Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book recommendations for kids who love Roald Dahl

Until recently, I didn't know much about Anthony Horowitz the writer, except that his Alex Rider series is very popular among teens and pre-teens. Lesley-Anne is one of the fans of the series.

However, I could never find any of his books in the library and from browsing at the bookshop, I felt that the Alex Rider series would be too advanced for Andre.

In the December holidays, Popular held a sale and I saw this 10-book set by Anthony Horowitz. After discount, it was less than $70 which seemed like a great deal (each book supposedly retails for £5.99. I googled some of the titles on the Internet and read many reviews of how these books are great for boys who are reluctant readers. The deal clincher was the fact that he was described as the contemporary equivalent of Roald Dahl. So I took a chance and bought it.

It turned out to be a good buy.

Like Roald Dahl, Anthony Horowitz grew up miserable in English boarding schools with cane-wielding headmasters. Also like Roald Dahl, he has a wicked sense of humour and utterly memorable characters (especially the villains!)

Andre has yet to read all the books but here are a few he has finished (and enjoyed).

Granny bears resemblance to Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine. Both grandmas are not of your sweet, nurturing variety but evil, kid-hating villains. Groosham Grange and the sequel Return to Groosham Grange tell of the adventures of David, a 12-year-old boy who is sent to a repressive boarding school for wizards full of dark magic and secrets (Harry Potter anyone?)

When asked, Andre told me he still prefers Roald Dahl, I suspect because Anthony Horowitz's humour is slightly more sophisticated. I would put the reading level of his books as one notch higher than Roald Dahl's. Nevertheless, I feel he's currently one of the more engaging writers for young readers. Worth checking out!


Hopeful said...

Hi Monica,

I was struck by your comment that Anthony Horowitz is a contemporary equivalent of Roald Dahl, since I always thought that Dahl's works are modern fiction. But now come to think about it, he's dead, isn't he? :) Anyways, these books sound exciting - I may pick one up for a look soon.

- Hopeful

monlim said...

Hopeful: Yeah, Roald Dahl was modern in our time and we tend to forget that was a long while back :P Some of his stories were written in the 1980s but books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach were first published in the 1960s!

Anonymous said...

After reading your blog, realised that you do purchased quite alot of books for your kids. What do you do with the books after both kids are done with them ?

Another parent

monlim said...

Errm... keep them? Books are one thing I feel are an investment so I don't mind buying.

Anonymous said...

:DD I love reading alex rider series ^^

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