Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Passing on the Torch

One of the joys of parenthood is passing on your bad habits to your kids and I have been hopeing that I can pass on my love of Sci-Fi and Fantasy literature to my 12 year old step daughter.  This has been a struggle (personally, I blame Jacqueline Wilson novels) but my heart skipped a beat when she brought home her Key Stage 3 reading list from school.  Here are some of the titles:

The Hobbit
Plague 99
The Mortal Engines
The Wind Singer
The Crysalids
The Hunger Games
Classic 20th Century Fiction:
  • The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien) - Despite her reticence to read my dogeared and yellowed 1973 copy which was handed down from Father to Son many moons ago (the book is one year younger than I am).  By the time you read this we will be over half way through and I think she's secretly enjoying it (but trying not to show it).  Of course I couldn't help myself but to put on a good Andy Serkis voice whilst reading the part of Gollum.

Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Plague 99 (Jean Ure) - I know absolutely nothing about this book and am quite worried that other books by her have titles like "Girlfriends: Pink Knicker's aren't Cool" or "Frankie Foster Freaks Out!"

  • The Mortal Engines Quartet (Phillip Reeve) - I've been waiting for a good excuse to read these.  I've been lusting after the Dystopian Wars miniatures from Spartan Games which appear to be inspired by them.

  • The Windsinger (William Nicholson) - From what I can glean from the internet this looks like a run of the mill fantasy trilogy.  We may have to pass on this as I'd really like to get her opinion on Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy.

  • The Chrysalids (John Wyndham) - Can't wait to read this with her.  She really enjoyed the BBC2 version of The Day of the Triffids.
  • Harry Potter (Series) - J K Rowling - She's expressed a strong dislike of Mr Potter, so we're going to have to skip these (which I'm rather glad about as I think they're purile derivative nonsense as well).

  • The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) - I know nothing aboout this book other than that it is being made into a movie slated for a 2012 release starring Jennifer Lawrence (who played Mystique in X-Men First Class).  It's IMDB summary is "A young girl volunteers to take her sister's place in a fight to the death in a dystopian future" so sounds promising then.

  • I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore) - We really enjoyed the movie and I suspect that the book is a lot better.
Oh and the rest of the books on the list are:

Pre 20th Century Fiction
  • What Katy Did (Susan Coolidge)
  • Heidi (Johanna Spyri) - I used to love watching this on TV as a kid.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Caroll)
  • Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)
  • Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
  • Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)
Classic 20th Century Fiction
  • Lord of the Flies (William Golding) - This is a must read.
  • Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfield)
  • The Secret Garden (Frances Hodges Burnett)
  • Peter Pan (JM Barrie)
  • Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery)
  • The Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
  • The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis)
  • The Railway Children (E Nesbit)

Modern Fiction
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)
  • Girl Missing (Sophie Mckenzie)
  • The Princess Diaries (Meg Cabot) - Got to read this.
  • Noughts and Crosses (Malorie Blackman)
  • Refugee Boy (Benjamin Zephaniah)
  • Step by Wicked Step (Anne FIne)
  • Saffy's Angel (Hilary McKay)
  • Lola Rose (Jacqueline Wilson)
  • Feeling Sorry for Celia (Jacyln Moriarty)
  • The Exiles (Hilary McKay)

  • Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank)
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Judith Kerr)
  • Chinese Cindarella (Adeline Yen Mah)
  • My Family and Other Animals (Gerald Durrell)
  • All Creatures Great and Small (James Herriot)

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