They do what they do.
Thinking about schools and peers and parent-child attachments....I came across one of my favorite posts .
The appearance of the TIMES article this weekend was a case of synchronicity for me. All summer long, I've been conscious of the fact that last summer (2008) was the happiest of my life.Why?Because I spent it reading C's summer reading list for entering freshmen at Hogwarts:Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondOdyssey: 1st 12 booksBook of GenesisA Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine HansburyFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyAngela’s Ashes by Frank McCourtLast Days of Summer by Steve KlugerAngels and Demons by Dan BrownThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean CoveyLeft to my own devices, I would never have read that list of books in that period of time. I would never have read that entire list of books, period. I wouldn't have known I should.Those books work **together** the way a great play list of recorded music works together, and I've been thinking all summer that we need book lists the same way we have play lists. A good teacher can work all kinds of magic.Pitching books to a captive audience of middle schoolers and telling them to Pick One isn't magic.In fact, it is the opposite of magic.
Also, we need more boys' schools.
Either we need more boys' schools or we need more guy teachers who don't get overcome with emotion in the presence of reading workshop gurus.
C. called me while I was staying in the hospital with my mom to tell me he'd gotten his list of books for sophomore Honors English:Catcher in the RyeTheir Eyes Were Watching GodPygmalionNative SonCanterbury Tales12 Angry MenScarlett LetterThe Great GatsbyThe Things They CarriedWhen I got back from Evanston, I told C. how nice it was of him to call & tell me about the books.He said, "I knew it would make you happy."
It did make me happy.
Is that his summer list, or the books he will be reading during the year?SusanS
Oh wait, that would be what he's reading this year.SusanS
No Shakespeare? Or is he treated separately?(Great list BTW)Sean Price
Can anyone think of a good reason for the only required book for 10th grade Honors English to be Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W Loewen?No, they apparently weren't doing it as an example of propaganda. No, I did write English and not History.We talked about how some teachers or administrators want to influence how students feel about their country. I don't think the book assignment was meant to foster those types of conversations.I want C's list.
Sean - good question (re: Shakespeare)I wonder if something is missing.Last year they read Julius Caesar & I'm thinking perhaps 1 other play by Shakespeare.
Just asked C.: Shakespeare wasn't on the list of books to buy.I don't **think** the school has a Shakespeare course.My one (tentative) criticism of the English program is that I (think) I would prefer survey courses based in periods of literary history --- but I'm not sure I would feel that way if I knew more about literature & about the teaching of literature courses to high school students.When I first saw the reading lists, I thought they were a bit random. There were "good books" assigned, but how did they fit together?After reading C's summer reading list last year, I was amazed at the way the books *did* work together. So, having had that experience, I trust their approach. The one criticism I really do have is that I don't think they give enough attention to Latin & Greek classics. They have all the kids read half the Odyssey coming into the school, but the Latin teacher didn't do much with it in class, and they didn't finish the book.
This list looks like it's about aspects of identity. Finding it, losing it. That is, the ones I've read.Although, you could probably say that about most novels.SusanS
Well, Canterbury Tales--hell, I have no idea where that falls. Btw, there's a very good kid's version for a little older kids (middle school) that would be a good overview. It's quite bawdy even scaled down for teens.SusanS
Susan- Which version of Cantebury Tales? *A* happens to be reading the Geraldine McCaughrean retelling. We skimmed through the prologue together and it seemed to pique her interest (mine as well). Though simplified, it just might be a nice clarifier to the real deal. Is this the version you're referring to or is there another (better) children's version you'd recommend?
That's the one, concernedCTparent,I love that one! I read it to them a few years ago, and realized I had missed a lot in my readings in high school. When I was giving old kid's books away a few weeks ago, I hung on to that one for my son. SusanS
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