I’m a very happy camper. I’ve written before about my eleven year’s old’s (creative) writing block, that he’d even stopped reading and how this was doing my head in as we’re a big reading family and I couldn’t understand where his apathy was coming from. My husband and I spend hours reading – always have – and his six-year-old brother is proving to be quite the fan, so I couldn’t get my head around his sudden lack of interest. I tried to relax, gently encouraged him by buying lots of different novels to try and pique his interest and told myself that it was just a phase. And thank god I was right (makes a change!) as he seems to have turned a corner. It appears to be a combination of his Year 6 teacher (love her!) encouraging lots of independent reading in class and reading ‘meaty’ novels to them and him chatting to his mates about books that they’re loving and then wanting to read them himself and I couldn’t be happier. So, I thought that I would share his top 5 books at the moment – what he’s read and loved and what’s next on his reading pile – in case you need gift ideas or book inspiration for a fellow tween or 11-year-old boy!
Chase – Linwood Barclay
This completely captured his imagination. Linwood Barclay’s first novel for children and billed as an ‘edge-of-your-seat thriller for 9-12 year olds, is all about Chipper, a super dog, who has been part of a top-secret experiment to create the ultimate canine spy technology. He’s meant to be more machine than mutt but isn’t complying and realising that his days are numbered escapes from The Institute and finds himself on the run. It’s unpredictable, fast paced and even better there’s a sequel so more Chipper adventures to come.
Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief – Rick Riordan
This is an a fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology, and the first young adult novel written by Rick Riordan in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. It tells the story of modern-day, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson as he discovers he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and the Greek God Poseidon. Percy and his friends Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood go on a quest to find Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. This was a bit of a hit in that Mr Tween loved learning about the Greek Gods, the demigods and their powers and reading about the magical battles that take place on their quest.
House of Secrets Trilogy – Chris Columbus/Ned Vizzini
I always know when a book’s a good one as he’ll chat to me about it without being prompted and this has absolutely been the case with this one. This epic fantasy trilogy follows three siblings and their family as they move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco, not realising that they are just about to unleash the dark magic locked within its walls. For the house once belonged to a crazed writer, whose stories have come to life and the kids now have to battle deadly pirates, warriors and a giant if they ever want to see their parents again. It’s action-packed, full of crazy creatures and it’s easy to see why this page turner has kept him so engaged in class.
Gone – Michael Grant
Gone is the first book in the Gone series, and the next on his reading pile. It’s a young adult, dystopian science fiction book series written by Michael Grant and tells of a strange reality where kids are disappearing when they turn 15. For the main characters Sam and Astrid, it is a race against time as they try to work out why there is a mysterious wall surrounding their town trapping everybody within it, why some kids have developed strange powers and how they’re going to answer these questions and survive before they turn 15 and disappear too. Billed as a mix between Lord of the Rings and Stephen King, I’m really looking to seeing what he thinks and am tempted to even read it myself!
Once – Morris Gleitzman
And last but most definitely not least, I was so pleased when he showed an interest in this series. Once, Morris Gleitzman’s much acclaimed tale, tells the important story of a 10-year-old Polish Jewish boy and his friendships and life set against the unimaginable horrors of Nazi Germany. Whilst a fairly challenging subject matter, as a woman of Jewish descent it’s really important to me that my children understand the horrors of genocide and World War II. This is a book that I’ll be reading with him so that we can discuss the themes and I can make sure that he asks all the questions that he may have.
Do you have any recommendations that we can add to his reading list?