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7th Grade "Literature"

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How many books do you expect your child to read for "literature" for 7th grade? I guess I am talking about assigned reading of classics AND historical fiction.......... okay quite honestly I mean books that he would not necessarily chose to read on his own for pleasure (like Percy Jackson or those kinds of things). Maybe post your 7th grade booklist as well? :)

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I have my kids read 10 books a year for literature. This means we will read and discuss and analyze (as much as a 7th-grader can) the book. In addition we read another 8-10 for history. These books are read to glean information about the time period and not for analyzing. And then I require each of my kids to be reading two or three pre-approved books each month.


No list--because I'm working on pulling one together still!

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My son was 7th by age last year. He studied the middle ages and Renaissance.


I'll cut and paste his list below, but I should be clear that he didn't read all of these on his own. We listened to a couple of audiobooks, and most of the Shakespeare we read together.


Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages, J. and F. Gies

Castle, David Macauly

Adam of the Road, Elizabeth Janet Gray

Viking Gods and Heroes, E. M. Wilmot-Buxton

Norse Gods and Giants, Ingri d'Aulaire

Age of Shakespeare, Francoise Laroque

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself, Maxine Anderson

Trumpeter of Krakow, Eric P. Kelly

I, Juan de Pareja, Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien

Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, Seamus Heaney

Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Macbeth, William Shakespeare

Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien

Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by J.R.R. Tolkein

Sword in the Stone, T.H. White

10 poems from the era

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We are following guidelines from MCT and SWB...


For literature, my son is reading 16 books. 8 of my choosing, and 8 of his (from a list of appropriate work). However, we are only studying 4 closely (spending 4 weeks on the book, reading the book through twice, etc.) The other books will have more narrations than actual study.


That is just literature. He also has another dozen or so titles that go along with history this year.


This is for my oldest.

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There were a couple of other things, but here's basically ds' 7th grade list (early modern history) from last year:



The King's Fifth, by Scott O'Dell

->Pride and Prejudice

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Barton De Trevino

Along Came Galileo, by Jeanne Bendick

Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift

->Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott

Dangerous Journey (retelling of The Pilgrim's Progress)

->Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Stowaway by Karen Hesse

->Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

->Ben Franklin’s Autobiography

Short stories by Washington Irving

->The Scarlet Letter,

Mutiny on the Bounty

Seaman: the Dog who Explored the West

Brer Rabbit tales

Once Blind: the life of John Newton, by Kay Marshall Strom

->Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass



The -> arrows indicate books we actually "studied" (read about, discussed, did writing assignments). The other books were simply read and didn't include a lot of literary discussion.

Edited by abbeyej
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For 7th, DS did Lightning Lit 7 for the Great Books portion of his literature -- it covers:


- 2 units of poetry

- 2 short stories (Rikki Tikki Tavi; Bride Comes To Yellow Sky)

- 1 autobiography (Helen Keller's Story of My Life)

- 3 novels (Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; All Creatures Great and Small)


(That same year, 8th grade DS did Lightning Lit 8 which covers:

- 3 units of poetry

- 3 short stories (A Crazy Tale; Wakefield; Reflections)

- 2 works of autobiographical sketches (A Day of Pleasure; My Family & Other Animals)

- 1 novella (A Christmas Carol)

- 3 novels (Treasure Island; The Hobbit; To Kill a Mockingbird)



Both DSs also read a number of classic young adult/Newberry books on their own, some matching up with the world cultures/geography year we did that year (in place of doing a chronological history year), and some books just because they were good books -- titles such as these (no, they did not read all these in one year! maybe about 10 in addition to the LL7 and LL8):

- Across Five Aprils

- Around the World in 80 Days

- Call of the Wild

- Enchantress From the Stars

- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

- The Giver

- The Great and Terrible Quest

- The Great Brain

- Half Magic

- The Hobbit

- I Am David

- The Incredible Journey

- Island of the Blue Dolphins

- Ivanhoe

- The King's Fifth

- Knight's Castle

- Magic By the Lake

- Maniac Magee

- The Master Puppeteer

- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

- My Side of the Mountain

- Sherlock Holmes short stories

- Summer of the Monkeys

- The Time Machine

- Treasure Island

- Watership Down

- The Westing Game

- Where The Red Fern Grows

- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase



You requested an ancients lit. list -- DSs did that the following year in 8th and 9th grades. We did a number of Great Books together (ala WTM style), and they read a number of historical fiction works and non-fiction history resources (many from the Sonlight former core 6 (now core "G")) on their own:


solo reads:

- The Golden Goblet

- God King

- Shadow Hawk

- Hittite Warrior

- Archimedes and the Door of Science

- Galen and the Gateway to Medicine

- Ides of April

- The Bronze Bow

- Eagle of the Ninth


other works to consider for a middle schooler:

- Black Ships Before Troy (Sutcliff -- retelling of The Iliad)

- Wanderings of Odysseus (Sutcliff -- retelling of The Odyssey)

- from below, the Gilgamesh and Aeneid retellings, and Greek myths



ancient Great Books (done together):

- Gilgamesh and Other Babylonian Myths (abridged retelling by Westwood)

- Tales of Ancient Egypt (Green)

- The Iliad (Fagles translation)

- The Odyssey (Fagles translation)

- Oedipus the King (Fitzgerald translation)

- Antigone (Fitzgerald translation)

- various Greek myths

- The Aenied for Boys and Girls (abridged prose retelling by Church)

- Till We Have Faces (CS Lewis' retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth set in an ancient Mesopotamian-like culture)

Edited by Lori D.
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Once again, I'll be really different. We look like real underachievers here. But if I get ambitious and heavy-handed about doing lots and lots of reading my kids just shut down and hate it. I want them to love to read, even if they are late bloomers when it comes to reading the classics. I'm into the multum non multa approach, otherwise burnout ensues. Also, I really honestly think that just because a 7th grader is capable of reading something doesn't mean they should. A lot of times they will miss a lot of subtlety in the text. They won't be able to appreciate the more complex issues or themes. They simply aren't mature enough. I don't see the reason for a rush. I like to extend childhood in a healthy way! Not so they stay immature longer, but so they can bloom at the pace God intended for them. So I take my cues from them and not from a list written by a stranger. (Not that I won't read those lists and consider them or be influenced by them). Anyway, I hope I don't sound judgmental. Everybody does what is best for their kids. I'm just posting this so that somebody who reads AbbeyJ or whatever and they get a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach because they KNOW their kid is not up for that intensity or level of reading. You do not have to conquer the world in 7th grade!


I also want my kids to have free time to develop their own reading preferences and to have the opportunity to learn to love reading on their own without Momma micromanaging. My kids are not gifted in the area of reading, so that is probably the difference. So that's why it would feel like I was being heavy-handed and micro-managing to have such longs lists of very difficult reading material. But again, everybody's family dynamic is different.


So I'm planning 3 book studies for 7th grade based on what I think will appeal to my 7th grader who really prefers non-fiction over fiction. I'm using the Angelicum study guides: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, The Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Any other books he chooses to read, he does so on his own. Our house is overflowing with great literature and good books to read and he is free to pick them up and read them in his leisure time.

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I am waiting for my shipment of MCT's new literature component to arrive before I finalize my son's plans for 7th grade. He has already read all three books in the MCT's trilogy, but it may be worth reading all three for a second time.


My son will be studying ancient Greece this year and will be reading children's versions of the Illiad and Odyssey as part of his history studies.


He has already completed LL7 and LL8, but I am going to wait until he gets older to tackle the high school level books. I think some of the themes may be too intense for him right now.


The bulk of his literature studies this year will be fairy tales. I purchased The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales, and I think he will enjoy reading and discussing how the original tales differ from the versions he read when he was younger.

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I have my kids read 10 books a year for literature. This means we will read and discuss and analyze (as much as a 7th-grader can) the book. In addition we read another 8-10 for history. These books are read to glean information about the time period and not for analyzing. And then I require each of my kids to be reading two or three pre-approved books each month.


No list--because I'm working on pulling one together still!



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well, let's see.. my dd12 would be a 7th grader. We'll use LL7 and AO, so she will be required to read a biographies on Teddy Roosevelt, Isaac Newton, Alexander G. Bell, and Geo.W.Carver. She'll read Oliver Twist, The Story of My Life (Helen Keller), All Creatures Great and Small, and Tom Sawyer. She'll be reading more mythology (The Age of Fable), and more stories of martyrs and saints (Trial & Triumph), and poetry from Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages (whatta name! LOL). A geography book called The Book of Marvels. A few science books, a few history books (including SOTW4). MANY library books specifically covering various oceanography topics, and weather topics (because she wants to add these 2 studies to her load this coming year). Any other reading will not be assigned, but she likes to read and will read about 15 or 20 books of her own choosing, I'd say. These are mostly fiction. HTH!


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As a general rule of the thumb, for middle school, I would suggest 10-15 full works per year, about half of which "to study" (i.e. to analyze, discuss, use for required formal output in terms of writing, etc.), and another half of which to just read and maybe informally talk about a bit (I do not think every single work needs to be analyzed, but reading more widely than the analyzed ones is very useful for the sake of context and skills).


I typically start with the list rather than with the exact division of "to study" and "to read", the way kids react will often ultimately put the work into one of the two categories, except for the works I really consider a must-study.

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