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Old 11-18-2010, 07:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Books for an 8 year old boy

My son is in third grade and much to my delight, he has really developed a love for reading this year. He and I frequently read together in the evenings and I want to keep this activity up, so I need some help with book recommendations. I loved reading at his age, but I don't think he'd enjoy most of the books I read as a child. I did introduce him to Indian in the Cupboard, which he loved, and he'll be getting the next two books for Christmas.

So far, he's read the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Charlottes Web, and The Indian in the Cupboard this year. He started the first Harry Potter, but I think it's a little too advanced and we'll probably wait another year or two before starting them again. I also tried a Hardy Boys book, he read about 1/4 of it and set it down. I think I'm going to try Roald Dahl soon, too.

Basically, I'm interested in any books you enjoyed when you were young or that your boys have enjoyed. He reads above grade level so books aimed toward 8-11 year olds are all probably good. I'm not particularly knowledgable about recent books aimed towards his age group, this is really where I'm hoping you all can help me out. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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as a kid I LOVED LOVED a Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline l'Engle. She has several books in the series.

Have you read the Velveteen Rabbit?

I loved reading too so I will definitely think back to what was on my lists that would be gender neutral and add to the thread as I remember them
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My son is also 8 yrs old and in 3rd grade, reading above level too! This year he has started reading the Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey. There are 5 books in the series. I have a spare copy of the first book, with minor water damage, if you want it, PM me your address.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if these will be appealing to boy readers. Hopefully more of the men will chime in with their recommendations.
Madelaine L'Engle is always good reading, then of course there are the Narnia books. Oh! Choose Your Own Adventure books - I went through one or two of those every day. I also enjoyed Boxcar Children and Ramona Quimby.

Wait, here are some especially memorable ones...
My Side of the Mountain
The Ancient One
Beyond the Cellar Door
Trumpet of the Swan

Arg, I know there are more that I loved...
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I also really enjoyed Call of the Wild (Jack London) and Hatchet (Gary Paulsen)
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you don't already know, there were a few additional books written after The Indian in the Cupboard:
  • The Return of the Indian
  • The Secret of the Indian
  • The Mystery of the Cupboard
  • The Key to the Indian

That series is essentially fantasy. If he's into that, he might be into sci-fi and fantasy in general. For that age group (and a little older), you have
  • The Chronicles of Narnia,
  • The Percy Jackson books,
  • The Spiderwick Chroniciles,
  • The Hobbit (but probably not The Lord of the Rings),
  • and maybe even the novels of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wasn't 8 when I read them, but I LOVED the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events Series. (Disappointed by the movie.)

I used to shelve Young Adult and Children's books at the local library and would read the things I found while shelving. It was a second job I took right out of college and had just spent 4 years studying American Lit and Women's Lit. I welcomed the chance to read something a little different.

I'll try to think of what else I read in that age range. My brain is a bit warped, so we'll see what I come up with.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Books I enjoyed at eight? Playboy

Everyone mentioned most of what I thought of

Narnia
The Hobbit
Harry Potter
Choose your Own Adventure

I honestly don't remember all that I read back then, except for Playboy.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My son is also 8, and ahead of the curve on reading. Things he's loved recently:

How to Train Your Dragon, plus about 8 sequels. The books are VERY different from the movie, but lots of fun.

Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, and subsequent Fudge books.

The Werewolf Club (3 or 4 books) - Daniel Pinkwater is awesome, and this is a good starting point.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is a great thread! I am going to make a list of all these books for my son. I am so glad you asked this question, grasshopper.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You guys are awesome! I'd totally forgotten about some of these books (I LOVED Madeleine L'Engle when I was young!) - I think he'd really like the Choose Your Own Adventure and fantasy type books. I forsee a trip to the library this weekend
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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When I was his age I really enjoyed books by John Bellairs, generally centering around mild mannered kids dealing with spooky/supernatural mysteries; particularly the Johnny Dixon and Lewis Barnavelt stories.

In fact we're reading The House With A Clock In Its Walls to my son right now!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Jurassic Park
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper Green View Post
I also tried a Hardy Boys book, he read about 1/4 of it and set it down.
Along this vein (so maybe not really worth re-visiting):
  • Famous 5/Secret 7 books by Enid Blyton (a lot of Enid Blyton books are aimed at the level he is)
  • The 3 investigators books

I just had a read of the Hardy Boys 'wiki' page and it seems like they had different writers and it may be worth finding a different one if he had particular issues with the first one you tried...

I'll also second (or third or whatever) the Hobbit.

Also, some of the simpler Science Fiction, like "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" by Robert Heinlein might be worth a look.

As a kid I couldn't get enough to read, though I have trouble remembering exactly *what* I read.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The goosebumps series kept my son reading for a year or two.
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I babysit a kid about this age, and I'm always surprised by what he's reading with his parents.

One of his favorite series is the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warriors_(novel_series) He reads these on his own. With his parents, however, he's tackled philosophy, [I]Lord of the Rings[/], literally whatever he wants to read that's above his reading level. They read Lord of the Rings when he was 6 because E. wasn't satisfied when they finished off The Hobbit, and he heard from me that there was more Tolkien to be had.

Right now they're working their way through all of the Harry Potter books, mostly because Mom wants to reread them too.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Amazon.com: Grandpa's Ghost Stories (9780689501128): James Flora: Books Amazon.com: Grandpa's Ghost Stories (9780689501128): James Flora: Books
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