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chocolate-chip chooky

If she loves the book The Giver

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My 11yr old is devouring The Giver.

 

Any ideas of other books of a similar level or comparable themes?

 

I find that this age is tricky. I'm not quite ready to let her loose on YA books just yet, but she's a capable reader.

 

Thanks :)

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Has she read Holes? It's a quicker/easier read than The Giver (IMO) but it came to mind.

 

Oh yes, she loves Holes. She's read the book and has also listened to the audiobook a gazillion times :)

 

Thanks heaps for the idea, though. You've clearly tapped in to the right sort of thing.

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There are 3 more books (all more somber and adult in feel, IMO) that continue the world of the The Giver, in case you're interested:

- Gathering Blue = takes place in a completely different part of the world of The Giver, with all new characters and issues

- Messenger = focus is on a new character, but continues the world/characters of Gathering Blue

- Son = combines the worlds of The Giver and Gathering Blue, and takes place years after The Giver -- an odd, sudden lurch into a strange direction right towards the end of Son is a bit of a head-scratcher...

 

 

Similar in some way to The Giver:

- City of Ember, People of Sparks, Diamond of Darkhold (duPrau)

- Gregor the Overlander (Collins) -- and sequels

- Below the Root (Snyder) -- and sequel, And All Between (Snyder) -- there is a third book (Until The Celebration), but it really drops in quality of writing and the ending is abrupt and frustrating

- A Wrinkle in Time (L'Engle) -- and the sequel, A Wind in the Door (book 3, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, is much more adult in interest level, and book 4, Many Waters, is poorly written and frustrating -- JMO)

- When the Tripods Came (Christopher) -- prequil to his tripod trilogy, and a spin on HG Wells' War of the Worlds aliens -- here, they successfully invade and enslave Earth

- Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath (Westerfeld) -- rollicking fun steam-punk alternative WW1 era world with tween-aged boy and girl protagonists

 

Adventure aspect, with a twist of some sort

- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (O'Brien)

- Secret of Platform 13 (Ibbottson)

- Tuck Everlasting (Babbitt)

- The Search for Delicious (Babbitt)

- Enchantress from the Stars (Engdahl)

 

Lighter/Humorous, more like Holes

- Wayside School -- and other books by Sachar

- Ella Enchanted (Levine)

- The Rumpelstiltskin Problem (Velde)

- 11 Birthdays (Mass)

- Hoot (Hiaasen)

Edited by Lori D.
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It's a series?? YAY! Thank you.

Her older sister had just handed her the book, telling her she should read it. I had no idea it was a series. Perfect :)

It's a loose series with recurring characters. I'd say the next book is on a similar level as The Giver, while the final 2 might be for a slightly older audience? (The final book just came out a couple years ago.)

 

 

Here's another suggestion or two:

A Wrinkle in Time (obviously, right :p)

The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm (Nancy Farmer)

 

ETA: LOL, I was posting at the same time as Lori D. As usual, she hit the spot. :)

Edited by alisoncooks
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Thanks, Lori. Much appreciated!

 

I'll get my hands on Gathering Blue first. If it's a bit more adult, I may ask my older daughter to read it first, or I'll read it myself first. Like I said, 11 is a tricky age for books, and I'm still kind of cautious about adult content.

 

I'm going to pore over your list - thank you :)

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Sorry Alison, I must have been typing as you posted.

 

Thanks heaps for the ideas.

She hasn't read A Wrinkle in Time yet. I've encouraged that one, but she's resisted so far for some reason. After loving Rebecca Stead's book I thought she'd dive right in, but no.

It's my old, worn copy from decades ago, so maybe a shiny new copy is in order.

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I have mentioned this series before when dystopian society books come up but another great series for that age is Scott Westerfield ' s Uglies series. It just came about before it's time. Had he written in around the time Divergent and Hunger Games became a thing there would be movies. Great series and much better for 11 yo since Hunger Games and Divergent still have significant YA themes that can be confusing or overwhelming for 11. My son loved the series at that age. It consists of The Uglies, The Pretties, and The Specials. It is quite similar to The Giver.

 

ETA: I just noticed The Uglies was in the link from above but the blurb about it doesn't do it any justice. It is essentially about a society where at 16 the government transforms its citizens into people that are attractive by their standards and obedient. They become preoccupied with superficial things, quite stepford in behavior. A group of people escape and hide, living on the outskirts to try to infiltrate and discover why it is like it is. Very similar in style to The Giver.

Edited by nixpix5
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Agreeing with nixpix5 that Uglies is possibly do-able with an 11yo, and that while Hunger Games, Divergent, and most of the books in the linked article are great ideas, they are for teens, older teens, and in some cases, for adults -- so I'd wait a few years for an 11yo. :) (Another one to add to that "read in a few years" list is House of Stairs by Sleator.)

 

BTW: Gregor the Overlander (mentioned above) is be Suzanne Collins, the Hunger Games author, and brushes on some similar types of themes -- and it really is written at a tween level rather than YA/teen level. :)

Edited by Lori D.
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I liked The Uglies...but it'd probably be too much for *my* 11 year old. If you want to give Westerfeld a try, I'd recommend his Leviathan series first. It's fun.

 

 

Also, I read a trilogy recently that started with a book called The Glass Sentence. Very unique. S.E.Grove is the author. It's about maps and time and different countries stuck in different eras (ice age, distant future) after a catastrophic event. The main character is a young girl who wants to find her explorer parents, who have been missing for years.

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"Unwind" by Neal Shustermen is another I want to add here for a couple of years down the road. I read it when DS1 was a young teen and it still sticks in my head as a book I will never forget. It is dystopian but incredibly thought provoking. Not for an 11 year old but really good.

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Oh wow. This is all fabulous. Thank you all so much.

 

I have ordered a stack of new books (quick, hide my credit card!) and I have added more to my wishlist on bookdepository. 

 

Regarding what she loves so much about The Giver ... I'm not entirely sure and I don't think she can put her finger on it either. It's got her thinking, but it's not a hard read either. It's just perfect for her right now. 

 

Her older sister, who handed The Giver to her, is quite careful and protective (it's very sweet) about her recommendations, and she's the one who's said that things like the Divergent series are maybe still a bit old. She can't wait until youngest is a couple of years older and can read all her favourites, like Cassandra Clare.

 

I actually love reading YA fiction myself, but I don't go for fantasy or dystopia, so I'm lucky to have the eldest pre-reading that stuff.

 

I love John Green and some of Rainbow Rowell (Oh, I just love Eleanor and Park and also Attachments).

 

 

Thank you everyone for all your help. It is much, much appreciated!

 

 

 

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Oh wow. This is all fabulous. Thank you all so much.

 

I have ordered a stack of new books (quick, hide my credit card!) and I have added more to my wishlist on bookdepository.

 

Regarding what she loves so much about The Giver ... I'm not entirely sure and I don't think she can put her finger on it either. It's got her thinking, but it's not a hard read either. It's just perfect for her right now.

 

Her older sister, who handed The Giver to her, is quite careful and protective (it's very sweet) about her recommendations, and she's the one who's said that things like the Divergent series are maybe still a bit old. She can't wait until youngest is a couple of years older and can read all her favourites, like Cassandra Clare.

 

I actually love reading YA fiction myself, but I don't go for fantasy or dystopia, so I'm lucky to have the eldest pre-reading that stuff.

 

I love John Green and some of Rainbow Rowell (Oh, I just love Eleanor and Park and also Attachments).

 

 

Thank you everyone for all your help. It is much, much appreciated!

Oh yeah, you are going to want to wait a bit for Cassandra Clare ;) but the Clockwork Angel series was one of my favorites! :)

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Divergent series

Hunger Games series

 

I'll ask my Giver loving daughter.

 

 

Oh wow. This is all fabulous. Thank you all so much.

 

I have ordered a stack of new books (quick, hide my credit card!) and I have added more to my wishlist on bookdepository. 

 

Regarding what she loves so much about The Giver ... I'm not entirely sure and I don't think she can put her finger on it either. It's got her thinking, but it's not a hard read either. It's just perfect for her right now. 

 

Her older sister, who handed The Giver to her, is quite careful and protective (it's very sweet) about her recommendations, and she's the one who's said that things like the Divergent series are maybe still a bit old. She can't wait until youngest is a couple of years older and can read all her favourites, like Cassandra Clare.

 

I actually love reading YA fiction myself, but I don't go for fantasy or dystopia, so I'm lucky to have the eldest pre-reading that stuff.

 

I love John Green and some of Rainbow Rowell (Oh, I just love Eleanor and Park and also Attachments).

 

 

Thank you everyone for all your help. It is much, much appreciated!

 

I love Giver like no other. It is one of my all-time favorite books. And while it is similar to 1984 and Brave New world in a lot of ways, I couldn't stand the tragedy in the latter two, while I continue to re-read the Giver occasionally even as an adult. Things like divergent and hunger games are way beyond what I would want an 11 yo to read, but I think that may be just me. I'd rather preserve innocence for as long as possible.  I think the other books in the Giver "series" would be good, as well as some of the others folks have mentioned, but I would stay far away from Hunger Games for now! :)

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Oh wow. This is all fabulous. Thank you all so much.

I have ordered a stack of new books (quick, hide my credit card!) and I have added more to my wishlist on bookdepository. 

 

:wub:

 

 

Oh wow. This is all fabulous. Thank you all so much.

 

I have ordered a stack of new books (quick, hide my credit card!) and I have added more to my wishlist on bookdepository. 

 

Regarding what she loves so much about The Giver ... I'm not entirely sure and I don't think she can put her finger on it either. It's got her thinking, but it's not a hard read either. It's just perfect for her right now. 

 

 

I think DD will esp. like:

- Below the Root (Snyder) 

- Tuck Everlasting (Babbitt)

- Enchantress from the Stars (Engdahl)

- City of Ember (duPrau)

 

And a close second group:

- Secret of Platform 13 (Ibbottson)

- The Search for Delicious (Babbitt)

- Ella Enchanted (Levine)

- Gregor the Overlander (Collins)

- Leviathan (Westerfeld)

 

Happy reading! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

ETA -- PS

Don't know if these fit in with DD's interests but a few more ideas:

- The Unwanteds series (McMann)

- Fablehaven series (Mull)

 

Another book I adored at about age 11yo, while not quite as well-written as others I suggested above, is The Shades by Betty Brock (who also wrote No Flying in the House, which still is available). It's a very creative world, and while a fantasy, it has a slight dystopian feel. Sadly, it's been out of print for years, and it horribly over-priced to find used copies.

 

While not dystopic, your DD might also really enjoy two other books with a bit of an "edginess" to them that are at a similar gentle reading level: Diamond in the Window (Langton) -- and the first sequel, The Astonishing Stereoscope -- the 2 children follow in the footsteps of their missing aunt and uncle to try and track them down, by experiencing a series of magic adventures that each ends increasingly menacing/threatening as they come closer to discovering where their aunt and uncle are being held prisoner. (Just my quick opinion, FWIW (lol): while these books are a very creative and interesting series of very unique magic adventures that have a bit of depth to them (reveal spiritual attitudes/choices), the author is very pro-Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalism, and Indian mysticism, she frustratingly portrays the only 2 Christian church worker characters in a very negative, one-dimensional, stereotyped way... sigh...)

Edited by Lori D.
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If your DC is interested in some "real world" dystopia, I recommend The Book Thief.  It's long but not difficult.  My sensitive 12 yo loved it.  She says the book is better than the movie, but they're both really good.

 

 

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Thank you!

 

 

ETA: I ordered Leviathan in hardback, because it is such a cool looking book.  Just thought I'd mention that because I know I'm with like-minded folks here right now :)

My older book-loving daughter in particular loves her books to look beautiful on her shelves, so it's really important to her to have all the books in a series to be of the same edition and size. I get it.

 

It's true, right? You can't spoil your kids with too much love or books?  :001_smile:

Edited by chocolate-chip chooky
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I also have to 2nd Lori D. on "The Shades". That is a book that stays with you and I wish they would bring it back into print. I got a used copy from Better World Books because my childhood copy disintegrated.

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I agree wholeheartedly with Lori's recommendations, especially Leviathan.

 

I think you should pre-read the Gregor, the Overlander books - there's a lot of graphic violence and death in those books and it might be a bit much for a more sensitive child. (For example, at one point a giant talking bat, a named character, flies over an island and is devoured by a cloud of bugs, the main characters see the skeleton fall to the ground. At another point the big bad sets up an obvious Holocaust parallel against another group, this is also described in some detail.)

 

You might also try the following books:

 

Zahrah the Windseeker

The Conch Bearer (the first book starts off a bit slow, but it picks up from there)

The Bartimaeus trilogy

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

So You Want to Be a Wizard (but be sure to get the new edition - does your daughter have access to an e-reader?)

The Greenglass House

The Kiki Strike books

Bayou Magic (a bit easier, I should think)

The Jumbies (a bit scarier!)

The Apothecary

Sky Jumpers (if this is in print still)

Cuckoo Song

Face Like Glass

Ambassador and Nomad (must buy both books)

Mars Evacuees

Un Lun Dun

Fall of a Kingdom (another series that starts slow)

The Nine Pound Hammer

 

There's no realistic fiction in the lot! I can't make promises, though.

 

If she wants another fairly gentle dystopia, she could try The Other Side of the Island, or else Not Your Sidekick (geared for a slightly older group - there's some dating and we're told the main character and her girlfriend write a slightly racy scene for a high school writing assignment but we aren't given the details). The latter is not explicitly dystopian except that it definitely is.

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I think you should pre-read the Gregor, the Overlander books - there's a lot of graphic violence and death in those books and it might be a bit much for a more sensitive child. (For example, at one point a giant talking bat, a named character, flies over an island and is devoured by a cloud of bugs, the main characters see the skeleton fall to the ground. At another point the big bad sets up an obvious Holocaust parallel against another group, this is also described in some detail.)

 

Thanks for the reminder -- I'd forgotten about that!  :ohmy: Amazing how fast you can forget those kinds of details... like all of the very unnecessary swearing and threatened r*pe in the film Back to the Future, which I was very unhappy to re-remember IN THE MIDST of showing to young DSs, way before we were ready to go there... Arghh!  :eek:

 

 

The Bartimaeus trilogy

Un Lun Dun

 
JMO: I'd put an asterisk next to these 2 for previewing first. Bartimaeus is very dark, with black magic for evil purposes and telling the story from the point of view of a demon. And Un Lun Dun has a lot of disturbing creatures, images, and deaths. Both are probably best saved for another 2 years or so.
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Bartimaeus is very dark, with black magic for evil purposes and telling the story from the point of view of a demon.

 

Isn't he a djinn? At any rate, he's clearly the victim here. Nathaniel's the heart of darkness in this story :p

 

The point of all this, though, is that you've gotta pre-read (pre-watch) everything. I have completely forgotten the Back to the Future scene, for example, though I'm sure it's there. (Thanks for the warning on that front.)

 

And you know what annoys? Sometimes your kid will breeze through a book you'd never have given them in a million years... but still be scared of Happy Feet. (That'd be my own sweetheart. She claims she isn't scared of that movie anymore now that she's in her double digits, but she claims a lot of things.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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And you know what annoys? Sometimes your kid will breeze through a book you'd never have given them in a million years... but still be scared of Happy Feet.

 

lol!  :laugh:

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The other books in the Giver series were such a disappointment. Move onto some of the other suggestions. There are some great books suggested here. Some of our favorites (and we all loved The Giver) were:

 

Tuck Everlasting

A Wrinkle in Time

City of Ember

The Ear the Eye and the Arm (love her Sea of Trolls series too, but it isn't dystopian)

Ender's Game

 

We also really liked some of the other suggestions such as:

Bartimaeus, The Hunger Games, & Divergent but would consider all of them a bit older. Ender's game is in between.

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Bartimaeus, The Hunger Games, & Divergent but would consider all of them a bit older. Ender's game is in between.

 

I did Ender's Game a few years ago in a Lit. & Comp. class with gr 7-12 students, and I would hesitate to do it again with students below 9th grade. It was written for adults, and has some very brutal violence and adult themes. At least to me, it feels more raw and graphic in the child-on-child violence than Hunger Games. JMO, Ender's Game is a good one to do if interested in dystopias, but I'd wait a few years on that one, and I'd definitely preview for an 11yo.

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In a few years have her re-read The Giver and then read Anthem by Ayn Rand (your older daughter could probably do this if she's still homeschooled). My kids compare/contrast the books right around 13 or 14. Its always an interesting assignment.

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As for other recommendations The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix, and possibly Abarat. They are both on the fantas/dystopian side of things. Island of the Aunts- Eva Ibbotson, Losing christina- Caroline Cooney.

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In a few years have her re-read The Giver and then read Anthem by Ayn Rand (your older daughter could probably do this if she's still homeschooled). My kids compare/contrast the books right around 13 or 14. Its always an interesting assignment.

 

Thanks heaps  :)

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I did Ender's Game a few years ago in a Lit. & Comp. class with gr 7-12 students, and I would hesitate to do it again with students below 9th grade. It was written for adults, and has some very brutal violence and adult themes. At least to me, it feels more raw and graphic in the child-on-child violence than Hunger Games. JMO, Ender's Game is a good one to do if interested in dystopias, but I'd wait a few years on that one, and I'd definitely preview for an 11yo.

 

My kids were in high school when they read Ender's Game. It seemed young for them then, but I was probably too desensitized. I'd take Lori's word on this :).

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