Science Fiction Novels- 7th Grade

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Picabo, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Picabo

    Picabo Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2008

    My oldest daughter is in 7th grade this year, and is in GATE/honors English. Through out the year, the students are to read six novels in class, and around nine outside of class.

    The books for outside reading cover five genres, including science fiction. She's looking for recommendations, as she hasn't read a lot of science fiction. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
     
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  3. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    My 7th grade honors students read The House of the Scorpion last year. Out of 32 students only 2 did not like it. Ender's Game is also a great science fiction story.
     
  4. Apple125

    Apple125 Rookie

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    If she hasn't already read it, The Giver by Lois Lowry is wonderful, as is Gathering Blue, the next novel in the series. Ray Bradbury has written many science fiction novels.
     
  5. kickatstars

    kickatstars Rookie

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    My kids have really enjoyed Dr Franklin's Island by Ann Halam. I actually had kids come back and ask if I was teaching it again because they wanted to make sure their friends read it!
     
  6. Picabo

    Picabo Rookie

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    A big thanks to each of you for the suggestions. She sends her appreciation, as do I!
     
  7. mylonite

    mylonite Rookie

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    I was younger than her when I read it, but I *really* enjoyed Robert Heinlein's 'The Door into Summer.' It was my first science fiction novel, even before I discovered Asimov. I'm a big Heinlein fan, though, in all his slightly twisted glory, so I may be biased. If you aren't a puritanical parent, she might enjoy Ringworld by Larry Niven.

    Gosh, the more I think about it, the more grateful I am that my mom didn't have time to read all the books I read when I was young. Most of the books I'd like to recommend are things I feel odd recommending to a seventh grader's mother.

    Aha! A Canticle for Leibowitz! I don't think that one's inappropriate at all!

    =)
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jane Yolen has a number of sci-fi and fantasy novels for younger readers. I loved Sister Light, Sister Dark and its sequel White Jenna. They've recently been reissued. There is some hinted sexuality in the second book, just to warn you, but it's far from graphic.
     
  9. agsrule!

    agsrule! Companion

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    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (3 more in the series, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (3 more in the series, Pretties, Specials, Extras)
    Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld
    Enders Game
    Farenheit 451
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (also Gathering Blue, Messenger)
    Nancy Farmer's books
    Truesight by David Stahler
     
  10. kickatstars

    kickatstars Rookie

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    Oh yes, the Uglies series is great! The kids were begging for them last year. If they like those and vampires, he wrote another series they might like. The first book is called Peeps; it's about a guy trying to track down the girl who gave him vampirism (is that a word?) because it's an STD! Nothing graphic, but some parents might not be comfortable with the concept.
     
  11. Picabo

    Picabo Rookie

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    Wow, so many from which to choose!

    She's read all of the Twilight books, and I just ordered from the Scholastic book order what looks like the second three books in the Uglies series. I'll have to look for the first three books.

    She has to get approval on her choice from her teacher. I'll let you all know which title she chooses. I'm sure that she'll choose one for class, and others to read for pleasure as so many sound really good.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    A lot of my students also like Orwell's 1984 if you're looking for something more classic.
     
  13. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Z for Zachariah is very good and grade appropriate. Unfortunately, I disagree with some of the recommendations you have been given gradewise. If she is in 7th grade, I am not sure she will understand the ideas of distopia/utopia, censorship, etc that come with say 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 which are both, in my opinion and according to my district's curriculum guides, high school books.

    Ender's Game has often been taught at the 9th grade level, but it is now on the 11th grade list.. so there are those issues as well.. an excellent book though..

    What was the scifi book about a boy that plays a game and there are pigs involved? I initially confused it with Ender's Game (for obvious reasons, and reread Ender's Game to end the confusion :whistle: )
    so I know there is another one..

    Anyone remember that?
     
  14. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Alaskan,
    I teach the 7th grade gifted class in my school, and my kids very readily get the utopia/distopia themes in 1984 and Farenheit. Our new media specialist booktalked Ender's Game to the kids today. While I wouldn't necessarily use these books as whole class novels, I definitely have students I would recommend them to.
    As for the book with the pig game, that would be Interstellar Pig by William Sleator, one of my favorites. It's just so wonderfully bizarre. Another good sci-fi is Invitation to the Game but I can't remember the author.
    I second the recommendation for the Uglies series. I read the series last year at the urging of the girls in my classes, and I really enjoyed it. I'm not much of a sci-fi fan, but I got sucked right in!
     
  15. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    That's the one!

    Do you use Backward by Design? Our district does, so the enduring understandings that middle school has versus high school does not equate as middle schoolers learning distopia/utopias..

    But then, we have changed things up quite a bit in the last few years using this system, so..

    Still, the censorship stuff I think still should be a high school topic since they are moving out of YA books to more mainstream stuff.. Have Fahrenheit and 1984 been part of the Big Read before? I can't remember.. but the lessons they have are more geared to high school I think..

    I haven't read Uglies- is it soft scifi? I have been reading more hard sf for my course I am teaching, and hadn't run across this yet..
     
  16. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Our district is only beginning to use backward design, mostly in the other content areas, not LA. The Giver is used in seventh grade, so the utopia/distopia theme is present, so if I wanted to choose a more challenging book (such as 1984) for my GT class, I would have precedent. Farenheit is used in the GT 8th grade class in our school.

    I suppose you would classify Uglies as soft sci-fi. It is more futuristic, kind of like The Giver, but not as deep. It's a fun read.
     
  17. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Oh, see we don't use "precedent" like that. In our district, each level has "core texts" that the teacher can choose from that are specific to that grade level. The supplemental materials section is more optional.. If I were teaching 7th grade (which I don't) I would be allowed to teach Fahrenheit since it is a core text for a higher grade level.. I could teach a text that was taught at a lower grade level, though.. We have a pretty transitory population, so they try to stay consistent about what is taught when at different grade levels.. The idea is sound that I shouldn't have to teach a text that my students were already taught, but there are a few rebellious teachers that break that rule, and then I am stuck teaching the Odyssey to 9th graders that have already had it..:dizzy:

    I could use excerpts of a book or as the OP said, a self selected text, I just couldn't teach for example Fahrenheit in its entirety ( I could get away with excerpts) for 9th graders..

    In your district is all the high school lit like contemporary? Ours is supposed to be a mix of contemporary, traditional and non-fiction based on the enduring understandings, but I am not sure that it always meets that requirement..

    I will look into The Uglies, but I have promised so many kids to read books that they recommended right now that I think I will die before I get caught up.:help:
     
  18. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    In college (when I was an English major not an education major) I took a young adult lit class and read a book called The Keeper of the Isis Light by Monica Hughes. It was actually so good I have re-read it a few times, AND it happened to be right on the top of a big stack of books in my room just now.... and I took this class about 10 years ago- so that says something! I also agree with everything the others have said.

    While an honors student doesn't probably need anything of this level, there is another book I really like called Orvis, by HM Hoover. It's maybe a level 5.6 according to AR, so maybe it would be a quick read in any case. I liked it a lot.

    My very, very, very, very favorite YA sci-fi book is called Feed by M.T. Anderson. It is INCREDIBLE! It deals with social issues, political issues, class issues, education, health, the environment, and just about everything else you can think of! It takes place in the future and everyone is connected to this "feed" sort of like the internet. The society is very consumeristic and the book deals with some of the ramifications of that. There is some profanity in it, and I think the author had a purpose in using it (the use of language has seriously become almost non-existent and people sort of talk like they are IMing and they swear a lot... even the quotes from the president are full of , "well, like, you know it's f-ing blah, blah, blah" It's very interesting. If you don't mind her exposed to a little swearing the book is overall one of the BEST YA books I have EVER read!!!!!!!!

    Another book, which she may have read is called The Eye, The Ear and the Arm. It's also probably about a 5/6th grade level, but very interesting and takes place in Africa in maybe 200 years in the future. Some private eyes are in search of the governors missing children and they have some sort of genetically modified body parts or something which helps them search for the missing children.. though my summary may not be very accurate. I haven't read it in several years. It's a fairly good read for that level of book, maybe around 350 pages?
     
  19. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Our high school is actually a separate district, so they really don't have much say over what we teach, but we do try to stay away from books that we know are used in the various classes. Because almost all of my students will go into honors at the high school, I only have to worry about books used in the honors track. The honors classes at the high school don't read 1984, Farenheit, Huck Finn, Frankenstein, or To Kill A Mockingbird, all of which are used in either 7th or 8th grade.

    Ok....back to the OP. Sorry to have hijacked your thread. When teachers get going comparing what we can or can't do, we sometimes run with it!

    Hope your daughter has gotten some great ideas. I know that I have!
     

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