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Favourite Childrens Books
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Lexilogio
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: North of the Watford Gap

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I always loved CS Lewis.

I'm slightly surprised at people hating Harry Potter, although never having read the English versions, I may be missing some aspects in translation.
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Tom Cruising
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am amazed at people 'hating' Harry Potter.

Yes it is extremely over-hyped but as modren literature for CHILDREN it is very, very good. In this world of children stuck behind PCs and Wii's, PS3 and the like I can't fault anything that gets children to actually read.

I'd be interested to know why an adults hate it other than thinking it fashionable to mock it. Probably the same people that jump on the bandwaggon to diss Dan Brown.

For 10/11 year old boys I'd recommend the Cherub series and the Henderson Boys stuff by Robert McSomething (sorry). My eldest's current read is "HUNGER" which follows on from "GONE" by some children's equivalent of Stephen King. Can't remember the name - Michael something I think.

Skullduggery Pleasant books by Derek Lancy are good too (although I thought there was too much fighting in them).

I imagine the Twilight series is good for girls that are able at reading.

Goosebump series are popular if only to get the little devils interested in the joys of reading.

For younger readers - Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne went down a treat and were surprisingly subliminally educational.

I've got an 8 year old that loves the Scream Street series.

Then the very young - you can't get much better than the Donaldson/Scheffler books - The Grufalo and the Monkey Puzzle.
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krysta25uk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just couldn't get into Harry Potter, I keep trying to read them but no such look, saw the movies but wasn't impressed.  

I actually enjoy Dan Brown's books although slightly bit disappointed in the Lost Symbol.
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Lexilogio
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: North of the Watford Gap

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd be interested to know why an adults hate it other than thinking it fashionable to mock it. Probably the same people that jump on the bandwaggon to diss Dan Brown.



I'm officially not part of the bandwagon. I was one of the first people to metaphorically rip a Dan Brown book to shreds in a review I did for a national newspaper a few years ago - along with a few others. Poor characterisation, sloppy research, poor excuse for a thriller..... (if I remember what I wrote correctly).
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Pukon_the_Treen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am amazed at people 'hating' Harry Potter.


Hate is a bit too strong a term, but I am confused and annoyed by their popularity among adults.  The use of language is very good, but the setting is fairly mundane, the characters unoriginal the plot unremarkable.  It seems to have been popular with people (adults) who don't normally read fantasy, possibly because it taps into some of that pre-war English nostalgia; tea and crumpets, boarding school, Billy Bunter and so on.  The moral message is weak; it's that plucky kind of Enid Blyton, C. S. Lewis 'stick by your chums and sort out the rotters' morality, which is all very well but pretty limited and patronising these days.  I thought the idea often expressed that non-magical people were stupid, 'not like us' and beneath contempt (even making up a 'nigger' kind of word for them too) was particularly bad; compare that to the ideas of power carrying social responsibility that you will find in Terry Pratchett's books, particularly the 'witches' ones with Tiffany Aching, which are aimed at children.

The most annoying thing however was Rowling herself and her attitude towards the fantasy genre.  She claimed that she didn't really think Harry Potter was fantasy (the wizards, dragons, unicorns,goblins and similar should have been a hint), freely admitted that she didn't read fantasy but also claimed that before she turned up it was all just knights in shining armour and damsels in distress.

Now, I have read a lot of fantasy and the idea that she was the only fresh thing on the menu is nonsense; if anything one possible reason for her popularity is that she was a return to more conservative themes.

It's not been knights and damsels for well over a hundred years.  You've got the mythology of Lord Dunsany's baroque fairy tales and Tolkien's Anglo Saxon saga as well as Fritz Leiber's grim but razor sharp wit as he describes his Lovecraftian worlds of sword and sorcery.  Then there's Mervyn Peake's rich uncanny and symbolic dreams, the Neopagan Arthurian magic stories of Susan Cooper and Alan Garner in the sixties and seventies, then Ursula Le Guin's fantasy, tinged with her feminist and socialist politics.  Then followed the wildly free and anarchic, doomed and decadent psychedelic sci-fi fantasy of Michael Moorcock, and the bleak but beautiful melancholy of the futuristic surreal fantasy stories of M. John Harrison, Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe, then Stephen Donaldson's dark and subtle stories of political and personal betrayal, subterfuge and deceit in the Thomas Covenant stories and Mordant's Need.  For kids, no one beats the scope, wit, characters, imagination and creativity of Diana Wynne Jones, and Terry Pratchett's mixture of satire, humour and morality is likewise in a class of it's own.  Then there is where fantasy meets horror, with the seething steam-punk dystopian cities of China Mieville, Neil Gaiman's elegantly chilling unreality, and Clive Barkers grotesque and gorgeous nightmares.

Knights in shinning armour and damsels in distress? The woman is arrogant and ignorant.


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