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What age for the Princess and the Goblin

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Its all in the title.  I'm making up our reading list for this summer.  My son will be 6.  


Others on my tentative list (and if I should wait, let me know) are:
King of the Golden River 
Paddle to the Sea


Absolute favorites from the past year? The Narnia books, Mr Poppers' Penguins, The Red Fairy Book (blue is on the docks for next year).  

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My ten year old loved it. He actually "stole" it and read on his own rather than wait for me to read aloud. My five year old listened in a bit when I was reading and got the main points, but I wouldn't have read it to her alone. Also, if you are worried about your son being scared by perilous situations, I might wait.

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I have read it aloud to seven year olds (a second grade class). My 10 year old (at the time) and 13 year old read it this year themselves.


I think I read it at around 10. It is one of my favorite books, well received by the class I taught, but, alas, my children did not like it!

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I'd guess anywhere from age 5-10, depending on the child (due to vocabulary, interest, etc.)


Not familiar with King of the Golden River, but I do recall that the Holling C. Holling books have long educational asides, which make them fascinating for a geography study along about grades 3-6, but I don't know as though my DSs would have been that "into" them at age 6… But again, subjects of interest vary widely from child to child!


Below are a few more fun titles for ideas that our DSs enjoyed at age 6 or so. Happy reading! Warmest regards, Lori D.



- Land of Oz; Ozma of Oz and others in the Wizard of Oz series (Baum) 

- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series (Betty MacDonald)

- Half Magic; Magic by the Lake (Eager)

- The Book of Dragons (Nesbit) 

- The Father Christmas Letters (Tolkien)

- The Borrowers (series) (Norton)

- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Fleming)

- Charlie & the Chocolate Factory; Great Glass Elevator (Dahl)

- Pippi Longstockings; Pippi in the South Seas (Astrid)

- The Hobbit (Tolkien)



- Henry Huggins (series) (McCleary)

- The Whipping Boy (Fleischman)



- The Twenty-One Balloons (DuBois) 


Animals and Boys

- Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampa (Kalney)

- Rascal (North)

- Shiloh (Naylor)


Talking Animals

- Trumpet of the Swan (White)

- The Mouse and the Motorcycle (McCleary)

- Ben and Me; Mr. Revere and I (Lawson)

- The Rescuers, Miss Bianca, The Turret, Miss Bianca in the Salt Mines, Miss Bianca in the Orient (Sharpe)

- The Reluctant Dragon (Grahame)

- Rabbit Hill (Lawson)

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I just read it to preview for next year - my oldest two will be 6 and 4. I've decided to put it off for a year...or maybe read it at the end of the year. We haven't gotten to Narnia yet, and I'd rather do that now. :) Something about TPATG was just *creepier* than the Narnia books IMO. Something about the dark twisty tunnels under the earth... (I guess maybe it's similar to The Silver Chair.) "Goblins" would be new to ds and dd. I think the White Witch is more 'evil' but less 'creepy' if that makes any sense at all. :)  OTOH, we're just finishing The Tale of Despereaux, and that's got some scary stuff. I've had to edit a few references to blood, etc. I think you just need to know your kids. You can read TPATG online at gutenburg (where I read it). It doesn't take long to get a feel for the vocabulary/tone/etc. of the book. :)


We're thinking of reading:

Winnie-the-Pooh & The House on Pooh Corner (again, with some discussion this time)

Beatrix Potter (ditto)

*Then* maybe Narnia, if we can keep from reading The Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte's Web and The Wheel on the School again. Our favorites! :) 

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I just finished reading The Princess and the Goblin to two of my kids (4 and 7). The 4-year-old loved it and requested not only the sequel (The Princess and Curdie) but also all the other fairy tales by the same author. But she has a tendency to love any and all books, especially fantasy books. The 7-year-old enjoyed it, too, just not as much as the younger one.

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The King of the Golden River is very fairy-taily, and I think easier for young kids than the Princess and the Goblin.  I think my youngest was 6 when we read both.  They largely went over her head, but she really enjoyed them.  They were pitched just right for her sister who was 9ish at the time.



:iagree:  This is what I was going to say too. But it does depend on your kids. We read Princess and the Goblin for the first time last year when ds was newly 7 and Dd was 5. They loved it and we had to read it twice. If you'd like to try MacDonald but want something shorter you could try The Wise Woman. It has The Wise Woman and a few other short stories that are longer than typical fairy tale length, but much shorter than a book.  We had to read all of those at least three or four times each. :) 

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DD heard The Princess and the Goblin when she was 8, I think. It was a good age. 6 would have been a little young. I read her King of Golden River when she was 6, and it went a little over her head, but she enjoyed it. Prior to that, I read her At the Back of the North Wind (MacDonald) and The Water Babies (Kingsley). She really enjoyed both. 

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My youngest was 5 or 6 when we read it the first time. She was already used to long chapter books, and enjoyed it immensely. We listened to it on CD, and loved the way the British narrator pronounce "princess". 


It is interesting that a pp found it creepier than the Narnia books. For my girls, the opposite was true. Dh read the Narnia books to them several years after TPATG, and my oldest was pretty traumatized by it. The younger one was fine with it though. 

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I read it to ds at 6 and he LOVED it.  I think he will listen in when it goes into rotation for dd, and probably get even more out of it the second time around.  I read that the second book- The Princess and Curdie has a sad or dark ending, can't remember, so I've put that one off for now. 


It was the first time I had read it either, and I was a bit nervous as I read because there were some scary-ish parts, but ds didn't mind at all.  The goblin's disgust for toes had us both rolling though.  :-) 

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My younger three are enjoying Narnia, too. We're on The Silver Chair. And 6yo is loving The Blue Fairy Book, so it seems our 6yo's have similar tastes and comprehension levels. We've read two of the books you're asking about within the last year. Paddle-to-the-Sea was enjoyed immensely by 6, 8, and 10 yo. The Princess and the Goblin was enjoyed by 6 and 8yo. (10yo wasn't sitting in for this one but would have enjoyed it, no doubt.) I hadn't intended to read The Princess and the Goblin to 6yo yet. I had been reading it to 8yo for a while when I discovered that she was then turning around and rereading it aloud to 6yo so he wouldn't miss out. So after that I had him join us. 


9yo (March birthday) and I are now enjoying The Princess and Curdie. It seems significantly more mature to me than The Princess and the Goblin though. I don't think 6yo would enjoy it (and actually he goes off to play when we're reading it, which is fine with me.) That might be something to consider when choosing when to read them. If you want to read them back to back, it might be best to wait a bit. 9yo loved The Light Princess when she was 7-8yo. It turned out to be the perfect place to start with George MacDonald for her.


eta (mulling over the previous posts in this thread): I can remember my dad reading The Princess and the Goblin aloud to us when I was around 12-14 yo. I remember being bored out of my mind. I never would have revisited it with my dc if it hadn't been for our enjoyment of The Light Princess. This time, reading The Princess... with 8yo and 6yo, I was spellbound and was delighted that they were too. It is so beautiful it just took our breath away. I wonder if there's an age to *not* read it.

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In preparation for reading The Princess and the Goblin to my 9 year old, I checked out 4 different versions from the library intending to choose the one with the best illustrations.  Ha!  They are all special in their own way.  I guess we'll be keeping them all throughout the read and look at the illustrations in each of the books as we go along.

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I'm so glad you asked this! We just finished reading The Tale of Despereaux, and I was wondering what to start next. The Princess and the Goblin was a possibility, as was Narnia. I read TPATG, and I think it was sort of scary, and the language would be harder than Tale of Despereaux, but I think my just-turned 7yo could handle it.

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