UGH!!!! senior moment here. i meant reading to a 10 year old - a 5th grader.
i need a classic to read to dd. a classic that will make her think? she wants me to read her a good book. it has to be a kind of book i enjoy too otherwise i'll fall asleep.
she has right now got her nose buried in to kill a mocking bird.
what i am looking for is meat in the book. that it has some substance. doesnt have to be advanced. we just finished reading some fairy stories from russia which were written for younger children. i'd love to read her some oliver twist or something to that extent because she wouldnt read it herself.
what i need is an inspiring story for both of us. dd reads a lot of fantasy (i cant stand that genre- sorry i can do fairy tales adn folk tales, but not HP or LOTR).
I opened the post to suggest To Kill A Mockingbird only to see that she is already reading it. Oops!
I'll have to think some more. Sorry.
Well, if not Oliver Twist, how about A Christmas Carol? It's a terrific "starter" Dickens for middle schoolers.
It's the right time of year for it. It's filled with wonderful Dickens characters and a beloved, well-known plot. It's a bit of a challenge from a language perspective but because the story is so familiar and has been adapted so many times, most middle schoolers aren't intimidated by it. It raises all sorts of social issues and historical topics.
The Phantom Toll Booth, Hatchet, The Secret Garden, Island of the Blue Dolphins, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
My dd adored the Sisters Grimm series. It might be too much Fantasy for you, or maybe it's different enough. It helps that the main characters are girls. Same with A Wrinkle in Time. It's fantasy, but there's nary a magic wand or sword in sight.
And Anne of Green Gables.
so i have another question (warning: i overthink a lot).
which books to read to her and which i want her to read and discover on her own.
for instance i remember little women so clearly. its a book that almost everyone enjoys. same with anne of green gables. should i not let dd read those books on her own?
she has enjoyed reading the land of the blue dolphin and the secret garden.
perhaps okasan and the giver might be a better book to read to her? might pick up a wrinkle in time because that's a book i myself have not read.
and olly christmas carol is a great starter. except she has seen the movie. but i'll see if she will let us plod through the language.
i will have to figure this on my own - because i dont want to read those books she would enjoy reading on her own.
I guess I'd say that you don't have to figure it out on your own. You can sort it out together with your DD. Suggest a few titles to your DD that you think you would both enjoy reading together. Ask her for her own suggestions. There are so many books out there that she won't run out of great books to explore on her own. Also, if there is something she'd like to read on her own after you've read it together, she can do that too.
I thought of some good ones i read to my son when he was about that age:
Where the Red Fern Grows
Lord of the Flies
War of the Worlds
I havent read these but they look good:
Summer of my German Soldier
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry
The Chocolate War
You havent read A Wrinkle in Time??? Oh you must! its so wonderful...as well as the two that follow (A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet)....now i want to read them again! I read them in 4th grade....i remember loving them so much.
Has she read the His Dark Materials books(The Golden Compass etc)? It took me awhile to get into them...i tried to read the first to my son and was so confused about what was happening we stopped. I picked them up again a couple of years later and we really got into them. I felt like they really had impact, said a lot about life, love, the meaning of friendship etc.
It might seem a bit young, but Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH--awesome book!
Boy by Roald Dahl is great, and the sequel, Going Solo, is even better!
Does she like adventure stories? The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle, anything by Jules Verne, especially Around the World in Eighty Days, The Chronicles of Narnia (that one might be a little too much of a fantasy, though).
Flowers for Algernon
Other ones that come to mind: The Jungle Book, Tom Sawyer, The Westing Game, The Boggart, Animal Farm (not sure how you feel about the themes about Bolshevik Revolution), all the Mary Poppins books (lots of interesting adventures and some beautifully written bits), and--if she hasn't already read it--A Little Princess.
Seconding (and thirding) Phantom Tollbooth and The Giver--great for reading aloud.
And, last but not least, The Little Prince. (I get something new out of it every time I read it).
In addition to getting suggestions here, ask at your library and bookstore. We used to take a stack of books and read the first couple pages to give us an idea if the book was a "taker".
We also enjoyed Gordon Korman books, early Bionicle books, Deltora Quest series of books, A Wizard at Work and Diane Duane wizard books. Not sure which were read at which age. Bedknobs and Broomsticks is another wizardy book. We enjoyed that kind of thing for quite a while. It really depends on what you find interesting.
Okay, so I just thought of Pollyanna, Cricket in Times Square, Alice in Wonderland, The Outsiders, Prince and the Pauper
A bit darker: Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Peter Pan
Short stories are also really nice to read aloud. Ray Bradbury and E.B. White have some amazing ones. Oh, and "The Most Dangerous Game."
oooh nice list going. for some reason she doesnot like classics. i borrowed old yeller and she wouldnt pick it up. she is VERY PICKY with what SHE reads. it almost looks to me like if the book was a 10 year old print she wont open it. we check out at least 20 books and maybe two or three will appeal to her.
she has read all of Roald Dahl and the NIMH series too i think and quite a bit of Kipling (she was curious as that was her grandfathers favourite author).
kimble she loves adventure so she has read the Narnia series. no i wouldnt read that to her. we have done some modern grown up short stories. i love love love ray bradbury's language but just cant get into his books. not my thing.
this last week we were actually reading a bunch of ethnic and seasonal cookbooks. we had to stop because even after a full stomach it got us really hungry. plus i really dont have the means to buy all the ingredients and make those meals... so stopped reading them.
since she has read diary of anne frank i think she will enjoy Summer of my German Soldier.
olly GREAT idea about having her go through what we want to read together.
pek64 thankfully dd and the children's librarian have similar tastes. both of them hated the warrior cats series which was so so popular.
this is a very interesting place for me to be in. i realise i have this mental block of what dd 'should' read since she is a 'child'. i gotta get out of that notion.
hey maybe since she is reading mocking bird, perhaps uncle toms cabin might be a good book to read to her now. esp. she brought up the N word and didnt like how they were using that. brought up banned books and the history of language.
Perhaps Huckleberry Finn instead of Uncle Tom's Cabin? I haven't read Uncle Tom's Cabin, although I've had a copy for years. The size of the book is daunting, to say the least.
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing is a fascinating read about a young slave and is set during the American Revolution. It's a fairly recent publication but written in archaic language. There are two books about Octavian and his adventures before, during and after the war.
My first thought was The Hobbit, until I got to the last sentence of the OP. Then I was thinking The Martian Chronicles, until I read that you don't like Ray Bradbury. So maybe I'm the wrong person to be making any suggestions here. But what about Alice in Wonderland? Has she read that? Or what about Swallows and Amazons? That's a classic in the sense that it's been around for a while, if not in the sense that it's great literature, and my kids loved it. His Dark Materials is a great suggestion, but I have the feeling it might not be the kind of thing you like (and might be the kind of thing your DD would read on her own.)
oooh you guys ROCK!!!!
olly i just checked out the annotated text of uncle toms cabin and after the first few chapters (i read it myself and not to dd) thought nuh uh. this archaic language is not going to fly for dd. too many stops and explanations. yeah i had forgotten what a tome it was. but your suggestion sounds fantastic. i hadnt heard of it. i just hope its not too archaic. i think we are on the theme of race and and that will be a good choice. she has read twain a while back.
one of the things i am discovering too is that if she has seen the movie she is reluctant to read the book which is why she refuses to pick up alice in wonderland or the golden compass. daffodil swallows and amazon sounds very interesting. how interesting it has the same history as alice in wonderland - that is inspired by real children.
Does she realize that the movie is usually very different from the book and that the book is usually a million times better? If she refuses to pick up Alice in Wonderland, that sounds to me like an excellent choice for a read-aloud. That's a book everyone ought to read, and you'll probably enjoy it as much as she does.
Oh golly. About Golden Compass, I hope she gives it a try sometime, on her own. The book is far superior to the movie. I'm glad I'd read the whole thing before the movie came out.
By the way, 17 y.o. dd said she re-read it recently for the first time since she was 12 y.o., and said she got soooo much more out of it. Go figure!
daffodil - she does get that the books are different from movies. she got that from the HP and LOTR series as well as from The Help.
see at this point i am not sure why she is reading? for the beauty of language or content, the storyline. or a bit of both.
i think one of the things is that there are so many books she wants to read that she doesnt want to visit those books about which she already has an idea.
journeymom i'll keep that in mind.
Hmm...maybe you could pickup one of those anthologies--"Greatest Short Stories of the 20th Century," "...Great British Writers," "Greatest Stories from the New Yorker," etc. Then you'd have access to several different writing styles at once.
Haha, I get what you're saying about the cookbook thing making you hungry. Had to stop reading from the Red Wall series because they were always having amazing feasts...too many descriptions; made my mouth water!
It's kind of fun. The characters have taken on a life of their own, and are part of our culture at large. If you come across a reference to someone one grinning like a Cheshire Cat, it's great to know where it came from, and in context.
I imagine that Lewis Carroll wasn't high every time he sat down to write. The story is written well, so I'm not sure 'ramblings' is a fair description.
Here, this is what Wikipedia says, much more clearly than how I said it.
You mentioned the library, but not the bookstore. By looking at books in a bookstore, you can get titles to request through inter library loan, and borrow books your library doesn't have. Each location is different, and I'm not sure your library is part of such a program, but the librarian would know.
If she likes animals, there's James Herriot's books. He's a vet in England. My son liked him around age 13, but not 10.
I know we read many others. The Egg and I, and Cheaper by the Dozen were fun books. So was The Pushcart War! The Hardy Boy, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown are detection books. Spy X series was also enjoyable. Part adventure, part detection, my son and I wished there were more books.
It depends, partly, on why you want the list. Are you looking for books that are purely for enjoyment, or do you also want to challenge her reading ability.
My son doesn't like most classics. They take too long to get to the point, for him. Around the World in Eighty Days, for example, took multiple paragraphs to say that Phileas Fogg was independently wealthy, and had no job to take up his day. Some may enjoy the wording used, others want the plot to get moving. My son fell into the plot moving group.
Well, I've given you a few suggestions of what we liked, and what reasons we had for choosing them. Hopefully, this will give you an idea if your daughter would like them, too.
It's entertaining and funny. (And there's no evidence that it was drug-induced, as far as I know.) A couple of samples:
`I dare say you're wondering why I don't put my arm round your waist,' the Duchess said after a pause: `the reason is, that I'm doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?'
`He might bite,' Alice cautiously replied, not feeling at all anxious to have the experiment tried.
`Very true,' said the Duchess: `flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of that is--"Birds of a feather flock together."'
`Only mustard isn't a bird,' Alice remarked.
`Right, as usual,' said the Duchess: `what a clear way you have of putting things!'
`It's a mineral, I THINK,' said Alice.
`Of course it is,' said the Duchess, who seemed ready to agree to everything that Alice said; `there's a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is--"The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours."'
`Once upon a time there were three little sisters,' the Dormouse began in a great hurry; `and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well--'
`What did they live on?' said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.
`They lived on treacle,' said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
`They couldn't have done that, you know,' Alice gently remarked; `they'd have been ill.'
`So they were,' said the Dormouse; `VERY ill.'
Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on: `But why did they live at the bottom of a well?'
`Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
`I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can't take more.'
`You mean you can't take LESS,' said the Hatter: `it's very easy to take MORE than nothing.'
`Nobody asked YOUR opinion,' said Alice.
`Who's making personal remarks now?' the Hatter asked triumphantly.
You can read the whole book online for free.
<tangent> I've never finished Alice in Wonderland. I'm a slow reader and older language, older literary frameworks, trip me up. And like Pek64's son, I get impatient when it takes forever to get to the point. Though I haven't looked at Alice in Wonderland in years. I certainly have better focus than I used to, so maybe I'd get more out of it now. </tangent>
Sorry about the Alice tangent. Any more book suggestions?
for all you Charles Dodgson fans here's a movie to watch. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089052/ Dreamchild. i saw this movie when it first came out and it made me spend weeks at the library researching Lewis Carrol.
dd wants ME to read to HER. i havent read to her for YEARS as part of our night time ritual because at the end of the day i'd be so tired i'd fall asleep while dd would be wide awake wanting to know more. books wake her up, esp. if its interesting.
for this venture to be successful - that is me being able to stay awake (my day starts at 4 am and by 8 i am ready to hit the bed) i need to find books that we will both like. our basic choices clash a lot. 180 degrees. dd's favourite genre is fantasy. i cant stand fantasy.
i want to take this opportunity to introduce her to some other genres that she has not picked up yet. either some good writing or some historical content or just some great books.
kiblej - that's a great suggestion. used to read essays to dd a while back (not at bedtime) and she loved it. one of her favourites has been Malcolm X talking about straightening his hair called "hair"
yet i dont want to read to her what she will read on her own.