Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some Recommended Books for Reading--Part #2

Again, most of these books come from the National Endowment for the Humanities list of classical children's literature. And again, some of these books may be suitable for younger/older readers then the grades recommended (The Bradbury books, for instance). There are also a few repetitions from others of my lists; as I said before, some of these books are appropriate across a wide group of readers.

DISCLAIMER: Parents will need to use their discretion as to subject matter suitability for their children.

Classic children's Literature - Grades 7 and 8,Middle school and junior high.
Alcott, Louisa May--Little Women, Little Men
Bagnold, Enid-- National Velvet
Blackmore, Richard D.-- Lorna Doone
Boulle, Pierre-- The Bridge over the River Kwai
Bradbury, Ray-- Dandelion Wine, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Martian Chronicles
Buchan, John-- The Thirty-Nine Steps
Bunyan, John-- The Pilgrim's Progress
Carroll, Lewis-- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass
Clark, Walter-- The Ox-Bow Incident
Cooper, James Fenimore-- The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans
Curie, Eve-- Madame Curie: A Biography
Dahl, Roald--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and others)
Dana, Richard Henry-- Two Years before the Mast
Day, Clarence-- Life with Father
Defoe, Daniel-- Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles-- A Tale of Two Cities
Douglas, Lloyd C.-- The Robe
Doyle, Arthur Conan-- Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Dumas, Alexander-- The Count of Monte Christo, The Three Musketeers
Du Maurier, Daphne-- Rebecca
Edmonds, Walter D. --Drums along the Mohawk
Ferber, Edna-- Cimarron
Forbes, Esther-- Johnny Tremain
Forester, C.S.-- The African Queen,The Hornblower series
Frank, Anne-- Diary of a Young Girl
Frost, Robert-- Poems
Gallico, Paul-- The Snow Goose
Gunther, John-- Death Be Not Proud
Guthrie, A.B.-- The Big Sky
Haggard, H. Rider-- King Solomon's Mines
Hansberry, Lorraine-- Raisin in the Sun
Hemingway, Ernest-- The Old Man and the Sea
Hersey, John-- A Bell for Adano, Hiroshima, The Wall
Heyerdahl, Thor-- Kon-Tiki
Hilton, James-- Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Lost Horizon
Hudson, W.H. --Green Mansions
Hughes, Richard-- A High Wind in Jamaica
Hugo, Victor-- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Irving, Washington-- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Keller, Helen-- Story of My Life
Kennedy, John F.-- Profiles in Courage
Kipling, Rudyard-- Kim
Knowles, John-- A Separate Peace
Lee, Harper-- To Kill a Mockingbird
London, Jack-- The Sea Wolf
Lord, Walter-- A Night to Remember
Malory, Sir Thomas --Le Morte d'Arthur
Maxwell, Gavin-- Ring of Bright Water
McCullers, Carson-- Member of the Wedding
Michener, James-- The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Mitchell, Margaret-- Gone with the Wind
Nordhoff, Charles and J.N. Hall-- Mutiny on the Bounty
O'Dell, Scott --Island of the Blue Dolphins
Orczy, Baroness Emma-- The Scarlet Pimpernel
Paton, Alan-- Cry, the Beloved Country
Pyle, Howard-- Men of Iron
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan-- The Yearling
Renault, Mary-- The King Must Die
Roberts, Kenneth-- Northwest Passage
Saint-Exupery, Antoine de-- The Little Prince, Wind, Sand and Stars
Saki-- Collected Stories
Schaefer, Jack-- Shane
Scott, Sir Walter-- Ivanhoe
Shelley, Mary-- Frankenstein
Smith, Betty-- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Steinbeck, John-- The Pearl, Tortilla Flat
Stevenson, Robert Louis-- The Black Arrow, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stoker, Bram --Dracula
Thurber, James-- The Thurber Carnival
Tolkien, J.R.R.-- The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings
Twain, Mark--The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Innocents Abroad, Life on the Mississippi ,The Prince and the Pauper
Verne, Jules-- Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Mysterious Island, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
Wallace, Lewis-- Ben-Hur
Washington, Booker T.-- Up from Slavery
Wells, H.G.-- The Time Machine, War of the Worlds
Wharton, Edith-- Ethan Frome
White, Terrance Hanbury--The Once and Future King
Wilder, Thornton-- The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Wister, Owen-- The Virginian
Yates, Elizabeth-- Amos Fortune, Free Man


Leora said...

All of these books would make fine summer reading for an adult, too.

Caution about the Once and Future King: I recommended it to my son because we couldn't find a copy of the Sword and the Stone in the library. Some chapters are about adultery between Guenevere and Lancelot. I had forgotten this. Embarrassed, I asked my son what he thought of those chapters (he was about eleven at the time). 'Oh, they were boring,' he replied. 'I just skipped those.' Sigh of relief on my part.

Anonymous said...

Excellent lists!

One or the other should include:

The Pushcart War (Jean Merrill)

Half Magic (and Magic by the Lake) - Edward Eager

Most books by Elizabeth Enright (Melendy series, Gone-Away Lake books)

The Mad Scientists Club series (Bertrand Brinley - now back in print)

Lyle the Crocodile series

Harry the Dirty Dog (series)

Anonymous said...

An excellent list but it seems to me that a lot of the books on it would be better off being listed as adult books or at least high school books. Some of the subjects of these books (at least as I remember them) would be way above a 7th grader to understand or deal with, such as Ivanhoe.

ProfK said...

That's why I advise parental discretion in using the list. Keep in mind that the Endowment compiled its list after contacting hundreds of schools about their required reading lists, as well as having discussions with librarians. For the general population the age range for 7-8 grade can be from 13-15 or even older. Many private schools, yeshivas included, accept children into first grade at a younger age then the public school systems do.

Anonymous said...

Cooper? At least you left Moby Dick off.

ProfK said...

Mike s.,
Honesty compels me to admit that Cooper is one of my least favorite authors and The Last of the Mohicans bored me silly. On the other hand, my brother loved the book. There is no accounting for taste, hence the variety on the list.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that list sure brings up so many memories from all my english lit classes in school. I was blessed with an amazing english teacher for grades 7-9 who truly immersed us in the classics and got even math geek me to say english was my favorite class!


Anonymous said...

These lists are great but I really enjoyed the site you put up that had online books available. I'm at the end of a pregnancy and getting to the library in the heat with the other kids doesn't always happen. Are there any other sites you can recommend? Printing from these sites to give the kids something to read makes more sense right now.

ProfK said...

I have a posting scheduled for Friday for an online lit site that should appeal to children in a very broad age range.

Anonymous said...

My son's summer reading assignments have me a little puzzled. The teacher gave a few stories the kids have to read but for books she is asking them to read books that meet the following criteria: one book that is exciting; one book that gets you to think; one book with excellent character development. Shouldn't every good book have all three? She won't be available to even answer an email until August, so any ideas from anyone here as to what she might be looking for?

Lion of Zion said...

wiesel, potok, milton steinberg? all great writers (although shunned because of apikorsut concerns)

"The Last of the Mohicans bored me silly"

what do you mean? the daniel day lewis version is one of my favorite movies ever

the apple said...

Some of these books are SO boring (at any age!) and also a bit heavy for an 8th grader - I was a very advanced reader and a lot of this stuff was over my head or too symbolic for me to truly understand at that age.

ProfK said...

LOZ, Yes, the movie was good; now go back and read the book and you might wonder why they have the same name. Again, my brother wouldn't agree with me.

The Apple--I caution everyone that the lists I am posting are fluid as to age appropriateness and/or content interest. Boring is subjective. I would imagine that if we compared which books we both found boring the list might not be the same.

From somewhere I am remembering that you are an English major? Literary critical theory, particularly reader response theory, talks about a reader's horizon of expectations. When a reader reads something they come in expecting certain things. A fine piece of literature will expose them to more complex and/or different ideas and move that horizon. You may not understand the subject matter of a work completely now but having been exposed to it lays a foundation for later reading.

Deb, without seeing precisely what the teacher wrote I am only guessing here when I answer. Perhaps she wants the reports on the books to focus on 1)specifically what elements made it exciting, 2)what particular elements made you think and 3)what made the character development excellent.

Lion of Zion said...

after i watched the movie about 40 times i picked up a copy on sale. i couldn't get through the first 2 chapters.

the apple said...

Sure, but do you expect a 13-year-old to appreciate that when they are told to read The Once and Future King? Exactly.

Although I will concede that boring is subjective.

ProfK said...

the apple,
Ever see builders putting in the foundation of a house? It's thick cement interspersed with wood,ugly pipes and hardly anything appealing, and gives you no idea of the house that will eventually rise on it. And someday that house gets finished and is beautiful and useful and we forget all about the foundation it sits on, but without that foundation that beautiful house would never have been built.

It works that way sometimes for younger readers faced with "tough" and/or "boring" literature. They may not see the reason for reading the work now, but it can be laying a foundation for future understanding. Not everything in life is "instant gratification."