Fantasy or Sci Fi to read to my kids?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by fbones24, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. fbones24

    fbones24 Journeyed there and back again

    So my kids are still pretty young and not reading on their own. My boys are 6 and 3 1/2. We normally read before bed and that is mostly made up of children's picture books but we occasionally pick away at Harry Potter or something larger. Harry Potter is just a little over their heads because of its length more than anything. We just can't read enough each night to make a dent in the plot!

    So, I was hoping for some recommendations on books I can read to my kids. Sci-fi or fantasy. Something a little more age appropriate than Harry Potter and something a little shorter that we might be able to get through over 10-15 nights as we only read for 15 to 20 minutes every night.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    https://www.goodreads.com/series/40371-the-chronicles-of-prydain

    I think these would be perfect for such young boys. It's basically LotR for little kids.
    I tried reading it but I just couldn't. Finished the 2nd book and had to throw my towel in. My review of the 1st book:

    This is what you get when you copy and try to dumb down LotR for the little kiddies to understand.
    LotR has its own shortcomings but none come close to what The Book of Three has.
    One of the reviewers wrote about this book that Alexander is laying down the exposition like he's laying down brick and mortar, and oh man is that true and so much more. There is no finesse in this man's writing. Sometimes it feels like he is hitting you in the head with bricks more than he is laying them down. I've read better writing from self-pubed authors than this, and that is not a praise for either by the way.
    I don't expect the level of prose for middle-grade books to match adult fantasy, but the crudeness of style, dialogues and characters are not reflective of other books I've read so far which belong to the same category. Rather, they are only reflective of Alexander's inability to write well.
    On the surface you have everything that could make for a great adventure story. There's a Welsh mythology as a source, so you hope for an interesting and engaging story. Instead you are given simpletons as characters, a token creature (think hairier Gollum) who does nothing but whine for a better part of the book; dialogues are written in repetitive way (they basically follow a formula which you begin to notice very fast). There's a great evil out to get this band of bumbling idiots, yet somehow they win by magic at the end.
    Ugh. Here's hoping The Black Cauldron is a better book. I'll give Lloyd Alexander another chance, but failing to improve I'll move on The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper.


    In other words, you might be bored, but you might hook your kids into fantasy faster than a crack cocaine dealer :D Especially the 6 yo.
    The books are all either under 200 or around 200 pages, so it will go much faster than Harry Potter.

    The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper is amazing by comparison. It's about the legend of King Arthur, but your boys are too young for it. Give it few years.
     
  3. Noor Al-Shanti

    Noor Al-Shanti Philosophizes with Kellhus

    Have you tried reading them any of the Magic Tree House books? They're pretty short and involve time travel.
     
  4. fbones24

    fbones24 Journeyed there and back again

    Thanks for the suggestions. Those are both really good. The Magic Tree House looks like the right length. I think Chronicles of Pyrdain is still a couple of years away given that my little guy is reading.

    I ended up getting the first book in the "Secrets of Droon" series and so far, so good. There was actually some decent writing and a few humorous moments in the first two chapters. Other suggestions are still welcome though.
     
  5. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    The Wizard Of Oz doesn't stop after one book. There are around 14 and you can get them all in Omnibus editions. I read them myself a couple years ago. Each story builds on the last with different characters featured. As an adult I couldn't read them all straight through but read one or two between other novels.They are quite well done actually and were worth reading. I think your kids would absolutely love them. Illustrated versions are available too.
     
  6. fbones24

    fbones24 Journeyed there and back again

    I feel really dumb here and had no idea that there was more Oz books. I never thought to explore this. Wow, just purchased the omnibus on kindle for $5.99 and these stories obviously seem perfect. I plan on reading these regardless of whether my kids do or not. The Wizard of Oz holds a special innocent place in my heart.
     
  7. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Don't feel dumb. You, I, and anyone else I've talked to had no idea.I'm sure a few people here knew but you're talking bookworms. I found out when I saw it on sale for a buck or two on a Kindle deal. It is special to me too so how could I resist? But yeah, before I posted I checked and saw that $5.99 edition. It's funny, but I've seen several allusions in other books to some of the characters I didn't know existed. The characters are introduced slowly throughout the series so that's a plus for the kiddies too.
     
  8. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I knew there were more books out there in the Oz universe. But I also didn't think the original Wizard of Oz movie was that good. It can disappear forever as far as I'm concerned. Yes I said it!
    :)
     
  9. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    This is such a wonderful thread. Most of the conversations we have about YA fantasy are about how well they hold up for adults. We rarely talk about children's fantasy.

    I think Redwall is definitely worth your time. There's a children's list on the main site: http://bestfantasybooks.com/best-children's-fantasy-books.html and while I've read a lot of these, most were a long time ago so I don't feel confident recommending them. Redwall was a favorite of mine as a child, and I vividly remember meeting the author, Brian Jacques, at a bookstore when I was young.
     
  10. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again


    Looking at it today, in modern times as an adult, of course it is substandard.But as a little kid, growing up in (a certain decade which shall remain nameless) that witch was scary. Creepier were those flying monkeys. Maybe it's schmaltzy but it was something to look forward to (around Thanksgiving I think?). The magic is in the memories. But for that time period it was, IMO, a really imaginative story.

    OK. You get a pass, I guess. But if you don't like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and Frosty the snowman, a Charlie Brown Christmas...well, Bah humbug. :p
     
  11. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I never read Redwall, but when one of my sons was a kid I bought those books and he loved them and would tell me about them. I took peeks but I could not understand those critters when they talked. Didn't seem to bother him though and mission complete. He really loves fantasy to this day. So a good starting point. Then again, once they get to be about 9 maybe HP is the way to go?
     
  12. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    While I loved (and still love) the Redwall books, a short bedtime read they are not, particularly if the reader struggles with phonetic renderings of English dialects. Still, OP should pick one up and have a look. But I think they're for a bit further down the line.

    Have you considered the Roald Dahl books? They're very much aimed at that age group and are quite fantastic in their own right.

    I think I was 7 or 8 when my parents read the Hobbit to us, and that is what snared me as a fantasy book. Some of Tolkien's shorter books could be quite suitable actually - Smith of Wootton Major is a slim book in fairly simple language that moves quickly.
     
  13. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I can second this. I read Roald Dahl books to my 3 year old daughter. She loves the stories. And it definitely beats having to make up stories yourself. 'The adventures of Roger the Monkey' are growing pretty stale. Also, my daughter tends to remember most of the stories I make up. When she asks me to revisit a story I told her on a previous night I often cannot remember the details, but she can! "No dad, Roger didn't pitch pepper in the soup bowl, it was sugar". What's a man to do?
     
  14. Olli Tooley

    Olli Tooley Told lies with Locke

    Ha! I dived in thinking maybe here was a legitimate opportunity for some self publicity, but no. Mine are for those who have already finished Harry Potter and looking for something a teeny bit older.
    KY Eden (who I publish) is also a little older. at least in the Harry Potter age range.
    And Ben Blake is older still.
    Well done Darth tater for suggesting "Oz"
    Dahl is inspired.
    Has anyone suggested Narnia?
    A brief Google search brings up a superb site about fantasy books with its own list of ideal reads for kids. ;)
    http://bestfantasybooks.com/best-children's-fantasy-books.html :D
     
  15. Olli Tooley

    Olli Tooley Told lies with Locke

    The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents might be good, and is a good introduction to Pratchett
    Or "The Wee Free Men" of course, the first in the Tiffany Aching series.
    I can't recall if they HAVE chapters though. :confused:
     
  16. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    They do! And indeed, these books are perfect for a 6 year old. Not for a 3 year old though.
     
  17. Olli Tooley

    Olli Tooley Told lies with Locke

    Oh, yes, ha ha! Absolutely terrible for a 3 year old
    I was thinking about this again last night, and I was a bit confused.
    Surely there are dozens, if not hundreds of fantasy stories for small children.
    Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Pinnochio ... the list goes on and on.
    Am I being daft? And don't very small children enjoy hearing the same stories over and over again, until you are tearing your hair out.
    I know I drove my mum potty asking for the Three Little Pigs every night. :D
    Scheherazade? Anyone.
     

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