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Helly Welly

Books for an eight year old with a reading age of 16!

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My daughter Abi is an avid reader and can read any book as far as ability is concerned. However, it is getting harder to find age-appropriate books, can anyone recommend any?


We've exhausted Enid Blyton and Harry Potter has, of course, nearly finished. She's been reading Harry Potter since she was four!


I'm trying to get her to try Diana Wynne Jones, are the Philip Pullman books appropriate for her age?


She loves the old-fashioned style of Enid Blyton, particularly the Famous Five, does anyone know of any other "classic" books she might try?



Any help would be really appreciated!

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mine have always had reading ages massively beyond their peers..


really depends what she's into to know what to recommend, but my boys and girl really loved the whole terry pratchett discworld series and I would certainly recommend lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate Events - they are totally fantastic - very cleverly written - and very entertaining...


(and in both series - pratchett and snickett - there are loads of books to be going on with!!)



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We had the same problem with Devon when she was younger.

I remember taking a book into Nursery on her first day that she was reading at the time, & they didn't believe me until she read it out to them :?


The Phillip Pullmans are fantastic books - we all love them & the movie is out in a few months too.

Also the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, about a teenage criminal genius are absolutly brilliant.

"The Curiois Incident of The Dog in the Nightime" is great, but read it first yourself & marker pen out the very few swear words.

"Holes", the book of the movie of the same name is also fab.


You are very lucky.In a few years time she can read some classics like Rebecca & The Catcher In The Rye :P


I will have a dig through Devons bookcase later & see if I can see any more suitable ones.

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Thats great Cinnamon, thanks.


We tried Artemis Fowl and whilst i love them, she didn't even finish the book, most unusual.


I also Love" The curious incident" but wouldn't want to deface my copy!


I think i'll take a trip to the library and see how she does with Philip Pullman and Lemony Snickett. I'll dig out my Terry Pratchetts too.


Thank you for all your suggestions, they have all been noted, i'll work my way down the list :D

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there is also a younger series by pratchett that mine all loved - called Truckers, Diggers and Wings - a trilogy for younger readers about tiny people living in a dept store and thinking it was the whole world until they discovered a world out there!!



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just had a quick look in kids bedroom bookshelves...


Cornelia Funke's Inkheart Trilogy - fantasy fairies, magic and ghosts stuff


Darren Shan - vampire rites trilogy - if she likes a mild scare!! 8)


Philip Ridley - they all loved these - quite a few of his


malorie Blackman - a kind of modern day Enid Blyton!


Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black - Spiderwick Chronicles


and if she likes a big long fantasy read... Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders Series - each book has about 1000 pages :-) - fantasy



and - more pratchett - we read these out loud on recent holidays to all three kids at bedtime...


Wintersmith - Hat Full of Sky - Wee Free Men (not sure what order) - but a very funny and well-written trilogy..



hope that helps! But every child is different - and 2 of mine are boys!



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It's be hard to exhaust Terry Pratchett books.

I don't really know 8 year olds, so apologies if I'm wrong :?

no. 1 ladies detective agency series?

Swallows and Amazons?


I used to like animal books, particularly pony books.

I've read a book by Gerald Durell on how he caught animals in Africa for Jersey Zoo in the jungle in the 60s(?) There's a whole series on those in different parts of the World.

James Herriot vet books

may be the odd animal-based rude bit/out of date behaviour


I used to borrow books from my primary school library and they were categorised by age, so you could try the age 11 books.

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If she loves Enid Blyton and doesn't mind the 'old fashioned' writing, then how about Arthur Ransome 'Swallows & Amazons' series? My friend's ten-year old loves the Chalet School stories, old but still good! Has she read 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' series? I agree that Philip Pullman would be good, and Anne Fine and Jacqueline Wilson are excellent writers.


I'm trying to remember what I read at that age, because I also had a reading age far above my actual age. My mum very sensibly took the view that if I understood it, it wouldn't do me any harm; and if I didn't understand it, it wouldn't do me any harm either, so nothing was 'out of bounds' but I do remember being quite puzzled by some of the adult books I read.


The problem with classics is that the vocabulary is sometimes a bit tricky - David Copperfield is a good one to start with though. How lucky you are to have a daughter who loves reading, it will put her ahead of her peers in all sorts of ways! I can't understand my nieces, who hardly ever read books for pleasure (and one of them is doing an English degree! :roll: ) - all my life I've loved to get lost in a book.

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Agree heartily with Pratchett- she will grow into the humour as she gets older, I know my eldest did.


The Borrowers

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (amazing desrciptive prose)

The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel

Duncton Wood series by William Horwood

Watership Down

You have to get her The Book of the Dun Cow (our hero Chaunticleer the cockerel saves the world)

My Family and other Animals (hilarious)

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Some great choices by everyone, sorry I can't add anymore, agree with most of them. Would just add a warning about the clan of the cave bear by Jean Auel series. Brilliant, but some bits may be a bit...erm....graphic for an 8 year old! :shock:

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If she is into animals she might like the Warrior Cats series - Cleo loves them (she is 12)

I used to love The Silver Brumby, Malory Towers, St Clares & all of those.


I agree with Rhapsody on My Family & Other Animals,although Watership Down is a bit gory for my tastes.

And also Chocchicks suggestion of The No1 Ladies Detective Agency is great - again there is a TV series being made so reading them now would give her a head start.


Also what about more factual books? My 2 love the Horrible Histories series & all of those, plus any Science books.

If she has a passion, be it Ballet, Animals, Cooking or Chickens, there will be a decent refernce book about it which would be suitable :P

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I was going to suggest Watership Down, What Katy Did, The James Herriott books and the Narnia series, as I enjoyed them at around her age, but I can see that others have suggested these too.


How about Black Beauty (although is has cruel moments)? Ballet Shoes and Pollyanna I enjoyed too. You said you had been through Enid Blyton, which is a pity because I read and re-read Chalet School and Mallory Towers. Other classics like Wind in the Willows I loved.


Some books that we new out when I was her age (1977) and teen-lit first started out that were good were The Silver Sword, and Fireweed.


"Safe" classic adult books she might enjoy are Sherlock Holmes (all read before I was 12), Agatha Christie and Jane Eyre. I loved reading classics that "people talk about" and adored murder mysteries.

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She might enjoy "The Country Child" by Alison Uttley, which is my absolute favourite book. I read it at least once a year.


Also A Traveller in Time also by Allison Uttley is one that she will enjoy.


How about the Anne of Green Gables series or Little house on the Prairie series.


All fab.


You'll enjoy them yourself!

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i used to really enjoy the James Herriot books..... that's why I wanted to become a vet! (but didn't)

I love "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie smith, & the Alex Rider series . Inkheart & Inkspell are great, too.

is just me, that I think books for children are better than adult books mostly?

Alexander loves to read, which I think is brill :D:D


just thought of the Narnia series as well :D


Someone put a post on about the Silver Brumby- I loved that too. I think I will have to go to the library & have a borrow ..... :wink: (except it's shut today :( )

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The neverending story, l loved it when I was eight. I also love the Liveship Traders, but it deals with some very 'adult' themes.

Get her reading David Eddings. That's what my dad did when I was that age and irritatingly precocious. The Belgariad is great, nice and long and has no bits to be censored!

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If she likes th emore oldfashioned authors (going on Enid Blyton here)

I can think of loads that are the slighlty more grown up books froma similar era..


People have already said Arthur Ransome

Malcome Saville

Monica Edwrads (my all time favourite)

Antonia Forest

Elinor Lyon (another real favourite)

William Mayne

Pamela Brown

Elfrida Vipont

Geoffrey Trease

and many more


So many of these books hold such delight for me that I am still collecting them now.

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