Thursday, July 24, 2008

Books for Gifted Boys

Walker’s list of good books for gifted boys from ages 6-12

The “duh” titles (as in, you must read these—many are available as audiobooks):

The Harry Potter books, Rowling
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkein
Narnia books, Lewis
The Dark is Rising series, Cooper
The Black Cauldron series, Alexander
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, Adams
The Swallows and Amazons series, Ransome
Five Children and It and The Enchanted Castle, Nesbit
Half Magic, Eager
A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

12-year-old Walker’s current top ten titles:

1. The Lightning Thief series (Percy Jackson), Riordan
2. Ender’s Game, Card
3. The Artemis Fowl series, Colfer
4. Half-Moon Investigations, Colfer
5. The Thief Lord, Funke
6. Evil Genius, Jinks
7. The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Stroud
8. Maximum Ride series, Patterson
9. Gregor the Overlander series, Collins
10. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, Edwards

Other good books for gifted boys ages 6-12
by author, usually with a suggested title to lead you to the others:

Anderson, Feed
Balliett, Chasing Vermeer
Birdsall, The Penderwicks (younger readers)
Bloor, Tangerine
Brinley, The Mad Scientists’ Club (younger readers)
Byng, Molly Moon series (younger readers)
Chabon, Summerland
Cleary, Ramona, Henry Huggins (younger readers)
Cooper, The Boggart (younger readers, start with this one)
Dahl, Matilda, George’s Marvelous Medicine
De Larrabeiti, The Borrible Trilogy
Dickson, The Dragon and the … series
Doctorow, Little Brother
Dunkle, The Sky Inside
Enright, The Saturdays (younger readers)
Estes, Ginger Pye, The Moffats (younger readers)
Farmer, Sea of Trolls
Gannet, My Father’s Dragon (younger readers)
George, My Side of the Mountain
Haddix, Among the Hidden series (younger readers)
Howe, Howliday Inn, Bunnicula (younger readers)
Ibbotson, The Secret of Platform 13 (younger readers)
Jones, Charmed Life (the Chrestomanci series)
Konigsberg, The View from Saturday, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. B. E. F.
Lee, The Mysterious Benedict Society
Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
Mieville, UnLunDun
Philbrick, The Last Book in the Universe
Pinkwater, Once Upon a Blue Moose, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
Sachar, Wayside School series (younger readers)
Selden, A Cricket in Times Square (younger readers)
Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events
Ursu, The Shadow Thieves
Westerfeld, Uglies, Pretties, Specials


Anonymous said...

How about the Redwall series by Brian Jacques?

harriet M. Welsch said...

Wow, there are dozens that I've never heard of. I'm looking forward to our next trip to the library!

Jeanne said...

Walker read the first 2-3 Redwall books and thought they were "good," but I guess he thinks they get enough hype without his help.

lemming said...

All fiction, I notice - does W. read any non-fiction? I've heard that history is a very interesting subject... ;-)

Maritza said...

I just read Little Brother and found it very interesting, though I thought of it as more a young adult book, like 12 and up. A couple of weeks ago I recommended it to a rising high school freshman boy.

Maritza said...

I'd also highly recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon and Life of Pi by Yann Martel. They might be read-alouds for the younger end of the 6-12 spectrum. I read the first half of Curious Incident to a neighbor when he was 10 or 11 and he liked it. My friends read Life of Pi aloud with their son when he was maybe eight or nine, or even younger, and they all loved it.

Jeanne said...

Walker does read non-fiction, but he tends to use it as reference, aside from things like The Science of Harry Potter, Sneakier Uses for Everyday Things, Logic Links, and math puzzle books. So it doesn't make his "best of" list. There's a place here for someone else to draw up a list of non-fiction for gifted kids...Lemming, in your spare time! (Maybe when your youngest is 12.)

Maritza, one of the things about having a gifted reader is that they often like things that are "ahead" of their age group. Walker liked Life of Pi (although not enough to put it on his list) and hasn't yet read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

harriet M. Welsch said...

I've been working on a list of non-fiction books by topic, but I'm daunted by the size of the project. If anyone else wants to have a go or take on a particular topic, jump on in!

As for adult books good for gifted boys, I'd highly recommend Tony Earley's Jim the Boy.

Fern said...

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. Fantastic.

MVP (Douglas Evans and John Shelley) is a great read for any geography buff.

For reluctant readers (as a teacher who has worked with many "twice exceptional" children - gifted and learning disabled - this is a particular interest of mine) the Hiccup Horrendous books (Cressida Cowell) are hilarious.

For those who want to follow up the Greek Mythology thread from the Percy Jackson books, try The Pig Scrolls and the who Saved the World by Paul Shipton.

For younger reader who like series, I recommend The Time Warp Trio books by John Scieszka (what's not to like about books titled Your Mother was a Neanderthal or the Knights of the Kitchen Table?).

For Daniel Pinkwater fans, his books for older kids (middle school protagonists) such as The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death are fantastic (especially for anyone feeling left of center).


The Lion Boy trilogy Zizou Corder

Guardians of Ga'hoole series (not my favorite, but I've known several boys who read these like girls read the Warriors series)

Trumpet of the Swan (the best of EB White, in my opinion)

Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow (strange with wonderful illustrations, my 11-year-old son loved it)

M.T. Anderson's Whales on Stilts and The Case of the Linoleum Leiderhosen make great and affectionate fun of series like the Hardy Boys.

I'll add some more when I have time.

Harriet said...

There are so many excellent suggestions here. Some of these, I know, are on our master goodreads list (you can link to it in the column on the right). But I'll try to make sure that those books that aren't yet there get added. Keep the recommendations coming!