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 Post subject: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:38 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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(crossposted on FB if you saw that)
I'm trying to make a reading list for my kid, and online is just overwhelming (and lots of books i've never heard of).
Kid is going into 9th grade (8th US) and I feel like she needs to get more of those "classic books" under her belt.
My US state's standards are more performance based and they don't have a solid list (that i can find).
I'm leaning more towards classics not just for cultural references but also because they're easier for me to access online.

Any suggestions for which reading lists/sites are more trustworthy?
thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:45 am 
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Are you looking for classics as in really old classics? Or the classic books that are commonly taught in school, like To Kill a Mockingbird? I remember my friends and I (nerd alert) printing off copies of Bloom's Western Canon and crossing books off as we went. I know the list is pretty problematic in that it ignores the important works of other cultures, but it's not a bad place to start, and almost everything should be in the public domain.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:48 am 
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I have a vivid memory of reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Night, and part of the Odyssey in 9th grade (and some other stuff, I'm sure). I do not recommend the last one.

I think the way I'd go about creating such a list would be to think of different genres of books and plug in the ones in each genre you think your kid would enjoy or would be age-appropriate. Like under sci-fi/fantasy, I might put I, Robot, Dune (maybe a little too old for her, depends on her reading level), any Madeline L'Engle, any Douglas Adams, even something like Alice in Wonderland (trippy). I'd have a classic Americana category: Little Women, Emerson/Thoreau stuff, Anne of Green Gables, etc. Historical: Night, To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Western/Eastern European, Asian and African authors (I love the #1 ladies detective agency books - actually a European author writing about Africa, but still). And more...

P.S. The first American-written "bestseller" was written by a woman (and maybe she was also black? I don't remember), but unfortunately can't remember the name of that book!


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:26 pm 
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im not sure of the age appropriateness of these but some of my favorite books i read in high school were To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, the Bell Jar, etc

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:34 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:42 pm 
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i cant remember the authors but im just remembering some books that i read in high school.
i cant remember what grades but if the level doesnt matter then any of these would be fine

A Seperate Peace, and then Peace Breaks Out (Knowles?)
the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Carson McCullers?)
the Old Testament (this might be better in a classroom setting since it's confusing with the 8000 different "characters")
i read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury on my own

Catch 22 was assigned to us for my senior AP class as summer reading though i will admit that i hated that book.
i tried reading Watership Down but i dont think i ever finished it.

and of course my least favorite: SHAKESPEARE!

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:52 pm 
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ha. in honor of his rediscovery I am reading Richard III and FC loudly expressed her distaste. It is not exactly the most thrilling thing i've read either.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:57 pm 
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i HATED shakespeare in both High school and college. HATED.

i like the stories but i cant get past the language. i flat out dont understand which was very odd because in general im a smart cookie and literature was something i always excelled at but old english can bite me!

my roomate in college was an english major and thought my hatred of shakesspeare was sacriledge.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:04 pm 
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LP, so awesome that you mention Carson McCullers! I would definitely second that.

I know many of these might be a bit below her ability level (at least that they may have been written for younger kids), but I do really want to recommend the Newbery Medal Winners. Here's a list:

http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bo ... dalwinners

Some certainly are aimed at teens and YA readers.

I read many of these as a kid and even as an adult have made it a point to pick up the new winners because they're always so good. Really some of the best in children's/YA literature, without being dead-white-man canonical.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:10 pm 
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I remember reading a bunch of dystopian novels in 9th grade, including 1984 and Brave New World and being really into it. Also The Great Gatsby, which I was not into. Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea (not as much of a classic but I definitely think it's a good accompaniment to Jane Eyre), The Awakening, and short stories like The Yellow Wallpaper stand out to me from 10th grade. I was in a 10th grade honor's English class with all or almost all girls and we got to read lots of lady authors dealing with women's issues from the late 1800s/early 1900s which I also really liked. I didn't read any Edith Wharton until I was in my early 20s but of course she would also go along well.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:11 pm 
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thank you for all your ideas! i am not sure how i am going to compile all this but it is all being filed away!!

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Seconding Jane Eyre (read in H.S., have read a hundred times since) paired with Wide Sargasso Sea (read in college). Along the theme of dystopian future narratives, besides 1984 and Brave New World, The Handmaid's Tale and Crake and Oryx by Margaret Atwood (both lots of sex). Also, for variety's sake, there's always "Utopia" - written ca. 1500, available online? It's a pretty easy read. And how about on the philosophical thread - The Stranger and The Plague?

I would not bother with the Bible(s) (any variety) unless you're well versed (academically) in it - stylistically they're hard to get into (the Qu'ran especially), there are a lot of things that make sense in historical context that just seem bizarre and meaningless now, etc. There isn't a lot of benefit to putting that much time in without having a good guide. But maybe some of the more narrative parts of the Bible? The books of Esther, Ruth, Judith (apocryphal, can be found in a Catholic Bible), the story of Deborah/Barak/Yael/Sisera (in Judges), the story of Joseph/his brothers/Pharaoh (about the last third of the book of Genesis), book of Jonah, and for the philosophically minded, Ecclesiastes? These are pretty pervasive stories in the canon, would be worth knowing.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:50 pm 
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i LOVED Handmaid's Tale. i didnt read it til i was an adult but they so should make people read that in high school!

i quadruple agree!

Brave New World we read too in h.s.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Most public libraries (and school libraries too) have recommended reading lists too. You can always browse goodreads. Com for suggestions too.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:12 pm 
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chiveggie wrote:
Most public libraries (and school libraries too) have recommended reading lists too. You can always browse goodreads. Com for suggestions too.

this is how my confusion began!!! i was looking at goodreads then a homeschooling list and then it just got overwhelming.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Honestly, it's not like you're going to get her to read ALL THE BOOKS, so why not let her interest be your guide? Start with something mentioned above you think she'd like, if she likes it, offer something similar, if not, offer something different, and go from there? You don't have to fulfill a specific curriculum.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:47 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
Honestly, it's not like you're going to get her to read ALL THE BOOKS, so why not let her interest be your guide? Start with something mentioned above you think she'd like, if she likes it, offer something similar, if not, offer something different, and go from there? You don't have to fulfill a specific curriculum.


I do agree with this sentiment, but I did read a lot of books in high school and college that I would never have picked on my interest alone. Picking from different genres sounds good.

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.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:52 am 
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The schools here do Battle of the Books. Here's the 9-12 grade reading list:

http://battleofthebooks.org/book-list/s ... 012-13.php


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:57 am 
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My favourites from that age (both of which I have gone back and read multiple times in the intervening years) are The Giver and The Chrysalids.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:24 am 
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Torque, I remember you liked a link to Crash Course world history on my facebook. Well, they did a mini-series on English literature. It certainly made me want to (re)read the books they talk about. Here's the first video:



And the full thing here: http://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse/videos


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:35 am 
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awesome, thank you!!

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:37 am 
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Peri wrote:
The schools here do Battle of the Books. Here's the 9-12 grade reading list:

http://battleofthebooks.org/book-list/s ... 012-13.php

this is one of the lists that i've kept and am using!!!

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:29 am 
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You can also google previous years. Hunger Games was on it in 2010. I think it's a pretty smart reading list and something adults can use as well.


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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:10 pm 
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There are some excellent suggestions here! I am being reminded of books I read years ago that I now want to re-read.

When I was 12/13 and complaining of being bored on a rainy weekend, my dad gave me Tortilla Flat to read, and over the next year or two I went on to devour everything Steinbeck had ever written. Something else I loved at that age and have reread regularly since was the Little Women/Good Wives/Little Men/Jo's Boys quartet.

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 Post subject: Re: reading lists for kids?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:43 pm 
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I love book talk!

These are a couple of the authors I really liked back in high school, actually I still like them!
Richard Wright
Upton Sinclair (I got really into older social rights type books, I read books by a ton of other authors too, but he was the gateway to that)
Kurt Vonnegut

Books that I think are worth adding to a reading list:
A Clockwork Orange (I read it in grade 11 and then again in college)
White Noise (I read this freshman year of college, it might be a bit much for grade 9... depends on the kid but it was a book that stuck with me and I recommend it to everyone)
The Alchemist


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