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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! Ds is running out of books to read. He loves mysteries, but we've been through nearly all the mystery books in the library that are appropriate for his age. He's read all of the Boxcar Children Mysteries, all of the A to Z mysteries (2 years ago) and doesn't care for the Hank the Cowdog Mysteries.

What else can we read? They have to be what are termed 'cozies' in the adult literature. Emotionally, he's quite sensitive to scary events and suspense. Absolutely no gore. He's reading at probably a 5th-6th grade level so they don't have to be easy, but emotionally, he's still 8.

ideas?
 

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My daughter is his age and reads on a 5th grade level also, so I asked her for recommendations. Her first choice is the Cam Jansen books. They are not scary or gory, and are age appropriate. These were a quick read for her (around 3rd grade reading level) , but she says she thinks your son will like them.

She also read the Bailey School Kids series, but they may be a little too much for him if he is very sensitive. She won't admit it, but I think there were some of these that were too scary for her to finish. The premise in each book is that various teachers at the school may be monsters, and there really is no resolution either way at the end.
 

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You'd want to pre-screen them, but what about a "choose-your-own-adventure" book? I loved those when I was a kid.
 

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Encyclopedia Brown?
 

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My dd loves the Guardians of Ga'hoole, and the Warrier books. They are more adventure than mystery, but there's a lot of mystery elements to them. They are about 5th-6th grade level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cam Jansen is too young and his sister (age 5) is currently reading them. So they're doubly out -- you can't read the books your little sister reads! (They're more about a 2nd grade reading level, FWIW.)

He hates "choose your own" stories and he doesn't like Encyclopedia Brown because they're too short. He doesn't like Hardy Boys.

I've read the Guardians of Ga'hoole and might be able to get him interested in those. They're more 'fantasy' than mystery, I'd say. I don't know about 39 clues. I've read the first 6 or so. It might drive him crazy that only 7 or 8 of the 39 books have been written!

Keep the ideas coming, please, he's a hard kid to please.
 

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Not mentioned, and I'm not sure if he's read these, but Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. Dd just turned 8 a few days ago and loved these. Some can be a little frightening, but she just read them during the day.


My other suggestion is SAMMY KEYES! These are funny, too. Sammy is an amateur P.I. that's in middle school. Not scary at all, AFAIK. I don't remember a lot about them, but dd enjoyed them.

Not mystery, but what about something like "Hatchett", about a boy who's stranded in the woods by himself and has to survive on his own with just his skills and wits? That was interesting, but had some scary (not because of "monsters", but survival and being alone).

ETA: I just remembered the Mystic Lighthouse Mysteries series. This may be below his level, though.
 

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The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konisburg - unless he's really sensitive to the idea of being alone in a museum after-hours.

Have you thought of reading some of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries with him? Many stories are fairly short and they are quite readable. I don't find them too suspenseful or scary (well, with the exception of The Hounds of the Baskervilles maybe). There isn't a lot of gore either.

I like Peter Abrahams' Echo Falls mysteries - Down the Rabbit Hole etc., but they are for slightly older children - I'd say 10 and up. You may want to keep them in mind and try them in a year or so.
 

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When you say he doesn't like certain series, what would happen if you were to read them to him? I'm finding that it's pretty easy to get through a log jam like that in my house by offering to read the book to DD. Since my reading voice runs out in 20 minutes or so, DD tends to rip the book out of my hand and then just keep reading.

The protagonists are girls, but Sister's Grimm might be a good series. The parents are missing and the girls run into regular peril, but I've been using the books to teach issues of foreshadowing. There are 8 books so far, so you know the girls come out ok at the end of each book, or you wouldn't have more material for the next book. DD also wants you to know that the parent do get found (book 6?) and are ok in the end.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konisburg - unless he's really sensitive to the idea of being alone in a museum after-hours.
Yes... dd loved this. I even read it so we could talk about it. Fun book!
 

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Enid Blighton (Blyton?) I loved her stories when I was little. Pre-war England, very cozy. She has several different series for different age groups.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jessemoon View Post
Enid Blighton (Blyton?) I loved her stories when I was little. Pre-war England, very cozy. She has several different series for different age groups.
Blyton! The Famous Five series and the Secret Seven series. I loved them too - gobbled them up. I wanted to be George. There is a fair amount of controversy about the racial and gender attitudes in those books though, so be warned.

A couple of years ago, the Famous Five were updated for an animated series on television. I've never seen it, so can't comment. I wouldn't be surprised to find out there was a new series of books out too, as companions to the t.v. show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
When you say he doesn't like certain series, what would happen if you were to read them to him? I'm finding that it's pretty easy to get through a log jam like that in my house by offering to read the book to DD. Since my reading voice runs out in 20 minutes or so, DD tends to rip the book out of my hand and then just keep reading.
We do a combo of us reading 'bedtime' stories and then him reading to himself. That's how we got him to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (his all time favorite book). He's just 'picky' about his stories.

What he won't do is let me just read him books - so if I read it, he's got to want to continue reading it for it to work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
The protagonists are girls, but Sister's Grimm might be a good series. The parents are missing and the girls run into regular peril, but I've been using the books to teach issues of foreshadowing. There are 8 books so far, so you know the girls come out ok at the end of each book, or you wouldn't have more material for the next book.
That's a good thought - I'll put that on our list of books to try. I don't think he's got anything against girl protagonists.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
DD also wants you to know that the parent do get found (book 6?) and are ok in the end.
How sweet. Tell her thanks.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konisburg - unless he's really sensitive to the idea of being alone in a museum after-hours.
Oh, I loved that book too .I think he can handle it. I don't know if his 5 year old sister can, but he can.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
Have you thought of reading some of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries with him? Many stories are fairly short and they are quite readable. I don't find them too suspenseful or scary (well, with the exception of The Hounds of the Baskervilles maybe). There isn't a lot of gore either.
That's a good idea - they're short enough that we can get through them together, if need be.

I like Peter Abrahams' Echo Falls mysteries - Down the Rabbit Hole etc., but they are for slightly older children - I'd say 10 and up. You may want to keep them in mind and try them in a year or so.[/QUOTE]

Quote:

Originally Posted by jessemoon View Post
Enid Blighton (Blyton?) I loved her stories when I was little. Pre-war England, very cozy. She has several different series for different age groups.
Ooh, those look promising. (Blyton is how you spell it). I'll check into them and see how egregious the stereotypes are.
 
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