Sunday, January 24, 2010

My top picks for hooking your kids on genre fiction

With the overwhelming amount of Fantasy, Horror, and SF out there for children and Young Adults, it can be tricky to know where to start with your own kids. My daughters are currently 17 and 12 and both are HUGE readers of genre fiction right now - their tastes may change as they grow, but I think it's important to give kids a good foundation in genre.

These five books don't represent all of the great Genre books aimed for kids out there (I could dedicate myself to only reading good kids genre books and probably wouldn't run out of them before I die), but they are personal favourite of mine.

Bookmonkeys Top Five books for hooking your kids on Genre Fiction:

The 13 Clocks, by James Thurber
I can't really think of a better place to start seriously looking into the Fantasy Genre than The 13 Clocks. The premise is quite simple, in a castle lived a Duke and his niece, the princess Saralinda, and thirteen clocks which wouldn't go, for the duke had killed time. If you haven't read it, check it out, if you have, check it out again. A real gem.

The Girl who owned a City, by O. T. Nelson
With my huge love of the post-apocalyptic sub-genre it is probably no surprise I've slipped this cool little story in here. The premise is not unlike the television series Jeremiah, wherein all people over the age of puberty are struck by a super-virus and killed. Unlike Jeremiah, which takes place 15 years later - The Girl who owned a city focuses on the events immediately following the pandemic and the actions of one girl in particular.

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
This wonderful little book, basically Neil Gaiman's take on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle book, but for a new ghost-enthused fan base was a little paint-by-numbers, but a lot of fun. I read in one go and although there weren't really any major plot twists (I love a good twist), it was a satisfying book beginning to end, as well as an interesting way to introduce young readers to the concept of death.

The Thief of Always, by Clive Barker
The thing about this book, which was one of my first Clive Barker books, is that it took the idea of the haunted house and went entirely in its own direction. Imagine a house where every morning is Christmas, every afternoon is summer and every night is Halloween, imagine how much fun that would be, then imagine you couldn't escape.

Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn
A surprisingly insightful story about blended families, the premise is that Molly (our twelve-year-old narrator) and her brother Michael have just moved into an old church with their mother, new step-father and step-sister. Unfortunately for the them, the house is haunted and the ghost has taken a big interest in the step-sister, five-year-old Heather. Creepy stuff, but very fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment