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Looking for good middle reader fantasy

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Showing 1-25 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 6, 2012 10:48:20 PM PDT
I have a 12 year old girl that doesn't love reading. I'm looking for some fun books to read with her over the summer. We have enjoyed the Erec Rex series, Fablehaven, Adventurers Wanted, Magyk, The Lightning Thief, The Magic Thief, the heir trilogy, and similar books. She really loved The Magnificent 12 and Priscilla the Great. She likes books about kids with special powers. She reads at grade level and we will probably be reading them together so they can be a little challenging but I want her to be able to read a few pages without getting confused and frustrated. They also need to be engaging from the start. I tried the Artemis Fowl series but she got bored fast.

Posted on May 7, 2012 5:41:18 AM PDT
Have you read Robert Liparulo's "House of Dark Shadows" series? That one was really good. So are several of Margaret Haddix's books.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 6:00:36 AM PDT
Kribu says:
Have you / has she tried James Patterson's Maximum Ride series? That one was written on a fairly simple level, is fast-paced and certainly has kids with special powers.

I assume you've tried Harry Potter? (And the other Percy Jackson / Heroes of Olympus books after The Lightning Thief?)

Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant series is fast-paced (at least once one is past the first few chapters which set the scene) and adventurous, although it can get a bit graphically violent in the later books.

What about Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence? I don't recall the kids in the first book having any special powers, but it was a good adventure story; I think there's more magic (and kids with special powers) in the later books.

Something that's a bit different, but might be worth a look, is the Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles) series by Philip Reeve. No special powers, but adventure and an interesting take on the (far, far) future, in which cities roam the Earth on wheels and eat other cities and towns, people and all, with teenager protagonists.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 6:50:22 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 7, 2012 7:27:36 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 7:15:08 AM PDT
K. McNamara says:
Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small quartet, about a girl who wants to be a knight (First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight). Keladry doesn't really have any special powers, but
she's a strong minded girl, and there is magic in the world, and magical creatures that have to be fought.
Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series: A girl witch has to save the world from the evil winter queen - plus the wee free men are around for laughs
The first one is the Wee Free Men
Diane Duane's So you want to be a wizard series
Patricia Wrede's Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward
Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons
Diana Wynn Jones's Chrestomanci novels

Posted on May 7, 2012 8:05:23 AM PDT
Wayward says:
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons / Searching for Dragons / Calling on Dragons / Talking to Dragons
The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles)
Maybe some of the Robin McKinley books?
The Girl Who Could Fly
No magic powers but dystopian: The City of Ember (Books of Ember)

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 8:13:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 7:05:10 PM PDT
Agnes says:
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins
The Owlstone Crown by X.L. Kennedy
The Farthest-Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks

Now, none of the above features a main character with a special power, though Ella Enchanted has a main character who was cursed by a fairy (it was meant to be a gift). I've enjoyed all of the above books (even as an adult) and think they would make excellent reads or even read-alouds. One thing, I only ever read two books in the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. I liked both and think they were appropriate for a 12-year-old, but I don't know how the rest of the series is.

Posted on May 7, 2012 1:29:40 PM PDT
Thanks for these recommendations. I've read most of them myself but I will have to see if I can interest her in some of them. She does best with Kindle books since she can change the font size and make it easier to read. She likes a lot of humor but I might have to read some of the others myself.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 3:15:41 PM PDT
All 14 of L. Frank Baum's original Oz books are available at a very low price, either as a collection or individually. They are full of magic and adventure, with strong female characters.

Posted on May 7, 2012 4:53:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 4:54:53 PM PDT
Agnes says:
Sorry, I didn't realize the price of The Farthest-Away Mountain. And I'm not sure that all of the books I listed are available on Kindle or that they're even at a low price.

A note: Your local library may have a digital library, which lets you borrow e-books and others that are compatible for a Kindle. It's free (but you do need a library card if they have this service available), and you can't be charged late fees because it's automatically deleted once the lending period is over (or, at least, this is the case at a library in my area).

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:55:40 PM PDT
R. Cooley says:
A Fairy's Flight A Fairys Flight is an easy read, really good for girls 9-12, a real confidence builder. You can get it in the kindle version or paperback.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 5:23:26 PM PDT
Sunny Daze says:
Students in your daughter's age range generally enjoy the Harry Potter books.

Posted on May 7, 2012 11:31:02 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 8, 2012 2:34:35 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 7:02:31 AM PDT
K. McNamara says:
I'd also like to put in a recommendation for Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes mystery series about a spunky 7th grade girl who has a talent for observation and the curiosity that killed the cat to go with it. This was one of our favorite series when my daughter was the same age as yours.

Posted on May 8, 2012 10:00:36 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 8, 2012 10:02:15 AM PDT]

Posted on May 8, 2012 10:59:45 AM PDT
Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" series is a must read if your daughter likes fantasy.

Posted on May 9, 2012 11:32:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2012 11:38:09 AM PDT
I used to run a reading program for reluctant readers and I highly recommend the Enchanted Forest series (Patrica Wrede); they are humorous and well written, mostly being a spoof of traditional fairy tales with a "take charge" princess as the main character. Lloyd Alexander also has a couple of series that she might like very much. If a movie might be a way to get her to jump into a book series, Disney did a version of "The Black Cauldron" which you might rent and let her try. It isn't as good as the books it is based on, but would be a painless way to see if it interests her! As also noted; the Wrinkle in Time series is also good. It's distressing to see how many of these books are NOT available on Kindle. What's up with that Amazon? Available, and very inexpensive if not free, "The Wind in the Willows" and "Secret Garden" both are classics and might interest her.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 2:41:13 PM PDT
I would also recommend the James Patterson's Maximum Ride series. They are all about a group of children who have been genetically altered to be able to fly. Also "A Spell for Chameleon" (Xanth, Book 1). There are now around 22 books in this series and they helped develope my own daughters love of reading. They have a little magic and a lot of humor, so I'm sure you would enjoy reading them together.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 3:56:09 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 11, 2012 2:36:24 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 4:01:49 PM PDT
You should try The Seven Thrones of Isidra. It's a fantasy book that has action, adventure, magic, a love story, and has kids with special powers. It's also fast past so kids won't get bored.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 4:34:34 PM PDT
[[ASIN:B007ZH1YGK The Adventures of Rocky Van Gogh In the Land of Perfect (Rocky Van Gogh - The Cat With One Ear) - You need not be beautiful to be beautiful.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 4:49:24 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 16, 2012 4:17:31 PM PDT]

Posted on May 9, 2012 9:51:41 PM PDT
Apparently she has decided to branch out and just asked for all of the wimpy kid and dork diary books for her birthday next week but there are a lot of good suggestions and I look forward to reading them.

Posted on May 10, 2012 11:29:44 AM PDT
Lula says:
You could try 'The Message - Discernment' designed for tweens early teenagers. Lots of action from the start and chapters that are not too long, so will not feel daunting.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 4:33:01 PM PDT
E. McFarland says:
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos is a good read and is the first of a great series. The same author writes the Beastologist books about a boy named Nathanial Flood. Author name LaFevers
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  39
Total posts:  56
Initial post:  May 6, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 2, 2012

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