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Topic: Looking for young-ish YA titles

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Subject: Looking for young-ish YA titles
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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I have an 11 yr old who has read the first three Harry Potters and then stopped. She didn't like that they were becoming more intense, and felt she wanted to wait to read more. She really is intense all by herself and she will walk away rather than have it add to her feeling of being overwhelmed. She also avoids swearing and adult situations, which I respect in her and applaud her decision. In the meantime, I have been trying to find other titles or series that she might find interesting. Some we've explored:

Warriors, the cat series


Horse books

Dog books, those are a big hit for her- Where the Red fern Grows etc.

Anne of Green Gables

books by Andrew Clements

The Princess and the Goblin, Princess and Curdie

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Sherlock Holmes

and I just stocked up on some Anne McCaffrey at the library book sale.

Can you make other recommendations?

Some historical fiction, trying to find ideas there.

Also, books with humor, she sometimes tires of drama that never seems to end. It overstimulates.

Now that I look this over, maybe we have enough (gasp- did I just SAY that) and I should tell her to go walk the dog instead.

But could you provide titles or authors, especially in historical fiction and humor, she doesn't get enough of those.


Date Posted: 8/25/2008 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
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Last Edited on: 3/26/09 12:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2008
Posts: 11
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Here are some authors that my kids and students have enjoyed that might interest your daughter

Robin mckinley (sherwood, hero & the crown, blue sword, beauty, spindle's end)

Among the Hidden series by margaret peterson haddix

Bill Wallace, walter farley, kate di camillo, gary paulsen

artemis fowl series

tamora pierce teen books



Date Posted: 8/25/2008 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2008
Posts: 1,051
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What about Sweet Valley books? They have many different series to choose from - Kids, Twins, High, Senior Year, Junior High & University.

Date Posted: 8/26/2008 2:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 295
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As far as histrocial fiction for that age range, I can think of nothing better for a girl that age than The Royal Diaries Series (from Scholastic).  I read many of them when they first came out and thought they were wonderful (they are a fair bit simpler than Harry Potter, but are still wonderful).  Perhaps better than the fact that they are historical fiction is the idea that they focus on historically important women.  I would also strongly suggest a book called Thursday's Child by Sonya Hartnet.  It is a wonderful book about the Great Depression in Australia.  This book is somewhat intense, but nothing that it seems like she would have trouble with.  Another book which I fell in love with was called Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  That's all I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure I might come up with a few more over the next few days.

Date Posted: 8/26/2008 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
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Thank you for the lists. To answer the questions asked above, yes to all. She is at this stage where she is not interested in darker writing, nor intense drama, and she avoids adult topics. I would support her either way, but we happen to agree on these issues regarding her personal choices. I guess she's in one of those in between stages, like being a size that's an odd number rather than a convenient 6 or 8.

I'll be looking into many of these authors to see if that will give her some choices that interest her.

And any others will be welcome as well.



Date Posted: 8/26/2008 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
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For horse series, there is the Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell, The Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant, and the Heartland series by Lauren Brooke.

Date Posted: 9/1/2008 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2007
Posts: 270
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If she liked Warriors and Redwall, you might try Guardians of Ga'Hoole.  It's sort of like Warriors, but with owls. They're written by Kathryn Lasky, and The Capture is the first one.

I also would suggest the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke.  They're fantasy, and pretty long, but my sister liked them when she was around that age (and we both still do).

Or you might try Edward Eager for something lighter.  He  wrote some really hilarious kids books.

We also liked the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones.  There are around 7 books out so far, and they're pretty light too. 

That's all I can think of for now.  Good luck!


Date Posted: 9/9/2008 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
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One other series that we have found is "Percy Jackson and the Olympians". The first book is "The Lightning Thief".  I have only read up through chapter 5 so far. It seems more fun than intense although my 12 year old daughter did decide to stop reading last night because it had gotten dark outside. Another really fun one is "The Sisters Grimm" by Michael Buckley . I've read all 6 of those books. They are GREAT!

I can completely relate to wanting YA books without the tense/scary/relationship stuff. My 12 and 14 year olds are in the same boat. I've enjoyed reading the thread to "pick the brains" of each other. Keep the suggestions coming...others are reading the posts too! :)

Date Posted: 9/19/2008 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 149
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having read just about all the Royal Diaries, Dear America & American Girl Books (as a mom collecting them for my daughter) a few other historical fictions that I have enjoyed are

The Witch of Blackbird Pond; Catherine, called Birdy & The Midwife's Apprentice.  If I remember correctly, they are all about teens trying to figure out how they fit into the expectations of society. 

Artemis Fowl is definitely fun. 

If she enjoyed Little House on the Prarie, Scholastic commissioned some sequels that turned out decent.  The Rose Years (8 books) follows Laura & Almanzo's only child from about 7 to 18.  There are also the Caroline Years (Laura's mother), The Charlotte Years (Caroline's mother), and The Martha Years (Laura's Great-Grandmother, daughter of a Scottish Laird).

Boy, I have a huge chunk of quasi-biographical books in the cupboard, waiting for my daughter to get a bit older.  I certainly hope mine likes the genre.

Good luck

Date Posted: 9/19/2008 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 447
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Ann Rinaldi writes good historical fiction.  Anne McCaffrey can get very adult like ... some sex scenes that I didn't like as a preteen.  Janette Oke is a very good (Christian) writer.  I LOVED her books when I was a preteen, and still do.  Her books remind me of the Laura Ingalls Wilder ones (has your daughter read those? If not she should.)  And Madeleine L'Engle... I really enjoyed those books as a preteen and still do.  James Herriot, too.  Those books make me laugh out loud.  He was a country vet in Yorkshire who really has a talent for telling a good story.    Your daughter kind of reminds me of me.  I was a very precocious reader, but I didn't like reading too much adult material, which was a challenge.   Message me if you want more...

Date Posted: 9/21/2008 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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My daughter loved the Molly Moon books by Georgia Byng about a quirky girl who lives in an orphanage, is somewhat of a maverick (causing trouble, etc....ala Eloise) and finds a book that allows her to hypnotize people to do her bidding. Great books. There are four to the series.

Date Posted: 10/4/2008 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2006
Posts: 271
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Someone mentioned Janette Oke, she has really good historical fiction. For someone your daughters age I would suggest The Prairie Legacy series (The Tender Years, A Searching Heart, A Quiet Strength, and Like Gold Refined) and the Seasons of the Heart Series( Once Upon a Summer, Winds of Autumn, Winter is Not Forever, and Spring's Gentle Promise).  Both start out with main characters about your daughters age, the first series it's a girl and the second a boy.

My daughter also liked the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini ( Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr).


Date Posted: 10/7/2008 2:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
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The Charlie Bone series reminded me of Harry Potter without the intensity.  Entertaining!


Subject: new authors
Date Posted: 10/8/2008 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 407
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LEE RODDY is a great author of historical fiction with his books set in the past PATRICIA RUSHFORD also has several series. I personally have only read the Jennie McGrady series, but it was my favorite series ever. SHIRLEY BRINKERHOFF has a wonderful series for as your daughter gets a little older, depending on what she is already exposed to. ROBIN JONES GUNN has at least 2 different series BEVERLY LEWIS has the Summerhill Secrets series that you can buy in volumes 1 and 2 and save money
Kat (polbio) -
Subject: Historical Fiction
Date Posted: 11/6/2008 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Scott O'dell was my all time favorite Historical Fiction Author as a kid. He wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins. As well as books about Pocohontos and Sacajawea. He wrote one called Sarah Bishop which was about the Revolutionary War. and many more

Here is a link to his stuff http://www.scottodell.com/bookschron.html

Subject: children's books
Date Posted: 11/17/2008 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
Posts: 17
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I have many children's/YA books on my shelf that I enjoyed when I was younger but have grown out of.  They include the Dolphin Diaries  and Animal Ark series by Ben M. Baglio. Yes I was very into animals!

Subject: A few suggestions
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 9
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A few books I read at about that age, that I actually just re-read now, 9 years later.

-The Giver--amazing book, but kind of sad


-Homecoming--on my shelf

-The lion the witch and the wardrobe

I have the first 3 if your interested in them I can add them to my shelf. These are all books that I have read twice, and years apart, but still couldn't put them down.

Last Edited on: 12/19/08 11:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/27/2008 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Sharon Shinn has a very nice younger YA series.  The Safe Keeper's Secret, The Truthteller's Tale, and one more.  Very well written with a fable fantasy feel to them.

Last Edited on: 12/27/08 12:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/13/2009 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 144
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I'm positive she will LOVE Patrick Carmen's The Land of Elyon

Very kid friendly with humor and an excellent read. I myself still enjoy them.

Date Posted: 2/21/2009 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2007
Posts: 452
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The Boxcar Children

Left Behind: The Kids (kind of intense but great)

Mary Christner Borntrager's Mennonite kids series

Janette Oke


Date Posted: 2/22/2009 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 3
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When I was younger I loved the Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell. I thought Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman and Indigo by Alice Hoffman were good books. I really liked The Ghost Sitter by Peni R. Griffin. Is My Sister Dying by Alida E. Young was sad, but good. Misty of Chincoteague, Sea Star, Stormy, Misty's Foal,and Misty's Twilight by Marguerite Henry were good books about horses. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was great. Well Wished by Franny Billingsley was an amazing book. Wringer by Jerry Spinelli was pretty good.
Date Posted: 2/26/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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The High Hurdles series by Lauraine Snelling is good.  These are horse stories aimed at young readers.

I wouldn't recommend the Left Behind books for kids, especially if she doesn't like intense stuff.  My son didn't have any problem with them, but my daughter had nightmares for a long time, couldn't spend the night with friends, and never wanted to be away from us.  She was probably your daughter's age when she read the first few.  After that situation, I thought, my goodness, who in their right minds would write a book about children being left behind at the rapture and having to go through all the terror of the tribulation on their own!?  This is supposed to be inspirational to kids?  How about terrifying and cruel.  People are so caught up in the Left Behind books, taking them as gospel truth, when all they are is speculation.

Sorry, I still have feelings about those books after several years.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I would agree with those who recommend the Charlie Bone series (first one: Midnight for Charlie Bone) and Percy Jackson series (first one, The Lightning Thief). Also, Carl HIaasen, who writes adult books and kids' books won a Newbery Award for his excellent book, Hoot. I really enjoyed that. Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember series is also quite excellent, the first being called The City of Ember. I tend to gravitate mostly to fantasy when it comes to YA and children's stuff, so not too familiar with general kids' fiction.


Subject: books for ll yrs. old.
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 5,628
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my daughter liked the narnia books and also shiloh.