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Busygoddess
08-30-2010, 02:12 AM
Dea is a fantastic reader. However, lately she's stuck mainly to one or two genres in her free reading. I want to make sure she's reading more variety than that, without having a list of required reading (since she already has books I require for school). It occurred to me that, while she knows I read a lot, she doesn't really have any idea what I read. So, I had an idea. I'm thinking that we'll have a featured author each month. During the month, we will each read at least one book by that author. We don't have to read the same book. I think that just knowing that I'm reading something by the same author will help her see that I have variety in my reading choices. Then, she'll know that I'm not expecting her to read stuff that I wouldn't read.
So, I would appreciate some ideas of authors or specific books that might be enjoyed by an adult & a rather unusual 12 year old girl. Some of the authors I've already thought of she has already read & some fall into the genres she's been stuck in lately. I figured having some authors I know she likes & the option of books from genres I know she likes would make this seem less like a punishment for reading just from that genre. Also, these will not be the only books/authors we're reading (we're both pretty much always in the middle of several books). My thought is that one book each month will be enough exposure to other genres, styles, and authors.
Here's the list of authors I've got so far:
Jane Austen
Richard Matheson
Aurthur Miller
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Charlotte Bronte
Michael Crichton
John Steinbeck
Alexandre Dumas
Stephen King
Charles Dickens
H.G. Wells
Edgar Allan Poe
Jules Verne
J.R.R. Tolkien

So, any ideas for other authors I should add to the list? I'd like to have a decent mix of genres, styles, classics, modern books, etc. Dea was reading at a high school level in 3rd grade. So, to keep them from being too easy (aka boring), I'd like for the books to be no lower than high school level.

garett
08-30-2010, 02:22 AM
Ayn Rand ? Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead might be a bit intimidating for an advanced 12 year-old but she could certainly handle Anthem or We The Living.

Some others:

Aldous Huxley
George Orwell
Victor Hugo
Mark Twain
Robert Louis Stevenson
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lois Lowry
Tom Clancy
C.S Lewis ?
Louisa May Alcott
Garet Garrett
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ken Kesey
William Golding
Margaret Mitchell
J. D. Salinger

Busygoddess
08-30-2010, 03:03 AM
Ayn Rand ? Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead might be a bit intimidating for an advanced 12 year-old but she could certainly handle Anthem or We The Living.

Some others:

Aldous Huxley
George Orwell
Victor Hugo
Mark Twain
Robert Louis Stevenson
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lois Lowry
Tom Clancy
C.S Lewis ?
Louisa May Alcott
Garet Garrett
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ken Kesey
William Golding
Margaret Mitchell
J. D. Salinger

Thanks for the response. I had thought of several of those (Twain, Stevenson, Montgomery, Lowry, Lewis, and Golding) when compiling the original list, but decided against them so there wouldn't be too many authors she's already read. Some on the list, however, I hadn't thought about & will definitely look into.

Can you recommend anything by Kesey? I'll admit that the only thing I've read by him is One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. Dea tried reading that one a few months ago, but found it incredibly boring & didn't finish.

I've tried getting her to read Laura Ingalls Wilder before, too. She found the Little House books boring. She loves history & is really into that time period, so I thought she'd enjoy them. She really didn't like them, though.

mommykicksbutt
08-30-2010, 05:19 AM
What about more contemporary authors like J.K.Rowling (Harry Potter series) or Nancy Holder (http://nancyholder.com/) Wicked series - BTW this has been picked up and is currently being made into a movie, after the screenplay was written based on the first two books (combined) they pick up the option for the whole series to be made into film. "Wicked" has been on the NYT best seller's list (for 6 weeks almost 2 years ago) and is appropriate for both young teen through adult. She is pretty prolific in her writing. (this Wicked is not the Wizard of Oz prequel, they are different but share the same name)

Shoe
08-30-2010, 07:50 AM
I love Ursula LeGuin, especially the Earthsea Cycle (http://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Earthsea-Cycle-Book/dp/0553383043/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283168824&sr=1-4)-beautifully written, or Orson Scott Card (Songmaster (http://www.amazon.com/Songmaster-Orson-Scott-Card/dp/0312876629) is my favorite) or Anne McCaffrey (Dragonriders of Pern (http://www.amazon.com/Dragonriders-Pern-Anne-McCaffrey/dp/0345340248/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283168957&sr=1-1) series, or the Crystal Singer (http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Singer-Omnibus-Anne-McCaffrey/dp/0552147621/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283169012&sr=1-4) series).

Busygoddess
08-30-2010, 08:08 AM
What about more contemporary authors like J.K.Rowling (Harry Potter series) or Nancy Holder (http://nancyholder.com/) Wicked series - BTW this has been picked up and is currently being made into a movie, after the screenplay was written based on the first two books (combined) they pick up the option for the whole series to be made into film. "Wicked" has been on the NYT best seller's list (for 6 weeks almost 2 years ago) and is appropriate for both young teen through adult. She is pretty prolific in her writing. (this Wicked is not the Wizard of Oz prequel, they are different but share the same name)

She finished the Harry Potter series years ago. I will look into the Wicked series, though. Thanks.

Busygoddess
08-30-2010, 08:12 AM
I love Ursula LeGuin, especially the Earthsea Cycle (http://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Earthsea-Cycle-Book/dp/0553383043/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283168824&sr=1-4)-beautifully written, or Orson Scott Card (Songmaster (http://www.amazon.com/Songmaster-Orson-Scott-Card/dp/0312876629) is my favorite) or Anne McCaffrey (Dragonriders of Pern (http://www.amazon.com/Dragonriders-Pern-Anne-McCaffrey/dp/0345340248/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283168957&sr=1-1) series, or the Crystal Singer (http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Singer-Omnibus-Anne-McCaffrey/dp/0552147621/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283169012&sr=1-4) series).

Thanks Shoe. I'll check those out.

farrarwilliams
08-30-2010, 11:02 AM
I think there are a lot of possibilities in the fantasy and science fiction genres - books like The Mists of Avalon are adult books but that I read at that age and enjoyed. I also second the Earthsea suggestion - it's often sold as YA, but it's meaty stuff - you can do a lot with thinking about archetypes that conveys to more difficult literature when reading Earthsea.

What about To Kill a Mockingbird? To me, that's a perfect early classic and just a wonderful book.

Also, maybe Carson McCullers?

And what about some literature in translation - Garcia Marquez or Banana Yoshimoto?

Oh, and how about The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency? Sweet, easy to read, but some beautiful language in there. Oh, and while we're in Africa, how about West With the Night? That's a beautiful book that I think would have appreciated at age 12.

Oh, and I have to put in a plug for the book I named my blog after - I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It's AMAZING and perfect for a 12 year old girl.

Also, you might look beyond adult books at some YA titles - like MT Anderson's Octavian Nothing or The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. These are both amazing books that can be appreciated by adults or teens and are full of some meaty issues for discussion. I can rustle up more YA suggestions if you like - there are a lot of possibilities there.

garett
08-31-2010, 02:25 PM
How about Douglas Adams ? The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favourites.

I also just remembered Frank Herbert's Dune, but it might be a bit advanced, if only because it's long and a little dry until the story really gets going (but then, you mentioned Stephen King who has a similar style).

Ed Ditto
08-31-2010, 03:16 PM
How is she at reading critically? She's a little young to be narrowing her preferences to just one or two genres, and I wonder if that's because she simply hasn't gotten good at knowing what she likes. I've found that teaching kids to analyze the artistic merit of what they're reading will help them pursue artistic merit across genre boundaries. My worry is that when you force a kid to read a book because "it's good" without first teaching them why it's good, you dim the spark rather than fanning it.

You might also want to share this Roger Ebert quote with her...it's as true for books as it is for movies: "What makes a movie good isn't what it's about, but how it's about it."

happykid25
08-31-2010, 03:18 PM
I don't have any specific authors for you, but I remember doing a reading project in 10th grade. We were allowed to pick whatever we wanted to read, but we needed to meet some criteria. Basically, we needed to read a novel, a play, several short stories, lots of poems and maybe some other catergories as well (it's been a while). Then each of the items had to be from different regions/countries and there might have been different time period requirements as well. So if you read a Shakespeare play, you couldn't use any other authors from England. We had to do some sort of write up for each thing we read (Title, Author, type of literature, and more I'm sure). I remember really enjoying the project and locating the different reading material I would use. Now I only remember that I read Swiss Family Robinson, the Metamorphosis and some Japanese Haiku. (Hopefully I still have my final project notebook stashed away somewhere so I can find it when this type of project would be appropriate for DS.)

So you could set something up like this, with whatever parameters you want and what needs to be/or not reported etc. This would also allow for independent research on finding reading materials. And you could follow along and say your reading will follow similar parameters as what she chooses.

I do really like your author/month idea too!

Busygoddess
08-31-2010, 04:13 PM
Thank you all for the responses. I've added many of them to our list & am still checking out others. I talked to her about it & she loves this idea. We decided to write the authors or books titles on slips of paper & draw a new one each month, so it'll be a surprise to both of us. We drew a name yesterday for Sept. During the month of September, we each will read at least one book by Jules Verne. Tomorrow she's starting Around the World in 80 Days & I'm starting A Journey to the Center of the Earth.

She does know how to analyze literature, we do that for school. She knows what makes a book good & what she likes. She's read many different genres & styles. She does like a lot of books & varying genres. In fact, one of the things I brought up in the talk we had a few days ago (the talk that inspired this idea) was the many books that she has read & enjoyed in the past that don't fit into the genres she's been stuck on lately - books like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Anne of Green Gables, Congo, etc. The thing is, she has a cousin who is a few years older than she is. My niece restricts her reading to fantasy - Harry Potter, Twilight, other YA vampire & witch stories, and not much of anything else. She then tells Dea about the books that she's reading, and so Dea wants to read them, too. She has really been stuck in the horror & fantasy genres lately. I have no problem with her reading this stuff, I just want her to not restrict her reading to mainly what her cousin reads. My sister had to ground my niece from Harry Potter for months, because she wouldn't read anything else. Then, she got into the Twilight series & read those over & over again. I don't want to let it get to the point that I have to ban certain types of books until she reads others. I would rather step in now, and remind her of what else is out there.
I know that part of this is my influence on the kids. I love horror & fantasy books, horror movies, and Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. They see the many horror & fantasy books that fill the shelves & the fact that the horror movies have their own case (we use the big CD cases that hold hundreds of discs to hold the dvds; it saves space) and it does influence their tastes some. Jay is really into reading the Goosebumps books right now. Dea was in 2nd grade when she started reading Harry Potter & read through the first 6 twice before the 7th was released. They've always had pretty much free reign when it comes to what they read. I will say no to some books, but not many. I suggest books sometimes, and they generally read what I suggest.
By the way, I didn't mean for it to sound like we have tons of horror & fantasy and not much of anything else. The case of horror movies is just one of 6 cases. We have 6 bookcases overfilled (2 rows per shelf on some shelves, stacks of books on top of or infront of rows on many, plus books stacked on top of the bookcases)with books. The horror & fantasty fill one of those bookcases, but so do the Classics (plus 3 of the bookcases are nonfiction).
Anyway, reading isn't generally a problem in this house. Dea just seems to be taking after her cousin a bit, and I want to remind her of all the other types of books she has always enjoyed reading.

Busygoddess
08-31-2010, 05:09 PM
I don't have any specific authors for you, but I remember doing a reading project in 10th grade. We were allowed to pick whatever we wanted to read, but we needed to meet some criteria. Basically, we needed to read a novel, a play, several short stories, lots of poems and maybe some other catergories as well (it's been a while). Then each of the items had to be from different regions/countries and there might have been different time period requirements as well. So if you read a Shakespeare play, you couldn't use any other authors from England. We had to do some sort of write up for each thing we read (Title, Author, type of literature, and more I'm sure). I remember really enjoying the project and locating the different reading material I would use. Now I only remember that I read Swiss Family Robinson, the Metamorphosis and some Japanese Haiku. (Hopefully I still have my final project notebook stashed away somewhere so I can find it when this type of project would be appropriate for DS.)

So you could set something up like this, with whatever parameters you want and what needs to be/or not reported etc. This would also allow for independent research on finding reading materials. And you could follow along and say your reading will follow similar parameters as what she chooses.

I do really like your author/month idea too!

That would be great as a school project, and I might use it for one of her years of high school English. I don't think it would work for her as something fun, though. She would see it as an assignment (due to having to report something on the books) & feel that she's being forced to read those books. The author/month thing doesn't seem like an assignment to her, so she's excited about it.

Fiddler
09-07-2010, 10:32 PM
She loves history & is really into that time period, so I thought she'd enjoy them. She really didn't like them, though.

Lark Rise, Over to Candleford, and Candleford Green (also available in one volume titled Lark Rise to Candleford (http://www.amazon.com/Lark-Rise-Candleford-Flora-Thompson/dp/1567923631/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283912952&sr=8-4)) by Flora Thompson are the same period as the Little House books, but are not written as children's lit. and are set in Oxfordshire, England. And then you can watch three seasons of the tv series on DVD. :)

Fiddler
09-07-2010, 10:40 PM
Seconding LeGuin and Card, but also thinking that some of the "fathers" of science fiction (besides Verne--he's more of the grandfather, IYKWIM) would be great: Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury. The Martian Chronicles (http://www.amazon.com/Martian-Chronicles-Grand-Master-Editions/dp/0553278223/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1283913526&sr=8-1) is a favorite with Jazz, and I read a ton of Heinlein in high school, after I read my way through Verne.

Agatha Christie! I read my way through her books the same summer I read Verne's works. Those are a bit of an easy read, but fun!

Busygoddess
09-07-2010, 11:27 PM
Seconding LeGuin and Card, but also thinking that some of the "fathers" of science fiction (besides Verne--he's more of the grandfather, IYKWIM) would be great: Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury. The Martian Chronicles (http://www.amazon.com/Martian-Chronicles-Grand-Master-Editions/dp/0553278223/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1283913526&sr=8-1) is a favorite with Jazz, and I read a ton of Heinlein in high school, after I read my way through Verne.

Agatha Christie! I read my way through her books the same summer I read Verne's works. Those are a bit of an easy read, but fun!

Thanks. Bradbury has been added to the list & so has Asimov. I'm off to check the library for the others.