Good Books!

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by arnolamy, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. arnolamy

    arnolamy Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Hi I am a new teacher at the middle school level. Although I will be teaching special education I want to expose the students to some good grade level literature. Any suggestions??? Thanks!
     
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  3. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2008

    My kids love Sharon Draper's books. They also really like the Bluford series, but I haven't read any of those- so I don't know if they are any good or not. (I teach science- so I see what they are reading, but don't get to read with them:()
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Check out the site for Nancie Atwell's school in Maine: http://c-t-l.org/kids_recommend.html

    This page is a list of books her students recommend as being really good books. I use this list every year to add books to my classroom library. It's a great place to start.
     
  5. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Popular ones around here include the Artemis Fowl series and really just about any other fantasy series. I hear online how parents occasionally get upset about Harry Potter books, but that's the only name most know. They won't blink an eye at any other fantasy series but Harry Potter.

    Kinda like how I had a friend in high school who could play any role-playing game (Rifts, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars) as long as it wasn't Dungeons & Dragons. Nevermind that we accomplished the same thing with a different brand name...
     
  6. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2008

    There's a new series around here that is setting the MS kids on fire. It's by Stephenie Myer and the first one is called Twilight. I wasn't overly impressed myself, but it's caught on with the reluctant readers and I can't find anything wrong with it. It's a love story that centers around a girl, a vampire, and a werewolf.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I don't have anything to add for the OP's question, but I just had to chime in here that I'm soooooooooooo with you on the wierdness of parents as far as these things go.
     
  8. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Jul 23, 2008

    Yeah, they hear about one thing, but never critically examine anything else. You know which cartoon I was disallowed from watching as a kid? Not Rambo, Transformers, G.I.Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, or Real Ghostbusters. Because of something she heard on the radio, I was barred from watching Chuck Norris and his Karate Commandos.

    Yet, I was watching plenty of other martial arts, animated and otherwise. My Mom just let other people do the analysis for her.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 23, 2008

    Whats funny, is if you actually read Harry Potter, it aligns with chrisianity even more closely than the Narnia series, which *gasp* is a fantasy series that involves magic. Okay, we should stop hijacking the thread now.
     
  10. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Jul 23, 2008

    In the past, my special needs students have enjoyed reading...

    Sounder
    Watsons Go To Birmingham
    Missing May
    Belle Prater's Boy

    These are great anchor (touchstone) texts!
     
  11. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2008

    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan was a HUGE hit with my students. In fact, I just had a parent email me thanking me for introducing it to her daughter because she's now reading the 4th book in the series! The mom was so curious that she read the first 2 herself and LOVED them!
     
  12. arnolamy

    arnolamy Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2008

    Thanks everyone...I am looking at all of your suggestions!
     
  13. Lark22

    Lark22 New Member

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I read Freak the Mighty and the Outsiders with my kids (which both have movies to watch as well). Even though at times they are a little harder, my kids LOVE them. I get the books on tape for them and do it during class certain days of the week. This way they can heard someone else read out loud besides my self.
     
  14. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Your original post caught my attention because I too teach special education and feel strongly that special education students deserve to read great books. Aside from my periods of Social Studies, i have one period a day of literacy. In the past I have read Inherit the Wind. The students love this book because it appears tough to read but it always leads to great discussion. Another book that I read for the first time last year was The Chocolate War. This book is very age appropriate and tackles the issue of peer pressure. It also leads to great class discussion. Both of these books are on or above grade level(7th grade) and I have had a lot of fun and success teaching them!
     
  15. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I have a book from the library right now called Using Picture Storybooks to Teach Literary Devices by Susan Hall. It is aimed towards kids of all ages, even thru high school, because you are using the books to illustrate a point and some of those picture books are really good. I think there are 3 volumes.
     
  16. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Anne Frank
     
  17. Jen

    Jen Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Adventure Books

    I need suggestions for adventure books for a 12 year old boy. I'm drawing blanks right now:help:.

    -Jen
     
  18. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Artemis Fowl, again, has action, intrigue, character development, and humor. 12 year-old perfection.
     
  19. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2008

    For reluctant readers (I have many in my reading class) I recommend Stormbreakers by Anthony Horowitz. The Outsiders has captivated my class full of boys. If they like that, they can read Rumble Fish and That Was Then This is Now--all by S.E. Hinton.

    Hope that helps!
     
  20. forchange

    forchange Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2008

    Books that either "disappear" from my library or lose their covers:

    The Clique Series (I *hate* these books, but I read my fair share of Sweet Valley High and I still turned out okay).
    The Bluford High Series
    Sharon Draper books
    Sharon Flake books
    Walter Dean Myers books
    Judy Blume books (since I teach 7th grade, I don't have Superfudge in my library, but her books like Forever and Tiger Eyes are huge hits)
    Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Curtis was also a huge hit
    I had some SE Hinton fans last year as well.

    Boys are typically the hardest to find books for, but here's what I've found:

    Bone books and other graphic novels are big hits. Maus (oddly enough) is a huge hit, so are the Boondock books. Captain Underpants is also a good way to get some boys hooked.

    Fantasy seems to appeal to a certain segment of boys -- Orson Scott Card is a great writer and of course there is Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, the Animporphs series, and The Series of Unfortunate Events books.

    Mystery and horror books (think RL Stine, Lois Duncan, and Christopher Pike) disappear too.

    I have a lot of boys that would like to read sports books, but I haven't found that the Matt Christopher books appeal to them that much. I would love to find more sports books aimed at the middle school age. I do find that biographies of Michael Jordan or other basketball stars do "sell."

    Hope that helps. I had to donate a lot of the books I bought last fall to another teacher and replenish my library after finding out that some of my books just didn't appeal to *anyone.* If you're looking to buy for your class library, I suggest starting small and they basing new purchases on what you've seen kids respond to.
     
  21. villageteacher

    villageteacher Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2008

    My reluctant readers DEVOURED the Stephenie Meyer books. They formed their own book circles, spent countless time on making predictions, etc. When the newest one came out, I had several students go the midnight release parties. I am of the school of thought that anything that gets them reading is okay with me (with a few exceptions).
     

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