To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird discussion


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Is it appropriate to read for 6-7th graders

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Jenna I read this book the summer of my 5th grade year, and i think it was appropriate for me even then. It really just depends on your maturity level, and i personally think the book isn't extremely mature. It's just life.


Laura I let my son read it in 5th grade. We actually read it together. I myself read it in 5th or 6th grade. It has some strong language, but it is all appropriate to the story.


message 3: by Lara (last edited Nov 10, 2012 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lara Yes. You should read it, definitely. There may be things you don't get at your age, but you will enjoy it. There are some moments that may bring up questions, and you shouldn't hesitate to talk to a teacher maybe about some of the issues. It is the kind of book that is understood differently depending on your age. So you should read it now. I bet you will like the characters and their adventures. If you read it again in five years, you will see totally different things. I teach 9th grade English and we read it in class. The kids like it, and I never get tired of it, which I can't say about some books that are taught in school.

If you do decide to read it, please post your thoughts and questions about it.


Victoria Pearson It is quite harrowing in places, but they are all important to the story, and it definitely should be read before school makes you read it and totally ruins it for you. Don't expect a nice ending though.


Ashley-Anne I think it is it's not scary or sexual, there's no swearing. It might be a bit confusing though


message 6: by Shannon (last edited Nov 11, 2012 04:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shannon I just finished reading it with my sophomore students. They really enjoyed it, as a whole. I read it last year with my 8th grade students. I had to explain a lot more about the parts and pieces to them. They also really liked it.

Personally, I don't think I'd recommend it to younger students, especially as young as 5th and 6th graders. If you were to read it with someone, a parent, etc... it might be okay. But ....

The first chapter, for example, is tough. A lot of mention is made of various events in history. If you don't know a lot about history, it will be confusing. If you don't know much about Southern literature, this focus on history will be confusing. Some would get frustrated and put the book down. That would be a shame. To have a bad experience and never want to go back to it. Some of the words and the grammar are also hard to get used to, which can lead to frustration in some. You do get used to it after a few chapters. It's a question of how easily frustrated you might become ... or not.

My point, I'd hate for you to get frustrated, throw the book down, and never want to go back to it as long as you live. ;) It's too good a book for that.

Regarding the rest of the content, there's definitely racism and sexism and ugly glimpses into life. Having said that, Atticus teaches his children (and the reader) many life lessons. This is the other reason I suggest you read it with someone or not read it at this point in time. It's the sort of book that really lends itself to thought and discussion. In my experience, myself and watching my students, you will likely be confused by some things, laugh at others, want to scream at someone about the injustice of it all at other points. (I had 8th graders who cried.) It's the type of book that, at least for the first time, you want to read with others and discuss important parts together.

It is an amazing book .... But, .... There may be a "but" in there.


Lynn Farris It is highly dependent on the 6th or 7th grade student. If you are reading classics, go for it.


Margot Of course I read it in 2nd grade, but you need to be a good reader. I also highly recommend it


Lizzie it was assigned when I was in 7th grade


Shannon These things can be a bit subjective, believe it or not, but you can check this out.

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/bo...

They assessed the grade level as grade 8 and the interest level as 9-12. It also gives the Lexile information. If you've taken testing, like the NWEA tests, you might know your Lexile number.

This type of thing is sometimes helpful, especially when taken as a whole. Someone might have a high Lexile number, meaning they're a strong reader, but the content might be above their age range ... think interest level.


Kendrastarr I read it in 6th grade and it made sense to me, but like other people have said, you need to have some background history in information. And it could be to deep(that's not the right word, but do you know what I mean?)


Kasey Williams I read it in like 4th or 5th grade, and I loved it.. I understood it and I think that it would probably be okay to read it! At my school we have to read it in 9th grade..


message 13: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora What I tell my kids is: if you feel a certain kind of reluctance, not just I-Don't-Wanna, then listen to your inner self, and wait on a project. The book or mvoie will always be there when you get older. Older may mean six months or six years or sixty years. It may mean reading during the summer when school pressure isn't coloring your world. It is a good book, and good timing can make it better.


Shannon Lora wrote: "What I tell my kids is: if you feel a certain kind of reluctance, not just I-Don't-Wanna, then listen to your inner self, and wait on a project. The book or mvoie will always be there when you get ..."

Good advice, Lora. ;)


message 15: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa I read it in middle school, and enjoyed it. There is little reason to not read it. (If you know the history, it's more appreciatable, though.) My only reccomendation is that you re-read it after you read it the first time. You get so much more out of it.

Anyway - if you want to read it, do. It's a good book.


message 16: by Lara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lara Here is a wonderful site that may help you understand some references and vocabulary
http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Belmont_HS...


Steve Coleman Akila wrote: "I want to read the book To kill A Mockingbird,but wasn't sure if it was appropriate.
I read reviews on amazon and wasn't sure what to think."


You could not find a more enjoyable book to read, and it will teach you much about life.


message 18: by Joe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joe I read it last year in 6th grade and loved it. It is fine to read.


Steve Coleman Of course, you should read it. It's a classic and will teach you much about life.


message 20: by Leah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leah I read it in 7th grade.


Krystal Hickam Yeah, I was in 7th grade when I read it. I think it's appropriate. I didn't have a problem with it and I thought it was a great book when compared to other books I had to read when I was younger than that.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I read it 9th grade (part of the curriculum).


Kressel Housman Considering what else kids of that age are exposed to, I have to give a firm yes, though it's worth re-reading when you're older, too.


Noodles I think it's more appropriate for 7th graders since the book deals with a lot of adult subject matter such as racism, and rape. When my colleagues read the book some where unable to read very deeply into the book and understand how brave Harper Lee was for bringing up topics that many people felt uncomfortable talking about still.


Taylor Definitely! I read it in 7th grade and some 6th graders I know are reading it.


MacarthursMutterings yes yes yes


message 27: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Noodles wrote: "I think it's more appropriate for 7th graders since the book deals with a lot of adult subject matter such as racism, and rape."

Why is stuff like this considered adult? Many kids - middle school or even younger - deal with this stuff too.


message 28: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Cummings Teaching 7th grade students, I was surprised to see how little they know about segregation in the US. I would hold out until 10th grade at least.


message 29: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Mary wrote: "Teaching 7th grade students, I was surprised to see how little they know about segregation in the US."

I guess it depends on the 7th grader.

When I was in seventh grade (2 years ago) I knew a lot about it, along with my classmates. I'm pretty sure we discussed it at school at some point.


Dianna Winget Yes, I think you're a perfect age to relate to Jem and Scout.


Jacqueline Akila wrote: "I want to read the book To kill A Mockingbird,but wasn't sure if it was appropriate.
I read reviews on amazon and wasn't sure what to think."


This is a very powerful book with very intense themes regarding racism and discrimination. To borrow a cliche, it is not for the faint of heart. If you elect to read it, please discuss it with an adult who appreciates this extraordinary book. Also, please note how incredibly well all the various storylines are tied together and concluded.


message 32: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Some 6th and 7th graders can handle this book, but the majority really wouldn't get the deeper meanings and implications in this book until they are a bit more mature. So often in schools (I've taught grades 7-12 English), I see kids handed books that are far above them. As far as Lexile levels, yes they technically may be able to "read" a book, but as far as content and themes, they would get so much more out of it if they are little older. 10th and 11th graders would have had more American history and have a more solid background knowledge on segregation, the KKK, the Civil Rights Movement, etc. going into a reading of this book. A 6th grader may have a scant knowledge of these issues, and they would then miss some pretty important points made in this book.


Jessica I think it's possible for a sixth or seventh grader to read the book, but it is a whole different argument whether they will actually understand it. I read the book in ninth grade. Even then, I didn't pick up on some of the historical references and social issues. It is a much more enjoyable read for older students because they will be able to understand the book a lot better, making it that much more enjoyable.


message 34: by Lara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lara I don't think you have to 'get' everything in the book historically or culturally to enjoy it. I teach it to 9th graders and we discuss all those issues in depth. But to just enjoy a book with some pretty fun characters and their adventures, you are not too young. You will have a different perception of the book than an adult might, but I bet you will enjoy it.


Jasmine J i think it depends on your maturity, i think to enjoy it more you should read in y8, yr9, yr 10 maybe yr6-7 if your an advance reader


David yes. I read this in school, 7th grade.


Leanne Akila wrote: "I want to read the book To kill A Mockingbird,but wasn't sure if it was appropriate.
I read reviews on amazon and wasn't sure what to think."


I would say what matters is what you want them to get out of it. If it's plot sure, but then that's a waste of one of the best novels ever written. It needs to be read with a background and understanding of the themes, motifs and implicit messages and no one below grade 9/10 has the maturity to truly understand it. I would even say most adults would struggle with Lee's true meaning.


message 38: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Leanne wrote: "It needs to be read with a background and understanding of the themes, motifs and implicit messages and no one below grade 9/10 has the maturity to truly understand it."

No one? What happens in nineth that can't in, say, eighth?


message 39: by Lara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lara How is it a waste to read a book while young? It is not the only time it can be read. It will be a different experience, true, but certainly it can be read again later in life to discover more meaning. I read it every year, and enjoy it just as much, and I notice new things each time.


Brittney Corey I read it in 6th grade, this is actually the book that really got me interested in reading.


Carmel Mcmurdo Yes, definitely read 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. It is one of the classics of American literature. As a young person you will find it enlightening to look back on a time in history when life was much harder for everyone.
Best wishes
Carmel
http://www.amazon.com/Ours-Yours-Mine...


Amanda I read it in 5th grade and thought it was really boring at first but it was definitely worth finishing!


Jenny Yes and no. I think it might be a struggle for them. For some reason I am reminded of my valiant but futile sixth grade efforts to read "The Scarlet Letter." At that age I completely could not understand the book. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a little easier and you might be dealing with a little older kids (I had no trouble with "The Scarlet Letter" in the ninth grade) but... on the other hand, it didn't diminish the book for me later on. Maybe it would be good for them to have a challenge.


Sarah This was the first adult book I ever read, when I was eight or nine. The heroine is that age, so I think it's perfect for kids. They might not understand some of the implications, but they will see it through her eyes. And one of the lovely things about great literature is that there is a lot you do understand and like when you're younger and it just keeps growing deeper and richer as you re-read again and again as you get older.

Of course, when I read it it was contemporary, so the context was familiar to me. I suppose it is all history for this generation, so, yes, explanations may be needed.


message 45: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Another benefit of reading it in middle school - when a high school English teacher teaches the book, you have a head start :-)


Jenny Well, I guess that's an advantage. It didn't help me with "The Scarlet Letter."


Mikaela i think it is an appropriate book in terms of meaning however the language may not be appropriate for 6-7 graders because they may find it difficult to read. In my year 11 2AB English class many people struggled- though i didn't


message 48: by Lara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lara I think a major difference between Scarlet Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird is the narrator. A young reader may be drawn into Scout's voice, and there are a lot of fun childhood adventures to draw a reader along into the major issues. This is not so with Scarlet Letter. Other than Pearl, who is hardly a sympathetic character, there is nothing to keep a young reader's interest.


Samira I read this is book in grade 9 academic english class. Its a highly-constructed Literature novel approriate for anyone who truly understand the moral to the story and why its called,"To kill a mockingbird" and the abuse of the negros.


Annmarie Jenna wrote: "I read this book the summer of my 5th grade year, and i think it was appropriate for me even then. It really just depends on your maturity level, and i personally think the book isn't extremely mat..."

I agree with Jenna and others that also read the book between 5th and 7th grade. I do not have any emotional scars from reading the book within that same age time frame. The only lasting affect is that it is one of my top ten favorite books.


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