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)