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Tale of Despereaux-esque books?


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That's a tough question because in some ways it's a sort of unique book. What appealed to him about it specifically? Was it the writing style (after all DiCamillo's style is excellent)? Was it the fairy tale aspect? Was it that it was an animal story? Was it the theme of all the interconnected plots?


Obviously, start with DiCamillo's other books, especially The Magician's Elephant (though The Tiger Rising is my favorite of hers). And here's some random thoughts for other places to go...


Holes by Louis Sachar - Totally different in many ways, but it also has the interconnected plots that come together at the end and I would think it might appeal to your average 5th grade boy


Redwall by Brain Jacques - great writing, and, of course, more mice


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin - a beautifully told story that has a lot of fairy tale quality to it


Savvy by Ingrid Law - another well-told tale with a little magic and lots of different pieces that fit together for the ending


I'm thinking of others, trying to bring together the idea of that beautiful writing that DiCamillo has along with the sort of semi-magical, gets you thinking about the world plotlines... but a lot of the authors that are coming to mind, like Polly Horvath and Deborah Wiles, write books that appeal more to girls.


And there are a lot of other good books for a 5th grade boy that may not necessarily follow from The Tale of Despereaux, like the Roald Dahl suggested above, that he may suddenly just be ready for.

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