Novel Suggestions

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mmswm, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 17, 2011

    I need everybody's help. My 6th grade son is an avid reader. The child reads pretty nearly everything. He's also a very advanced reader. Here's my problem. Matthew has gotten into authors such as Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo. He just finished reading Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables". While I'm very pleased that he was able to read and understand these books (I was in HS before I could tackle that one), I was not happy with the multiple, uncomfortable conversations we had when he asked about some of the very adult themes in them.

    I don't know all that much about children's and young adult literature, except for the perennial classics, which he's pretty much already read. I'm asking for suggestions for novels I can get for him that will keep him entertained but not deal with such adult topics. I've spent hours in Barnes and Noble trying to find appropriate books and I'm coming up empty.
     
  2.  
  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    Mar 17, 2011

    mmswm, I read the Last of the Mohicans (Jame Fenimore Cooper) when I was in the 4th grade. It was my first (historical) novel. I've re-read it countless times through the years.

    The French and Indian War era made for very interesting times ... especially for a young boy.....:)
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Mar 17, 2011

    Many of my grade 7 and 8 students and I enjoyed these over the past year or so:

    The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
    Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Mar 17, 2011

    Has he read the Hunger Games trilogy?

    I also recommend Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie and Watership Down by Richard Adams.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Mar 17, 2011

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 17, 2011

    He's read the Hunger Games. I completely forgot about Watership Down! Thanks! I'll also check out the Haroun of the Sea of Stories. He's never heard of them, so that's a good start :)
     
  8. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 17, 2011

    I really love this book.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Mar 17, 2011

    Has he read Maniac Magee? What about My Side of the Mountain and the follow-on books? The Giver? Gathering Blue? Tiger Rising (DiCamillo)?

    I about croaked when one of my 5th grade students was carrying around a Joan Collins novel. Turns out her mother went to school with Joan Collins and the girl had an autographed copy. Which didn't make me approve the book anyway.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 17, 2011

    Yes, Yes, Yes, No, Yes.

    You see where this is getting difficult :lol:

    I'm fairly sure he's read The Book Thief as well, but I'll have to ask him when he wakes up. It just seems like a title I've seen. The boy has checked out most of the middle school library at this point. UGH.

    Thanks, guys. Keep the suggestions coming. You've already given me several I can get for him, but at the rate he reads, they won't last long! :lol:
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Mar 17, 2011

    Does he like any of the ancient stuff, like the Iliad, Odyssey, or Aeneid?
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Mar 17, 2011

    Sherlock Holmes? Edgar Allan Poe?
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 17, 2011

    Caesar, I don't know, but I think he might like the Epics. I should get one of those for him and see what he thinks of it.

    Though, speaking of epic poetry, the one "adult" book he tried and gave up on was "The Faerie Queene" by Edmond Spencer. He pulled that one off my shelf and gave up in about 10 pages. That one is tough even for college seniors!
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 17, 2011

    He's read them. Actually, he's got a VERY well worn copy of the Edgar Allen Poe short stories. He says he finds new stuff every time he reads them. He's not so much into the poetry though.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 17, 2011

    Oh, and to get it out there, he's also already read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."
     
  16. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 17, 2011

    Sherlock Holmes is pretty adult in nature sometimes, after all the world is so dull to him naturally, that's why he injects cocaine whenever he isn't intellectually stimulated with a case! :)

    I'm trying to think of great novels I've read that didn't have some adult content. There is some sexual content in the Count of Monte Cristo, drug use, and a lot of death -- but the nature of the story may out weigh that for you. It's a long one too, he'd be reading it for at least a couple of days.

    A mind like his though you should nurture with any book he enjoys. He sounds like a kid that can see past a story, and knows right and wrong quite well as he has solid parents.

    All the best. ;)
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Mar 17, 2011

    The Hercule Poirot books by Agatha Christie?
     
  18. Penguin

    Penguin Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 18, 2011

    I agree with pete2770. If he is able to read at such an advanced level, he is probably able to handle some adult content (preferably with parental guidance). Kids that age are watching rated R movies. A book at least has educational value (usually!).

    Does he like fantasy? Raymond Feist is an author that appeals to teenagers, and I don't think there is any graphic adult content. Ender's Game is a really interesting story about children, and it has some sophisticated political themes. Science fiction is a great genre because it can have very interesting themes but without a lot of sex or gratuitous violence. Maybe he would enjoy books by Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein or Ray Bradbury.

    Honestly I think you have to get him through this year with appropriate level literature (content-wise), but after he turns 13/14 it will be hard to monitor. An avid reader discovers all the secrets of the world through books (including the dark stuff) and you can't really stop them. When I was 13 I was reading some really inappropriate stuff for my age and then once I got into high school I moved on from Young Adult literature and read only adult books. But I think I'm doing ok these days... and I'm sure your son will turn out ok since you are there to provide support and guidance.
     
  19. carlea

    carlea Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 18, 2011

    What about steampunk fiction novels like Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfield or Boneshaker by Cherie Priest or H.G. Wells' novels?
     
  20. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 18, 2011

    Has he read Freak the Mighty? We read that to our 5th graders, great book!
     
  21. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    113

    Mar 18, 2011

    I second the Agatha Christie mysteries suggestions--she wrote sixty something of them, so they'd keep him busy for awhile. (I started reading them when I was 12 and loved them--but they're not just books that girls like; my brothers liked them, too.)

    Based on the books you mentioned, I bet the Thief of Eddis series by Megan Whalen Turner would be right up his alley--has he read those? Hard to describe the genre, sort of fantasy/historical/mythological YA.
    What about the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper? Also, fantasy/mythology YA that is really outstanding.
    (Between both series, I think there is one Newbery Award and 2 or 3 Newbery Honor books.)
     
  22. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,610
    Likes Received:
    52

    Mar 18, 2011

    How about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Lots of conversation topics in there but plot revolves around young characters.
     
  23. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 18, 2011

    A few others I thought of:
    Jurassic Park, And Then There Were None (someone suggested Agatha Christie, and it triggered that one).
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 18, 2011

    You guys are great! I now have a decently long list of books and will be heading to Barnes and Noble shortly!
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,171

    Mar 18, 2011

    Sherwood Smith's Wren series, if you can find it, or the Court Duel omnibus; much of Orson Scott Card's oeuvre, including the Homecoming series (which will keep him busy for a while), and I think also the Alvin Maker series (though that's not yet finished, that I know of); and let me ask my kid, the library tech.
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Mar 18, 2011

    $280.00 later...

    I hope he's happy for a while. I did give in to his love of classic literature and bought a translation of War and Peace that's supposed to be very readable.
     
  27. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 18, 2011

    If you happen to have an ipad, or buy one.

    I just checked the apple bookstore and there are 27,000+ free books. (Just about every classic is on there.) He could read the free books until the end of time just about, and new books aren't usually super expensive. It would be a $399 investment for last years model new ($349 apple refurb, or even cheaper online used). The new one though is $499 plus tax, but it's lighter by about half a pound which is a God send when reading in bed.

    Just a thought if you're spending that much at a time anyways. ;)


    You could also pick up a kindle or if you have a decent monitor let him read on the computer. Just about all the high quality free books for all devices are from:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Iris1001,
  2. Colliemom
Total: 207 (members: 3, guests: 174, robots: 30)
test