Good "Fantasy" books to read to a 7 year old?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jonathan Burk, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    I'm not really into Fantasy books, but my son really liked the Wizard of Oz series, and now we're ready to move onto something else. We also read the first three books of the Chronicles of Narnia, but they were a little slow at times.

    Are there any suggestions of books that will keep us both entertained? I had read the David Eddings books as a teenager, but they're probably a little too "old" for him right now. Perhaps the Prydain Chronicles, which I've never read?
     
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    When I was 7 I was reading the Narnia books by myself. I'm sure a lot went over my head but they still fascinated me. Try the other books in the series.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Prydian are good reading for the kids.
    You might also try Secret of N.I.M.H. & "The Borrowers" books..
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    A Wrinkle in Time is a book I loved to read when I was in 4th or 5th grade so if you're reading it to him I would think it'd go well.
     
  5. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    Don't laugh at this suggestion, for I have a story behind it.

    How about the "Lord Of The Rings" books?

    My late father read some of the first book to my brother and I when we camped out in the front yard. It was great, although maybe it was more because I was with my dad.

    Sorry for threadjacking...Continue as you want.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    The Charlie books ("Chocolate Factory"/"Great Glass Elevator") are pretty good also.
     
  6. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    The Hobbit was originally written geared toward children. Harry Potter is good for all ages too...
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    The Hobbit. It was written as a children's book. It should be perfect.
     
  8. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Definitely The Hobbit. I remember my mom reading me The Secret of N.I.M.H. when I was little as well.
     
  9. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    The Hero's Crown
    The Blue Sword
    Both are by Robin McKinley. I believe the first one won the Newberry Medal, and the 2nd one was a runner up, should be suited for children, though it's been a while.

    Pretty much anything by Lloyd Alexander is good.

    Also going with standard King Arthur and Robin Hood stories is probably a good bet.
     
  10. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    At that age I was enthralled by the Laura Ingalls Wilder box set. Laura led a fascinating life and it's remarkable not just because it's an autobiography but because it brings the pioneer age to life. It's so completely different from our life that it may as well be fantasy. The books little resemble the Little House on the Prarie TV show except for some of the characters and that's a good thing.

    Personally, I would wait on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit until he's a little older; 10 is a good age. There are some extremely scary scenes in the book and the plot gets so complex that it can be difficult to keep track of things. The Hobbit, of course, isn't so complex though it does have some scary scenes but I think the series needs to be read as a whole. Beware though, once I had finished The Lord of the Rings I despaired of ever finding anything so grand and wonderful again and cried a great deal over it. I was right and now, over 20 years later, have yet to find a book so completely immersive, engaging, and influential on my life as The Lord of the Rings. I adore it.
     
  11. Jacinto

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    Definitely wait a few years on Lord of the Rings. Depending on the kid (if he's like mine), you might want to wait a few years on the Harry Potter books as well. Last year we read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H., and he really enjoyed it. The Hobbit is another great suggestion. I'll offer up a series that I remember quite vividly from my childhood: The Dark is Rising (I can't remember the author). There are five books in the series, the first book bearing the name of the entire series, and the fourth in the series was titled the Grey King, and is a Newberry Award winner. These were great stories about good vs. evil with some good tension and mildly scary parts, but nothing over the top that could really freak out a kid of seven years. They're also written for that age group, so overall plots are not nearly as involved or complicated as something like LOTR.
     
  12. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Is seven too young for Heinlein juveniles? Get him started on the good stuff.
     
  13. Michael Pineo

    Michael Pineo Stunt Coordinator

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    I remember really liking the Tripod series by John Christopher when I was a couple of years older than that. They are called "The White Mountains", "The City of Gold and Lead" and "The Pool of Fire". These three books are what got me into reading sci-fi/fantasy.

    MikeP
     
  14. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I second Narnia. I remember being read these, and loving them.

    Neil Gaiman's all ages books are borderline. Maybe too spooky, for now. See for yourself. A bit creepy along the lines of "Goosebumps."

    Coraline
    Wolves in the Walls


    Charolette's Web reads very well to youngsters.

    My favorite when I was that age,

    The Biggest Bear

    Just wonderful.
     
  15. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Screenwriter

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    I'd recommend Piers Anthony's early Xanth novels (A Spell for Chameleon is the first one). They're pretty light, though there is a lot of pun-filled humor that might go over a seven year old's head.
     
  16. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    First, some discommendations: I don't agree with the recommendation of Piers Anthony. I read the first five or ten books in high school and I remember them having a lot of sexual innudendoes not really appropriate for a seven year old. (And most of Piers Anthony's writing is like that.) He can be a lot of fun, with great puns, tremendous imagination, and strong stories. But the sexual content can be prurient junior high fantasies at its worst.

    I also strongly disagree with the recommendation for Heinlein. He is a smart author. But his books can also have a political, sexual, or religious content which I don't think is appropriate for a young child. Heinlein can be challenging and stimulating at his best, but can also be highly offensive at worst. Definitely read yourself before introducing to your child.

    I'm surprised you found the Narnia books slow; I re-read them recently and still find them engaging. And if you've not yet read them, I highly recommend The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favorite, very imaginative), The Silver Chair (perhaps the best story in the series but a little darker), and Prince Caspian (strong story told partially through flash-backs).

    I'm not 7, but I enjoy childrens' literature. Some good ones I've read recently, though not necessarily fantasy:

    Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread is a fun, creative book with some great illustrations. It tells the story of a mouse banished from the mice community for falling in love with a pricness. It was last year's Newbury winner.

    The author also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie which is an easy-to-read drama, a little sad but with sweetness, about a girl and her mutt dog. This is a fast read.

    Ginger Pye is also another good dog story, with a strong brother-sister relationship. Another fast read.

    The City of Ember is fantastic! It is closer to sci-fi than fantasy, and it is filled with mystery, intrigue, and suspense. The story reveals itself with clues to the reader to try and guess the fuller picture; it also has the main characters (Lina and Doon) deciphering clues, which the reader can also guess at and try to get ahead of the story. It's probably written more for age 12, but it was so much fun! I just finished it last week and am looking forward to the sequel this Spring.

    Frindle is a very fast book about a boy who invents a word. It is cute, educational, and quite enjoyable. Beware, it may provoke your son to start inventing his own words.

    A Wrinkle in Time and sequels are decent. I just re-read this one and found it more lacking the second go-round; I think the Narnia books provide a better realized world and are generally better stories. A Wrinkle is a bit heavy and perhaps scary in places. They are also written more for a junior-high level. But that said, many people love them and your son might really groove on them.

    Secret of N.I.M.H. as someone else said is great. Children's sci-fi, rather than fantasy. I loved this book as a kid.

    The Hobbit is fantastic, though the writing level is more towards elementary school or junior high, I'd guess (at a minimum).

    The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle is a classic. I read that a few years ago, and it's a quirky story with charm and humor.

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and anything else by Jules Verne. Again, probably not written for age 7, but these are great adventure books; fantastic if not fantasy.

    Charlotte's Web is another recommendation I agree with.

    Witches and {b]The Twits[/b] by Roald Dahl are twisted, dark, not cheery, and good fun if you like that sort of thing. Dahl's books are the antidote to syrupy sweet depictions of children and their happy lives.

    Good reading!
     
  18. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    Thanks for the great suggestions. I might even make it into an Amazon list so I can keep them all in one place.
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i really liked the xanth novels as a kid. i recall reading many of them from my library. i don't recall if there was a lot of sexual innuendo, but perhaps i was just too young. i think a 7-year old will enjoy them for their fantasy and creativity.

    chronicles of narnia is a classic, but i can see how it wouldn't be for everyone.
     
  20. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Which is why I specifically mentioned the novels he wrote with kids in mind, which were for the most part fun sci-fi adventures. No, don't subject the kid to Friday or Starship Troopers or even Podkayne of Mars, but I remember The Rolling Stones and the like being reasonably suitable. Still, I imagine he was pitching them toward kids with double-digit ages; I'm not sure how any would play to a seven-year-old.

    Just trying to nudge Johnathan more toward the science-fiction than fantasy. The "Tripods" books are a great recommendation, but I can't remember what else I liked at that age.
     

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