Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nathan and Nicholas on books for ages 8-12

Recently I posted a list of The Ten Best Books for ages 8-12 that appeared in a British newspaper. At the time I wondered if American pre-teens knew and read these books. Subsequently I put the question to a couple of experts.

Nathan and Nicholas are from Northern Virginia and started in on their second decade last December. Reliable sources inform me that they “are totally into the fantasy stuff, choosing to spend three weeks this summer at a fantasy-themed camp.”

It turns out that Nathan and Nicholas were familiar with about half of the titles, which is more than I thought would appeal to kids in both Britain and America.

Here are some of their comments about books on the list:

The Switch by Anthony Horowitz: “read Raven's Gate by Horowitz and liked it (though it was kind of weird); haven't read this title”

by Louis Sachar: “great book; plan to read Small Steps (the continuing story of Armpit) soon”

Framed Frank by Cottrell Boyce: “haven't read this title, but have read this author's Millions and liked it”

by David Almond: “haven't read it, but a classmate has”

The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart: “have heard of the series, but haven't read it; know that one of The Edge Chronicles was in the Top 5 Children's Fantasy books list, making it a likely read”

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver: “haven't heard of it; sounds interesting”

My sources tell me that Nathan and Nicholas like:
Christopher Paolini's Eragon and Eldest; Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider, The Thief Lord, Inkheart; D'Lacey's Icefire and The Fire Within; Colfer's Artemis Fowl series and his The Supernaturalist; Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer; John Feinstein's Last Shot and Vanishing Act; Carl Hiaasen's Hoot and Flush; and Avi's Crispin: The Cross of Lead, etc.

Nathan and Nicholas are good readers (they are in a boys' book club where they read a book weekly and meet to discuss it). They definitely like the fantasy genre.
Many thanks to Nathan and Nicholas for the feedback and many interesting suggestions, and thanks to the sources (who shall remain anonymous) for the help with facilitating this information.

Click here for a brief item about some classic children's books.

--Marshal Zeringue