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Deee

Last year of literature - recommendations please

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Hi all, 

DS16 is moving into his last year of homeschooling. He will complete a TAFE course (we are in Australia - Community College is the closest US equivalent I can think of) in 2018 to gain entry to University.  The English component of that course is largely writing, with little literature analysis, so 2017 will be his last year of literature.  He wants to study mechanical engineering or IT, so lit isn't his end game, but I want to finish off his education with some really good books, authors and poets.  But there are sooooo many lovely things that I need help choosing!  He used to be an avid reader.  Now he is not.  What are your top picks for a teenage boy who loves Shakespeare but would rather be online than reading a book? 

Thanks muchly

D

 

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Hard question to answer!

 

We made our own Worldviews and Classic Sci-Fi Lit. course one year based on the interests of DSs that was our best year of Lit ever. What would YOUR DS like to explore Literature-wise? Any particular theme(s), author(s), genre(s), time period, or area of the world that is of high interest?

 

Or, what classic works do YOU want to share with your DS?

 

Or, what works haven't you covered yet that you think would best benefit DS for the future, or that are most frequently referenced so he has an understanding of the connections?

 

Or, if your DS is doing a lot of online gaming, a number of those games pull from History and classic myths to create the world of the game -- perhaps focus on works that will bring alive the foundations for those gaming worlds?

 

Just trying to brainstorm a basis for helping to narrow down the selections. ;) BEST of luck and hope you both enjoy your last Lit. journey together, whatever it turns out to be. :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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This is not a recommendation, but I thought that I would share how I have been planning for my son's last year.

 

I usually assign literature that coordinates with his history class. Next year, however, he will be taking Economics and Government, which means that there is not an obvious group of books to choose from. So I have 2 thoughts.

 

1 - I am making a list of shorter titles that deal with freedom, liberty, justice, the economy, different forms of government, etc. He's already read some of the books that would be a natural fit here, like 1984 or Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, but I have a few, like Brave New World, The Master and Margarita, Antigone, The Moon is Down, All the King's Men, a few others.

 

2- I thought that I might choose 5 longer books that we never got around to, and spend about 6 weeks on each - reading, discussing, writing.

On the list of possibilities are The Brothers Karamazov, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities or another Dickens title, Les Miserables. Then we would spend the last 6 weeks of the year reading a few more by Shakespeare - Macbeth, As You Like it, The Tempest.

 

It's really hard to say what is best to read - I want to challenge him but I still want him to find his books accessible!

 

 

 

 

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You might want to think about getting a Norton's Anthology of World/British/American Literature and pick and choose from that.

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You might want to think about getting a Norton's Anthology of World/British/American Literature and pick and choose from that.

I am planning on doing this for my dd's last year as she would have taken both English AP's by then. Do you have a way it can be structured as it is very voluminous book. I think we have the second edition. Thanks

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Thanks Ladies! Very helpful as always. I think our year will look a lot like Liza's, with an Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled thrown in. This is tough. There is so much I think he still needs to read, but he doesn't want to read anything.

D

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Thanks Ladies! Very helpful as always. I think our year will look a lot like Liza's, with an Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled thrown in. This is tough. There is so much I think he still needs to read, but he doesn't want to read anything.

D

 

DS#2 was like that in 12th grade (his brother graduated the year before, so he was not so thrilled being the only one at home to homeschool). I just took that as he punted the decision to me, so we read all of the books that *I* wanted to share with him, and that we hadn't gotten to previously. I thought of entitling it "Kitchen Sink" Lit. on the transcript (lol) -- you know, from the saying about so much variety that it has "everything but the kitchen sink". ;)

 

We had a great time doing it together, and he enjoyed the reading in spite of himself.  :smilielol5: Hope that will be the case for you too! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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After I have a good list for my first option, I will present him with both plans and let him choose. He prefers non-fiction to most fiction and will only read fiction that I assign, so I also feel like this is my last chance to read with him!  Even though I am sad that next year will be my last homeschooling, I still read a lot with my older daughters so it won't really be over, kwim?

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We're in a similar situation and also have a Ds who would, now, rather just read non-fiction.

 

For last year, 2016, I whittled down a selection of titles that I thought he may enjoy - and I was hoping he'd want to read ;) -  and then let him choose from those titles.

 

One book I really wanted him to complete reading through, and he touted as not being too bad was Invitation to the Classics ~ Cowan  

(He only read the portion that related to Modern Times History this year

    3:  Eliot ~ Middlemarch      (1871-72) p.271

    4:  Gerard Manley Hopkins (Poems) 1874-89.  (God’s Grandeur) p. 275

    9:  Leo Tolstoy p. 279-280a 

    12: Dostoyevsky ~ The Brothers Karamazov   (1880) p.283 

    14: Henry James (1881) p.287 

    15: The Makers of The Modern World ~ p.295 – 298

    16: Friedrich Nietzscher ~ (1888) p.299 

    17: Joseph Conrad ~ Heart of Darkness   (1899) p.303 

    18: James Joyce ~ Dubliners   (1914) p.307

    25: C.S. Lewis ~ The Screwtape Letters   (1941) p.335    

    26: William Faulkner  ~ Go Down, Moses   (1942) p.339 

    27: Simone Weil ~ Waiting for God  (1950) p.345

    28: Bonhoeffer ~ Letters and Papers from Prison   (1951) p.349 

    30: Flannery O’Connor ~   1953, 1956, 1964     p.353

    32: Solzhenitsyn ~ One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich   (1962) p.357

    33: Contemporary Writers   p.361)

 

Just listing the books/items he said, "Were pretty decent", from his original reading list:

 

Poetry

(selections)  He, and Dd, shared the reading during our family/class morning time.

 

Films

The Importance of Being Ernest ~ Oscar Wilde  

    WWII

The Gathering Storm (Churchill)  UK   

Saints and Soldiers  US

 

Literature

Bleak House ~ Dickens 

Outliers: The Story of Success ~ Malcolm Gladwell       SL400 (N/F)

Follow the Rabbit-proof Fence ~ Pilkington        set in 1931+ (Australia)  

Anthem ~ Ayn Rand (Dystopian) (1937)       

Reach for the Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader ~ Paul Brickhill    WWII  

Fahrenheit 451 ~ Bradbury 1953   (Dystopian) 

Alas, Babylon ~ Frank  1959    (others mileage will vary, but sensual content edited for our fam)

Night ~ Wiesel                   (semi-autobiographical/ WWII Germany)       pub 1982  Gritty, emotive, sobering.

 

Short Stories:

1 Million Pound Bank Note ~ Twain (1893)  American Lit

How Much Land Does a Man Need ~ Tolstoy  (1886) Russian Lit

Three Questions ~ Tolstoy (1903)   Russian Parable

The Open Window  ~ Saki  (1914)

The Garden Party ~ Katherine Mansfield (1921)  NZ/U.K

The Dolls House ~ Katherine Mansfield (1922)  NZ/U.K

Contents of The Dead Man’s Pockets ~ Jack Finney (pub 1955)   American Lit

 

Free, unscheduled, Reading:  

Three Men in a Boat ~ Jerome  (1889) humour   Brit. Lit

The Great Escape ~ Brickhill   (content issues)  audiobook   WWII Brit.

To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Lee (1960) American Lit

Curtain: Poirot's Last Case ~ Agatha Christie (pub 1975)   Brit. 

The Gammage Cup ~ Kendall   (fantasy)

 

Along with a hefty pile of books on Economics, and, Business study books.

 

He recommends Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are Dead  for your Ds.    (Our Ds is a Shakespearean appreciator too.  He spent 2015 immersed  (!) in Shakespeare.)

 

Hoping you have a wonderful last year, whatever you choose to do.

Edited by Tuesdays Child
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What would he think of a bunch of Australian literature? I'm a great believer in knowing one's own stories. We do a lot of Canadian literature all along, but believe you me, grade 12's lit list is going to be dripping in maple syrup!!

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Thanks everyone! This is great. Please keep them coming.

 

Tuesday's Child pleas thank your son for the R&G recommendation. I have Hamlet on the short list, along with Othello, so really good to know that R&G is worth reading.

 

For Australian content I've picked The Secret River. Its an award-winner novel by Kate Grenville about the conflict between white settlers and the Darug and Darkinjung people in the early days of the colony. Its set on the Hawkesbury River, where we live. It will be a confronting read.

 

Lori you made me laugh. And feel better. Yes, if he can't come up with anything he wants to read, he'll have to put up with my must-reads (insert evil laugh....)

 

Rosie I love your idea! He's read Pride and Prejudice - he quite likes Darcy. I might try Persuasion, but I think I prefer North and South.

D

Edited by Deee
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Lori you made me laugh. And feel better. Yes, if he can't come up with anything he wants to read, he'll have to put up with my must-reads (insert evil laugh....)

:smilielol5:

 

Have fun plotting... I mean, planning... ;)

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My son also loved R&G are dead. We watched the movie version after we read the play and both thought it was a blast!

 

But definitely read Hamlet first!

Edited by Liza Q
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