Books Like David Copperfield
Children have a very unique perspective of the world, which is why reading books with young protagonists can be so compelling. Sometimes their observations can be a lot more innocent and humorous than an adult protagonist in the same situation. However, depending on the type of book, it can also make some stories a lot more harrowing because it is viewed through the eyes of a child. One of the most popular books of this type is The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery by Charles Dickens. It is not just the story of the protagonist from infancy to maturity, but also an autobiographical novel about Dickens himself. For more novels told from the perspective of children check out the following books like David Copperfield.
by Claire King
The Night Rainbow by Claire King is the story of five and a half-year-old Peony - or "Pea" for short - and her younger sister Margot. The two spend their time running free in the meadow behind their house in the south of France, but Pea has a lot on her mind. Not only has she lost her father who passed away suddenly due to a heart attack, but her mother is also dealing with personal issues of her own. She is English and already felt isolated in the small village, but the tragedies in her life cause her to retreat even further from the outside world. Pea and her sister try their best to give their mother the space she needs but worry because nothing appears to make her feel better. Then Pea meets a stranger and his dog who appears to love the meadow just as much as she does. The Night Rainbow is a heartfelt story with a precocious narrator and while the book deals with rather difficult themes it does so in a very engaging manner.
by Zulema Renee Summerfield
Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield is set in 1998 and features an eight-year-old named Nenny as the protagonist. Like many other Americans, Nenny has her life changed dramatically when her parents get divorced. She is already a very nervous child, so when Nenny and her mother and two brothers have to move in with their new stepfather and his two kids her anxiety intensifies. Summerfield managed to perfectly capture the fears of an eight-year-old, both real and imagined, in this novel. Not only is Nenny an endearingly innocent protagonist, but her struggles to connect with her new family while gaining new insights about life make for compelling reading.
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is a 2005 novel about a nine-year-old boy named Oskar. A few years after his father died in 9/11, Oskar discovers a key that belonged to his dad hidden in a vase. The death of his father has taken a heavy toll on Oskar who suffers from panic and depression despite his young age. The fact that his mother has begun dating another man also weighs heavily on Oskar and has put a strain on his relationship with her. After discovering the key Oskar is determined to find out what it unlocks, even if it could be any one of the 162 million locks in New York. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has its fair share of emotional moments, but it also contains a lot of humor thanks to Oskar's imaginative view of the world. The book has also been turned into a 2012 film starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and Thomas Horn as Oskar.
by Caroline Smailes
In Search of Adam is the 2007 debut novel by Caroline Smailes. Unlike most of the other books on this list In Search of Adam cannot be classified as a very pleasant read. It's the story of Jude Williams, a six-year-old who finds the body of her mother with a bottle of alcohol, a bunch of tablets, and a note next to her. The note simply states that her mother has gone in search of Adam and that she loves Jude. The book is set during the 1980s and follows Jude as her childhood is fractured by the death of her mother and the horrors that follow. The book is very intense and disturbing in places, which means it is not for everyone, but the observations made by Jude will stay with readers long afterward.
by Tony Earley
Jim The Boy is a 2000 coming-of-age novel by Tony Early featuring a young boy named Jim Glass. It is set in a remote North Carolina hamlet during 1934 when the Great Depression was hitting the country hard. Ten-year-old Jim lives with his mother and uncles who are raising him after his father passed away. Instead of being a typical novel, Jim The Boy is structured more as a series of events that explore Jim's life growing up in rural America. Although the prose is simple the narration perfectly captures the setting and time period.
by Susan Crandall
Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall was published in 2013 and is the story of nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. It is the summer of 1963 and Starla decides to run away from her grandmother's home in Mississippi and head for Nashville. Starla's father is away working on an oil rig and her mother abandoned her when she was only three years old and went to Nashville with dreams of becoming a famous singer. As she walks down the road, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman named Eula and together they embark on a road trip that changes Starla's view of the world forever.