My wife, my eleven year old, and I are all readers. My nine year old thinks books are “boring and stupid.” There is one exception; Shel Silverstein.
She thinks his writings are the best ever. Every time she checks out one of his books, I get an over-due notice. I’m going to happily present her with my copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends (when I find it - many books here) because she’s read the library copy cover-to-cover multiple times. We went to the bookstore today, and she picked out two Silverstein books.
Who else would she possibly like? I’m looking for other stuff for her, but Shel was so…uniquely Shel that I can’t come up with other authors. Please help.
I loved National Velvet and Little Women around that age, though I really couldn’t understand either one - the slang, the bits of Victoriana, or even why Jo was seen as such an outlier. So scratch that, I’ll keep thinking…(and jump in here to say when Shel Silverstein passed away and I told my little girl, she broke my heart. “Oh! No more poems, mom, no more poems!” she wailed. I think we both shed a tear that day.)
I would think Dr. Seuss, but maybe she would feel a bit too old for that. Another possibility is Edward Gorey, but some of his stuff might be too adult for her. It’s mostly mock-Victorian Gothic black humor… Maybe you could start with The Doubtful Guest, which is relatively mild. Robert Wyatt set The Doubtful Guest to music… maybe not to your taste, but at least this video will allow you to see all the text and drawings in their original form, so you can judge what you think of the book.
At that age, I enjoyed Edward Lear. He was a poet from the 19th century who wrote limericks and silly stories and poems (including “The Owl & The Pussycat”). Silly rhymes, made up words, bizarre stories presented semi-seriously… she might dig it.