Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Half-God and a Wimpy Kid - more books for boys

Andre loves comics. Lately, he's taken to reading comics as he eats his lunch on a tray. I know comics are hardly considered reading but hey, it's better than watching mindless tv. I often find him chuckling over all his favourite characters - Calvin & Hobbes, Tintin and Asterix. And who can blame him? The characters are so darn adorable, I love all of them.

It's therefore quite natural that he would gravitate towards the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. When I first showed it to him about a year ago, it didn't take but now he loves it. It really is written for boys, both the storyline and the way it's presented with the classic stick figures and scribbles.

There are currently five books in the series, all in brightly hued covers. If you have boys who don't enjoy reading, try this one. It's certainly not literature by any standards but it's humorous and great for easing them into the habit.

Another series that Andre recently got into was Percy Jackson. This one was discovered quite by accident. Lesley-Anne mentioned that the boys in her class used to be crazy about the series but I could never find the books at the library (which is probably a sign of their popularity). So when I saw the first three books being sold at Borders at a discount, I decided it would be a low-cost investment.

Turned out to be a good call. Not since Beast Quest has Andre been so taken with a book. The story revolves around Percy Jackson, a boy who learns that he is a demigod, son of Poseidon. He embarks on quests to save his friends and ultimately, the Gods of Mount Olympus.

I did a quick browse and I think I understand why it appeals to Andre. Rick Riordan writes in a very straightforward style which makes for easy understanding. He also dispenses with long, verbose descriptions which tend to bore impatient kids and dives right into the action (within the first chapter, the mean math teacher turns into a monster and is killed. Way to tap into little boys' fantasies!)

There are five books in this series - The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. Rick Riordan has written many other children's books but the Percy Jackson series is his most popular. His latest offering is The Red Pyramid, the first in another fantasy-adventure series, this time set in Egypt.

I would describe the reading level of the Percy Jackson series as somewhere in between Beast Quest and Artemis Fowl. Highly recommended for active, imaginative boys!


Anonymous said...

Hi Mon,

I am always on a lookout for good children books. Thanks for the recommendation.

I have been trying to get Calvin and Hobbes - since your recommendations from your previous post, but have not been successful yet. I had been looking for these at Sans Bookshops. So will try again. (I really quite like these comics when I was young - as well as Peanuts :-) I'm sure my sons will love these too.

Yes - I agree with Diary of Wimpy kid series is popular with kids.

Another one to try (although I'm not sure if Andre would have outgrown this series)is How to Train a Dragon series, by Cressida Cowell.


monlim said...

YL: How to Train a Dragon sounds familiar, I think I picked it out at the library but Andre wasn't too enamoured by it. He's hard to please! Have you tried for Calvin & Hobbes? Their prices are very reasonable and the free shipping is hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

My eccentric gal has a liking for wimpy kids, even though it is written for boys. Anything humourous has a strong appeal to her as she loves to crack jokes herself. I believe it is a light read as well to be enjoyable.


monlim said...

QX: Have you tried her on Calvin & Hobbes? I think she'll love it. Even Lesley-Anne does!

Anonymous said...

Actually not yet but I should since she is such a comic herself. Thanks for the reminder! :) She also has a series of Doraemon to chew on for this holidays..gonna be a hilarious and humourous holiday for her!...Hi,Hu,Ho! LOL


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