Over the course of the morning, I've remembered a whole lot more
recommendations. Well, half-remembered -- mostly, I can come up with
an author OR a title, not both. Anyway, I think 10 was some kind of
golden age for reading, at least in my experience.
The Phantom Tollbooth: I was in 2nd grade when I first read it, but
I've reread it as an adult & I still think it's cool.
Anything by Alexander Key. I can't remember the titles. They're
probably out of print but may be in the library. He wrote a lot of
soft science fiction/contemporary fantasy, often involving young
people with psychic powers. I read a truckload of them when I was in
Two cool time travel novels: THE ROAD TO NOWHERE and PARSLEY SAGE,
ROSEMARY AND TIME. They have girl protagonists, but if that doesn't
put the boy off, they're not total girly-girl books, no romance, so
they might pass the cootie test. ;-}
Look in the 300's in the Dewey Decimal system in the library for
collections of folktales. I can recall having a great time around
that age with some spooky Irish folktales (the Twelve Horned Witches
was a particular favorite, though I don't remember what collection I
discovered it in) and some witty Jewish folktales about a town called
Chelm. Earlier in childhood, I read a children's collection of Spider
tales from West Africa. None of these represent my ethnic background:
the stories are just plain good stories, whatever your background. If
the kid hasn't yet discovered the non-Disneyfied version of Grimm's
fairy tales, that might be worth a look, too. 10-year-olds love gross-
out scenes, and there are enough severed body parts in Grimm to
please that humor. A good retelling of Robin Hood tales would fit the
age group, too. Maybe Pyle's.
If your 10-year-old has already read THE LORD OF THE RINGS, he
shouldn't be daunted by the length of the Harry Potter books, either.
They are MUCH more self-contained than the individual volumes of
LOTR, so he needn't think of it as a 7-volume commitment. He can
enjoy the first one, two, or three now and save the rest for
adolescence. Volumes 4 and 5 seem geared to an older readership,
anyway -- I don't think a preteen will appreciate everything they
have to offer.
Is THE WONDERFUL FLIGHT TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET still in print?
Outdated scientifically, but who cares? It was a fun story. Some
Jules Verne might be in order, too.
Faulkner, of all people, wrote a fantasy story that blew my mind when
I was a kid. Something about a quest for a tree with magic leaves. It
has some awful stereotypes in it, though, so a parental preview might
be in order. Unfortunately, I can't remember a title.
I'm sure I'll think of more, but I REALLY ought to get back to work.
Pauline J. Alama
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, jamcconney@a... wrote:
> In a message dated 6/30/2003 8:06:05 AM Central Daylight Time,
> PJAlama@e... writes:
> > I do believe this is the first time I've heard from someone
> > myself who's read Elizabeth Enright!
> I grew up reading the Elizabeth Enright books and they were
> we're going to mention non-fantasy, the single most influential
book of my
> childhood was Esther Forbes' _Johnny Tremain_. I recently saw a
paperback of it on a
> sale table and couldn't resist getting it to reread. To my joy, I
> _still_ a wonderful book!
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]