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  1. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    YA Book Recommendations

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TWErvin2, Apr 18, 2008.

    Writing Forum Members,

    I have been allotted funds (not a lot mind you) to purchase some novels/books to update/restock the bookshelves in my English classroom.

    While I have a number of titles in mind, I'd like your input.

    A few guidelines:
    1. The title needs to be available in paperback
    2. The content needs to be appropriate for a public high school
    3. Fiction or nonfiction.
    4. Looking for grade/reading level 6-12

    I'm seeking a wide variety that appeals both to male and female students, and a good number of which are not really avid readers (understatement). I teach 11th and 12th grade at a Vociational School (Career Technical) in Ohio, USA.

    Please provide me with:
    Title, Author, and a brief idea of subject, theme, and/or why you think it's a good book to add to the collection.

    What I'll do is look at the suggestions, make a list, check out the books and place some on the order list.

    When I've reached my limit, I'll post the fact (and request a moderator to lock the topic).

    Thanks in advance,

    Terry
     
  2. Cicero
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    "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". Definitely! It's an easy read, though the concepts in it can sometimes be hard to grasp. It's mostly non-fiction, I think.

    Title:
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    Author:
    Robert Pirsig

    Subject:
    A man, who represents the author, goes on a motorcycle vacation with his son through America. On the way, he talks about a philosophical idea he calls the "Metaphysics of Quality".

    Theme: That idea I stated above.

    Why?:
    Guys might be interested in it, because he uses motorcycles as an analogy for explaining his ideas. Girls might be interested in it because... it has a flower on the front? Either way, it should make your kids think in new and interesting ways.
     
  3. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Hmmm, this may sound a bit silly at first but I truly think Max Brook's horror novel World War Z would be wonderful in application for a high school class. The novel chronicles a fictional zombie invasion through "interviews" with the survivors of the incident. Though it does seem just like entertainment, the truths about human survival and world politics are apparent throughout. It's an accurate description of how the world would go to hell in case of a terrible global incident. But, I'm not sure if it would work in being "appropriate" due to the fact that it graphically describes gore and characters do drop "the f-bomb" quite often. Still, if you can get it for your class (and can take me seriously :p), it would be an informative and very entertaining read for your classroom.
     
  4. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are these books for the students to read on their own for fun or are you planning on teaching from them?
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    CDRW,

    They are on the shelf for students to select...to borrow or to read on the says when we have sustained silent reading scheduled. They are not books I plan on teaching from.

    Terry
     
  6. (Mark)
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    I went to high school in a place where nobody placed much value on reading, yet these books seemed to be popular:

    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - I think that anyone, especially high schoolers, can find common ground with this novel. That's when I read it, and it had a really powerful effect on my life.

    1984 by George Orwell - When I was in high school, everyone loved reading this.

    Slaugtherhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - Same goes for this one.

    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - And this one.

    The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald - This is another really enjoyable book that's very well written, and has a definite place in any high school classroom.

    Anthem by Ayn Rand - I read this one in high school as well, and found that many of my classmates really liked it.

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - This is another classic novel that I enjoyed reading in high school.

    That's about all I can think of.
     
  7. Bluemouth
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    The Beach by Alex Garland.

    This is the perfect book for escapism and real adventure. Students, I think, would feel compelled to read on because it is so enthralling. There are a variety of themes to discuss, such as how effective a secluded society can be, as well as discussions on character relationships.

    The movie adaptation may have been viewed, and this could intrigue students to read the novel, which is by far superior and much different. Otherwise, off the shelf, it's just unique to a vast majority of other novels on the market.

    Miscellaneous points: very short chapters that will tempt students to read on; first person narrative is well-written

    From A Buick 8 by Stephen King

    This isn't typical Stephen King. It's a novel without brutal horror, blood and guts, and is instead a rather 'charming' story of father-son legacy and underlying horror.

    Themes include: "there will always be things in this world that we don't understand", as well as the legacy of father to son.

    If anything the popularity of Stephen King would attract some students and they would be surprised to find a rich tale, a somewhat departure from the typical King. The story is told in a mixture of flashbacks and from various character viewpoints, all in third person with the exception of a short, important passage towards the end.
     
  8. lordofhats
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    Title: Enders Game

    Author: Orson Scott Card

    Subject: Ender Wiggin is being raised to be the next Alexander.

    Theme: Psychology and military leadership. Los of innocence and struggle within ones self. A text book story of childhood and teenage alienation.

    Why?: Its a pretty good book, and chools just don't give kids enough Sci-fi which always angered me.
     
  9. Eoz Eanj
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    Sophies World ; Jostein Gaarder
    The novel basically serves as a vector for communicating basic philosophical ideas through an increasingly insane plot line consistent with an on going dialogue between a young girl named sophie and an enigmatic man called knox

    The Fur ; Nathan Hobby
    One of the best books I've personally read; it's speculative fiction set in an alternate reality of Western Australia. Basically a meteor strike carrying an infectious and lethal fungus-like plague dubbed the 'fur' has taken over Western Australia. The entire state is therefore quarantined by Commonwealth and UN military forces and the main character, a teenager called Micheal, endevours to escape it, inspite of its severe consequences. It sounds stupid however it's incredibly well written so not only is it easy to read but the bizarre plot is very believeable, also, it's also more of an indepth view into the main characters past and personal ideologies of religion and politics than an out there sci fi text.
     
  10. KissMeGoodBye
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    Title: Possesion: A Romance

    Author: A. S. Byatt (I hope I spelled it right. I has never heard of her before, but I get possesed by her book :) )

    Subject:Roland Michell who works at a university in London is studying on the poet Randolph Henry Ash.
    He finds out that this poet had wrote letters to a unknown female poet named Christabel LaMotte. While he is searching for information he meets with Maude Bailey who also became interested in that topic.

    Theme: There are two impressive love stories in it. I was really surprised :)

    I read the book due to my literature lecture at university. My first thought was that it must be a boring book. But it isn't, I can assure you :D I began to love it.
     
  11. Heather Louise
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    I do not have an actual book to reference towards you really as I think the pick would be too huge, but I would suggest one or two about teenage pregnancys. We had one about some lass who feel pregnant at a party after drinking too much and lost her baby at the end and stuff, and every single lass in the class read it. just a suggestion.
     
  12. CDRW
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    Was that book Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones by any chance?
     
  13. PrincessGarnet
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    oh i second that! - although library might already have that. It's a good basic introduction to philosophy.
     
  14. MarcG
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    The Giver, practically anything by Twain, Vonnegut (probably some Mass-Market edition Slaughterhouse-Five), Fahrenheit 451... I have a few more in mind, but they're all intolerably long for anyone who might not enjoy reading so much. I'd say The Stranger if it was easier to get in to for most peoples... I'll see if I can't think of anything else.

    Sophie's World was great but it would probably be left unread due to it's rather large size. Not exactly light reading, though it's often quite easy to follow. Not quite the depth of something like Notes from Underground or something of that nature, so it's not a great strain on the ol' noggin'.

    What about Nausea by Sartre, or Waiting for Godot?
     
  15. CDRW
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    I have always loved The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
     
  16. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey folks,

    Thanks for the input! A few of the titles are already on my shelves. Huck Fin, 1984, Ender's Game, but honestly they're almost never touched or considered.

    There's a few ideas here that look like possibilities.

    I'll PM a moderator to close this as I'm going to look up some of the titles. I have to submit my list tomorrow morning.

    Terry
     
  17. Raven
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    Good luck. ;)
     
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