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Reading lists - How do you choose?


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It IS possible to read them all if you're a very fast reader and enjoy reading almost to the exclusion of all other activities. But it's not possible to read them all in depth, even with that criteria.

 

As a general rule, my goal is to diversify. If I am torn between two books, and one has a cast comprised of straight, white, temporarily able-bodied characters and the other doesn't - I pick the other one. This isn't to say I never read or assign books of the first group, that'd be very difficult and probably detrimental, just that if I try to lean towards more diverse books. (Note: This means using my discretion. For example, there are lots of books with autistic characters, but many of them are problematic or outright ablist - and I'm looking at you, Ann M. Martin. I check them all out before I bring them into my house.)

 

I also try to keep my kid's interests in mind, especially at that age. If I know that she'll prefer this book over that one, well, that's a big point in the first book's favor. At the age of eight, the main goal is enjoyment.

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I check them all out, load them onto the dining table, and tell ds to choose 5 (or whatever number is appropriate for your situation) that he definitely wants to read and 5 that he definitely doesn't want to read. After he does that I reconfigure what is left to make sure various genres/time periods are represented. Then I repeat the procedure, sometimes several times. This gives us a baseline. Leftovers are considered ad lib for bedtime or free reading.

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Great ideas on trying to Include more diverse books.

 

I love the idea of picking 5 they want to read and allowing them to chose 5 they don't want to read and going from there. I think giving them some control is very good....and generally leads to more cooperation.

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For history? I just try to spread it out across the year somewhat evenly. Some kids really do read those whole lists, while others just skim. It really depends on the kid and the family.

 

For literature I put more than we'll get through on the shelf, on purpose. I let the kid pick what they want from that collection I put together and some of them just won't sit well with each kid. And there is that one kid that read the whole stack and more anyway...

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Last year we used Build your Library for grade 5 and loved it -- basically we read all of the books in that plus added some more that looked good for evening read alouds. I get my ideas from various sources -- here, goodreads, bravewriter, classics, etc. I just mix it up and try to pick things I think my son will like.

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I check them all out, load them onto the dining table, and tell ds to choose 5 (or whatever number is appropriate for your situation) that he definitely wants to read and 5 that he definitely doesn't want to read. After he does that I reconfigure what is left to make sure various genres/time periods are represented. Then I repeat the procedure, sometimes several times. This gives us a baseline. Leftovers are considered ad lib for bedtime or free reading.

Letting them choose what they don't want to read is a great idea, how have I never considered that before?
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I might go down the timeline and make sure I have a book from each major time period. I would probably look at authors and if there are some books by authors I'd read and liked I'd make sure I included those. It is difficult to choose, that's for sure,

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Letting them choose what they don't want to read is a great idea, how have I never considered that before?

 

I do this too. I order a bunch from the library that sound good to me, then I read the excerpt and have my son pick which one sounds most interesting to him!

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