I need some kid lit advice.
We just finished the Mistmantle Chronicles: the kids LOVED it.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a good read-aloud that is along the same lines?
How about the Redwall series? I confess I haven’t actually read it, but I’ve heard good things about it.
We do have the first book, and I’d love for them to read it. They’ve also watched the Redwall movies on Netflix (half hour shows) and really liked them. I guess I wanted to try something different? A friend loaned me a copy of Tumtum and Nutmeg that we’re going to start tonight. I’ll let you know how it is!
I don’t have any suggestions, because we’re just starting to enter into this “realm” ourselves. I’ve read some reviews on Amazon that say this series was “darker” and “weirder” (black magic, etc…) than Redwall, which I’ve read part of. Do you have any thoughts on that. I know this series if very popular with my friends and their children, but I hadn’t heard anything like this until those on-line reviews. (ps – I LOVED your last post on kids as Mass! Bravo!)
Hi Theresa– I can see why some people would call it “darker and weirder”, but maybe I can explain it. The first book centers around a bad squirrel (I think? I got everyone mixed up!) who got himself into the ruling family and eventually became king. The guy was truly evil. He was a big proponent of a practice that was going on in their kingdom at the time, “culling”, where they’d kill newborn animals who were seen to be “unfit” because they were small, sickly, lame, etc. The book is very strong in the fact that the animals know this is wrong, and the heroes of the story are the ones who are doing all they can to defeat the evil characters and stop this occurrence. It was so striking to me how this parallels with abortion. If your kids are very sensitive, I’d read it first and see if it was appropriate for them. I was surprised at how well mine responded to it.
After all the discussion on Sarah’s blog, Amongst Lovely Things, about good and bad literature for kids, I was surprised at how well written this is. Reading it, you know who is good and who is bad, evil attacks and things will look grim, but good always prevails, and the good are very courageous in their efforts.
In terms of black magic, I honestly don’t remember anything like that. There are “religious” elements to it, to be sure, and it isn’t anything in particular. For instance, they refer to the “heartstone” which is God. They’ll often say “Heart keep you,” like we’d say, “God bless you,” as someone is leaving or going somewhere dangerous, but it didn’t strike me as new-agey in any way. If anything, it seemed very allegorical and Christological, where the animals would sacrifice themselves for another, or making sure the young and sick were hidden and taken care of first when their island was under attack. (To give you an idea where I’m coming from, we haven’t read Harry Potter and I don’t do yoga 😉 ) I’ll have to ask my husband about his thoughts on this, since he read a good portion of the books (there are five in the series), but I seriously doubt there’s anything there.
And thanks — that’s very sweet 🙂
thanks for all your thoughts on this!
Did you already read all of Narnia?
I honestly don’t know! We’ve been all over the place. They read some to themselves, had read to themselves, watched movies… I’m so confused 😉 We are working through “The Magician’s Nephew” right now, though.
Anastasia read them all, but I haven’t read them to my other kids. And it’s been so long since I read them, I don’t remember most of the stories. I love reading Little House series aloud. Guessing you’ve already read those, but they are always great to reread.
Redwall is great and there are a ton of books in the series so it could keep everyone busy for a while.
Here are some ideas for older kids – Alex Rider series – Anthony Horowitz; Hank Zipster – Henry Winkler; Fever – Anderson (I think); anything by Avi. I love love love Tomie DePaola’s 26 Fairmount Avenue books – autobiographical. Badge of Red Courage; Johnny Termain.
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