We’re throwing around ideas for some store displays. One of them is adult books that kids should read and kid books that adults should read. Any ideas? Philip Pullman is obvious as are some others, but what do you think? Did you read anything good as a kid that you think you should go back and reread?
For a more recent selection, “Dairy Queen” by Catherine Murdock is a YA book but is fantastic for everyone.
I have fond memories of the Tripod Trilogy (John Christopher I think). Escapist sci-fi along the lines of War of the Worlds. not sure if it’s even still in print.
originally published by RH Kids, but now out from “adult” imprint Anchor. THE BURN JOURNALS is a book that every parent MUST read. The epidemic of teenage depression and feelings of alienation is not discussed enough and this book will promote conversations.
I realize now that my blurb for Burn Journals sounded like just that, a blurb. I should have also said that I read it and loved it, if you can love something so difficult and important.
I’ll love you forever is a great book that EVERYONE should read. The lorax and The Snitchees are also good ones for everyone, Adult books that kids should read may be harder though since some books may be over a kid’s head.
Tove Jansson’s Moomin books.
Now that you mention it, I loved T.H. White’s The Once and Future King as a kid. I’m sure I didn’t understand passages and references, though. I’d like to go back and re-read the book from an adult perspective. I remember the humor and the humanity of this quartet of novels.
Let me state the obvious: The Narnia Chronicles and The Lord of the Rings series, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.
Meg Rosoff’s HOW I LIVE NOW is pitched as a YA novel but it’s one of the best all-around spec-fic books I’ve read in a long time.
Also, “47” by Walter Mosley. Again, a YA tag (and also speculative fiction), but a delightfully unpredictable mind-trip for any age.
Add to that list THE BREADWINNER (Deborah Ellis). A look at contemporary life in Afghanistan from the point of view of a young girl and her broken family in Kabul. It’s fiction, but realistic. The book’s excellence lies in the author’s refusal to talk down. Proceeds from its sale go to Women in Afghanistan. I *loved* this book.
I’d stress that all three titles have some strong imagery, violence and moral situations which might be too much for less-sophisticated readers.
But for the old soul who’s in the middle grades, these can be great jumping-off points for family discussions about war, racism, oppression.
That being said, I think many adults could learn just as much from these titles as well.
Tamara Kaye Sellman
[Rhymes with Camera]
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud is fantastic (I sell it to adults and kids pretty equally).
I second the Finn Family Moomintroll books, and the His Dark Materials trilogy. Let’s see… Roald Dahl books, In the Suicide Mountains by John Gardner, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Abarat by Clive Barker was pretty cool. A Wrinkle in Time etc., for sure. I also love to reread Edward Eager books (Knight’s Castle is my favorite). Ooh, and I like Karen Cushman’s historical fiction, particularly The Midwife’s Apprentice and Catherine, Called Birdy.
I’ll probably think of 10 more by tomorrow. 🙂
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Summerland by M. Chabon
my 9 year old son is nuts for the Warrior series by Erin Hunter, about clans of warring cats–i’ve heard several parents say they’ve enjoyed these books. I haven’t read any yet, but there’s a Watership Down (another book for this list) kind look to them.
I read Tripod Trilogy when I was a kid and I thought it was great– looking back now it’s at least as political as it is escapist: it’s about these aliens that enslave humans and have them work in unhealthy conditions which are good for the aliens, then plan to destroy the entire environment of the earth to meet their needs. They implant tracking devices, there’s a rebel insurgency led by clever children. Great stuff.
The Burn Journals was good, but I read it at the same time as books about disasters in Africa, and I had a little trouble sympathizing with the author. Still, he’s very candid about how he felt confused and hurt, and how he later realized how selfish he’d been, how his feelings were not rare and how the only unusual thing about his case was the dramatic nature of his suicidal gesture…
Beverly Cleary. Any of her novels.
Autobiography of my Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers is a great book about life in the inner city and why violence takes so many young people today. It’s a great choice for adults – especially if they are graphic novel fans.
Jane Austen fans will enjoy Marilyn Sachs’s latest, First Impressions about a teen who sees Pride and Prejudice from the pov of the middle sister, Mary. Very funny and smart.
Former Nancy Drew fans will love Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller. It’s the girl adventure story we all wish we had when we were twelve. And it involves a city under NYC – very cool.
King Dork by Frank Beddor, Nailed by Patrick James (?) and Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci all show how tough high school can be for different kids today – and how adults can help (or be a hindrance).
Adult reads for YAs – Anything by Charles de Lint. He writes great urban fantasy and they will identify with his characters. Ditto Jasper Fforde. Both the Thursday Next series and new Nursery Crimes series are a lot of fun and also smart – they will entertain readers of nearly any age. I also think the Jacqueline Winspear mysteries (Maisie Dobbs) would be outstanding for teens. They might give them an idea as to what the whole WWI deal was like, and the mysteries are great.
Oh – just thought of Angelmonster, the YA novelization of Mary Shelley’s life. Adult fans of Frankenstein will enjoy this (and wonder how she stayed sane – what a life) and reading it might entice YA readers to reach for Frankenstein. You could also include the adult biography of Shelley and her friends, Monsters by the Hooblers (it’s just out I think from Little Brown – haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m fans of their YA mysteries). You could make a mini display and get everyone to buy everything!!
Okay, I’m done now. This is just a favorite topic of mine and I do go on….
The Three Musketeers is a great “adult” book for YAs; Gulliver’s Travels is another.
Holes by Louis Sachar is a great book for any age. Anything by E.L. Konigsburg–especially From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
I second King Dork. Also:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems