Friday, August 02, 2013

"I'm trying to think of the less obvious ones" (an eleven year old's recommendations)


One of the things that has been discouraging me lately about writing is that so many children on this island who USED TO read are now obsessed with computer games -- especially Mine Craft. "Obsessed" is their word -- they play it (though over the summer holidays many parents have banned screen time either completely or from 9 to 5) and talk about it with each other when they can't play it.

So I was more interested even than I would normally have been to meet a visiting eleven year old girl who passed on watching a movie with all the other kids so she could finish a book. Later I asked about her favorites, saying I was without ANYTHING good....and we liked so many of the same books that I have high hopes of her list.

It contains no classics, not because she hasn't read them (she has!), but because she assumed I had, too.

"I'm trying to think of the less obvious ones," she said when she paused.

Books we had both read and loved include Howl's Moving Castle, Five Children and It, Matilda, The Hobbit, A Little Princess (which she liked better than The Secret Garden), the Little House books (though she had been unable to get any 'after the fourth one' -- I think she gets most of her books from the library), all the Mary Poppins books (though she hadn't been able to get the 4th), The Little Book Room by Eleanor Farjeon...

She had never heard of Harriet the Spy or Saffy's Angel and the others in that series or Homecoming. Here is her list -- I've already purchased several of them on Kindle (going to a bookstore means spending one night on the mainland if I leave here Monday morning, two nights if I leave any other day; getting physical books online waiting at least 5 days) and one as a used book. So yes, of necessity I have become a screen reader. I'm even thinking of buying a Kindle, since people say it's easier on your eyes than an ipad.

Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crosby Holland (Viking times)

The Flask by Teresa Sweet


The Silver Curlew (retelling of the Cinderella story with illustrations by Ernest Shepherd -- paid £14 for this -- in an "acceptable" condition, copies in good condition cost up to £125!) by Eleanor Farjeon

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place

Firespell "really really good, about a girl who's turned into a puppet" Hmmm....I did not mention Pinncohio and did buy it

Sky Hawk

The Silver Bead

Wolf Brother (I really like the Kindle cover...)

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

This long list reminds me of what our (BRGs' -- not the editorial we!) Alissa said once:
"I think sometimes editors forget how many books little girls who love to read do read."

Over a visit of only a few days Elizabeth finished at least 3 books.

Now that is also encouraging.

1 comment:

Virginia said...

What a special girl. She's lucky to have you on the island.

Video games break my heart.