27 April 2006

Show and Tell, and a literary request

Show and Tell this week is your street. Here’s mine.

I took these standing directly outside our place, looking further along the street. Just around this bend it becomes a dirt road. We head that way on our way to school every morning, and this morning saw seven kangaroos. All before 8.45 am. Not bad.

mystreet up

And back the other way.

mystreet down

And beside me as I snapped, a baby gum tree still wearing its baby leaves. (Which I picked to accompany some Tim Tams on their long journey across the seas recently).

greenleaves2

And now I must head off along that very road to collect the wee ones from school.

Before I go, I have a favour to ask of all you librarian types and/or parents of older children. My #1, aged 12, has reached a whole new level in his reading and is craving mystery and crime books. He’s way beyond the Famous Five mystery type of stuff (although he loved them last year), and is currently devouring all the Agatha Christies he can find in the library. But he’s hankering for more, and not being a fan of the crime genre myself, I am not much help. I don’t want him reading Ian Rankin or anything gory, with sexual violence and torture and so on. The odd shooting, stabbing and garrotting is fine (I can’t quite believe I am typing this …). Can anyone suggest some good mystery/crime authors for Young Adults? Actually, a very young innocent non-streetwise wee thing, really. Hardy Boys … too young? Alfred Hitchcock? Sherlock Holmes? Help!

28 comments:

jess said...

I love Dorothy Sayers - not too violent, more about the solving of the crime. I can't remember when I started reading them - maybe around the same age. Most of the references and wit went over my head then, but I loved them. I'll try to think of some others.

justine said...

maybe Kerry Greenwood's Phrynne Fisher series? set in 1920s Melbourne and fairly restrained but still lots of fun.

telfair said...

My younger brother was crazy for John Bellairs when he was a lad in short pants...the Bellairs books are sort of Gothic mysteries with supernatural themes, and they can be a bit scary, but they're extremely well-written, with good language and strong characters and no gratuitous violence. Also, if you get the older editions, most have absolutely stunning pen and ink drawings by Edward Gorey to accompany.

Sharon said...

I will have a scout around at the bookshop tomorrow... I believe we have a new YA novel that just might fit the bill...

Miss Eagle said...

I suggest Dorothy L Sayers. As well as the crime, she also has a theme - one was advertising, another poison, another bell-ringing. I would also commend the Bony books by Arthur Upfield. Similar period as Christie and Sayers but dinki-di Australian. Upfield's detective is Napoleon Bonaparte - an Aboriginal with blue eyes and a university degree when this didn't happen. And he is based on a person that Upfield worked with in the bush. Upfield has one claim to fame that neither Christie or Sayers has - someone actually committed one of his crimes in WA. The crime is the one in Sands of Windee.

blackbird said...

Your street is wonderful.
I cannot imagine how I would react to kangaroos! I suppose they are like deer...

My boys found most young adult fiction awful, glad he's found a genre that excites him -
my guys turned to wilderness books, Everest sagas and survival stories at that point.

Melanie said...

As I live in outer eastern Melbourne I am trying to guess where you live - is it Kangaroo Ground? We don't have any kangaroos round our way (near Dandenongs). For crime writers I would suggest Ngaio Marsh as very like AC and Wilkie Collins. Our library can match you up with authors of a similar type so I suggest you ask them or go on your local library website.

Anonymous said...

I always liked Sherlock Holmes, and the James Bond books are excellent, though I can't recall if there's as much sex in them as in the films. Great stories though!

Lazy cow said...

I don't know about YA books for boys as the Boy is only 3, but I'm very interested in all the responses, which I will be obsessively noting down for future reference (9 years time).
I think I know that street! My best friend's parents live out that way.

Anonymous said...

Also - Marjorie Allingham's mysteries with Albert Campion. I'm a big mystery buff myself - have over 3000 in my small library. (After all, I'd hate to have nothing to read on a snowy day!)

Carol in Oregon

Sarah Louise said...

I'll get back to you on the books. I love the leaves!! and Kangaroos, wow!

Daisy said...

I also love Dorothy Sayers, but not sure if he would like the period-ness of her? How about Laurie King? Her Holmes/Mary Russell series, not the kate Martinelli ones just yet.

I am a big fan of british mysteries - maybe Josephine Tey? Oh, and I will admit to a long-held love for Dick Francis - I can re-read him at any time.

--erica said...

I love the rural country road.
reminds me alot of California foothills.

Jeanne said...

Love your street --

I read the Sherlock Holmes books at about the same age as your oldest, and enjoyed them very much. (Was mystified by a lot of the Victorianness, but it didn't seem to hinder me much.) Sayers might be a bit wordy and Oxbridgian (is that a word?), so perhaps start on Josephine Tey, who is I think a bit more multi-generational. I've heard great things about Ngaio Marsh, but haven't yet read her. Dick Francis can get a bit violent, but not much sex. Tony Hillerman, perhaps?

Alison said...

Im a lurker but keen crime fiction reader.

At that age I was reading the Georges Simenon 'Maigret' books. 1930s Paris.

I also recommend Donna Leon's series set in contemporary Venice - which are quite complex but not much sex or detailed gore/violence.

If he is interested in Ancient Rome he might like Stephen Saylor who writes mysteries set in Rome. They are very well written and have a great political context.

BabelBabe said...

i just read some Cornelia Funke (Thief Lord) which was pretty good. and my nephews (age ranges 9-14) swear by the Artemis Fowl books.

love the Sherlock Holmes/Laurie King stuff.
you might be ok with Hardy Boys, but they are dated, as are Trixie Belden.

Three Investigators/Alfred Hitchcock are a good bet.

Katrina said...

As an avid reader of mysteries, I would have to say that the favorites I would stick into the school books I was supposed to be reading were Dick Francis (fantastic background on horse racing) and Rex Stout (whose primary sleuth loves good food and growing orchids in New York City). All very entertaining and clever reads that keep you guessing until the end.

MsCellania said...

What about Agatha Christie? Too old ladyish? Definitely Sherlock Holmes.

I LOVE your street! I wish we had trees and kangaroos. I'll have to settle for flickers, bunnies, bobcats and bears. Hopefully, not all at the same time.

Jeanne said...

I forgot to add that when I asked my husband this question, he instantly said "Three Investigators!"

Joke said...

As the first former boy to reply to this, I'd say DEFINITELY Sherlock Holmes, but start off with the short stories, the novels are a bit much for anyone under 11-12.

I discovered SH around then and proceeded to devour them. As a bonus, those books/stories taught me how to read something with a critical eye, and spotting patterns in other plot-driven books has become far easier.

On top of that, the texts are available online for free (I believe they are public domain now).

-J.

P.S. 7 kangaroos by 8:45am! It's good to know they are so conscientious, to show up before starting time.

Carole said...

My son, age 14, stopped playing on his PC long enough to back the suggestion of the 'Thief Lord' & Artemis Fowl too. His other suggestions are... Charlie Higson 'Silver Fin' and sequel- only one at present-(young James Bond). Anthony Horowitz writes 'amusing' crime about the Diamond Brothers and action novels with Alex Rider as the hero. The action books are very popular at school too. I feel very fortunate to have an avid boy reader!!!!

Elizabeth said...

I can imagine the roos crossing this road!
My son agrees with Babelbabe: the Thief Lord and the Artemis Fowl series.

kate q said...

If he'd like some non-fiction (and doesn't mind gore) you could look into forensic anthropology. William Maples, Clyde Snow, etc.... Kind of like Sherlock Holmes, but real; and some of these books pull you in the way fiction does.

Melanie said...

I've just remembered another one I used to love when I was that age - Ellery Queen mysteries - he was a well-educated and affable young man from Westchester County, which I think is somewhere like Connecticut or NY State. I think he might be hard to find though - perhaps second hand bookshops. I agree Sherlock Holmes is ideal for that age. However, such books might be a tad old-fashioned for youngsters nowadays if they have not had much exposure to the olden days. I once tried to get my son to read The Sword in the Stone, but he said he couldn't read it as it was all gibberish - when I looked at an example "Egad, Sir Ector", I couldn't help but agree, yet such quaint language was still understandable to me as I had been brought up on all the classics of English literature. Nowadays there is so much modern literature that I think it spoils children for the old stuff. Still, I suppose learning and culture does move on and can't forever start from the same point in the past.

Mary said...

I seem to remember moving on to
Wilkie Collins after Agatha Christie. Maybe also some Edgar Allan Poe?

telfair said...

Ooh, remembered another one. Phillip Pullman. His stories have a strong element of fantasy about them, but they're suspenseful, too.

The main character in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy (which is very good) is a girl, though...will that render it uninteresting for him?

Carole said...

hate to jump in again but.... Sam (14) loved the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy, despite the female lead!!

Cari said...

I bet he'd love House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer