I usually do a Ten for Tuesday – ten things I want to talk about. Since I was busy reading, I’ve put it off until Wednesday. So… ten books I share with my son.
My son is ten and a reader. He loves series, especially ones with some adventure. Since I read a lot of YA Lit and he’s getting more mature in his reading choices, we’ve both read and discussed these ten books:
1. The Percy Jackson series. Ah… Mr. Jackson. He will appear again later in this list. This is the first series that the son and I really both read and enjoyed. He has been a huge fan of this series for years, which is nice, considering his age. I enjoyed it because I like mythology – he enjoyed it because he likes adventure. This series was the first one to show me what it was like, having a reader for a child.
2. Charlotte’s Web was a book he was assigned in school. When I saw it I did a little exclamation of joy – as a child it was one of my favourites. My mom, learning my son was studying it, also did an exclamation of joy. We talked to him about our memories of the book and about what we enjoyed when reading it. We discussed favourite characters and quotes, remembering how sometimes you can be a good writer and sometimes you’re a good friend. After all of this build up, he read it and disliked it. Well, he didn’t like it. It didn’t grab him like it had obviously grabbed us. This opened up a discussion for us all about why people like different books and what about them makes us like them. So, not a shared memory of literary appreciation, but a sharing of thoughts and concepts. Great discussion starter.
3. The son has loved the Wimpy Kid series since he was in kindergarten. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I had recommended it to him, not because of my enjoyment of it but because of the format – part graphic novel, part novel. Plus it was age appropriate humour. I have to admit, I didn’t read one of them (although I did see the movies) until last year when I read one about them being snowbound. I could see where he found the humour and the connections with the characters. He couldn’t wait for me to finish and wanted to know what I thought – I think he liked being the expert!
4. This summer we took a longer road trip and I encouraged the son to load several books on his Kobo. After seeing a promo for The Giver as a movie, he decided that would be one of them. I talked with him about dystopia and how it works in a novel and how it has become quite popular. And then, going across the province, he read it. It was interesting, getting his reactions – I had taught this book to a class not much older then him, and getting his thoughts vs my memory of their reactions was interesting. We discussed how it’s a series (and how I’ve only read one of the follow up books) and why people either read or discard series when they’ve read the first book. He has had no inclination to read the follow up novels (much like myself) but did really enjoy the movie and how it presented this story.
5. The Kane Chronicles were a series he moved to after he finished the Percy Jackson series. I had started to read them but stopped – it didn’t draw me in as much. However, seeing his enthusiasm brought me back to them and into that world. We have found ourselves discussing the differences between characters in this series and Percy Jackson and we’ve each read the novellas that cross over the two. I think there are characters he likes more in this one but he likes the Percy Jackson series as a whole more. I have to agree with him.
6. The Maze Runner is a new addition to this list for us. I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy the world created in this book. However, he was intrigued by the movie trailers and when given the opportunity to go with his grandfather, went to see it. We’ve discussed his impressions of the movie and the story it presented and now he’d like to read it. It’s the first book I think he’s chosen to read knowing that I have a dislike for it and it will be interesting to see what he thinks. Also, if you ever wonder if movies get kids to read, he’s proof they do!
7. Speaking of which…. The Hunger Games. After discussing dystopia with him, we watched The Hunger Games movie. A number of his friends are reading it and he decided that he would also give it a try. It’s funny – this book is almost the opposite of The Maze Runner. He ended up giving up on The Hunger Games, much like I wanted to do with The Maze Runner. We talked about when it’s ok to give up on a book and why people do that. I will be interested to see what he thinks of Maze Runner, since we know he doesn’t totally love darker dystopian novels.
8. Divergent was another rainy day summer movie for us as we looked as dystopia. Yet, it’s on this list as an example of a movie that ended up doing the opposite of the norm. He does not want to read it. However, like so many experiences like this, it got us talking about books into movies and what we like about those versions and what makes us drawn to watch and/or read what we watch and/or read.
9. This brings us to the books that inspired this post, a post that is mainly “it made us talk about things”. Tuesday, ‘The Blood of Olympus’ came out, the last in the Heroes of Olympus series. This book got the son out of bed and on his iPad to download it; he was unimpressed I could get it before him. It has caused excitement in our house as we got ready for it. It opened up discussions of ereaders vs traditional books. And we get to hang out with Percy again. It’s a win win win. I love those.
And again, I have no ten. We have to keep that open and hope we will continue learning and discussing. I look forward to comparing this list to one we will make when he is older. I hope this relationship with reading and discussions thereof continues, past the age when it’s accepted to talk with your parents.