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Good books for a 10-year old?

GR_ZombieGR_Zombie Krillin ItRegistered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So my young cousin loves reading and her birthday's coming up, so being the awesome cousin I am I decided to get her her first "real" book. Up to now she's only read kid's books and the occasional comic I've brought her, so I'd like to get her something with a little more meat to it.
I was thinking of picking up The Golden Compass based on what I've heard of it, but I've never read it myself so I don't know if it'd be too complex or whatever. I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman so Coraline is also on the table. Other than that I have no idea what would be good for a 10-year old girl, so any and all recommendations are much appreciated.

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I don't know that I would go with Golden Compass. It starts out as good YA fiction, but it goes off the rails pretty bad.*

    I would give Tamora Pierce a look.

    * It doesn't get bad, just weird. I don't think an inexperienced reader would react well.

    admanb on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    How about "The Hobbit"? Classic kid's literature, not too complex, movie coming soon.

    CelestialBadger on
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Little Women and the Anne of Green Gables series. And if she doesn't have them yet, the Little House Series as well as Black Beauty and Heidi. Or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    skettiosskettios Enchanted ForestRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I remember reading Little House on the Prairie series when I was younger and I really enjoyed it. Not sure what age though. (edit: Amazon says 9-12, so you're good there!)

    Another Gaiman book that's suited for younger audiences is The Graveyard Book, it's pretty good!

    skettios on
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Truckers

    Diggers

    Wings

    (the Bromeliad Trilogy)

    Only You Can Save Mankind

    Johnny and the Dead

    Johnny and the Bomb

    (the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy)

    All excellent young adult fiction from Terry Pratchett.

    Donovan Puppyfucker on
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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Those Harry Potter books seem popular.

    MushroomStick on
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    AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I can't recommend "Roverandom" enough. It's by Tolkien, and it's quite possibly one of my absolute favorite books, even though it was written for his 5 year old son.


    It's realllly charming.

    AlyceInWonderland on
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    BenMCOBBenMCOB Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm going to second Terry Pratchett's YA novels, particularly the Tiffany Aching series. The first one's called "The Wee Free Men" if you fancy giving it a look.

    BenMCOB on
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    GR_ZombieGR_Zombie Krillin It Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    As always, H/A brings the awesome. I'm off to Borders so I'll see what they have from the books listed here.
    Thanks all!

    GR_Zombie on
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    melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Smile by Raina Telgemeier is a really good Middle School-age graphic novel for girls.

    Few people are also aware of the How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Crowell. They're really fun and similar to Harry Potter, but with vikings (and nothing like the movie but still good!).


    EDIT: And if she likes spooky stuff, Coraline! (There's also a graphic novel version! I like to encourage people into getting kids to read comics!)

    melting_doll on
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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The Redwall series

    Xaquin on
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    NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Xaquin wrote: »
    The Redwall series

    DAMMIT I was scrolling down the replies thinking "nobody's mentioned Redwall! I'm totally going to mention Redwall!"

    You beat me to it. :P

    But yeah, the Redwall series is fantastic, I remember really loving those books around that age...also the Hobbit, and another vote for the Golden Compass. I also really liked "The Giver", although that's a much darker book (I guess Golden Compass and the others in the trilogy were a little on the dark side as well, but great books nonetheless.)

    NightDragon on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    Coraline is awesome, and so are the Tiffany Aching books.

    When I was 10 years old I was reading Star Trek books. >>

    ceres on
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    oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Tamora Pierce, as admanb suggested.

    Strong female characters, variety of magic/adventure/fantasy style (depending which series) and there's lots of books to choose from.

    onceling on
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    TeucrianTeucrian Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Summerland by Michael Chabon is one of the best books for young adults written in the last ten years. Especially good for kids who are interested in mythology.

    Teucrian on
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    melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Artemis Fowl and the Percy Jackson series' are good too!

    melting_doll on
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    AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    Coraline is awesome, and so are the Tiffany Aching books.

    Yes, Coraline! Fantastic book.

    OH, also, anything by Roald Dahl, because those are hella fun, even though they might be slightly below her reading level.

    Aaaand, the Series of Unfortunate events is good, and The Princess Bride!

    (I'm just looking in my book case to see what a 10 year old may like. )

    AlyceInWonderland on
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    Michael VoxMichael Vox Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have to second The Hobbit. It's fun. Easy Read and a 'gateway' book into the larger fantasy world.

    Michael Vox on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    The Last Unicorn. Such a good book. Such a good book.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Xaquin wrote: »
    The Redwall series

    DAMMIT I was scrolling down the replies thinking "nobody's mentioned Redwall! I'm totally going to mention Redwall!"

    You beat me to it. :P

    But yeah, the Redwall series is fantastic, I remember really loving those books around that age...also the Hobbit, and another vote for the Golden Compass. I also really liked "The Giver", although that's a much darker book (I guess Golden Compass and the others in the trilogy were a little on the dark side as well, but great books nonetheless.)

    Man, I loved Redwall right around that age. They are a pretty easy and enjoyable read for 10-14yo.

    The Giver is really, really good. I think I read it once in middle school (13ish) but to be honest I didn't "get it" until I read it again in high school. It deals with some pretty adult ideas, IIRC. I hope kids still have to read that in school,

    kuhlmeye on
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    Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Nancy Farmer- The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (mystery in cyberpunk Zimbabwe!) and House of the Scorpion (cloning in opium-growing Mexico!) are both pretty good. I agree with the Hobbit as well.

    Edit- Also they are both pretty dark for a 10 year old, so watch out. I guess they'd be on the same level as The Giver, another good read.

    Captain Marcus on
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    oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I read The Chronicles of Prydain around that age and found them to be quite enjoyable.

    oldsak on
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    skettiosskettios Enchanted ForestRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    The Last Unicorn. Such a good book. Such a good book.

    Yes <3

    My cousins enjoyed Series of Unfortunate event books

    skettios on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'll throw my hat in for the Tiffany Aching series by Pratchett.

    Quid on
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    President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I had read Jurassic Park by then. Not that that's the best option for someone who probably doesn't like dinosaurs or science fiction or other related things.

    So I'll just throw another suggestion in for the Hobbit. It has a much more coherent, sturdy narrative compared to the LOTR trilogy.

    President Rex on
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    Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    My taste in books as a kid (and as a grownup, for that matter) runs to the historical/fantasy side of things, so your mileage may vary.

    Series:

    The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
    The Earthsea Cycle, Ursula K. Le Guin
    The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix

    Standalone books:

    The Once and Future King, T.H. White
    Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
    King of the Wind (or anything else, really), Marguerite Henry
    The Eagle of the Ninth (or anything else), Rosemary Sutcliff

    Just for fun:

    No Coins Please, Don't Care High, I Want To Go Home (or anything else), Gordon Korman

    Kate of Lokys on
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    MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Hand her a copy of Martin the Warrior and then just nod sagely at her.

    Seriously. Redwall series. Its ridiculous and that's about the time I started devouring them. I remember when my teacher would ask me if I actually read books that long. Anyway, it led to a lifetime of reading / writing / vocabulary skills that were light years ahead of my classmates.

    My favorite thread on these forums on the eight years I've been reading was the SE++ thread about the unfortunate passing of Brian Jacques. Up until that, I swore I was the only person in the world who knew about Redwall.

    Also, scones.

    MegaMan001 on
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    DidgeridooDidgeridoo Flighty Dame Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Tuck Everlasting, Maniac Macgee, Charlotte's Web, the Bunnicula series

    They are all great books!

    Didgeridoo on
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    Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    How mature of a ten year old is she? I was reading Crichton nonstop at the time, but some universal constants from throughout my childhood were Harry Potter, Redwall, Philip Pullman's kids books, and the Chronicles of Prydain.

    EDIT: Oh wait all of these except for Prydain have already been mentioned, now that I read the thread.
    But yeah, check out the Prydain series if you can find them anymore. The old Disney movie The Black Cauldron is based off a mashup of the first two books, but as a whole the series is so much better than that film.
    I also liked Animorphs back then but those are so late 90s/early 2000s that they wouldn't be the same now as they were in 2001-3.

    Mortal Sky on
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    RusparRuspar Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I remember being heavy into the Narnia books back then.

    But then I also read "The Client" around the same time. People thought it was wierd that I was picking Adult books for book reports rather than the 30-40 page "Children's Novels"

    It would depend on her reading level. Narnia for typical... Shannara for advanced, perhaps?

    Ruspar on
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    Coraline is awesome, and so are the Tiffany Aching books.

    When I was 10 years old I was reading Star Trek books. >>

    Pfft! What, you think you're special? Who has two thumbs, taught himself to read, was reading the weekend newspaper by 6 years old, and used to read Encyclopaedia Brittannica for fun in elementary school?

    :^::^: This nerd assed super dork geek, that's who.

    Donovan Puppyfucker on
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    mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Atlas Shrugged. That way he can be way ahead of the curve when it comes to self righteous indignation.

    mrt144 on
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    LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Chronicles of Narnia - read my copy of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe so much, it fell apart.
    Terry Pratchet Discworld series

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Harry Potter's been mentioned a lot, I want to add that I think it's a great series for getting kids to read at a higher level. When it came out it grew along with its readers - somebody who was 10 when Sorcerer's Stone came out in the US was 19 when Deathly Hallows finally did. It's not high school level reading, but it is a good step up from the first couple books, and it's engaging enough that they'll probably want to finish, even when the later books start getting harder.

    It's how I got my niece into reading... She promptly squandered her new love on Twilight. Which because her parents expect me to be the authority on what she reads, meant I had to read it, too. Just sayin' the plan can backfire.

    Hevach on
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    BeckBeck Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    One of my favorite books when I was ten was Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

    Beck on
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I can't believe I forgot to include this last night: A Wrinkle in Time and all the following books. I still love them!

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    FoodAddictFoodAddict Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've also started on the Redwall stuff @ around 10. Thing is, I'm a guy, so adventure stories involving jaunty killer rabbits and juggernaut badgers immediately appealed to me. Not so sure about what girls want to read about at that age.

    When I was 11, someone lent me a copy of Ender's Game. I remember my brain soiling itself when I read it.

    Either way, who said you had to give only one book? I'd say get 2 or 3 books of different styles and see what sticks.

    FoodAddict on
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    KabitzyKabitzy find me in Monsbaiya Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Gotta second the Series of Unfortunate Events. They are damn funny books that will help her vocabulary a lot.

    I am actually reading the Subtle Knife right now (sequel to Golden Compass) and I would wait until she is a bit more experienced as a reader. It starts off very fantasy-like but quickly dives headlong into straight up Sci-fi and I'm not sure the average ten year old would like it.

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    Coraline is awesome, and so are the Tiffany Aching books.

    When I was 10 years old I was reading Star Trek books. >>

    Pfft! What, you think you're special? Who has two thumbs, taught himself to read, was reading the weekend newspaper by 6 years old, and used to read Encyclopaedia Brittannica for fun in elementary school?

    :^::^: This nerd assed super dork geek, that's who.

    Haha, hi5 for reading encyclopedias for fun as a kid. <3

    edit: re: Golden Compass books, I think they'd be great for a 10-year-old assuming her parents aren't religious and won't get in your face about it.

    ceres on
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    benholiobenholio Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you want her to actually read the book, you might want to get her something that more popular with others her age. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is really popular among kids that age right now and it's actually pretty good.

    benholio on
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