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Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 1:16 am
by Sammysingsong
I've got a birthday coming up for a favorite nephew of mine, and I managed (to my sister's dismay) to literally get him as psyched about Star Wars as I was at his age--still having SW themed parties at age 10, and if he's like me, even by age 16.

I was looking at Thinkgeek and found two books that looked rather interesting, he's a bright kid, he's reading books beyond his grade level (like any geek kid, myself and I'm sure many of you did as well)...and I wanted to know if anyone here had gotten their hands on this item and could tell me how age appropriate, or interesting it is...

http://www.thinkgeek.com/interests/starwars/e971/


I also want to know, for my own purposes, if anyone has gotten ahold of the Star Wars Cookbook, I think I should enjoy that for an early self-gift item...anyone have any experience with that book at all?

Re: ThinkGeek Star Wars Items

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 2:54 am
by Cam Solusar
I worked at Barnes & Noble for 5 years and recall seeing that Jedi Path book. I don't think it was spectacularly interesting, especially for a grade schooler. I'd get something with lots of pictures and diagrams and/or encyclopedic entries. Any of the DK Star Wars illustrated guides or the cross section books, for instance.

The cook book, though somewhat cool, is a joke. About as Star Wars-y as it gets is punny names like Boba Fettuccine posted above recipes you could find with a quick google search. I suppose there's the novelty factor of it being a Star Wars cookbook, but other than that I couldn't recommend it.

Re: ThinkGeek Star Wars Items

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 3:09 am
by Sammysingsong
Cam Solusar wrote:I worked at Barnes & Noble for 5 years and recall seeing that Jedi Path book. I don't think it was spectacularly interesting, especially for a grade schooler. I'd get something with lots of pictures and diagrams and/or encyclopedic entries. Any of the DK Star Wars illustrated guides or the cross section books, for instance.

The cook book, though somewhat cool, is a joke. About as Star Wars-y as it gets is punny names like Boba Fettuccine posted above recipes you could find with a quick google search. I suppose there's the novelty factor of it being a Star Wars cookbook, but other than that I couldn't recommend it.
Yeah, that may be a problem...recently he's let it be known, he's "over" picture books...

He feels patronized when someone gets him one...even though, at my age, I still freaking love them...the only one I recall he actually likes is the Cross Sections of various star wars ships/vehicles...with which he's made tons of neat models of in Minecraft...I thought wow, this will be dull, then he showed he even had flashing lights/etc with redstone circuits...so...he's like a geek squared....

What's the starting age for the library of Star Wars novels? I never got into them much, but at his age I was already cracking into Dune and LOTR even if I didn't fully understand their themes until a few years later.

Re: ThinkGeek Star Wars Items

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 3:37 am
by Bib Fortuna
I first got into the Star Wars novels around the age of 13, if that helps. I really enjoyed reading the Jedi Academy Trilogy because that was my first experience at seeing the Star Wars universe outside of the movies.

Re: ThinkGeek Star Wars Items

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 3:38 am
by Cam Solusar
I think I first read Timothy Zahn in 4th or 5th grade. His books are by far the best ones out there. Start with the Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.

Re: ThinkGeek Star Wars Items

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 3:48 am
by Sammysingsong
Where does Shadows fit in?

Or on that note, some of the newer Dune works were co-authored by Brian Anderson, who I thought also was a Star Wars novel author...do his works fall on the higher or lower age scale?

Went ahead and ordered the first Zahn book.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 8:29 am
by Bib Fortuna
Shadows of the Empire takes place between ESB and ROTJ.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 9:00 am
by Sammysingsong
Bib Fortuna wrote:Shadows of the Empire takes place between ESB and ROTJ.
I meant on the difficulty of reading scale.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 9:04 am
by Bib Fortuna
Ah, it's a simple enough style, but there is one pretty overt sexual scene between Xizor and Leia that might be inappropriate for younger readers. Nothing actually happens in that scene, but it is clear where things were headed if they hadn't been interrupted.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 10:05 am
by jmurda35
There is the Kevin J. Anderson Young Jedi Knights series. Designed for young readers, but certainly interesting enough at that age. There are a lot of them, so it could keep him entertained for a while. I know there are a lot of KJA haters here, but it's probably the best set of novels for a 10 year old to get started with. I do agree that the Thrawn Trilogy is the best overall though, and I started reading the main series of novels in 5th or 6th grade, so that trilogy isn't out of the question.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 11:53 am
by Batmouse
Bib Fortuna wrote:Ah, it's a simple enough style, but there is one pretty overt sexual scene between Xizor and Leia that might be inappropriate for younger readers. Nothing actually happens in that scene, but it is clear where things were headed if they hadn't been interrupted.
Terrible book. I just finished reading it again. Just terrible was Shadows.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 12:27 pm
by Beatstick
Find the Rogue Squadron books and the Wraith Squadron books. They are amazing, and perfect for any age group.

Re: ThinkGeek Star Wars Items

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 1:10 pm
by Cam Solusar
Sammysingsong wrote:Where does Shadows fit in?

Or on that note, some of the newer Dune works were co-authored by Brian Anderson, who I thought also was a Star Wars novel author...do his works fall on the higher or lower age scale?

Went ahead and ordered the first Zahn book.
You're probably thinking Kevin J. Anderson. His Jedi Academy Trilogy is regarded by some to be among the WORST Star Wars books written. Zahn does an amazing job of capturing the "feel" of Star Wars that other writers do not, save perhaps Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston. A few others are good as well, but they don't have the volume of works that those three have.

One caveat about Stackpole and Allston is they are writing largely about secondary characters (Wedge and Rogue Squadron) so there's a lot of new names to learn, which might be a turn-off to a young reader (I can recall it being difficult for me), so they might be more jr high level. Each book starts out with a Dramatis Personae that lists key characters whose names you need to learn and keep track of.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 1:45 pm
by Sammysingsong
#Kevin J Anderson: That makes a lot of sense, there was a lot of groaning in Dune fandom when it was made public that Herbert's son would be coauthoring with Anderson.

My nephew, like many kids of his generation, doesn't share the utter disdain of the prequels, or their shallow characters...have any of the above authors done anything relevant to young Obi, Anakin, or Maul--he loves the clone war series. I usually get him books once a month 2-3, so that's why I'm probing so many options.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 2:03 pm
by Cam Solusar
Interestingly enough, IMO the prequel novels are written for a more mature reading level than a lot of the other things I've read. The overall tone is much darker than the post ROTJ expanded universe and the books aren't quite as "happy", though I still thought they were well written. Better written than the prequel movies, actually.

I recall enjoying Cloak of Deception (political thriller), The Approaching Storm (LOTR-ish "journey" story), The Cestus Deception (coming-of-age tale for a Padawan), Med Star I & II (Think M*A*S*H for Star Wars) and Shatterpoint (Think Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now for Star Wars.

I would definitely work my way through all of Zahn's books before touching those, though.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm
by Sammysingsong
I might visit the library and check a few of those out myself. Thanks for the recommendations guys.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 5:54 pm
by Mr. G
The Young Jedi Knights series is certainly a good place to start as they are definitely targeted toward a younger age group.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 28th, 2012, 10:39 pm
by LordSanada
I really liked the Galaxy of Fear books when I was younger ( note that they are not actually scary).

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 29th, 2012, 1:04 am
by CategoryOneGames.com
There are a series of Boba Fett books aimed at a younger audience. The Tales of Star Wars books would be decent as they give shorter stories and cover cool characters.

Re: Star Wars Novels (For kids)

Posted: May 29th, 2012, 10:06 am
by cooleo1c
Remember those choose your own adventure books where your Luke's best friend and your with him throughout the movies?