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Topic: Suggestions Please

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Subject: Suggestions Please
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2006
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It's been a long while since I have had contact with Juvenile Science Fiction.  There is a middle schooler (6-8 grade) in my church who loves Sci/Fi and fantasy.  She is an advanced reader, reading on a high school level.

Can anyone suggest age appropriate sci / fi?   She is currently reading something by Piers Anthony.  Her parents will not let her read the Twilight series yet.

Unfortunately, most of my sci fi knowledge is from my college days (I took a literature class) and NOT appropriate for her. 

 

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Ender's game and the sequels are probably fine.  I think pretty much anything by Timothy Zahn would be good...In particular I like The Conquerors Trilogy, The Icarus Hunt, The Green and the Gray, and The new Frank Compton books. 

I consider that she's reading Piers Anthony odd, though.  He is beyond strange to sick and twisted as far as I'm concerned. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Steven Gould's Wildside

Jerry Pournelle's Starswarm

I loved them both :-)

Subject: YA SF books
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
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I would include Stephen Gould's Jumper, David Gerrold's Jumping Off the Planet, Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr series and possibly the Tom Corbit series.  (But it's been a while since I read Tom Corbit, it might be dated).  Oh hey - the new Marsbound by Haldeman would also be appropriate.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Oh hey - the new Marsbound by Haldeman would also be appropriate.

I personally don't think it would be bad, but it does have sex in it...and more casually so than Twilight.   

I think Gordon R. Dickson's books are all pretty safe, too. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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If you want really squeeky clean fantasy, then Sharon Shinn has a YA series.  Safe Keeper's, Truth Teller's and Dream something.  Really clean and well written with a fable like feel.   Definitely middle school safe.

Slightly more adult would be Pat Murphy's The City, Not Long After.  Robin McKinley's Dragonhaven.  Caroline Stevermer has both YA (River Rats) and slightly older (the two Of Magics books, Scholar and College).  And Ender, of course.

The whole Redwall series,  (These are leaning more to fantasy than SF as that is often slightly cleaner and marketed more at YA.)



Last Edited on: 2/19/09 8:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: recommended juvenile
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
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A WRINKLE IN TIME, by Madeleine L'Engle

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
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Pat Murphy also wrote a book called There and Back Again. About a Norbit named Bailey.

It's the Hobbit in space. Don't be put off by the silly cover art (wierd looking female).

It's funnier if you've recently read The Hobbit, but not neccessary at all.

I laughed all the way through it.It's one of those books that make me grin, just thinking about it.

Date Posted: 2/20/2009 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
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When I was in middle school/high school I read a lot of Anne McCaffery's work. I can't really think of any book that has anything really bad in it, but I could be mistaken. I really liked her Tower books, and her Pern books at that age.
Date Posted: 2/20/2009 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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There is a series of really nice YA anthologies called Firebirds...  (Firebirds, Firebirds Rising, and there is a third one.)  All the new big names in YA fantasy and SF are in it.  And that will give her a choice of directions. 

Also Megan Whelan Turner.  Her trilogy has won several awards.



Last Edited on: 2/20/09 9:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2009
Posts: 20
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Andre Norton is a huge writer of Science Fiction stories, but she did write from the 30's to the 90's, so some of her stuff is very dated.  That being said, even though they are dated, they are still very well written and interesting to read. I recommend the Beast Master series.

Date Posted: 2/21/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
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Alien Secrets by Annette Curtis Klause.

If the parents are also church going people, they might not want her to read Anne McCaffrey as some of her stuff might be a little racy for middle school. Freedom landing series have a few sex scenes (mild  compared to a lot of books) as do the pern series when the dragons mate along with their riders. Another of her series have a lesbian couple. I personally love Anne McCaffrey and have just about everything she has written in my personal library.

Date Posted: 2/22/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
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The Giver by Lois Lowery is a great one - although it's written simply it deals with some interesting issues.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (actually, anything by this author at age thirteen is magic)

I, Robot by Issac Asimov

Forever War by Joe Haldeman

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

 

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 2/22/2009 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
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I read a lot of Isaac Asimov around that age, particularly the short story collections, Robot novels and Foundation trilogy.  It's not exactly YA, but if she's reading at a high school level then she certainly shouldn't have any problems getting into them.

I would also agree with Tom's recommendation of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, as well as the sequels A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

 



Last Edited on: 2/22/09 3:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/22/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Her parents will not let her read the Twilight series yet.

Keeping this in mind, are you guys kidding me?  The Forever War?  No one's a bigger Haldeman fan than me, but no way is someone going to let their kid read that if Twilight is off the list...To a lesser degree, the same goes for the Robot novels and any Heinlein except his YA.  I am not taking a position one way or the other on what age it is appropriate for kids to read these books, but come on.  If someone said "I'm looking for SF with a lot of sex and graphic violence" Joe Haldeman would top the list.

Date Posted: 2/22/2009 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Alice Hoffman has written some very nice books for younger YA with a very slight touch of fantasy.  Well written.  Green Angel, Aquamarine, and such. 

I love Nina K Hoffman, but her writing is for slightly older teens.  (She takes on sexual abuse and such issues.)

Of Swords and Spells by Delia Marshall Turner.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 112
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I would recommend the Robert Heinlein juveniles - "Have Space Suit - Will Travel" and "The Rolling Stones" were both good.  

Subject: Heinlein & Burroughs
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 4:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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 I would recommend the Robert Heinlein juveniles - "Have Space Suit - Will Travel" and "The Rolling Stones" were both good. 

___________________________________________________

Oh ya - I'd forgotten about those............................

Another book that mesmerized me when I was younger was The Mastermind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Subject: Heinlein
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 8:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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If you don't mind dated stuff, I recommend all of Heinlein's YA.  Off the top of my head...

- Rocket Ship Galileo (Might be a bit dull as it goes into a lot of engineering/rocketry detail)
- Red Planet (introduces Martians that occur in later stories)
- Space Cadet
- Have Space Suit- Will Travel (possibly my favorite book ever)
- Citizen of the Galaxy
- The Rolling Stones (hard to find, but a must read, as it introduces one recurring character in later books)
- Farmer in the Sky
- Tunnel in the Sky
- Star Beast
- Time for the Stars
- Starman Jones
- Between Planets
- Double Star
- Podkayne of Mars (Heinlein's only YA book with a female main characer)

Starship Troopers is not specifically YA, but I think it would be fine.  It has some unusual politics, as do most of Heinlein's books.  I think Beyond This Horizon would be OK as well.  Getting into the more mature books, I'd recommend reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress first...it has many of the same themes as Heinlein's later books, but there's no grahic sex.

Some of Heinlein's shorter stories are good, too, like Waldo, The Puppet Masters and The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.  I also loved the short story All You Zombies.

Subject: YA sci fi
Date Posted: 2/25/2009 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 9
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When I was in Middle School I read Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy.  What about the Chronicles of Narnia? I also read a lot of HG Wells-they're clean.  Jules Verne?

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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The older stuff is usually quite clean.  It then becomes a question of how the women were written.  Feminist or not?