There’s a feast of good reads awaiting readers in our Juvenile and young adult collections. Release your inner kid and read some of these classic fiction titles that you might have missed. With any luck you’ll never be too old to enjoy well written and thought provoking titles purportedly written for children.
I feel sorry for Tolkien fans who haven’t read the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, for example. Now is the time! Taran, assistant pig keeper to the wizard Dalben, stumbles into the adventure of his life when one of his charges, HenWen, escapes and nearly leads him to his death.
Sheri Tepper is known for strong female characters struggling in patriarchal societies. If you like similar story lines, try the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce. In these books, Alana disguises herself as Alan in order to become a knight-in-training and attempt to succeed in a man’s world.
The Tripods series by John Christopher is a timeless story of alien invasion and human enslavement. The White Mountains introduces Will Parker who is about to be “capped” and thus bound to Tripod control. Follow Will as he tries to escape the destiny already shared by so many humans.
Kate Morton, a popular adult author, writes engrossing fiction set in pre-WWII England. So does Lucy Maria Boston, who authored the Green Knowe books, and Arthur Ransome of the Swallows and Amazons titles. Visit pre-WWII England, experience the freedom of school vacations, meet ghosts and relive childhood courtesy of these writers.
Marguerite Henry won the 1949 Newbery medal for King of the Wind, though she seems to be better known for Misty of Chincoteague. Try Born to Trot, Justin Morgan had a Horse and other non-Misty titles to satisfy your horse cravings.
It is worth noting that while these books will appeal to adults, I’m pretty sure you would have liked them even more when you were 10. Maybe we should encourage children to linger just a little longer in JP, JR and JFIC as their reading ability progresses. For instance, a 13 year old may technically be capable of reading the Odyssey or the Iliad but prefer an adaptation of the stories—such as The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey or Black Ships before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliffe.
Looking for more suggestions? Be sure and ask a librarian at your local library. They will be delighted to share some of the gems in children’s section with you.
- Leslie McDunn, Centreville Regional Library