Introductions to SFF, again

Going back to a subject introduced in an earlier post, Introductions to SFF, here are some of the speculative fiction works my daughter (and the rest of the family) enjoyed. The age provided is only a guess at a lower-bound for when children might read them on their own; many of these books continue to appeal to much older readers. Similarly, they may appeal to younger children with a parent reading to them.

  • The Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne (beginning readers),
  • Edward Eager’s children’s book: Half Magic, Magic by the Lake, The Well-Wishers, Seven-Day Magic… (elementary school readers),
  • The Oz stories by Frank L. Baum (elementary school readers),
  • The Dr Doolittle books by Hugh Lofting (elementary school readers),
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norten Juster (elementary school readers),
  • The Silver Crown and The Rats of NIMH by Robert C O’Brien (elementary school readers),
  • The Hobbit (preteens) and The Lord of the Rings (mid teens) by J R R Tolkien,
  • The Mad Scientists’ Club stories by Bertrand Brinley (Preteens. Strictly speaking, these stories aren’t science fiction at all. The teens in them were solving real engineering problems.)
  • The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (preteens),
  • The first few Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer (preteens),
  • Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones (preteens),
  • The Harry Potter series (early teens),
  • Heinlein’s juvenile novels, particularly Red Planet and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (early teens),
  • The Witches of Karres by James H Schmitz (early teens),
  • A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K Le Guin (early teens),
  • Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke (mid teens),
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams (mid teens),
  • Graceling by Kristen Cashore (mid teens),
  • Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson (mid teens),
  • A Spell for Chameleon, by Piers Anthony (mid teens),
  • The Lord Darcy stories by Randall Garrett (mid teens).

By the way, I have to mention that some adults complain children these days have no attention spans, and pronounce that books that appealed to their parents are not exciting enough for the generations brought up on the internet and smart phones. When I introduced my daughter to the Dr Doolittle and Oz books at the age of nine or ten, I felt they were dated and slow, but she loved them, and wanted more. Go figure.

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