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Book ideas for 11-year-old boy

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My son reads a lot and he loves getting books as gifts. However, I'm drawing a blank on ideas for books for Christmas. He loves fantasy and has read Harry Potter, The Lightening Thief series, Artemis Fowl and many others. I would like to maybe get him something outside of his usual genre - expand his horizons a bit, but I'm not sure what to get.  Any ideas?  And, if there are any great fantasy series you know of, I'd take those ideas too. 

post #2 of 12

Has he read:

The Wizard of Earthsea Triology by Ursula Leguin

A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L'Engle


If he's read those, what about other books by those authors ? Has he read the Tolkien books?


Ds just finished The City of Ember and liked it.


I've heard good things about the books from Terry Pratchett -- satirical/funny fantasy. Here's an example.


Another suggestion if you're trying to broaden his horizons: Our son is taking part in the "Oregon Battle of the Books" where teams of kids read books and compete to answer questions about them. I don't care all that much for the competition aspect, but the book list is a good set of books from all sorts of genres. It's really expanded ds' reading, and he's found a few types of books/books that he really likes.  The list of books is here: http://oboblsta.pbworks.com/w/page/25660408/OBOB%20BOOKS%20FOR%202010-2011 (There's one for grades 3-5 and 6-8). (That's actually the only reason ds read the City of Ember. His other favorite book so far has been Small Steps, which is the story of a girl's recovery from polio. Go figure!)

post #3 of 12
Seek no further than Kevin Crossley-Holland's trilogy, The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing Places and King of the Middle March. My 10yo read and loved them and so did I.

From the Amazon review of the first book:

"As The Seeing Stone opens, exuberant young Arthur has no idea what adventure lies ahead. A 13-year-old growing up in 12th-century England, Arthur soon discovers that his life parallels that of another Arthur, son of Uther centuries past, the legendary boy king "who was and will be." The second son of Sir John de Caldicot, lord of a manor near the Welsh border, Arthur narrates his everyday life in the Marchland in 100 clipped chapters of crisp, melodic prose. But his destiny entwined with that other, ancient Arthur is revealed only in snatches, after he receives (courtesy of our old friend Merlin) a piece of obsidian, a seeing stone, through which a well-woven story within a story unfolds.

But rather than the fantasy of T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone, Kevin Crossley-Holland offers a convincing and meticulously researched account of what life might have actually been like for a curious, capable, earnest young man in this peculiar time and place, with all its customs, rituals, and regimented routine and social structure. In a well-paced story that alternates between drama, comedy, and even a little mystery, Arthur tackles some surprisingly sophisticated topics, whether he's questioning the pompous priest Oliver (is the poverty on the manor truly part of God's will?), pestering his father over his plans for him (will he become a squire, as he wishes, or a monk or priest or school man?), or just contemplating his place in the scheme of things under the blue sky atop Tumber Hill. The Seeing Stone is a fun, involving read for kids, but will hold grownup attentions, too, with its flowing language, dense period detail, and all the questions that it asks--and doesn't always answer."
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you both!    I'm going to check to see if he's read The Wizard of Earthsea and the Kevin Crossley-Holland trilogoy. 


He has read Tolkien, so he can read pretty sophisticated stuff, if he enjoys it.  I was also thinking about The Sword of Truth books, but I'm not familiar with them.  Any feedback on those? 

post #5 of 12

My 10 yo DS is currently reading Peak, about a 14 year old boy who climbs Everest with his father. DS told me that it is the best book he has ever read!

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks,  Mirzam.  I'm getting that for him for sure!  I think he'll like it, I know he hasn't read it and it'll expand his reading horizons a bit. 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I wanted to come back here and update, in case anyone else is looking for book recommendations.


We got him Peak and The City of Ember. He's read them both already and liked both. However, he LOVED Peak.  Absolutely loved it!  So, thanks for the recommendation! 

post #8 of 12

Has he read the "Darkness is Rising" series by Susan Cooper? It is easier reading than Tolkein, but the stories are also very good. Much, much better than the awful movie they made of it a few years back.


post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by Twocoolboys View Post


We got him Peak and The City of Ember. He's read them both already and liked both. However, he LOVED Peak.  Absolutely loved it!  So, thanks for the recommendation! 

Ds also read City of Ember a few months ago and enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as Peak. I am glad the book was a hit.

post #10 of 12

Jonathan Stroud's  Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, and  Ptolemey's Gate.



If he likes non-fiction, also try the "Horrible Science" and "Horrible History" series






Also, they are mostly OP, but you can buy used copies of Laurence Yep's Dragon of the Inland Seas series.

post #11 of 12

He would probably like His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass etc). Also  I got started on Anne McCaffery's Pern books at that age.

post #12 of 12

How about Tamora Pierce's series? Both the Alanna and the Kell series are great.

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