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Please critique my choice of Literature for 12YO boy this year


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My DS will be turning 12 in early September. Although he enjoyed Books 1-6, he hasn't finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet as he said it was too emotional for him. I appreciate that he knows his limits and that he feels comfortable letting me know. 

 

This is my Literature read-aloud list for this year. We pause and discuss, and once a week I ask questions. It looks very short as we have lots of historical fiction and nonfiction he's reading as well. Also, we may not get through all the books, but we still have 7th grade ;)

 

The Bronze Bow

The Eagle of the Ninth

My Side of the Mountain

The Giver

Lord of the Flies and more formal literary analysis using Classical Conditioning and other resources

The Hunger Games

 

When we get to the Middle Ages (using K12 History Odyssey and Dorothy Miller's Romans and Middle Ages):

 

King Arthur by Lancelyn Green

Lord of the Rings

Canterbury Tales

Robin Hood by Lancelyn Green

 

 

 

 

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Well, if he found Deathly Hallows too intense, you might want to re-think Lord of the Flies and Hunger Games.  I wouldn't do either of those with my dd12, and she has read all the HP books, multiple times.  The Giver is pretty intense, too, but less so than the other two.  

 

What is your goal with those books? There may be some gentler choices that would meet your goals.  

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I think some kids find Deathly Hallows intense more because of the long term emotional attachment to the characters than any sensitivity. I think 12 is a good age for Hunger Games and The Giver... if you think he can handle them. But I agree with the above that there are other choices if you think he's going to find them too overwhelming in violence and theme.

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That's a lot of serious action.

 

Unless you're reading the McCaughrean retelling I'd drop Canterbury Tales in a heartbeat. That was a slog for my 10th grader last year, who is well accustomed to Great Book literature courses.

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Ok, I'll confess that my prejudice to Hunger Games has more to do with the fact that I think it's terribly written more than the intensity of the story . . . and I do think the 3rd book in the series is very dark, even by the series' standards, and not very satisfying.  I know that's not on the list, but my dd always wants to finish series.  She's asked me about Hunger Games and I tell her she can read it if she wants but I don't think it's that great, myself. 

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Ok, I'll confess that my prejudice to Hunger Games has more to do with the fact that I think it's terribly written more than the intensity of the story . . . and I do think the 3rd book in the series is very dark, even by the series' standards, and not very satisfying.  I know that's not on the list, but my dd always wants to finish series.  She's asked me about Hunger Games and I tell her she can read it if she wants but I don't think it's that great, myself. 

 

Oh I agree with you. But I never made it through the first book myself. I couldn't take the writing anymore.  :tongue_smilie: If you saw the first movie, as it opens the camera is jolty and never seems to be pointed the right way. That's pretty much what I felt like reading the book.  :ack2:  My fairly well-read teens enjoyed it though. *shrug*

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Make that another vote for dropping Lord of the Flies. The others are probably ok, but that book is disturbing, IMO. I also don't consider The Hunger Games to be good literature. I'd let him read it in his free time, if he wants, but wouldn't assign it for school. He might be better off with something like The Children of Odin or The Yearling. The Chronicles of Prydain or A Wizard of Earthsea might fit your theme better than Hunger Games.

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Thank you for the great advice, Mamas! I remember I read Lord of the Flies in high school and I've never forgotten it. I'll double check on Bronze Bow and modify the Literature selections tomorrow. Goodnight! 

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All that I am familiar with (even perhaps My Side of the Mountain) sound too intense for a kid who found HP too emotional and intense.

 

How about for more "classic" kids literature the Prydain Chronicles, The Phantom Tollbooth, Gulliver's Travels ...   for more recent popular kid's fiction: Ranger's Apprentice series, Hoot

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Have you already read the Hobbit? If not, then maybe read it before/instead of Lord of the Rings. My dd 11 loves LoTR from having it read aloud and the movies, but has bogged down several times reading the Two Towers. Another medieval-type book she loves that you might consider is Brian Jacques Redwall.

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Have you already read the Hobbit? If not, then maybe read it before/instead of Lord of the Rings. My dd 11 loves LoTR from having it read aloud and the movies, but has bogged down several times reading the Two Towers. Another medieval-type book she loves that you might consider is Brian Jacques Redwall.

 

Agreed. My dd read The Hobbit and Fellowship at 11-12, but then bogged down in The Two Towers. I'm sure she'll come back to it at some point, but she already made clear that she just wants to read it, *not* "study" it.  'Nuff said.

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I think some kids find Deathly Hallows intense more because of the long term emotional attachment to the characters than any sensitivity. I think 12 is a good age for Hunger Games and The Giver... if you think he can handle them. But I agree with the above that there are other choices if you think he's going to find them too overwhelming in violence and theme.

 

I agree, Farrar. Ds has been getting attached to these characters. They're like extended family.

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My DS will be turning 12 in early September. Although he enjoyed Books 1-6, he hasn't finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet as he said it was too emotional for him. I appreciate that he knows his limits and that he feels comfortable letting me know. 

 

This is my Literature read-aloud list for this year. We pause and discuss, and once a week I ask questions. It looks very short as we have lots of historical fiction and nonfiction he's reading as well. Also, we may not get through all the books, but we still have 7th grade ;)

 

The Bronze Bow -- This is one of my all-time favorites!

The Eagle of the Ninth

My Side of the Mountain -- I couldn't get into this one at all...

The Giver  -- If he got through most of Harry Potter, he will probably be fine with this.  I would pre-read it though.

Lord of the Flies and more formal literary analysis using Classical Conditioning and other resources -- I vote for too intense.

The Hunger Games

 

When we get to the Middle Ages (using K12 History Odyssey and Dorothy Miller's Romans and Middle Ages):

 

King Arthur by Lancelyn Green

Lord of the Rings  -- I also would read the Hobbit first

Canterbury Tales

Robin Hood by Lancelyn Green

 

I commented above in blue about the books that I remember.

 

A lot of the Newbery books are good for this age.  I'm planning to use a lot of these for my 7th grader this year:

 

The 21 Balloons

King of the Wind

Amos Fortune

Secret of the Andes

A Wrinkle in Time

I, Juan de Pareja

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

Good Masters!  Sweet Ladies!

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Li-Lun, Lad of Courage

The Apple and the Arrow

The Golden Fleece

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Dragonwings

The Good Master

The Wheel on the School

The Westing Game

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