Novel help!!!

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Cyndi23, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Aug 2, 2009

    Hi all!
    I'm teaching a new unit of Advanced 7th grade reading (reading elective for kids who have an extra class). I am basically creating this class, curriculum wise. I need ideas for novels.

    Here are novels that are "taken" and cannot be used.
    -The Westing Game
    -The Lightning Thief
    -Hatchet
    -Tangerine
    -The Cay


    Anything new and exciting? I was thinking of trying The Kingdom Keepers by Pearson.

    ANY suggestions would be welcome and appreciated! I need to get started! Only a few weeks until we begin!
    (I would like to narrow it down to 6 novels- 1 per grading period)
     
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  3. Petite_Teacher

    Petite_Teacher Companion

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    Aug 2, 2009

    Some of my suggestions are:
    A Raisin In The Sun
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    The Bluest Eye
     
  4. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Aug 3, 2009

    I wouldn't do Hatchet, if this is an Adv group, that's below them. What about The Hunger Games? Or the teen version of Three Cups of Tea (that would be some non-fiction)?

    You might also want to check with your 8th & 9th grade teachers to see what they use in their classrooms.
     
  5. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Aug 3, 2009

    I second The Hunger Games. I will be using it with my G/AT seventh graders this year. The kids at my school also like Chew On This by Eric Schlosser; it's the teen edition of Fast Food Nation, and it spurred lots of great conversation! Other books I'm contemplating using are Life As We Knew it, Schooled, and Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie.
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 3, 2009

    Everyone of those is taught at the high school level here. If you do that, you might want to make sure you aren't stepping on the toes of the high school teachers.
     
  7. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2009

    When I taught 7th grade honors, we read:
    Crispin - The Cross of Lead by Avi
    House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is a good one, too.
     
  8. kalper07

    kalper07 Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2009

    I just read The Hunger Games and it's amazing!

    Our 7th does Animal Farm, Anne Frank, The Outsiders
     
  9. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2009

    How about some of SE Hinton's work? I think the Outsiders is usually around 8th grade, but she has some other amazing books...That Was Then, This Is Now or Rumblefish. Walter Dean Meyer has a ton of stuff that would work for 7th...like Monster.
     
  10. AMB

    AMB Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2009

    With my 8th grade reading, we will be doing an "author study" of S.E. Hinton's books where each group will read a different book. You might want to make sure they won't be doing something like that when they get to 8th though.

    Honestly, I really think TKAM is too difficult (vocabulary and even mature (rape) for even advanced 7th graders. My 10th graders needed a lot of help through it. Raisin isn't really that difficult, but it's pretty standard in the high school curriculum.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 3, 2009

    Freak the Mighty
     
  12. lauranne26

    lauranne26 Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2009

    I think Freak the Might is a bit below level for advanced 7th graders. I teach it at the beginning of the year to my 7th graders, and my top students aren't challenged by it.

    What about Nothing But the Truth by Avi?
     
  13. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 5, 2009

    I am going to second or third the advice of checking with your high school teachers before choosing any novels or at least checking with your high school English standards. Before our English dept. spent a summer curriculum mapping their English program 6 -12 about 5 years ago, every year we would have some pretty angry English teachers because their students had read their high school novels in jr. high. It made for some pretty tense times between the jr high and high school English teachers. Maybe even ask the high school English dept for suggestions.
     
  14. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2009

    In our district, we have an approved reading list of novels we are allowed to use, and we cannot use anything on that list. I have gotten a few books added to the list over the past couple of years, though.
     
  15. vela

    vela New Member

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    Aug 18, 2009

    My students loved "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer. Even my reluctant readers stayed after the bell to finish the chapter. I've also had great success with "Maximum Ride" by James Patterson.
     
  16. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2009

    Absolutely Invinsible.
     
  17. foxteach1

    foxteach1 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2009

    Crispin is awesome; so is The Shakespeare Stealer. Not too hard to read, but they have some good vocabulary and great discussion. Is anyone doing Holes? Again, it's not a hard read, but the discussion possibilities are fantastic. You might also try Artemis Fowl and Chasing Vermeer--they both have creative story lines and the additional edge of a puzzle running through them (along the lines of The Westing Game). The Hobbit is tougher because of complicated sentence structure, but advanced kids should be able to read it and they get into it if they've seen "Lord of the Rings". Johnny Tremain and Treasure Island are great classics that kids still enjoy. I agree that Animal Farm is another great read if you and the kids are up for the discussion and history of it.
    I would also strongly suggest that you pick up a Shakespeare play. My 7th-8th graders loved Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew, but great choices for 7th are Comedy of Errors, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Twelfth Night. These aren't too long or overwhelming and they're great comedies. Amanda Bynes' "She's the Man" is based on 12th Night. (Stay aware from Romeo and Juliet--most high schools do it and it's a little old for 7th grade.) Shakespeare is hysterically funny and a bit bawdy, which middle schoolers love, and by reading it (out loud of course and acting if possible) in middle school, they aren't so afraid of it in high school. There are some great units online and you can even find whole scripts with definitions! I've seen a great warmup activity that lets kids put together Shakespearean insults! Last suggestion I have is TS Eliot's Practical Book of Cats. It's the poetry that the musical CATS is based on. We read each poem out loud and discussed it, and then watched that section from the musical. It has some great vocab, and even my boys were into it. Then we read and analyzed a couple of his less-complicated poems (his is mainly HS-college-level stuff) like the Four Quartets. Good luck! What fun to be able to pick your own curriculum! Always one of my favorite parts of teaching...:)
     
  18. foxteach1

    foxteach1 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2009

    Oh--one more! Do a whole-class read aloud of Twelve Angry Menby Reginald Rose--it's an awesome play that my 8th grade class read, and I've taught it as well. Great movie starring Henry Fonda!
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2009

    Here's the summer reading list for our 6th, 7th and 8th graders:

    Select any two books in your category to read.
    Grade 6: Class of 2016
    North, Sterling Rascal. New York, NY: Puffin Books,
    Penguin Books USA, Inc. 1963. ISBN 0-14-034445-4 $4.99

    O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. New York, NY:
    Dell Publishing, 1960. ISBN 0440 43988-4

    Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain. New York, NY: Batam,
    Doubleday, Dell, 1971. ISBN 0440 94250-0

    Burnett, Frances H. The Secret Garden. New York, NY:
    Harper Collins Publishers, 1987. ISBN 006 40188-X

    Mongomery, E.M. Anne of Green Gables. New York, NY:
    Scholastic, Inc., 1989 ISBN 0590 42243-X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Select any two books in your category to read.
    Grade 7: Class of 2015
    London, Jack. Call of the Wild. New York, NY:
    Penquin Books. ISBN 0-451-52390-3. $2.25

    Twain, Mark. Tom Sawyer. New York, NY:
    Penquin Books. ISBN 0-590-43352-0. $ 2.25

    Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday
    Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1987. ISBN 0-440-96769-4. $3.25

    Speare, Elizabeth. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. 1990
    ISBN 0-440-995779. $3.50

    ~ Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. New York, NY:
    Ne.w. A.m.eri.ca.n .Li.br.ary., .19.8.7. .IS.B.N .0-.45.1-.52.1.89.7. .$.5..70. . . . . . . . .

    Select any two books in your category to read.
    Grade 8-- Class 2014
    Greene, Bette. The Summer of My German Soldier. New York, NY:
    Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1973.
    ISBN 0-440-21892-6 $3.99

    Magorian, Michelle. Good Night, Mr. Tom. New York, NY:
    Harper Collins Publishers, 1981. ISBN 0-06-440174-1 $3.95

    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles.
    New York, NY: New American Library- (Signet Classic)
    ISBN 0-451-52478-0 $3.50

    Twain, Mark. The Prince and the PauDer. New York, NY:
    BantadDoubleday Books. ISBN 0-553-21256. $2.25

    Tolkien, J.R. The Hobbit. New York, NY: Ballantine Books
    (Random Books), 1986. ISBN 345-33968-1. $5.95. .
     
  20. grammargator

    grammargator New Member

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    Aug 31, 2009

    Some great seventh grade titles are:

    The Giver
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
     
  21. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    Sep 10, 2009

    Call of the Wild
     
  22. firemaple

    firemaple Companion

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    Sep 26, 2009

    GrammarGator,

    ARe you from Florida? Me too. :)

    I love Roll of THunder Hear My Cry. Would love to try it with my class. Did you encounter any problems with the racial themes? I teach in a very racialized school. That's why I haven't tried the book yet.
     
  23. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2009

    You might want to try Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

    Yes, it is below grade level (it's a 4th-5th grade level book) but if you have this class all year long, it could be a good "testing" novel before you progress to harder stuff...just a thought.

    I taught it last year and will be teaching it again this year (starting this week actually.) The kids love it. It's a real tear jerker. It's interesteing to see even the "macho" kids get into it and show their "softer" side.
     

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