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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I'd start a new thread on this since I found an old list and wanted to share it without cluttering up someone else's thread. This is pasted from my blog from about a year ago:


Over on Making Light, Teresa Nielsen Hayden's blog, there was a discussion recently about recommended books for a bright 9-year-old who's already read Harry Potter, Narnia, and several other commonly recommended series. I've compiled and alphabetized a list of all the books that were mentioned. I removed a few that were criticized by other posters or that came with comments like "might not be right for that age ..." because I wanted the list to hold up without explanation.

Here's the list:

Joan Aiken: Wolves of Willoughby Chase and sequels
Lloyd Alexander: Prydain series, Westmark series
Isaac Asimov: Fantastic Voyage
Clive Barker: The Thief of Always, Abarat and sequels
John Barnes: One for the Morning Glory
L. Frank Baum: Oz series
John Bellairs: The House with a Clock in its Walls, The Face in the Frost
Lucy Maria Boston: Children of Green Knowe, Treasure of Green Knowe
Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess, The Secret Garden
Oliver Butterworth: The Enormous Egg
Eleanor Cameron: Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, Stowaway to the MP, Mr. Bass' Planetoid
Suzy McKee Charnas: The Bronze King
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl series
Susan Cooper: Dark is Rising series, Seaward
Helen Cresswell: Bagthorpe series
Kara Dalkey: Little Sister, The Heavenward Path
Peter Dickinson: Changes trilogy; Tulku; King and Joker; Time and the Clockmice, Etc.
Ann Downer: Hatching Magic
Diane Duane: Young Wizard series, Cat series
Edward Eager:Magic series
Elizabeth Enright: Gone-Away Lake, Return to Gone-Away, Melendy family series
Nancy Farmer: House of the Scorpion
Penelope Farmer: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm
Louise Fitzhugh: Harriet the Spy
Cornelia Funke: The Thief Lord, Inkheart
Monica Furlong: Wise Child, Juniper
Neil Gaiman: Stardust, Coraline
Doris Gates: Blue Willow, Little Vic
Alan Garner: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath, Elidor
William Goldman: The Princess Bride
Harry Harrison: Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers
Robert Heinlein: The Rolling Stones, Red Planet, Starman Jones, The Star Beast, Between Planets, Time for the Stars
Frances Mary Hendry: Quest for a Maid
Eleanor Hoffman: Mischief in Fez
Tove Jansson: Finn Family Moomintroll, and sequels and prequels
Norton Juster: The Phantom Tollbooth
Karen Kushman: Catherine, Called Birdie; The Midwife's Apprentice
E.L. Konigsburg: From the Mixed of Files, The Second Mrs. Giaconda, and others
Evelyn Sibley Lampman: The City Under the Back Steps
Madeleine L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time series, Vicky Austin series
Ursula Le Guin: Earthsea trilogy
Gail Levine: Ella Enchanted
C.S. Lewis: Chronicles of Narnia
Hilda Lewis: The Ship That Flew
Astrid Lindgren: Bill Bergson series; Ronia, the Robber's Daughter; The Brothers Lionheart
Dave Luckett: Rhianna series
George MacDonald: The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie
Michelle Magorian: Good Night Mr. Tom
John Masefield: The Box of Delights, or When the Wolves were Running
William Mayne: The Grass Rope, A Swarm in May
Patricia McKillip: Riddlemaster of Hed, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
Robin McKinley: The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword, Beauty
Sheila Moon: Knee-Deep in Thunder
E. Nesbit: Five Children and It, Phoenix and the Carpet, Story of the Amulet
Garth Nix: Old Kingdom series (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen), The Keys to the Kingdom series
Pat O'Shea: The Hounds of the Morrigan
Daniel Pinkwater: Lizard Music, Snarkout Boys adventures, and others
Terry Pratchett: The Bromeliad trilogy, the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, and some Discworld books
Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials trilogy, Clockwork
Arthur Ransome: Swallows and Amazons, and others
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: The Yearling
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter series
Sherwood Smith: Wren to the Rescue and others in series
Lemony Snickett: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Zilpha Keatley Snyder: Black and Blue Magic, Season of Ponies, The Headless Cupid, Witches of Worm
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit
Patricia Wrede: Enchanted Forest books, Mairelon the Magician, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
Patricia Wrightson: The Nargun and the Stars, Nancy Cato, Nin and the Scribblies
Diana Wynne-Jones: Dogsbody, Archer's Goon, Chrestomanci series, Howl's Moving Castle

And here's a list of graphic novels that were recommended for an 11-year-old girl in the same discussion.

Mark Crilley: Akiko
Phil & Kaja Foglio: Girl Genius
Larry Gonick: Cartoon History of the Universe
Jay Hosler: Clan Apis, The Sandwalk Adventures
Linda Medley: Castle Waiting
Ted Naifeh: Courtney Crumrin
James Robinson: Leave it to Chance
Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo
Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis I
Skeleton Key
Jeff Smith: Bone

Premium Member
11,209 Posts
I'd add Orson Scott Card's Ender series... and are Enchanted Forest books by Patricia Wrede the dragon series? Dealing with Dragons, and the similar sequels? Rain really liked the first one, liked the second one some, and then found that after that they were fairly formulaic and predictable.

Oh, and I second the Terry Pratchett books - Rain liked the Wyrd Sisters, and the whole Discworld series...

And if you can find it, Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Below the Root series was great, IMO... but it is out of print, I think.


1,185 Posts
I just have to add Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer and heartily second Abarat and the sequel Days of Magic, Nights of War!

9,202 Posts
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer. (Fabulous)

Eoin Colfer's The Naturalist is also interesting for that age group.

2,039 Posts
A recommended reading sticky would be nice.

A few more:

Bagthorpe series (starts with Ordinary Jack) by Helen Cresswell
(ooh, just saw this was in the original list -- I've never seen it recommended before! So good I'm leaving it in anyway.)
Montmorency series by Eleanor Updale
Arthur series (starts with The Seeing Stone) by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Here by Monsters by Alan Snow (an immediate family fave)
Arabel and Mortimer series by Joan Aiken
Lost Years of Merlin series by T.A. Barron
Zenta and Matsuzo series (starts with The Samurai and the Long Nose Devils) by Lensey Namioka
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Nicholas by René Goscinny
Leon Garfield's novels
Hall Family Chronicles series by Jane Langton
Flambards series by K.M. Peyton
Green Knowe series by L.M. Boston
Samurai novels by Erik Haugaard

Premium Member
11,209 Posts
Rain remind me that she absolutely love The Tale of One Bad Rat (graphic novel by Brian Talbot) at 8 or 9... but then, that's Rain, and it is pretty chock-full of sad stuff and abuse and violence... but I said I'd mention it.

She also loved Princess Bride (or PB, as it's known in our community), which is on the list... I am still waiting for the sequel, although she tells me it is not happening.

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