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What Else Do Potter Fans Read?

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softwareNerd
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...Out of the Silent Planet...
Guh! I had to read this in religion class in high school. Blech!

As for books for young children, I have fond memories of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, though I haven't read it in ages and my 'fond memories' may be more closely associated with the Fooj (fudge) recipe at the end.

I also read The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. The movie doesn't do the translation justice, and the translation barely does the German justice (or so I've been told), but the translation's not bad. And read correctly, it's a pretty good parable for personal responsibility and against the primacy of consciousness. It used to be impossible to find in print, I read my school library's copy in first grade, and spent years looking for and finally finding a copy of my own. I still have it, quite tattered.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins is probably the least obnoxious (and most atypical) Dr. Seuss book I remember from being a very young child. The first books I read were the Amelia Bedelia books, which are completely formulaic and largely abysmal, though they do teach that context is important in the proper use of language.

Some of the older Choose Your Own Adventure series were good, but I haven't read any of the newer (since 1990) ones.

Other books I remember reading: The Girl With The Silver Eyes (Girl whose mother took some such drug or another during pregnancy develops telekinetic powers), Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats escaped from a science lab help a field mouse save her family), Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) (Prince of a tiny asteroid waxes philosophical, some good, some very, very bad), The Velveteen Rabbit (Gak! Avoid!), A Wrinkle in Time, Lord of the Rings, the My Teacher is an Alein! series (fun), and others. I was an avid reader and read anything I could get my hands on (and still do), but these are the ones I remember most from early childhood for some reason or another. I also read the Narnia books (several times) and remember being less than impressed.

Of the above books, The Neverending Story is the only one that comes close to the engaging length of the Potter books, though.

As for now, while waiting for the next Potter book, I'm reading Gregory Meguire (Wicked, several other 'revisionist' takes on classic tales) (not for kids!), and I'm about to start the Sword of Truth series (though I've been told not to go too far - I've heard that, like Dune, it starts strong but doesn't improve much). I'm also in the middle of La Morte Darthur. This all in addition to my law reading.

-Q

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I like (especially likED) The Never ending story by Michael Ende.

I like the imagination that went into the creation of that book, the bravery of the characters, the brilliant idea of a book that describes going into another book (into the world of that book), the beauty of everything in Fantasia, the adventures.

[Potter is also good but differently. The brilliant thing about the Potter series is that the author describes the most unusual things as an everyday experience, which draws you into the book. Ah, can't wait for book 7 to come out. I just hope nobody dies there again, it's getting depressing.]

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  • 1 year later...

I'm probably the only one on the board who has read Tamora Pierce, but I highly recommend her especially for about 12+. She writes mostly four-part series that take place in a realm called Tortall which bears obvious similarities to Medieval/Renaissance Europe. They are fantasy books, with magic and monsters and such, but they also delve into the way the societies work and how things are done on a more day-to-day basis. Each four-part series centers on a different heroine, and you basically watch her grow up. All of the books have female lead characters and thus I think they have a special appeal for girls, but I don't see why they wouldn't be great for boys as well. The first heroine to get a series is Alanna the Lioness, a girl who switches places with her twin brother Thom to become a knight instead of a lady (never fear, poor Thom is not left to cross-dress as well. He goes to become a powerful sorcerer, as he had no desire to be a knight and would probably have been terrible at it). She is tough and fiery and makes her own way. She is also passionately dedicated to fighting for justice. She will not tolerate evil even when it would plainly be easier for her to go along with it. The next heroine is Daine, who can communicate with and later shapeshift into animals. She's a little more subdued than Alanna but equally heroic and dedicated. Instead of becoming a knight she goes a little more the naturalist/scientist route - fighting is not her primary mission, just something she keeps getting dragged into. Then there is Kel, who is the first girl to go off to become a knight openly as a girl, instead of pretending to be a boy like Alanna did. Kel is also very cool. There is one more series that was just two books that I haven't read, about Alanna's daughter, which I would probably enjoy if I got around to reading them.

I would recommend any of these books to a kid who likes fantasy, but they should probably be 12 or 13 to really get it.

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  • 2 years later...

Lots of good recommendations in this thread. I'm a huge fan of contemporary middle grade & YA fiction, so I can offer some more modern choices:

The Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke

The Faerie Wars series by Herbie Brennan

The Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffmann

The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones (others by her are good, too, but these were my favorite)

The Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

The Larklight trilogy by Philip Reeve (also enjoyed the first book in his Mortal Engines series but haven't gotten to the others yet)

The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart (these are not fantasy but have a lot of almost fantasy style elements to them)

The Printer's Devil and The God of Mischief by Paul Bajoria (also not fantasy but have a lighthearted caper-type style)

Jennifer already mentioned Wee Free Men and Hat Full of Sky, both are hilarious fun

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

and one older one . . .

Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

These all tend to be longer books with a grander sense of worldbuilding that to me have writing more on a level with the Harry Potter series than some of the books mentioned here that are directed at younger readers (not that those are not good books as well, but I was under the impression that this is more the kind of thing you were looking for).

MadKat, I've read Tamora Pierce as well; I enjoyed Trickster's Queen & Trickster's Choice very much . . . but not so much a lot of her other books. Later when I saw that she had some nasty comments on her website about Ayn Rand's fiction I resolved not to buy any more of her books.

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I am more like a J.R.R.Tolkien fan who sometimes reads J.K.Rawling's Potter novels. I think Tolkien is deeper and more serious, than Rawling and his writing is better crafted. Tolkien was first and foremost a linguist so this is not surprising.

Bob Kolker

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I reeeeeally liked His Dark Materials too, and since it's been about five years since the thread was made, it may be a fine time to get them now. ;D

Also, I haven't read them since I was in middle school, so maybe I'd find themes that I'd not tolerate as well anymore if I were to reread them today, but as long as people are fine suggesting the Narnia books (which I also read in middle school, not knowing about the religious aspect, so I was at a loss to what the big deal was when it seemed they'd just shaved Aslan from what I could tell and I did and still do think the ending of the series absolutely sucked ass, was totally unjust according who they were trying to say were the good guys and who were the bad, not to mention it didn't make much sense), I remember really enjoying the Time Quartet books. The most well known of them is A Wrinkle in Time, but the three that come afterward are A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters.

Also, I think I read at least one book in middle school by Tamora Pierce. And I loathed the Hobbit, man. Darn near every time something interesting started to happen, Bilbo got knocked out. And the descriptions in the story were just extreme, unnecessary overkill to me. I swear, if my writing had descriptive passages done like that, I'd get REAMED for it. Also, I found it weird in the Hobbit that the only female in the story was Bilbo's mom who was only mentioned briefly in passing. I just found it weird that they could go on that long of a journey without encountering females. Oo;

Edited by bluecherry
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Also, I think I read at least one book in middle school by Tamora Pierce. And I loathed the Hobbit, man. Darn near every time something interesting started to happen, Bilbo got knocked out. And the descriptions in the story were just extreme, unnecessary overkill to me. I swear, if my writing had descriptive passages done like that, I'd get REAMED for it. Also, I found it weird in the Hobbit that the only female in the story was Bilbo's mom who was only mentioned briefly in passing. I just found it weird that they could go on that long of a journey without encountering females. Oo;

The Hobbit was a kid's story. Tolkien later spun off a serious novel from it, -The Lord of the Rings-. The back story for -Lord of the Rings- was the Silmarillion which is a book of tales and a cosmogeny.

Bob Kolker

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