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View Diary: BYAC: Books for Young Adults and Children (83 comments)

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  •  I first read Lord of the Rings when I was 8 (10+ / 0-)

    Read it from start to finish over spring break.  My parents had rented a house at the beach.  I'm not sure that I even went outside.

    I had a 5/6th grade teacher who encouraged readings of the Classic book series and the Newberry Prize winners.  I distinctly remember Pilgrim's Progress, I Juan Pareja, and The High King.

    Loved fantasy as a kid.  Lewis, Tolkien, Baum, Alexander were all favorites.  But Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast series was a revelation.

    I could go on for hours...

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 08:35:55 AM PDT

    •  I loved Lord of the Rings (8+ / 0-)

      although I didn't read it until I was 16. But I did read the trilogy non-stop. I didn't want to do anything else until I finished it.

      Loved all the books you mention except I had not heard of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast. I just added that to my reading list. Thanks.

      Newberry, Caldecott and the Coretta Scott King Awards are always a great place to look for books for kids and teens.

    •  Gosh, I tried and tried to read LOTR. (6+ / 0-)

      I was a big reader too. I just kept getting stuck. I finally got interested in it in my 30's after reading a biography of Tolkien. I really loved it.

      •  Sometimes I think timing is critical as to (7+ / 0-)

        whether a book appeals or not. Friends will sometimes hand me books to read. I'll start them then lay them aside. Maybe months later I'll pick it up, breeze through it and love it.

        So I think books oftentimes reflect what we as a reader need at that particular point in time. I think the growth of realistic books for teens reflects the need to try and make sense of a more and more complex world.

        •  I agree. You can sometimes see a person's (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dichro Gal, cfk, texasmom, Limelite

          path through the books that meant something to them and the order they loved them.

        •  I see it more in rhythmic terms (4+ / 0-)

          Books have a rhythm.  Sometimes, the rhythm matches your own, and sometimes it doesn't.  One example of that phenomenon for me was Cold Mountain.  The first time I read it, I couldn't get past page 50.  Some time later, I picked it up again and was enthralled.  The writing didn't get any better; it's still just an OK book.

          That can happen with films as well.  The Fellowship of the Ring movie did not meet my rhythmic expectations, so I wasn't crazy about it the first time I saw it.  But after several friends raved about it, I went back without the same rhythmic expectations, and loved the movie.

          Even bad writing can have a pleasing rhythm.  I have little regard for James Patterson, other than as a successful hack writer.  But the work flows; I can finish a book of his in a few hours.  On the other hand, Anne McCaffery, also, in my opinion, a hack writer, writes so badly that the work has a disjointed rhythm, which I find hard to grab onto.

          Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

          by aravir on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 09:57:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's really important (7+ / 0-)

          And something easily missed by people advising kids through books. Just because they CAN read it and it's a great book doesn't mean they should, just yet.

          This is a particular problem with children since sometimes subject matter and reading level get out of sync. It's more than "I don't want my child to read about sex or violence" - a certain amount of experience and maturity is needed to even understand the character interactions in some novels.

          I was 10 when a teacher suggested "The Red Pony" by John Steinbeck for me. About horses, on the classics list, how would that not be perfect for me?

          For those of you who haven't read it, the pony only figures into one of three short stories; he dies a horrible, painful death; and it ends with the boy discovering vultures pecking out the beloved pony's eyeballs.

          I refused to touch another Steinbeck for 20 years.

          I'm sure to people who read it as adults it's a great book.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 10:18:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mismatch between reading level and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk, Limelite

            content is always important. It works in reverse when struggling readers are in high school and their reading level is well below grade level. They are often handed books written for 7 or 8 year olds or books so poorly written that no one should read them. Both genders are impacted by this but guys in particular seem to be reluctant readers even in the early grades. So high school guys with poor reading skills are often handed books they have absolutely no interest in reading. It's tough to develop reading fluidity if the young adult isn't interested in the reading material. It also develops a disconnect between the value in education and the world they live in.

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