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18 May 2013 @ 02:32 am
book thoughts?  
Occasionally my best friend asks me for book suggestions for her...step-nephew? He likes the Percy Jackson books (which I've not read), so I'm trying to keep my recommendations to fantasy with a mythological bent, although occasionally I slip up and just recommend a favorite that doesn't quite fit the criteria. Here's what I've recommended so far (with asterisks next to books I haven't actually read):

- the D'Aulaires' book of Greek myths
- Pamela F. Service, The Reluctant God
(this was the book about which my friend said, "oh, I don't think he's at the stage yet where he'll read books about girls," and I got all ragey, like, NO THAT IS NOT HOW THAT WORKS)
- R. L. LaFevers, the Theodosia Throckmorton books; the Nathaniel Fludd series*
- Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle; The Chronicles of Chrestomanci
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time and the rest of the Murry family books
- Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising series*
(I know, I know, I'm a horrible human for not having read these - although I did read Over Sea... at long last, so maybe there's hope for me)
- Neil Gaiman, Coraline; The Graveyard Book; The Books of Magic
(being slightly self-indulgent with this recommendation)
- Virginia Hamilton, The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl
- Lloyd Alexander, The Arkadians; the Prydain Chronicles*
(as you can see, I'm no good at reading series)
- Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown; Dragonhaven*
- Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
(this might be a bit "old" for him)
- Franny Billingsley, The Folk Keeper
- Jane Yolen, Foiled
- Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, The Spiderwick Chronicles*
(though these might be a bit young)

Anything you can think of that I ought to suggest? I think he reads a lot, so it might be worth having a lot of recommendations at the ready.
La Reine Noire: Wimminz!lareinenoire on May 18th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
Boo to the comment about girls. That is so ridiculous. If more boys at that age read books with female protagonists, they might understand women better when they're older. Sheesh.

Isn't The Song of Achilles supposedly a YA novel? I haven't actually read it and it's had mixed reviews from my friends who have, but if he likes Greek mythology, that might be worthwhile. I personally loved Black Ships by Jo Graham, which is based on the Aeneid.

Also, Rosemary Sutcliff! I was obsessed with her Arthurian books when I was in fourth and fifth grade.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on May 18th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Yes - boys are often told or shown their whole lives that they don't need to go outside of their comfort zone or empathize with characters of the opposite gender; how can that *not* have effects on the men they grow up to be? I was really rather surprised to hear my best friend say that, especially given our feminist, all-girls high-school education. Ah well.

And thanks for the suggestions! I'll check to see if he likes historical fiction as well, because Rosemary Sutcliff could keep him busy for a while, if so. :)
litlover12 on May 18th, 2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
Gordon Korman. He's got tons of great books for kids -- not fantasy, but still great. Some are adventure and some are humor -- and the humor ones are HILARIOUS. I still read him myself. :-) You might suggest the Swindle series, or "No More Dead Dogs." I understand he's also got a kids' series about the Titanic that's popular, though I haven't read it myself.

Personally, I found "Dragonhaven" terribly difficult, though I like McKinley as a rule. It's one of her most self-indulgent books, if you will, in regards to style -- she rambled on and on and on and ON until I got hopelessly lost. Even her tangents had tangents.

Edited at 2013-05-18 02:59 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on May 18th, 2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! A friend of mine really likes Gordon Korman as well, though I have yet to read any of his books.

I've got a lot of catching up to do with Robin McKinley's later books (instead I just seem to reread Sunshine over and over...), so it's helpful to have the experience of someone who's actually read Dragonhaven.
teliesin: TCteliesin on May 18th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
Ursula K Leguin - Earth Sea trilogy?
T.H. White - Once and Future King?, anything with King Arthur
Lewis Carroll?
C.S. Lewis?
I may be off base but had to throw them out there.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on May 19th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I should find out whether he likes fantasy in general, or just specific subsets.
Valancy: LibraryMargaretvalancy_s on May 22nd, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
I'm audiobooking the Books of Beginning trilogy by John Stephens at the moment (#1 The Emerald Atlas, #2 The Fire Chronicle, #3 not yet published). Enjoyable fantasy series about a family of siblings, heavy on the action sequences, comparable reading level to Percy Jackson.

My nephew, 10 & and a voracious reader, loves the Rowan of Rin books by Emily Rodda. Also fantasy/action oriented. Darker in tone than PJ (or anyway, no jokes).
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on May 24th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Those sound like they might be just the thing.