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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Oh! In addition to so many awesome books mentioned here: Oscar Wilde if she'll read plays, Flannery O'Connor if she'll read short stories, everything by Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo, Dracula, and The Sword in the Stone/Once and Future King by TH White.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:00 pm 
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^oh yes to The Once and Future King! That is still one of my favourite books ever. And speaking of Oscar, The Picture of Dorian Gray is also excellent.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:04 pm 
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I also recommend The Giver by Lois Lowry. Easy reading level, but great discussion book.

I'm also a sucker for YA dystopian. The Uglies/Pretties/Specials series and Hunger Games are probably my favorites, and of course Harry Potter.

I had a college class that made Shakespeare more interesting. We would read one of the plays and then watch a few different film adaptations. Everything from the Leo DiCaprio version of Romeo and Juliet, to the musicals Kiss Me Kate and West Side Story, 10 Things I Hate About You, even a few Simpsons episodes snuck their way in. It was fun to see how many ways the original stories got reinterpreted.

I really didn't read a lot of the typical classic books. My high school picked books that either had no movie, or had a movie that was really different from the book because they didn't want us to skip actually reading the book so I think that limited what our teachers picked. I've often thought about going back and reading some classics. The ones I remember reading in high school were Great Expectations, The Awakening (I remember thinking both were a bit disturbing), and Fahrenheit 451 (liked that one). I think my high school English teachers would be saddened to know I can't really remember what else we learned about then, although most was from a Basal series anyways.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Ooh, have her read The Outsiders and Speak. I loved those when I was in the eighth grade.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:51 pm 
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celyn wrote:
Oh! In addition to so many awesome books mentioned here: Oscar Wilde if she'll read plays, Flannery O'Connor if she'll read short stories, everything by Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo, Dracula, and The Sword in the Stone/Once and Future King by TH White.

The Count of Minte Cristo & Oscar Wilde were among my favorites in the dead white dudes category(also like Flannery O'Connor for short stories.. ) More favorite dead white guys/ works of DWGs from that time in my life: Don Quixote, Mark Twain, The Sound and the Fury, Crime and Punishment, Catcher in the Rye, The Jungle. Also Vonnegut, but he was not dead when I was
a teenager.
Since science fiction keeps comming up, let me add that Ithink Octavia Butler and Ursula LeGuine should be cannon.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:31 pm 
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Flannery O'Connor is a dead white GAL.

I also extremely recommend The Giver, and I read it as an adult, so don't worry about the easy reading, it's worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:24 am 
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Olives didn't say that Flannery O'Connor was male, I think! She was just commenting on the ones that she and I both liked.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:01 am 
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I also liked The Giver! Ursula Le Guin's The Wizard of Earthsea was also a high school book (grade nine I think) that EVERYONE seemed to love and some picked up the series after that.

My favourite dead white guy remains Edgar Allan Poe, who I think speaks pretty well to angsty teens. Plus I loved just picking a story from the big anthology I had when I was in the mood to read. Jules Verne's 10, 000 Leagues Under The Sea I think is a good introduction to his novels. And Shirley Jackson's The Lottery remains a classic, but I also really recommend The Haunting Of Hill House or We Have Always Lived in The Castle, I think you can tell she's been a big influence on contemporary horror.

Oh Oh Oh and on the topic of Dostoevsky, I think The Brother's Karamazov was the best, although its huge.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:42 am 
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My first recommendation isn't part of the Classics canon but I think they might give way to an interest in some of the classical story arcs. The first is The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, which was my favorite books when I was 13. I was reading at the level of a high school senior, in terms of comprehension, but I still held more interest in themes that weren't too grown up for me--I liked Charlotte Doyle because the writing wasn't dumbed down or cheesy, and it was significantly lengthy, if I remember. Adventure on the high seas with an unscrupulous captain...might pave the way for some Treasure Island or Robinson Crusoe (or Moby Dick, even).

If we're going with plays, The Crucible and Antigone (the latter protagonist, IMO, is pretty awesome).

I'm a crazypants who's in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne's ghost; the Scarlet Letter is a little too risky to start with, because it's more tedious than a lot of his other work. Some of his stories are pretty fantastic, especially Young Goodman Brown.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:44 am 
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Also: is Angela Carter too twisted for a 9th grade reader? Dark humor in a feminist re-telling of fairytales...I didn't read her work until I was in college but I kind of wish I'd discovered it when I was younger.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:30 am 
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Trying to remember what I read in grade 9...it wasn't *that* long ago! There were a lot of different cultures represented, which I didnt appreciate at the time but taught me a lot (that might have been the influence of the IB program? We read a lot of stuff I thought was weird and "foreign", ha ha!)
-Jane Eyre (loved it)
-Bless me, ultima
-The good earth (loved it)
-The weight of all things
-Romeo and Juliet
-The Odyssey (blah)

In grade 10 the two books that changed my life were All Quiet on the Western Front and Night. I also read a lot of jazz age literature on my own. I was really into 1920s-30s American history when I was 15 so I read loads of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Steinbeck. I also LOVED Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and was really into sci-fi: Ender's Game and Dune stand out. I started reading the Wheel of Time fantasy series around age 13 too.

Ah, memories! :)

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:58 am 
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celyn wrote:
Olives didn't say that Flannery O'Connor was male, I think! She was just commenting on the ones that she and I both liked.

Yes, thanks for clarifying for me. Seems like there are a lot of good female American writers of short fiction. I think short story anthologies are a nice way to dip into any genre or category of books. It's low stakes and you can identify writers you want to read more of.
Also, I was so with your daughter on dune, until recently, when I was finally able to finish it after many false starts.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Butternut wrote:

torque wrote:
thank you thank you, i am getting great ideas.
@mandycoot, yes i am thinking about the "dead white men" classics as well as taught-in-school classics.
Since she's not getting the usual english education, i need to make sure she's got access so that she can at least hold her own in discussion about these things that everyone is supposed to have read. so maybe it's more the list of books she's supposed to have read.
We've already done the Madeleine L'Engle and Douglas Adams, she insisted she didn't like Dune (!) so I didn't make her read it. The level isn't really an issue, she's been reading adult level books for about 4 years now, but I just am so sure she's missing content. And the reading lists on the internet are so wildly different that i was completely overwhelmed.


I went to a really alternative college that did not require the "dead white men" curriculum. While I appreciated gaining exposure to other cultures' works of art, I'm glad my high school and my parents were pretty rigorous in having me read the traditional tomes. That background serves you well in many diverse areas.

The dead white men books are often necessary to understand the minority responses. Things Fall Apart takes context from books like of Darkness. I think the Bible is more useful as a reference work than just to read as a work of literature for a general reader.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:30 pm 
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i am making a list from this, again, thanks everyone for your input.

i should also mention that she's already read a short story reader, not the Norton reader but it looks like like it, we've had some great discussion about Heart of Darkness, The Lottery, and a million other things i can't remember (including Hawthorne, Tinglepants, I like your suggestions).

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Oh, just a note, if you put Ender's Game on the list you should get a second hand copy. I'm aware a lot of the older stuff I like was written by bigots so I don't mean anyone who likes Ender's Game is bad or anything, but Orson Scott Card is extremely homophobic and spends a lot of time and money on anti-LGBT groups.

I just thought of that because DC just hired him to write a Superman comic :/

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:45 am 
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thanks for the heads up. the majority of this reading will be library and/or download, and the rest secondhand unless there's something really, really special.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:53 am 
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Is she into audio books? I'm a very slow reader, so sometimes the sheer volume of a book can keep me from reading it. This is especially true for some of the classics. Audiobooks are nice because you can listen to the story while you're doing something else, like crafts, housework, walking, driving, or just lying on the couch.

Librivox is a website where volunteers read books that have been released into the public domain, so you can download them for free. They have recordings of almost every classic written before 1900, many of which are very good. http://librivox.org/

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:37 pm 
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There are so many good suggestions on this thread, including stuff I'm just discovering as an adult (like Carson McCullers - and by a funny coincidence I happened to be reading "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" at the same time as my book club read "Feminine Masculinity," which talks about some of the gender role/tomboy stuff in McCullers' work, very interesting). I think you could see what she likes and come up with some good theme lists from there.. There are 'classics' I didn't read until I was pretty old, eg "The Great Gatsby," and while I feel like I "get" all the widespread references to it now, I don't feel like it ruined my life to wait until now. There's a lot of stuff I tried to read when I was young (7th-9th grade), like Dostoevsky and James Joyce, that without some instruction and help I just really didn't get. I don't exactly regret having read a hundred pages of Crime and Punishment before I realized that Rodya, Rodion Romanovich, and Rashkolnikov were all the same people, but it sure did make a lot more sense AFTER a few years of Russian and Russian literature classes!!! So anyway my point is don't beat yourself up about F&C not having a "classical" education. Who does these days?

That said, check out the book Book Smart. It has SO many good suggestions and back when I had free time I would pick one book out of each month's section that I hadn't read and read it. This introduced me to SO MANY good things, and has a great mix of classics and lesser-known masterpieces. The categories are really good and invite broad choices. You could let F&C read through the summaries and pick one book out of each category to read every month or whatever, maybe?


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Though if I had to make a list for 9th graders, I think I would focus on the stuff that resonated with me, when I felt like a misunderstood unique and special flower. Some of the content in these is a little mature, and some of them are challenging for sure and would be WIDELY regarded as totally inappropriate for a high schooler (uh, the Nabokov), but...but!! I am not a big believer in bowdlerizing stuff. Also, if she hates Shakespeare she might really enjoy Samuel Pepys's diaries. ;)

"The Bell Jar," Sylvia Plath
"Franny and Zooey," JD Salinger
"Zuleika Dobson," Max Beerbohm
"In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," Jean Shepherd
"The Grounding of Group Six," Julian Thompson
"Notes from Underground," Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Omon Ra," Viktor Pelevin
"The Women of Brewster Place," Gloria Naylor
"Self-Help," Lorrie Moore
"The Glass Castle," Jeannette Walls
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Ken Kesey
"Brave New World," Aldous Huxley (It's my favorite of any of the dystopian totalitarian future classics)
"The Handmaid's Tale," Margaret Atwood - I hate to add more than one thing by an author but also "The Blind Assassin"
"The Poisonwood Bible," Barbara Kingsolver
"Ada, or Ardor," Vladimir Nabokov
"The Joy Luck Club," Amy Tan
"The Westing Game," Ellen Raskin
"Rabbit, Run," John Updike (better read it before you get to an age where having a midlife crisis at 26 sounds hilarious)
"My Dream of You," Nuala O'Faolain


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Sarah Dessen and John Green- not 'classic' but def YA faves.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:26 pm 
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annak wrote:
Though if I had to make a list for 9th graders, I think I would focus on the stuff that resonated with me, when I felt like a misunderstood unique and special flower. Some of the content in these is a little mature, and some of them are challenging for sure and would be WIDELY regarded as totally inappropriate for a high schooler (uh, the Nabokov), but...but!! I am not a big believer in bowdlerizing stuff. Also, if she hates Shakespeare she might really enjoy Samuel Pepys's diaries. ;)

"The Bell Jar," Sylvia Plath
"Franny and Zooey," JD Salinger
"Zuleika Dobson," Max Beerbohm
"In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," Jean Shepherd
"The Grounding of Group Six," Julian Thompson
"Notes from Underground," Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Omon Ra," Viktor Pelevin
"The Women of Brewster Place," Gloria Naylor
"Self-Help," Lorrie Moore
"The Glass Castle," Jeannette Walls
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Ken Kesey
"Brave New World," Aldous Huxley (It's my favorite of any of the dystopian totalitarian future classics)
"The Handmaid's Tale," Margaret Atwood - I hate to add more than one thing by an author but also "The Blind Assassin"
"The Poisonwood Bible," Barbara Kingsolver
"Ada, or Ardor," Vladimir Nabokov
"The Joy Luck Club," Amy Tan
"The Westing Game," Ellen Raskin
"Rabbit, Run," John Updike (better read it before you get to an age where having a midlife crisis at 26 sounds hilarious)
"My Dream of You," Nuala O'Faolain


The Westing Game!! I loved that book!

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