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Opinions of this SCHOOL 9th grade summer Reading List?

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What do you think of these books on the School 9th grade English Honors reading list?  I'm beginning to wonder where the literary value comes in, and why they don't value classics anymore? 


Brown, Jennifer Hate List

At the end of their junior year, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend pulls a gun in the Commons, leaving six students and a teacher dead and many others wounded. Valerie is hit by a bullet in the leg trying to stop him, just before he ends his own life. Until that point, Valerie had no idea that the "hate list" that she and Nick created would be used to target victims in a vengeful shooting spree. For her, the list of tormentors was a way to ease the pain of being bullied. Although the police determine that Valerie had nothing to do with the actual shootings, many people in her community, including her parents, have a hard time believing that she is not at fault, too. With the help of a patient and insightful therapist, Valerie bravely returns to school after the summer to face the challenges before her. 


Greene, Michele Keep Sweet

Alva Jane lives in a polygamist compound. She bakes bread for her father's 7 wives and 29 children before heading off to the provincial compound school. Alva Jane's awakening begins with her attraction to her math tutor, who seems headed for leadership within the power structure of the cult. The attraction is mutual and the two secretly plan to start a life together as soon as he can get permission and she is ready to be sealed in marriage. When the young couple is caught in a forbidden kiss,Alva Jane is beaten, imprisoned, and married off to a violent older man.

Going, K. L.  King of the Screwups

Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity, but he's got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most.  When Liam finally kicked out of the house, his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle takes him in. Liam tries to lose his "Mr. Popularity" rep and reinvent himself as studious and nerdy, but he can't hide his charm. Darleen, a hostile classmate Liam tries to befriend, sees right through him. "You'll do what you do, which, if I'm guessing correctly, is to be wildly and naturally popular”.

(The list on the 9th grade class doesn't have any of these books listed or anything with such subject nature.)


by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM
Replies (21-26):
GotSomeKids
by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Since it is the "summer" reading list, I don't see the issue.  They'll have plenty of time during the school year and in college to get in all the classics.  And, if they are that important, they can choose to read the classics on their own.  I did that all through high school. 

LostTheSlipper
by Member on Aug. 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting momo3fgr8tteens:

Unfortunately the curriculum has changed quite a bit to meet the guidelines of NCLB even in high school. My ds did some of the classics in 10th grade honors English.  They read Mice and Men.  My dd actually did To Kill a Mockingbird in 7th grade Honors English and this summer she had a book abou tthe Holocaust that she is doing a project on.  I never taught above 10th grade so I don't know the 11th and 12th grade English curriculum. My big problem with the high school English curriculum both Honors and non-honors is that they don't spend enough time teaching writing cmposition and college requires a lot of writing. My son just cam in and asked me to look over the outline he had to do for AP History and I was shocked that he didn't really have a good grasp on how to outline and I had to go over it and have him redo most of it. 

Quoting bupkie:


Quoting momo3fgr8tteens:

They tend to assume kids in the honors English classes are able to handle books with a little more mature content. The objectives for 9th grade honors English probably cannot be accomplished by the regular 9th grade reading material. The ninth grade honors curriculum is more aligned with what is taught in 10th grade. I taught tenth grade English one year and the books seem appropriate for the curriculum.  The reason they don't have them read the classics at that level is because they want them to read books that have interest to them and deal with current themes, since studying themes is a large part of the curriculum at that level. They cover the classics in the 11th and 12th grade curriculum. Hope that helps.

Classics in 11th and 12th?  Which ones...   In 9th we had: Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Steinbeck's of Mice and Men, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird...  In 10th grade honors English we had more famous authors but intensive study on multiple pieces of their work (ie. Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass, etc.)     Shakespear and the like prepared me for reading Homer's Iliad in college while keeping up with my major.  (Not English!  Ha!)      




Now? Or in general? It seemed when I was in honors and AP classes all we did was write stupid essays.

LostTheSlipper
by Member on Aug. 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM


Quoting hwifeandmom:

Personally I find the books way too mature, graphic and inappropriate.  While my kids are aware of current events and the types of things that other kids experience, I don't feel a need to surround my kids with the horrific details nor immerse them emotionally into those experiences.  My 9th grade son feels similarly (tho' my older daughter might have been interested in those books).

When my 9th grader had to do summer reading, it was difficult to find a book on his list that he felt comfortable reading.  Most of the books contained very mature themes and lots of foul language. Yes, he CAN handle reading it.  But is there any reason it's a requirement to be subjected to "literature" of that nature?  I'm not sure how it improves his education.  



I agree. As an adult I wouldn't want to be reading about that stuff and in high school it would have freaked me out completely. Yuck.

bupkie
by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 4:05 PM


Quoting wenchmommy381:

I know I'm going to reiterate a lot of what other people said here, but it really is worth repeating. 

1) It is increasingly difficult to get kids reading anything. Most of the books we consider "classics" are now movies, and a lot of kids are skirting the requirement that way. 

2) One of the (few) things NCLB is getting right-- at least, from this former teacher's perspective-- is the renewed emphasis on real-world issues, and these books easily address them. School shootings, cults, and openly gay relatives and rough home lives are real, even if they aren't common. 

3) If literature was about strictly the classics, we'd still be reading Homer and Shakespeare exclusively. Are there better reasons for our children to read them than, "well, I read them back in my day!"? If not, it's time to move on.

I've never heard of these books, but they seem appropriate for high school students, and Honors students in particular.

Thanks for your insight.  

I understand that it is difficult to get some kids to read, however, with honors students, this isn't an issue.... (or they wouldn't meet the honors requirements, I can assure you.)   And they are the students, it is their JOB to read what they are given.  It's like real life, you have to do the work you are given in order to get paid, right?  

2) I get real world issues, sure,  but the teachers aren't actually dealing with the emotional aspects of violence, cults, issues of sexuality, drug useage and the like.  It's not a psychology or morality class.  These are issues that parents should be addressing, however they have no idea what their children are reading or what they are feeling because they don't have access to the books the teachers assign for in-class reading.  (The principal at the Middle school actually had to address this issue with a teacher for giving inappropriate material as well.  She was appauled at what they gave my child - OFF the district reading list.)  

3) Certainly, the classics have some excellent value, as do more recent books.  I know we don't live in the stone ages.   I'm finding the most recent books that *some* teachers are choosing are for their pure shock value rather than their literary value.  Which is very sad.  There are plenty of well written books without excessive violence, sexual content and f-bombs every 2nd page.     You don't have to have shock value to be a good writer or to keep interest.  That's just an excuse for "it's only what they will read."  Well, if it's the ONLY thing you offer them....  

It's just like history, we don't only study current events, we study from early history up till today.  But History teachers don't tell students whether to side with Democrats or Republicans... they tell them to discuss these topics with their families.  

I know, I'm an old fuddy... Already having a hard time letting someone else choose which uncensored topics are given to my teen... (I know they can't stay young and innocent forever.)  I'm just not in a hurry for them to grow up too fast before they are ready.  

bupkie
by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Thank you hwifeandmom, very eloquently put.  You are a much more concise writer than I could ever hope to be.  And me too LostTheSlipper!  Ha!  I would have been like, um.... eeewww, that's so gross!  (Ok, I stil am at the polygamy one.... that poor girl!)


Quoting LostTheSlipper:


Quoting hwifeandmom:

Personally I find the books way too mature, graphic and inappropriate.  While my kids are aware of current events and the types of things that other kids experience, I don't feel a need to surround my kids with the horrific details nor immerse them emotionally into those experiences.  My 9th grade son feels similarly (tho' my older daughter might have been interested in those books).

When my 9th grader had to do summer reading, it was difficult to find a book on his list that he felt comfortable reading.  Most of the books contained very mature themes and lots of foul language. Yes, he CAN handle reading it.  But is there any reason it's a requirement to be subjected to "literature" of that nature?  I'm not sure how it improves his education.  



I agree. As an adult I wouldn't want to be reading about that stuff and in high school it would have freaked me out completely. Yuck.


  • Bupkie..... 

  • ~~~ My philosophy on sharing info is that it's just free info (not advice) so please take it or leave it.  If it fits great!  If not, leave it on the ground and dance on it for fun!!! :) ~~~   thank you
bupkie
by on Aug. 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM


Quoting LostTheSlipper:


Quoting momo3fgr8tteens:

Unfortunately the curriculum has changed quite a bit to meet the guidelines of NCLB even in high school. My ds did some of the classics in 10th grade honors English.  They read Mice and Men.  My dd actually did To Kill a Mockingbird in 7th grade Honors English and this summer she had a book abou tthe Holocaust that she is doing a project on.  I never taught above 10th grade so I don't know the 11th and 12th grade English curriculum. My big problem with the high school English curriculum both Honors and non-honors is that they don't spend enough time teaching writing cmposition and college requires a lot of writing. My son just cam in and asked me to look over the outline he had to do for AP History and I was shocked that he didn't really have a good grasp on how to outline and I had to go over it and have him redo most of it. 

Quoting bupkie:


Quoting momo3fgr8tteens:

They tend to assume kids in the honors English classes are able to handle books with a little more mature content. The objectives for 9th grade honors English probably cannot be accomplished by the regular 9th grade reading material. The ninth grade honors curriculum is more aligned with what is taught in 10th grade. I taught tenth grade English one year and the books seem appropriate for the curriculum.  The reason they don't have them read the classics at that level is because they want them to read books that have interest to them and deal with current themes, since studying themes is a large part of the curriculum at that level. They cover the classics in the 11th and 12th grade curriculum. Hope that helps.

Classics in 11th and 12th?  Which ones...   In 9th we had: Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Steinbeck's of Mice and Men, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird...  In 10th grade honors English we had more famous authors but intensive study on multiple pieces of their work (ie. Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass, etc.)     Shakespear and the like prepared me for reading Homer's Iliad in college while keeping up with my major.  (Not English!  Ha!)      




Now? Or in general? It seemed when I was in honors and AP classes all we did was write stupid essays.

Oh, the essays... I hated those essays.  I had one Lit. teacher you could never please.  She looked like the Wicked Witch of the West...only she didn't have green skin.  My psych and SS teachers loved my essays.  But not Mrs. Witch.   And that's what I gained from that class.  

  • Bupkie..... 

  • ~~~ My philosophy on sharing info is that it's just free info (not advice) so please take it or leave it.  If it fits great!  If not, leave it on the ground and dance on it for fun!!! :) ~~~   thank you
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