Joy pouted her way around the library because they didn’t have any of the next books in the three series she’s reading (that is actually understandable). I asked her what sort of book she wanted to read, thinking either I or the children’s librarian could help her find something else, but she couldn’t give me a straight answer there, either. We were finally able to find some decent substitutes, and after we got home, I asked her again what sort of books she likes to read right now: magic, ordinary, animals, old-fashioned, etc, etc. She thought about it for a few minutes, and this time was able to answer.
“Magic,” she said decisively. “Like the Narnia books.”
I managed to keep from doing a joyful dance of triumph, and calmly went to my shelves instead. I pulled off Mossflower, The Magic City, The Book of Three, Time Cat, and, because she’s also still really into fairies right now, Fairy Dust and the Quest for Egg.
She’s at a tricky age right now – advanced enough reading level for any MG books, but a much younger interest level, as well as getting overwhelmed by any books that look too large or have too small of print. I almost added The Hobbit to the stack, but I think we’ll wait another year for that one – seven is a little young. It isn’t so much that I think it’ll be too much for her as it is I don’t know that she’d be able to appreciate it.
So, I stuck with those five for now, and handed them to her with a cheerful, “You certainly don’t have to read any of those, but if you want to, they’re yours for as long as you want them.”
And now I’m trying to think up others that would be good for independent reading by a sensitive seven-year-old who loves Narnia. Frankly, I’d be delighted to get her off those Rainbow Magic stories for good, and while the Magic Tree House books have been wonderful, I won’t complain when she finishes those and is ready to move to something with more depth. I don’t want to force her to read books she’s not interested in, or books that are too old for her, just because I love them, and as long as she’s reading I won’t complain about how lame I think the books are (but seriously, the Rainbow Magic books are so lame) because it’s her reading and not mine … but I can’t hide how excited I am that she’s starting to fall in love with some of the books that have been my faithful friends for so many years.