View Full Version : Alternatives to Novels for HS Engish Lit

04-08-2014, 01:00 PM
My DS, who is 14, was an early reader - he had hyperlexia but the comprehension caught up by the time he was six. So he's always been a competent reader.

However, DS has never really liked reading novels, although he has read certain books and series over the years. He simply cannot get lost in the world that is created through immersion in a story. That's okay, I get that - I am more a fan of non-fiction myself, and although I read voraciously from the age of three myself, and much of that reading (at least until I was in my mid-teens) was of fiction, reference books make me go all a-quiver - and I don't really have an issue with it.

However, I am trying to encourage him to read by saying he should pick out books he likes - but to no real avail. He decided he wanted to read The Silence of the Lambs a couple of months ago when we were at a bookstore (the closest one is half an hours' drive away), and while I was a bit reticent about him reading something like that, I decided it was well-written enough (I read it yonks ago) for me to think it might get him back into reading fiction.

However, after what can only be described as a torturous two weeks, he had only gotten through the first few chapters. I had to remind him to read it, and I knew the first time I did that, the book was a no-go.

I realise that reading and analysing novels is an important part of a high school education, but what is the big deal about fiction novels, as opposed to anything else? Having a child who deflates once the mention of reading fiction, and his Aspie-ness does affect this behaviour, I ought to add, well...it's frustrating, to say the least.

04-08-2014, 01:10 PM
I wouldn't make him read fiction novels - or at least not a ton of them. If he's college bound, then lit analysis is a tool in his toolbelt he may need, but you could perform that analysis on movies and short stories. I would focus instead on reading good nonfiction texts. If you look at the CC exemplars lists, there are some good "informational texts" listed. But I would just pick things he's interested in to read about. And then either intersperse it with some classic short stories to keep the lit torture to a minimum or maybe do a special lit analysis, we have to learn this skill, unit at some point and read a single book and a number of short stories and gear it toward whatever he's going to need going forward.

What might he be interested in to read that's nonfiction? There's a ton out there for good science reading, history reading, politics, even great books about math... Would he read something like A Walk in the Woods or a Short History of Nearly Everything?

04-08-2014, 01:41 PM
isnt there a literature-through-movies or something like that, that recently went free?

04-08-2014, 02:02 PM
I think it's alright to not like fiction. Is it that he isn't reading at all? If so, maybe you can let us know some of his interests so people can make specific recommendations. Unless, of course, you feel it must be fiction. Hunger Games?

04-08-2014, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

farrar - I'll check out both those pieces.
db - that might work for him...I'll def. check it out.
dad - not Hunger Games, I'm afraid. He dislikes stories that are about teens and young adults LOL. I have tried books based on his interests, but even then, he's not interested. When he was obsessed with Dr Who, he could but just wouldn't read the Dr Who novels. I know he was capable of it, as he did at one point read a short series of Star Trek Voyager novels...then he lost interest in reading any more ST books, even though he is still quite into ST.

Interestingly, he reads a LOT of newspaper articles, which I forgot about. I might look into the analysis of articles, as that is somewhere to perhaps start.

Thanks again - I will start ferreting around the Net...