We Recommend: 9-Year-Old Warrior-Fan Edition

It's We Recommend, in which we attempt to match kids up with their perfect book. Got a kid in your life who needs a recommendation? Write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments.

You know what's nice? That so many people write in who say, "My kid loves to read and…." All kinds of kids—boys, girls, young, old, silly, fearless. It reminds you that as much as you hear and see about the world going to ruin, there is another side as well. Now let's see if we can help this young lady:

I have a daughter who is an excellent reader. If given the option to do anything it is always to read. I keep hearing conflicting information. From some teachers they say let her read whatever she chooses. This is what I have been doing. Others say the books she reads are fluff or dessert books not great writing or substance. Her favorite series is Warriors. Her current teacher says it is fine no big deal. I am just curious: am I holding my daughter back and not challenging her enough or opening her reading up enough. Or would I just be forcing it on her? She does read other series so she doesn't just limit herself but I think typically she reads books that are easier for her than she could read. The only issue is once she starts more challenging books they are scary or don't interest her. Even Harry potter and Lightning Thief seem scary. And she started The Name of This Book Is Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society but parts get scary and then she stops reading them.

OK, for the first part? The part where she wonders if it's OK for her to read whatever she wants? My answer is here, and it is always yes (so far—I suppose some intense porn habit might give me pause, but I have not yet encountered this). In fact, I am beginning to be highly suspicious of the very word challenging.

The scariness factor is something else. But I think it pretty much disappears if you let the kid read what she wants. When I asked Diana for recommendations, she said, "She's scared of The Lightning Thief and not Warriors? Why not?" And of course, I have no idea. I suspect it may just be she's not ready for it to be people who are in peril, only cats. And so I go with Diana's suggestion, which may not allay concerns that she's reading fluff but will likely bring her great joy, Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

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I offer this up in the spirit of: don't worry, parent, you won't have to read it. But! It seems like it will fit the bill admirably. And there appear to be approximately one million of them in the series, though I can't vouch for the quality of the later ones (or these ones, exactly). I do think she will love them.

But help us out, readers. Do you have ideas for what other books might work for this reader? Put them in the comments.

7 thoughts on “We Recommend: 9-Year-Old Warrior-Fan Edition

  1. Madeline L’Engle, I guess. I don’t know. I think in general, there will always be people who think that anything fantasy is “dessert.” I say let her read what she wants and she’ll read what she likes regardless of reading level, which is a more natural way to do challenging anyway.

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  2. If she is a strong reader then I say the Redwall series! I don’t think they are too scary because it is all animals – though they are long. I love when children stumble onto Redwall and it fits the bill because there are SO MANY and they are SO LONG. It will keep even the hardiest readers occupied for a good long while. RIP Brian Jacques.

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  3. There’s always Narnia… and if anyone says the word “challenging”, reply that they are allegorical, can be read on several levels, and there are college courses in which they figure prominently. 🙂

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  4. I know it’s been discussed before, but I read….every single Babysitter’s Club book growing up, when I CLEARLY could have been reading more “challenging” fare. But I loved reading those ‘BSC’ books! And I still turned out ok. So yes, let them read what they like.
    Even us as adults, we don’t spend our ENTIRE time reading The Economist, but are still well-adjusted. Most of us. 😉

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  5. Ah, my literature teacher father scorned our love for Enid Blyton and romances. He tried to interest us in ‘The Wind in the Willows’, ‘The Magic Pudding’ and other children’s classics with the unintended consequence that we did not go near ‘good’ children’s literature until we were nearly adults. My mother thought that, so long as we were reading, we’d be alright. And we were.

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