Saturday, January 06, 2007


After some tens of months of trying to get her to read on her own, I've relented and finally started reading every night to my older daughter again. It's nice to see her engaged, but I didn't quite realize how much I was enjoying it until last night, when she began her weekend at a girl scout retreat. Damn. I'm kind of bummed.

I'm reading The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett to her, which happens to be about a nine-year-old girl with excellent perception and judgement. (I'm reading it to the five-year-old too, but that one is far less interested.) I found this one after quite a bit of research--junior is exceptionally picky--and I am scratching my head about what to do in a week or two when it's over. It's nice to do together, and it's also given me some welcome bedtime bargaining power.

Not much point to this post, I'm just fishing for what to do next. She liked Charlie last year and Milo the year before, but has been otherwise hard to please. Black Beauty? Not so much a horse girl. Narnia? Bounced off of it. Alice? That too--drove me (more) nuts. We're finally on a roll again, and I hate it to stop it after one book. She likes Shel Silverstein too (hi LS), but that's one of the few things she prefers to read herself.

Let me know if you have recommendations.



TenaciousK said...

I don't know how old your daughter is, or what her interests happen to be.

After resisting Watership Down (reading to her), Harry Potter, and every other thing I ever suggested, my daughter got hooked these - newfound interest due in part, I'm sure, to her relatively recent acquisition of a couple of cats.

But she's read them all, and knew the release date on this last one months before it came out. So, there's hope.

Reading to your children is just about as beneficial as them reading themselves, actually, and a lot more fun for dads. I miss those halcyon days of Dr. Seuss and Mercer Meyer, and am disappointed I couldn't continue the tradition from my own family of reading novels, chapter by chapter (we did LeGuin's Earthsea series, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, Hobbit/LOTR, Narnia and others when I was a kid).

Somebody's sending these to her as a gift - I've heard good reports, so I'm hopeful.

Good luck with your daughter.

How old did you say she was, again?

Keifus said...

Same age as teh little witch.

Watership Down may work, actually, pretty sure that one is in the stacks somewhere, and the Hobbit is worth a try though I'm less optimistic about that one.

Phillip Pullman started out very strong in The Golden Compass but descended rapidly into mediocrity with the two followups in my opinion.

I think I'll hold off on the warriors until the last possible minute.


bright said...


How would you feel about:

Little House on the Prairie

Anne of Green Gables

(I still read both of these series to myself and look forward to the day the brightling has the patience to follow along.)

rundeep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keifus said...

Yeah, bright, the girlie stuff is exactly the area of my cluelessness. Those are good ideas. My wife may have some input on Ms. Wilder, now you mention it...


MsZilla said...

Books Kids Will Sit Still for is a really good start. Lots of great suggestions put out there by age.

Is your daughter nine, too, or just the kid in the book? If you want to give us an age range, I can ask my girls if they have any suggestions.

rundeep said...

Hey Keifus:

(I really am stalking you lately. Sorry.) Anyway

That's my daughter's school's summer reading list from last summer for chapter books. All girls' school, so very "girl as hero" heavy, but as you'll see a balance of girls and math, girls and animals, girls and folklore, etc. We've read a lot of these and they're pretty good.

Keifus said...

(I feel guilty about lightweight comments, what with them scrolling up the side and all.)

Both: those look like excellent resources. My problem was, more or less, that I had been using my own (and my own memories) and trying to apply them to a little girl.

MsZ: Yup, nine.

rundeep: s'okay because I crave attention. (Plus, you don't scare me.)

MsZilla said...

This is going to be interesting. I suggested that book because someone suggested it to me. It was more than a little after the fact though.

I used to read my kids old pulp novels, only a "good parts" version like The Princess Bride. John Carter of Mars (but Dejah Thoris wore dresses MADE of jewels not only jewelry). Tarzan and Conan actually make a pretty good transition straight across as long as you scrubbed some of the bloodstains.

Oh, and by the way I recommend "The Princess Bride". Great chapter book.

I also second the suggestions for "Little House on the Prairie", and the Earthsea series. Those are actually really interesting in general. You won't be bored.

Here's a couple good ones from my daughters (with a couple comments as the Reader):

Single Books:
Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynn Jones (just not 10 chapters at a time)
Inkheart, Cornelia Funke (OK, but pretty thick)
Ella Enchanted (dumb movie; book much better)

Lemony Snicket and a Series of Unforunate Events
The Adventures of Frankie Stein
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Gregor the Underlander (I don't know about this one; might be a bit creepy)

Persephone said...

I read Watership Down at about that age -- I remember being somewhat shocked at some of the bunny battle blood-and-gore and being made sad by bunny death. But it was one of my father's favorites and a cherished memory of mine is when, after having read it, he took me to see it at the theatre, just he and I.