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Reading Mixes
Call for help! Child's World. 
18th-Jun-2006 03:56 pm
roses (by iconz_kthx)
I asked meril about this and she said it was okay, so...I want to put together a list called Child's World (for books with missing or distanced adults), but I can't think of more than a few titles for it. Rather than try to find more on my own, I thought I'd post what I have, ask for additions, and then re-post with all of the additions (plus comments) included.

Basically, the list would be a collective effort. Mix-making by committee! ...Anyway, it's worth a shot.

Child's World

-Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I think everyone knows this one. Three kids from London go to a world where children never grow up, and every day is an adventure. They fight Pirates (grown-ups) and Indians under the leadership of Peter Pan, a cocky boy who never ever wants to grow up.

-The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Book two of the His Dark Materials trilogy. A boy from earth goes through an interdimensional portal to another world, where invisible monsters inhabit the cities, sucking out the soul of any adult who touches them. Consequently, the grown-ups have all left, and a group of wraith-orphans has moved in. Has a lot to say on what makes children different adults.

-Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A group of British schoolchildren marrooned on a desert island rapidly turn to savagery and cannibalism. I really hate this book, I'd prefer not to include it.

If you know any other books that fit...? Or if you think you might know someone else who'd know, if you could direct them here...?
20th-Jun-2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
The Girl who Owned a City by O.T.Nelson
A disease kills everyone in the world over the age of 12. Most children form gangs, fighting each other for supplies, but one ten-year-old girl is trying to build a city of children so they can reform some sort of civilized society. I have no idea how it stands up to time, but I loved this book when I was a kid and remember being fascinated by the survival and political themes.
20th-Jun-2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
Oooooh, neat.
20th-Jun-2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
Two authors come to mind where the adults are present, but certainly distanced:

The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher (http://www.gnelson.demon.co.uk/tripage/trilogy.html)
Three books in a futuristic setting where people, once they come of age, are fitted with metal caps which make them obedient to the aliens who have settled on the planet. Because of this, most human adults -- save for a tiny hidden society -- are controlled, while uncapped children must try to change the world.

By the same token, you could always go with Ender's Game. There are adults, but it's definately the children who make their own society and turn things around.
20th-Jun-2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
...I can't believe I forgot Ender's Game. Yeah, the adults are not as in-charge in that book as they think they are.

Chrisopher's book looks really good.
20th-Jun-2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
My dad was a middle school english teacher for a bunch of years, and he suggested the following:

Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
A story about a 13-year-old girl and her two younger siblings who were abandoned by their mother. They walk across several states to try to get to other members of their family, hoping they'll adopt them so they won't have to be split up in foster homes.

Phineas by John Knowles
Takes place in a British boarding school, apparently full of metaphor.

One more from me:
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
The classic story about a brother and sister who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
20th-Jun-2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
I've read Homecoming, and seen Mixed-up Files as a movie (in fact I used to be teased for looking like the older sister; if my brother had looked like the younder brother it would have been perfect). Phineus sounds interesting.
21st-Jun-2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
Hmm, a suggestion... the Narnia books are all plot driven by children. In fact, when the main characters get too old they can't go to Narnia anymore. xD
21st-Jun-2006 05:01 pm (UTC) - hmm.
True. But aren't they still part of an adult's world? Narnia isn't theirs, it's Aslan's, and frequently in those books they're playing by his rules, not their own. On the other hand it's been a while since I read the series, so if I'm forgetting something that makes those books particularly about how children act with no adults around, I'd like to hear it.

...though I didn't mention anything like this above, ahaha. The post is vague and only specifies "missing or distanced" adults, but actually I was thinking more along the lines of "in the absense of adults, children create their own society". I should have been clearer, sorry about that. I think the problem is that if you start including any series that's plot driven by children, you end up with almost all of YA literature.

I love (some of) the Narnia books, though. My favorites were A Horse and His Boy and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (I think I just like traveling and weird exotic places).
23rd-Jun-2006 12:13 am (UTC)
The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix, man. Recced by an old friend. Greatest trilogy of kids' books ever. The actual concepts appeal to me far more than the His Dark Materials.
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