“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11
We’re a geeky kind of family, and maybe we parents are not yet grown up, since for the most part we still enjoy some childish things. We do geeky things together, like booking first entry of the day to see the Harry Potter Studios the first week they opened, and spending 5 hours in there. And making geeky observations, such as how small the sets were, and what kind of lenses must they have had on the cameras, and how must the actors have had to move differently in the space. We love Miyazaki anime, especially Totoro. Then there’s my love of duplo lego (because it’s big enough not to strain my eyes looking for the smaller pieces), and especially intelli-train (sadly no longer made). You get the picture.
Most particularly, however, I love children’s books. Reading is my form of escapism, and I especially loved introducing my children to books and the pleasures of reading. They had library tickets from a few months old. With the advent of Harry Potter a whole world of new escapist writing for children, unavailable to me as a child, has emerged. Together we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy whole series of books (including Harry Potter). I admit it, I find I prefer children & teen fiction to adult fiction. That part of me is definitely still a big kid! So first, some recommendations of series we have enjoyed or are currently enjoying:
- Ali Sparkes – Shapeshifter series*
- Jenny Nimmo – Charlie Bone
- Angie Sage – Septimus Heap
- Holly Webb – Rose, Lily
- Caroline Lawrence – Roman Mysteries, PK Pinkerton
- Gerald Morris – Squire’s Tales
- Val Tyler – Greenwich Chronicles
- Michael Molloy – Witch Trade
- Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles
- Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl
- John Flanagan – Ranger’s Apprentice
- Michelle Paver – Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Gods & Warriors
- Philip Reeve – Mortal Engines, Larklight
- Scott Westerfield – Leviathan
- Alex Scarrow – Timeriders
- Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider, Power of 5
- Mark Walden – H.I.V.E.
- Chris Morphew – Phoenix Files
- Andrew Lane – Young Sherlock Holmes
- Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games
- Joanne Harris – Runemarks
- Marissa Meyer – Lunar Chronicles
- Teri Terry – Slated
- Alison Croggon – Pellinor
Of course, as my children get older (they’re both teens now) they start to put away childish things. The duplo only comes out for visiting nieces and nephews these days. They begin to make their own explorations into books, and ideas, and religion. I am gratified that they seek to share their finds with me. My daughter likes to talk about feminism. Or to point out articles in the New Era she disagrees with. She’s always been fierce. My son, in addition to his computer obsession, likes to talk about the Book of Abraham, and the origins of scripture. The other day I found him reading the Book of Tobit (or perhaps about the Book of Tobit) on his Kindle. The Bloggernacle is an amazing resource when it comes to being prepared for all those conversations; I can point my son in the direction of a post by Kevin Barney on the Book of Abraham, and reassure my daughter that we aren’t the only ones to dislike that New Era article.
- In what ways are you still a child?
- Do you have any book recommendations for teenagers?
- How do you use the Bloggernacle?
*Actually these were incredibly helpful. At the time, our son was frightened of everything, and a story about a boy who was so terrified he turned into a fox, but who learnt he could control his fear, and cope with risk, was really good for him.