Five books or series my eight year old boy’s devoured in three or four sittings

Eight year old boys are notoriously difficult to find books for. Here are five books or series that dudelet has absolutely raced through.

Billionaire Boy by David Walliams. A boy becomes a billionaire and learns that too  much money brings nothing but trouble and that the love of a father is worth more than, ooh, billions of pounds. It’s actually funny, politically incorrect, unsentimental and dudelet was enthralled from beginning to end. Yes, it is that David Walliams. I had no idea he wrote children’s books.

The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver are set in a prehistoric tribal time of shamans, magic and dread. Dudelet’s teacher has been lending him them and he’s deep into the second trilogy. They’re quite stunningly well written but full of action and spectacle. “They’ve got all of the things I like – swords and ancient history and tribes.”

Anything with Horrible Histories on the cover. For the unitiated, Horrible Histories is a cult CBBC children’s programme that provides a thoroughly unvarnished look at the lives of everyday people in the past. It’s revolting, vile, smelly, filthy, full of farts and diseases and much loved by both our children. A new Horrible Histories book will keep dudelet busy for hours, even if one has to consequently put up with being drip fed details of what the Romans used to wipe their bottoms (sponge on a stick if you must know) or exactly what being hung, drawn and quartered involved.

Michael Rosen’s Centrally Heated Knickers. Michael Rosen was children’s laureate from 2007 to 2009 and dudelet loves his poetry. He can quote chunks of Centrally Heated Knickers, which riffs witty, rhythmic verse against short paragraphs outlining the scientific inventions or facts that inspired them.

Diana Wynne Jones‘  The Lives of Christopher Chant. There has to be something by Diana Wynne Jones, of course. At the moment, we tend to read him her books (currently, we’re enjoying Archer’s Goon) and this one in particular captured his imagination. Christopher Chant is an enchanter – and that’s all I’m going to say (more here but spoiler alert)


About Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

Writing, reading, listening, parenting... On Twitter as @dadwhowrites. View all posts by Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

6 responses to “Five books or series my eight year old boy’s devoured in three or four sittings

  • P

    Since my rude book club came to an end, I’m pleased to receive recommendation of my other favourite genre, stuff children like, some titles I’ve not read so I’ll be at the library with the child dragon’s library ticket, or is that unethical, should I pay to order them coz they’re for me?

  • Michele Helene

    There is a risk that I’m asking you to do my job for me, but… which one would you recommend for a class of 8-9 year olds. Range of reading abilities and they need to be able to read it by themselves. *Being cheeky*, but I love posts like this. As a rule we don’t do series with the kids (that’s my rule) as I like the stories to finish in one book, sense of closure and what not.

    • Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

      🙂 My heart says the Diana Wynne Jones (because I promote her stuff at every opportunity – I really have to do a complete post on her at some point). They’d be a year above dudelet so Billionaire Boy might be a bit too ‘whacky’. But the Michelle Paver books might be a better bet – broader appeal and not as long. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him respond to a sequence of books so strongly so they obviously have something special going on.

      • Michele Helene (@Michverilion)

        Thanks for that. I will look up some more Diana Wynne Jones. And I may have to read those Michelle Paver books sometime. I’ve got a really bright class thinking skills wise this year, but apart from one kid, they’re not big readers. They’ll read books that I big up, otherwise it’s Diary of a Wimpy kid all round.

  • phoenixaeon

    I’ve always meant to read some Michelle Paver books – the Wolf Brother novels – but haven’t yet gotten round to it. Good to know that she has a good writing style. As for Diana Wynne Jones, I definitely have to get more of her books as I loved ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and ‘House of Many Ways’. The Michael Rosen book sounds brilliant – I might have to buy that for myself! And Princi loves Horrible Histories too.

    Have you tried ‘The Raven Mysteries’ by Marcus Sedgwick? I’ve been reading them to Princi at bedtime and we’re both really enjoying them.

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