Building a SciFi/Fantasy Library discussion

suggestions > books for young readers

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sherri (new)

Sherri | 12 comments Hi all, I have a 9 year old boy and I am trying to get him more interested in reading. All he wants to read is Pokemon stat books and Bionilce etc. Can anyone suggest some good chapter books for kids? He likes sci-fi but not so much the wizards & dragons. He's read most of the Magic Tree House books and he needs to move on from them. I think he would like the main characters to be his age to teenage.


message 2: by Terence (new)

Terence (Spocksbro) He can't go too far wrong with Andre Norton.

My personal favorites are the Solar Queen series, starting with The Sargasso of Space. Her early Witch World novels are good too -- a mixture of SF and Fantasy.

message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) Norton, yes! Might be bit much for 9, though. Depends on the kid.

John Christopher's Tripod trilogy (alien invaders, child hero), the Burning Lands trilogy (post apocalyptic, boy hero) & a bunch of other stand alone books.

Lloyd Alexander wrote 5 books that start with the "Black Cauldron" I think. That's fantasy, not SF, but good. Sort of an Arthurian legend.

C.S.Lewis' Narnia series is another good one, again fantasy, not SF.

Alexander Key wrote "The Forgotten Door" about a kid who falls in from another dimension.

Not SF or Fantasy really, but "The Mad Scientists Club" by Brinley are a couple of books with short stories & even have their own web site (by his daughter) It's a bunch of kids who get into adventures & do science experiments. Lots of fun, easy to read & it inspired me to learn more.

I think he's a little young for Heinlein's young adult books. "Space Cadet", "Farmer in the Sky", "Have Space Suit, Will Travel" are great reads though. Just stick with his early YA books.

Asimov wrote a series about Lucky Starr. Starts with "David Star, Space Ranger" I think. Pretty good.

RL Stein's Goosebump books.

That's a start, off the top of my head. I'm sure others here can add more & talk to his teacher. Good luck. I got all my kids reading by handing them books they liked. Harry Potter for my youngest, who was in special ed for reading as she has dyslexia. You'd never know it now. Heinlein for the boys, although they read HP when it came out.

My kids said I gave them books above their reading level - sometimes true. If they couldn't get into a book, I'd find them another ASAP. We'd browse the library together & that gave me a better clue as to what they'd like & could read. I didn't much care what my kids read, so long as they read. Quality comes later.

message 4: by Dan (new)

Dan (DannytheInfidel) | 32 comments Jules Verne defnitly, not that thebooks are Sci-Fi's as we see it now.
The Lucky Star books by Isaac Asimov, if you can still get them.
The Bromeliad Trilogy by Pratchett, writtne espechaly for children.
The books about Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer.

message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael Gill I think I was 9-10 years old when I first read Watership Down by Richard Adams, still one of my favorite books.

message 6: by Sherri (new)

Sherri | 12 comments Thanks for all the input. I had no trouble getting my daughter to read, she loves it but the boy is not as interested (yet) he has ADHD so it's difficult for him to stay focused on something he's not interested in, i.e. Pokemon etc.

message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Boys are tough. Let him read what he wants, even if you don't think it's good. The fact that he reads is more important than what he reads. Check out this article about boys and reading:

Boys and Books

My boy is 13 and it's hard getting him motivated to read anything even though he's an advanced reader with no disabilities.

message 8: by Michele (last edited Aug 30, 2008 06:04PM) (new)

Michele Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo is about three high school boys. I second the Andre Norton suggestion; he might find Jules Verne a little hard going though due to the older style of writing. You might also try Harry Harrison's Blast Off: Science Fiction for Boys anthology. It's no longer in print but try or .

Did somebody already recommend Eoin Colfer's books about the boy arch-criminal, Artemis Fowl? Also the Mushroom Planet books (The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet, etc) are great and I think they're still in print, if not try abe or biblio as above.

Also, if you haven't yet, talk to your local children's librarian. It's actually part of their job to give reader recommendations and they're often very knowledgeable!

message 9: by Marc (new)

Marc (AuthorGuy) | 121 comments There's a series called Cynthia's Attic, time travel fantasy stories very like the Magic treehouse, stories. It features two girls who have adventures in the past, and get mistaken for their own grandmothers at times.

message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori My boy is almost 13, let me think over this and remember what books he loved at 9. What is his reading level?

But I do remember he plain wasn't interested in any book that had to with girl heroes.

Oh wait! Except for Cornelia Funke, the first of her series Inkheart. He liked that one.

The Thief by Megan Whaler Turner is fantastic.

message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) I'm agreeing with Lori, as usual. Girls will read books with male protagonists, but boys will read books with girl protagonists only if they have to for school.

message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) Girls as the main character were never my favorite books as a kid. 'Hardy Boys' not 'Nancy Drew' for me. Fiction is often escapist - you can't escape if you can't identify with the main character, at least I can't. Once I grew up, it wasn't as much of a problem.

message 13: by Umberto (new)

Umberto | 1 comments >>All he wants to read is Pokemon stat books and Bionicles etc.<<

my 9 year old son has the same taste -- at first I couldn't even get him to read Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket, but now he's a fantasy junkie & even reads Newbery books -- try: "The Witches of Dredmoore Hollow" by Riford McKenzie -- humor & fantasy & adventure with a wonderful quirky & mildly spooky overtone, a guaranteed gateway drug to the reading habit

(I should admit that I actually resorted to the Captain Underpants series first -- hey... it helped)

message 14: by Gbina (new)

Gbina | 2 comments So, John Scalzi wrote a YA friendly book in the Old Man's War story line. I haven't read it yet and I heard it is a stand alone book (but does have some spoilers if you are an adult reading the series).

Zoe's Tale

The main character is a girl, but I have heard the boys like this books as well.

I am not sure how young you could go with this book as I haven't read it yet. My assumption would be 12, 13+. So maybe not for your elementary kids but middle school might be okay. And as always, it might be a good idea to read it first yourself to make sure you are cool with the themes and action.John Scalzi

message 15: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Gbina, I think boys might like "The Last Colony" by John Scalzi also. It's like "Old Man's War" in that it's exciting, entertaining and comprehensible. It avoids the questionable content that makes its predecessor one that kids should find in their own time.

message 16: by Aik (new)

Aik | 3 comments Christopher Pike's books might be good here, though I'm not that sure what 9 year olds read. Spooksville is a very kiddie-type series that's quite fun. His YA horror/sci-fi is actually quite good though. The Starlight Crystal and The Eternal Enemy stand out.

Also, Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer (and presumably her other children's books - let you know after Christmas ;) ) is fantastic, though it's aimed at girls. For intelligent children's fantasy, it doesn't get much better than this though.

message 17: by Scott (last edited Dec 06, 2008 06:37AM) (new)

Scott (dcrenegayde) | 1 comments Ender's Game

I just finished this book and the protagonist is a six-year old boy who has been monitored by the government and is now selected, to sum it up shortly, to save the world from the threat of the insect aliens. The vocabulary and reading style of the book is very friendly, maybe not quite a C.S. Lewis-friendly, but just a little above.

message 18: by Tyler (new)

Tyler | 4 comments Hmmm. I do love Ender's Game and read it when I was around 12, though I would have to argue about the vocabulary and reading style. The reading style is a little deep for a pre-teen audience,and though the basic storyline can be understood, the book becomes better the older you get. The vocabulary is also fairly hard for anyone under 14; I had to look up a word every 20 pages or so. The prolific swearing by the children (including bi-lingual swearing) could be a factor against the book, especially for parents. Though children do talk like this when adults aren't around, it may not be the best idea to encourage it. Don't get me wrong, I love the book, though the language can be quite harsh.

On a different note, I second the suggestion for the Artemis Fowl series by Aeon Colfer. The protaganist is a twelve year old Irish criminal mastermind with a huge Eurasian bodyguard who plans to make his(the child) fortune by capturing a faerie. The plots of the books are laid out very well, with humor and wit spread throughout. Though the environmental message toted by the last few books gets annoying at times, they are still enjoyable. This is the main series that got my little brother into reading. The series has a mixture of magic and technology that would probably appeal to your son's likings.

message 19: by Jackie (last edited Dec 06, 2008 07:26AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) This is going out on a limb here, but my son didn't want to read either, so we'd read comic books together. It got him reading. And it was fun for both of us.
I didn't care what he read, just getting him interested was the challenge.
Another thing I'd do is get two versions of a book, I'd have the full adult version and get him the shortened kid's version and then we'd have a race. And while we were reading the book, we'd discuss it. (I wanted to make sure he really reading it)
You have to make reading fun for him, and eventually he'll find what genre excites him.

message 20: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (keyboo) | 5 comments May I suggest two different series'.

For young/teen girls I would suggest the "Dragon Riders of Pern" series by Anne McCaffrey. This is the series that got me into reading when I was 12/13 years old.

For young/teen boys I suggest the "Gregor and the Underland Chronicles" by Suzanne Collins or "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" by Rick Riordan. Both of these series have young (11 years old) male lead characters that young boys are sure to get in to. I read these as an adult and still enjoyed them.

I have also read Harry Potter as they came out. I know that one was already suggested and since they are movies it may be hard to get him to read the actual book. Despite the fact that the books are so much better than the movies. I also have the "Artemis Fowl" series by Aeon Colfer on my to read list for the pure entertainment of it.

Good luck!!!

message 21: by Imperfectlyrua (new)

Imperfectlyrua Castle-Hackett | 7 comments You might try Nix's Seventh Tower series or at least Shade's Children. Also, I'd suggest The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. I'd second the Lloyd Alexander books. My husband was not a big reader as a child but he continues to love the Alexander books.

message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine Rose (christinerose) | 4 comments Try Rowan of the Wood. It's a new award-winning YA fantasy that's getting great reviews. The authors have a lot of contests going on right now as well with over $600 in prizes, including a digital camcorder (basically just for watching the trailer)!

back to top

unread topics | mark unread

Books mentioned in this topic

Zoe's Tale (other topics)
Ender's Game (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

John Scalzi (other topics)