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message 1: by Alysa (new)

Alysa Hello everyone, I've been reading the discussions for some time but tonight I felt brave enough to jump in and ask for help and recommendations. I need some book suggestions for a 9 year old girl, a good reader who recently loved Dealing with Dragons and the third Harry Potter (I only let her read one a year). Today at the library she asked me for some books about magic and adventure and romance (bear in mind she's 9 so romance means a crush, we are talking Gilbert pulling Anne's braids here). I couldn't think of that many clean enough for her. Any help would be most appreciated! Many thanks in advance!


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Hi Alysa. Welcome to the group! And thanks for posting.

I'll think about this. I love children's literature!!!

Also, I recommend you post in the Children's Books group. It's a wonderful group with many knowledgeable and helpful members.

Between these two group, we can hopefully come up with a bunch of recommendations.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Alysa!

I will start by recommending Howl's Moving Castle.

I will have to go through my daughter's bookshelves later today to see what she enjoyed at that age.


message 4: by Tracey (last edited Jun 13, 2012 06:49AM) (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Hi, and welcome!

Okay, I just wandered through my fantasy shelf – that was fun. :) Brace yourself – I found … a few books…! Some of these might be aimed at a slightly older age group – I have no memory of when I first read them, but I was trying to balance them against Patricia Wrede and J.K. Rowling. If you click on the author's name, it'll bring you to a list of the books, including reading order for series. Most of these are writers I discovered around 9, and still cherish today.

The first writer I'm always going to recommend is J.R.R. Tolkien. I read him first when I was twelve, but I've seen quite a few people saying they read him younger. At any rate, The Hobbit is timely right now!

Otherwise, in no particular order:

Definitely of the right age group, and very highly recommended: Edward Eager. I would have been a much less happy kid if I hadn't discovered Edward Eager.

Susan Dexter is a beautiful, beautiful writer.

Robert Lawson's books might be a little young, but they're still fun.

If you can find them, the books of Nicholas Stuart Gray are wonderful. They may be out of print, now, I'm not sure, but they're worth hunting for (every now and then I scour eBay).

Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain was something I read about once a year growing up (and is due for a reread!)… Also, his Vesper Holly books are more Indiana Jones than fantasy, but still great. Anything by Alexander is perfect, really.

Jane Yolen – she wrote everything from picture books to grown-up stuff, and the vast majority of it amazing.

Peter S. Beagle's Tamsin

Terry BrooksThe Sword of Shannara (best read before a person becomes too critical – I loved it when I was 12, and threw it against the wall a couple of years ago)

Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall books might work; the Dragonriders are for a bit of an older audience, I feel. (The Harper Hall of Pern)

Robin McKinley's Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown - really, anything she's written is wonderful for the "YA" age group except for Deerskin, which has much more difficult subject matter.

E. Nesbit's language is a bit old-fashioned, but I loved Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet and so on when I was a kid (and love them even more now)

Again, they might be a little hard to find, but Elizabeth Marie Pope's Perilous Gard and Sherwood Ring are still indispensable to me.

Dodie Smith wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians, which the Disney movie was based on – I liked the movie, loved the book.

Mary Norton's The Borrowers series

George Selden - The Cricket in Times Square

Diane Duane - So You Want To Be a Wizard

David Eddings - The Belgariad; there's some violence, I think, but if Harry Potter was okay, so should this be.

Susan Cooper - anything

Nancy Bond - anything, I think, but especially A String in the Harp

And C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, of course

Of a more recent vintage: I just finished Sarah Zettel's Dust Girl and loved it. Again, it might be for a wee bit older; the main character is 15 - but it's clean and age-appropriate, I believe.

I hope all those links work ... (ETA - they didn't, but now they do. :D )


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I see you are reading Small Gods, so I will recommend The Wee Free Men for your daughter. She's 9, but reading Harry Potter, so she might enjoy Terry Pratchett's kid's books. You might enjoy them, too; I love the Tiffany Aching books.


message 6: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 1853 comments My granddaughter is 11, but a couple of years ago, she enjoyed Bunnicula by Deborah Howe and some of the others series by James Howe. They were just some fun books. There are some other animal series that I could recommend if your daughter likes animals, Alysa, such as wolves and dogs.


message 7: by Alysa (new)

Alysa Great minds think alike!

Jeannette wrote: "I will start by recommending Howl's Moving Castle…I see you are reading Small Gods, so I will recommend The Wee Free Men for your daughter. "

Hi Jeannette, I was thinking of the Wee Free Men one too - I just read it myself! And I've got Howl's Moving Castle on my list of ones to check for her too.

Tracey wrote: "The first writer I'm always going to recommend is J.R.R. Tolkien. I read him first when I was twelve, but I've seen quite a few people saying they read him younger. At any rate, The Hobbit is timely right now! Definitely of the right age group, and very highly recommended: Edward Eager. I would have been a much less happy kid if I hadn't discovered Edward Eager. ...
Of a more recent vintage: I just finished Sarah Zettel's Dust Girl and loved it. Again, it might be for a wee bit older; the main character is 15 - but it's clean and age-appropriate, I believe. "


Tracey - that was an amazing list - thank you for all your effort for my girl! I think we have very similar tastes in books too! I am actually starting to read the Hobbit with my son (and hoping it will be appropriate for him to see in the theatre). And I have always loved both the Half Magic and Narnia series! I actually got out the Prydain series from the library for her to try, and I've added lots of others on your list to my "to read" pile to try out for her. Thank you again!

Kathy wrote: "There are some other animal series that I could recommend if your daughter likes animals, Alysa, such as wolves and dogs. "

Hi Kathy! She was a huge animal story reader - some of her favourites are TumTum and Nutmeg, Gooseberry Park, Black Beauty, Lassie, The Rescuers. That is why her request for something with romance in it threw me for such a loop!

Again, you all are amazing - thank you so much! Got to go, lots to read!


message 8: by Dena (new)

Dena | 4 comments The Mysterious Benedict Society books are fun. My grand- daughter and I read the first two together when she was 8. A group of children all gifted in different ways are brought together by Dr. Benedict to help protect their town. Fun, a little, scary with puzzles to solve, we loved them.


message 9: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) It's great hearing other people love Eager and Alexander and all - I hate to think of them being forgotten. The Vesper Holly books by Lloyd Alexander have a little bit of a romance that builds as the series goes along - very sweet.


message 10: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Tracey, thank for adding such an amazing list of books to this thread!


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Half Magic is a favorite of mine, the best of all the Edward Eager's, I think.

Yes, a wonderful list, Tracey.


message 12: by Alysa (new)

Alysa Dena wrote: "The Mysterious Benedict Society books are fun. My grand- daughter and I read the first two together when she was 8. A group of children all gifted in different ways are brought together by Dr. Bene..."

Ooo - That's a good one - I had forgotten! Thank you Dena!

Tracey wrote: "It's great hearing other people love Eager and Alexander and all - I hate to think of them being forgotten. The Vesper Holly books by Lloyd Alexander have a little bit of a romance that builds as t..."

I'll give it a try too, thank you again!

Lisa wrote: "Half Magic is a favorite of mine, the best of all the Edward Eager's, I think.

Yes, a wonderful list, Tracey."


I can't pick a favourite - I love them all! : )


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 529 comments I'm going to suggest:

The Dark Is Rising Sequence, by Susan Cooper. Magic and adventure and King Arthur. The first book is weaker than the others, and you could probably start with The Dark is Rising instead.

The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton (which starts with Five on a Treasure Island) - no magic, but plenty of adventure.

If you can find it - Enchantress from the Stars, by Sylvia Louise Engdahl. ESP standing in for magic.

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge - which I believe was one of J.K. Rowling's favorites growing up, is wonderful, but you may possibly need to wait a couple of years.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken, which has several sequels. No magic, but plenty of adventure. Wolves! Evil governesses!

The Pippi Longstocking books, if she hasn't read them.

The Twenty-one Balloons.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews Edwards. Magic and adventure, and the importance of using your imagination.

I was a big fan of The Story of Doctor Dolittle and the other Dr. Dolittle books (I think there are a dozen or more) at that age.

There are many sequels to The Wizard of Oz, and I loved the dozen or so by L. Frank Baum, particularly Ozma Of Oz.


message 14: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I loved the Pippi Longstocking books at that age. Great fun!


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