Books for Boys: Some Classics

Dear Reader,

I have always had problems finding good books for my older son to read, more so than for my daughter. He likes long fantasy-like books. He has ben through the Tolkien books twice, all of Harry Potter, the Inkdeath books by Cornelia Funke and many others. Some of these I am just not sure of the value of since I have not had time (or much inclination) to read them myself. But recently he suggested that when he finishes his current tome, he would like to read Dracula and other similar books.

Having recently finished a book myself, I was looking around for something to read and decided to download a few free Kindle books including Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr, Hyde, and the Time Machine. I have already read the latter two of these. They are both quite short. But I also found them interesting and suspenseful, and I am pretty confident my son will like them too. I have only just started Bram Stoker’s Dracula which I had never read but so far it seems good too (plus a little longer!). I am happy to have found a new genre of books which I think my son will enjoy but which I can also feel confident about him reading since they are a) older and therefore unlikely to contain inappropriate material and b) classics and hopefully living books which will feed the mind and soul and not just occupy time.

Other ones I have in mind are Frankenstein and perhaps more by H.G. Wells, but I am open to more suggestions if you have them.

Nebby

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Patti on September 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Dear Nebby: My Dad’s favorite author was George MacDonald so when he passed away a couple years ago I “inherited” his collection of George MacDonald books. The books he had are edited by Michael Phillips and published by Bethany House. I’d like to try an original, but for your son it would probably be best to start with the edited versions. They are mostly set in Scotland and have strong characterization as well as mystery and intricate plot lines. I often find great quotes to put in my commonplace book because the writing is so quality. These books leave you with lots to think about. I recommend “The Fisherman’s Lady” as a good place to start. These books are definitely filled with soul food! Your son might like “The Scarlet Pimpernel” if he likes adventure and mystery. It isn’t from a Christian point of view but is well written and the right wins out in the face of evil. It has some fun surprise twists and is very exciting. Have you tried any of G.A. Henty’s books? They are historical fiction and a bit advanced – I’ve read a couple aloud to our children. It takes a bit to get into them as they have long chapters and challenging sentences but by the second or third chapter you don’t want to put them down. They have the added value of relating historical times and events. Our oldest son read The Cat of the Bubastes (set in Egypt) years ago when he was a youth and he really liked it. I like them because they shed light on a time and a place – making history come alive. We’ve also read Beric the Britton and like I said, the first two chapters were hard work and then it took off. Have you tried Dickens? We try to read one of these aloud each winter – they have wonderful characterization though they are quite challenging to read because of the long sentences but are well worth the work because of the memorable characters. I recommend David Copperfield or a Tale of Two Cities. Two of our girls recently finished listening to Oliver Twist on CD just for the fun of it. Hope this helps. Have you checked out http://www.livingbookslibrary.com/ she has wonderful recommendations for great books. Blessings, Patti

    Reply

    • Thanks for the suggestions. I have always looked at Henty’s books and thought my kids owudl just not go for them but maybe i just need to try one and see how it goes. I love George MacDonald too. I just read Sir Gibbie (on my own; not to kids). The amount fo Scottish dialect in it I think would be daunting for my kids. There were parts I barely understood. But maybe I will try some others. We have done some of the more standard kids’ ones like the Princess and Curdie. We read Oliver Twist last year too and plan to do one more Dickens book this year. I might try David Copperfield. I have never read it but others have recommended it too. Thanks again. Nebby

      Reply

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