Twelve Classic Books for Older Children

Again inspired by Stuff’s list of Fifty Books Every Kid Should Read By Age Twelve, and by Goodread’s Top 100 Children’s Books list, here is my hopelessly-biased (the majority of the books are British, and most are favourites from my own childhood) but still very good list of twelve of the best classic reads for children aged eight to twelve.

As with my list of Classic Books for Younger Children I’ve arranged them in rough order from the simplest to the most complex. As different children develop in reading at different rates I haven’t given a hard-and-fast indication of exactly what age kids need to be to tackle these books: I’m pretty sure I’d read them all (with the exception of J. K. Rowling, whose books came out when I was… a little older) long before I turned twelve, but I was a comparatively advanced reader and definitely still loved all these books at that age. For particularly reluctant readers, and those who are struggling, reading stories aloud can be a great way to keep them interested in books.

Continue reading “Twelve Classic Books for Older Children”

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Author Profile: C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

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Poster for the 2005 Disney adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, based on the book by C. S. Lewis.

If you’ve read my list of Six Christian Classics it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m quite a fan of the work of Clive Staples (‘Jack’) Lewis, who is regarded by many Christians as the pre-eminent apologist of the twentieth century.

This great ‘man of letters’, who taught at both Oxford and Cambridge, was born in Belfast and raised in the (Anglican) Church of Ireland, but a series of events, which included the death of his mother from cancer in 1908, the influence of early twentieth century intellectualism, and his experiences as a Second Lieutenant in the trenches in World War One (beginning on his nineteenth birthday), led him to reject the faith of his childhood. Continue reading “Author Profile: C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)”

Author Profile: J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)

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J. R. R. Tolkien, c.1972

Best remembered today for his beloved works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (‘Ronald’) was a WWI lieutenant, an Oxford professor, a close friend of fellow-author C. S. Lewis, and a teacher of the poet W. H. Auden. Continue reading “Author Profile: J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)”

English Literature in 10 Classic Reads

The French may have a reputation for making the best wine. The Italians and the Dutch may have been renowned for centuries as the world’s finest artists. Germany may have produced some of history’s greatest composers. But when it comes to words, no-one does it quite like the English. Continue reading “English Literature in 10 Classic Reads”