-Janell-Cannon/dp/0152802177/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374213020&sr=1-1&keywords=stellaluna

blacbird
07-19-2013, 10:34 AM
This depends greatly, of course, on the age of the kids. But I bedtime-read many many books to my two until each of them were eleven, and decided they wanted to bedtime-read for themselves. By that time I had read aloud, to both, individually, the entire Narnia series, three classic children's fantasy novels by the great George Macdonald, The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, several of L.M. Montgomery's Green Gables novels, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, several Scott O'Dell novels, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Among others, including when they were younger, every Dr. Seuss, multiple multiple times.

About the funnest memories I have of my children growing up are these moments. And I still love to read aloud, if only to myself.

The neat part is, these days, you can do it in public. Just put a cell phone to your ear, the book in your other hand, and walk around reading aloud. Nobody will pay any attention to you.

caw

Phaeal
07-19-2013, 04:46 PM
Since I was sneaking Mom's spicy BOMC books by second grade, you probably don't want to hear my suggestions. (The nuns informed me I was going to hell because I had read Rosemary's Baby. I didn't tell them about all those Jackie Susann's.)

One of the same nuns read us Charlotte's Web and The Hobbit. The daily chapter was the only time you could hear a pin drop in that classroom. So, yeah, there are two obvious ones.

And Rosemary's Baby.

:D

Calla Lily
07-19-2013, 05:29 PM
I'm at work, and most of these authors are eluding my brain because I can't look at my shelves, but I have titles:

--First and foremost, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron. It's from the 50s, where only boys were allowed to have adventures in books and Father Knows Best infiltrated way too much of the culture. BUT even with those limitations, this is an amazing book. I had to convince my boys to read it, because, yanno, if mom likes it, it must be suspect. They both finished it with the same review: "That was great."
--Bunnicula. We all loved these books.
--The Stinky Cheese Man
--Over Sea, Under Stone and the other 4 books in this series by Susan Cooper. These books sparked a lifelong interest in Arthurian lit.

For younger kids:
--Pat Boynton's original 8 board books. I've given the set to my nieces for their kids now. When kiddo (age 17) and I went to B&N to buy them, he sat on the floor and read all of them in a burst of happy nostalgia. Moo, Baa, Lalala is my favorite. I think. :)
--Anything by Jane Yolen.

Susan Littlefield
07-19-2013, 06:18 PM
"Heron's Path." My dear friend Alethea Eason published it about a year or so ago, and it's excellent.

Vito
07-19-2013, 07:26 PM
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola, and Homer Price by Robert McCloskey.

Maggie Maxwell
07-19-2013, 07:35 PM
I've already sworn to be the Book Aunt for my niece. While everyone else is getting her toys and dolls and clothes, I'm filling her bookcase. She's two now, and she's gotten Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl and Chu's Day, and Terry Pratchett's Where's My Cow. She's gotten Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg, a big book of fairy tales, and a few Corderoys from her uncle. When she's a little older and reading on her own, I'm going to find her some Boxcar Children books and her own shiny new copy of The Phantom Tollbooth. If I could only give her one more book for the rest of her life, it'd be that one.

For adults, I always recommend anything by Terry Pratchett. Good Omens is usually the one I encourage to newbies to him.

Maryn
07-19-2013, 08:52 PM
We are huge fans of Uncle Shelby's A-B-Z Book by Shel Silverstein (where, among the other humor, on the inside back cover there's a smudge and the announcement: "I glued a quarter to this page. It's a gift for you, for reading this book. I hope your mom doesn't take it.") and Chris Van Allsburg's Two Bad Ants.

So far, we only have one nephew, still too young. But I'm champing at the bit.

Maryn, who loves kids' books

Little Anonymous Me
07-19-2013, 09:13 PM
Everything by Eva Ibbotson, but Island of the Aunts in particular. Bunnicula, because it can't get any more awesome. And history books read in a fairy-tale way. Because I never got the chance to thank my dad for telling me stories about an evil king named John (Lackland), crazy people who rode out in the desert to fight for a city they'd never been to (the Crusades), and about evil Inquisitors who pulled nails but got their butts kicked in the end. And it taught me to love good stories and history.

MacAllister
07-19-2013, 10:10 PM
House of Stairs (http://www.amazon.com/House-Stairs-William-Sleator/dp/0140345809), by William Sleator -- huh, come to think of it, that might explain a lot about how I turned out. :-/

crunchyblanket
07-19-2013, 10:41 PM
I want everyone in the world to read Moominland Midwinter. I first read it 20 years ago (help) and it's still the most magical book I've ever read.

shaldna
07-19-2013, 11:27 PM
My daughter is 6, so we are just moving from picture books to chapter books. She's an amazing reader, but she loves the pictures.

I have to say that I get quite excited when we spot a book we haven't got yet.

Sadly she's still a little too young for the books I want to recommend to her, but in another couple of years I'll did out all of my old books for her. All my Katy books, and my Mallory Towers. *squee*

rugcat
07-19-2013, 11:46 PM
The books I read and loved as a kid are far too old-fahioned for today's youth.

Dr. Dolittle, for example, not the Disneyfied version, but the books (and illustrations) by Hugh Lofting.

My favorite series, Freddy the Pig by Walter R Brooks. (Still great for aspiring writers who want to see how to seamlessly weave in a plot, sub-plot, and hook into one story)

But I can't think of any kids I know who would like them in the least.

For adult books, The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood. To me, a perfect jewel of a book in all ways -- I've re-read it many times. But again, people I've recommended it to are pretty much meh, it's okay.

I don't think I'm the proper demographic for anything.

Ken
07-20-2013, 01:07 AM
... Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White.
(Know the OP despises his Elements of Style book.
So figured I'd mention it; hee, hee :-)
(Excellent book, though, for advanced readers.)

For the younger set, Make Way for Ducklings by McCloskey is great.
(About a duck raising her young'uns amid a hostile and alien environment.)
There's another book about ducks that's even better.
Maybe the best kid's book of all.
Can't recall the title though :-(

Cookcamp, by Gary Paulsen is another good one for young readers, 8 years and up or so.
About a lad who stays in a lumberjack camp for a time.

Mr Flibble
07-20-2013, 01:17 AM
The Hobbit -- it was my son's first 'on my own' read and he got pretty obsessed for several years. Also started his love affair with reading. Everything else was held up in comparison to it, and mostly came up wanting. I'm also dead chuffed he's working his way through Pratchett at the mo, and loving it. He really gets the humour and it gives him a different perspective.


Also:

Tales of King Arthur (the older ones for preference. Son then loved it when we watched the Holy Grail - the tower that kept falling into the marsh! The White Dragon and the Red!)
Watership Down. (Son pre story- a story abut rabbits, are you sure? Rabbits? After story -- OMG!)
Curse of Chalion for adults

lastlittlebird
07-20-2013, 01:24 AM
I just finished "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd and it is so amazing I want to run out into the street and find some young people to foist it onto. I settled for buying my mother a copy.

I am also very fond of Shaun Tan picture books.

There are so many good children's books to choose from though, I'm gonna stop there.

TNK
07-20-2013, 02:16 AM
Vampire$ by John Steakley

An amazing piece of writing almost no one has read but has had a really bad movie made from it kind of (if you count taking the names and one scene and calling it based on the book).

I've read this book! It was awesome. :D

And yes, the movie sucked.

crunchyblanket
07-21-2013, 12:17 PM
Watership Down. (Son pre story- a story abut rabbits, are you sure? Rabbits? After story -- OMG!)

Sweet baby jesus this book traumatised me.

Vito
07-21-2013, 07:19 PM
My favorite series, Freddy the Pig by Walter R Brooks. (Still great for aspiring writers who want to see how to seamlessly weave in a plot, sub-plot, and hook into one story)



I enjoyed reading Freddy Goes to Florida when I was in elementary school -- 4th or 5th grade, I think. For some reason, I didn't know that it was part of a series until I read your post. :Shrug:

C.T. Richmond
07-21-2013, 07:36 PM
For middle grade readers, I adored Matilda and From the Mixed-Up Files as a kid and still love them today. I recently read The One and Only Ivan too, and thought it was incredibly written. Definitely tugs at the heart strings!

I'm also really looking forward to introducing my (future) kids to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson--I could read those novels over and over again and never tire of them!

RedWombat
07-21-2013, 08:52 PM
I second anything by Eva Ibbotsen. And for a smidge older, Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams.

leela_e
09-07-2013, 05:10 PM
I love to share Children's Books. :)

WendyN
09-07-2013, 06:58 PM
Even though my kids already have copies, I always buy copies of Sandra Boyton books I find at used book stores so I can gift them to people.

LeslieB
09-07-2013, 09:11 PM
I've given loads of books to my younger relatives, and my own kids' bedrooms are crammed with books, so it would be hard to make a list. But the best "I'm an awesome gift-giver" glow I've gotten was when I gave my much younger cousin "The Phantom Tollbooth" for Christmas. He started screaming and bouncing off the walls with glee. It turned out that his class was studying it, and his teacher was reading it to them a little bit at a time. It was driving him crazy because he really, really wanted to know the rest of the story. He was delighted that now that he had his own copy, he could read at his own pace.

I have found the only downside to people giving books is when non-readers give books they assume kids should have/want. When I was growing up, I had four copies of "Heidi" because that was the standard classic for girls in a lot of people's minds. I found Heidi boring, and those books gathered dust while my copies of Robinson Crusoe and Call of the Wild grew well-thumbed.

G. Applejack
09-07-2013, 09:26 PM
My incredibly catholic grandmother who I barely knew gifted me His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass.

There is no way she knew what she was buying. I think she just went to a bookstore clerk and asked for a fantasy children's book because she heard that's what I liked.

In any case, it was too adult for 8-year-old me. I put it aside for about ten years, then picked it up on a whim. Wow. Best gift ever, Grandma. Thank you. <3

Amadan
09-07-2013, 09:35 PM
Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. That was my Harry Potter.

Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who...Fairyland books. I do not trust anyone who doesn't like these.

His Dark Materials is definitely good for slightly older kids.



Dr. Dolittle, for example, not the Disneyfied version, but the books (and illustrations) by Hugh Lofting.

Uh, wow. Dr. Doolittle certainly will appeal to children, but I would sure not let a child who's not yet capable of critical reading read that book without close supervision.

OJCade
09-08-2013, 12:59 AM
Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. That was my Harry Potter.


Oh, me too! I loved that series... I still think The Grey King outshines anything in Harry Potter (much as I enjoyed the latter).

JournoWriter
09-08-2013, 05:25 AM
The Chronicles of Prydain, Lloyd Alexander. They sparked my younger brother into independent chapter-book reading and are now doing the same for my daughter.

I third the Dark Is Rising Sequence. Amazing books. Retreading them today just clues me in to all the subtle stuff I missed the first 27 times I read them.

Mr Flibble
09-08-2013, 05:31 AM
My daughter is 6, so we are just moving from picture books to chapter books. She's an amazing reader, but she loves the pictures.


My kids utterly loved Roald Dahl for this - he didn't shy away from life.

And possibly not just because of the noise I made when the very hungry crocodile was...dispensed with

gingerwoman
09-10-2013, 09:38 AM
My teenage son would ignore any recommendations from me. Aren't all teen like that? :-(