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Poll: Do you read abridged classics to your young elementary children? (0 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you read abridged classics to your young elementary children?

  1. Yes, we read abridged classics! (25 votes [46.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.30%

  2. No, read the classic unabridged! (11 votes [20.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.37%

  3. No, save the classic until the child is old enough to understand; read something else now! (18 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#1 Amanda_Jo

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:14 PM

Do you read abridged stories to your young children? Please explain your choice!

I've heard mixed opinions, yet TWTM mentions reading simplified classics to young children.

#2 Kay in Cal

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:25 PM

Hmmm... we do both and I think it depends.

We read modified versions of The Illiad and the The Odyssey, and a picture-book format Gilgamesh as read alouds this year. But children's classics--Treasure Island, The Hobbit, classic fairy tales--we stick with the original. In the case of using abridged classics, our goal was familiarity and interest.

However, in addition to reading some abridged versions for next year (Chaucer, Beowulf, as well as Shakespeare), I think we'll also read aloud at least one Shakespeare play as written, and some sections of Beowulf as well (I love the Seamus Heaney translation). In general I prefer modified versions that use original language where possible, but perhaps not all of it. Though most of these works are in translation already, in reality!

#3 nmoira

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:19 AM

Hmmm... we do both and I think it depends.

We read modified versions of The Illiad and the The Odyssey, and a picture-book format Gilgamesh as read alouds this year. But children's classics--Treasure Island, The Hobbit, classic fairy tales--we stick with the original. In the case of using abridged classics, our goal was familiarity and interest.

I voted "no" because there are so few exceptions, but this is us to a "t." There's such a wealth of children's literature available, I can see no reason to read bowdlerized or adapted versions of classic books.

#4 Rhesa

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:23 AM

I said No, because I would rather wait until my kids are older and read classics. (There are so many good classics that younger children can enjoy.)

Then I remembered that we have read TWO abridged versions of Black Beauty! Oops!:D

And we have read the abridged versions of Iliad/Odyssey/Gilgamesh, which coincided with history.

Guess I need a re-vote.

#5 Peela

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:41 AM

I voted yes because books like Shakespeare's Lambs Tales and the Iliad and Odyssey, have been important to read as "children's versions" before tackling the adult ones. I have also read Don Quixote as a children's version because I got bogged down in the adult version. Chaucer's Camterbury Tales is another good example of a book worth reading abridged first as a child.
However, generally speaking, no, I would prefer to wait for Dickens etc until they are ready. I dont usually use them. But they have their place.
My kids are the type who read an abridged version and then just don't want to read the real thing if they can remember the story at all. That has happened with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and they are very resistant to reading the real things now. I will have to "make" them, if I want them to read them, because they refuse...I don't like to get to that point with books. Even though they will enjoy them anyway. Same thing happens with movies, actually. Best they read the book first.

#6 TaraTheLiberator

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:42 AM

Up to now I have not, but I think TWTM's idea of reading simpler versions of stories to younger kids so that when they encounter the original at an older age and aren't scared of it makes sense.

I plan to read several abridgements this year, including Mary Pope Osborne's Tales from the Odyssey.

Tara

#7 charlotteb

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:46 AM

We own about 30 of the "Great Illustrated Classics", which are abridged. My kids and I love them! My plan is to re-read them in their original unabridged form while the kids are in high school.

#8 charlotteb

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:47 AM

[quote name='TaraTheLiberator']Up to now I have not, but I think TWTM's idea of reading simpler versions of stories to younger kids so that when they encounter the original at an older age and aren't scared of it makes sense.

My thoughts exactly!

#9 Krista in LA

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 01:03 PM

Yes, we read abridged classics. I try to find well written versions. They really help my kids get into the time period we are studying. I have also found that as my older one has read the originals, she enjoys them more and they don't seem as hard to follow because she knows the general storyline. There are some classics, like Tom Sawyer, that we have done as read alouds/books on tape rather than an abridged, but I have no problem with well done abridged classics.

#10 oceandaughter

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 02:57 PM

I don't consider retellings of things like the Oddessey to be abridged literature. I don't even consider retellings of Beowulf or Shakespeare to be in the same group as abridged novels like Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, ect.

I just don't see how an abridged version of a great work like say Anne of Green Gables is worthwhile reading. There are so many great books at a younger child's interest and often I've found my children have no problems following along with more difficult literature if I read it aloud and take time to explain things.

I don't let abridged books in the door.

I'm also a stickler for the "you must read the book before you watch the movie" rule, even for myself. We even listened to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on audio book before we watched the movie. (I've read it countless times. A modern classic in my humble opinion, maybe not at the level of Jane Austen, but still a must read.)

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#11 sweetfeet

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:15 PM

I much prefer the unabridged classics for myself and my children, however I do see the value in reading abridged versions of adult classics to children as an intro and to 'ramp them up' to that level. So we'll be reading some abridged stories here and there, but staying with unabridged versions as much as possible.

#12 Meredith

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:48 PM

I don't let abridged books in the door.

I'm also a stickler for the "you must read the book before you watch the movie" rule, even for myself. We even listened to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on audio book before we watched the movie. (I've read it countless times. A modern classic in my humble opinion, maybe not at the level of Jane Austen, but still a must read.)


I'm sort of a stickler on this as well and I tend not to read abridged versions.

In fact, I voted the third option and then I remembered that we did read an abridged version of Oliver Twist since my 2dd, 8 and 6, were in the musical. Guess I couldn't see myself reading the original to them.

That being said, I did read Pride and Prejudice to my three of my kids last summer - 4, 6, 8 - and they liked it!!!!!

#13 paula j

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:10 PM

I voted yes. Dd had a set of the abridged classics when she was 7 or 8 and read them to herself. She has always been an advanced reader and was in the gifted class in her school. Anyway, she enjoyed the stories and then started reading the classics themselves because she just had to know what she had missed.:) I figured, at least they are good stories and it beats comic books and Baby Sitters Club, so let her enjoy herself.


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