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  1. #1

    Default Fiction to pair with Darwin

    We're traveling through south America right now and my son has chosen to read origin of species as his non fiction book while we're in Ecuador. I told him to choose a fiction book to read too, but he's having trouble choosing one. Can you guys think of something that would go well with it?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Jul 2013


    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate?

    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  4. #3


    Yes, Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a no brainer. Great, amazing book. There's a wonderful sequel as well.

    If you need to choose something else for some reason, there are lots of good nature themed fiction books - My Side of the Mountain, Owls in the Family, Gone Away Lake, Call of the Wild... There's more too. But I'm not sure what age or what's holding him back from choosing in the first place?
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  5. #4


    He's 14 . He doesn't like reading fiction, so I think that is his problem choosing a book.

  6. #5


    Fiction to pair with Darwin
    Hi mitch77, I have a couple suggestions for you. I wouldn't call them fiction...though they are page-turners.

    Look into Richard Dawkin's The Magic of Reality: How We Know what's Really True. It was written by Dawkins (who is, after all, an evolutionary biologist) for his 10 year old daughter. There are two editions, one that is illustrated, and one that's not; there's also a version you can boot up on an iPad.

    here's a short YouTube vid of the author explaining it.

    Otherwise there are a ton of popular science books out there that would be appropriate for a 14yo: The Beak of the Finch is one, also Your Inner Fish (which has a corresponding 3 part documentary) and Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee, which also has a young people's edition...

    I am just saying if he's not into fiction, he's not into fiction. I am sure there are a few science fiction books that handle evolution pretty well, though it's not my area of expertise, and maybe someone will pipe up with scifi suggestions?
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  7. #6


    14? How about Galapagos by Vonnegut? I'm trying to remember just how inappropriate that particular one is though... And I don't know what your tolerance is for sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

    Well, Clan Apis and Last of the Sandwalkers are good graphic novel choices. Both are great. Everything by Hossler is great, actually. It's not exactly meaty fiction though...

    Peter Dickenson has a few novels that explore early human life. A Bone from a Dry Sea is one. Eva is another that has evolutionary themes. He's a YA author and that might hit.

    Jurassic Park might be another option - genetics themes, obviously. Light, fun - Crichton (like Stephen King and some other pop authors) can be good for some teens who don't usually love fiction.
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  8. #7


    Thanks for the suggestions. We've been pretty unschoolish for the past year, but I think he needs some more structure in his learning. So we've decided to have him read a fiction book, a non fiction, and do some math of his choosing. He would probably enjoy Vonnegut more than calpurnia Tate. We'll have to check out the graphic novels, those might also work. I love the non fiction options and most of them are already on my Goodreads list. We read the magic of reality together a few years ago.

  9. #8


    My 12 yos liked Calpurnia a lot, though I guess we read the last one when they were 11. But they still enjoy middle grades books over YA and they have zero problem with female protagonists. For a 14 yo boy, I'm thinking that while it's incredibly written and imagined (I certainly enjoyed them as an adult) that it wouldn't be the best choice.
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Fiction to pair with Darwin