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8th grade reads

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message 1: by Book (new)

Book (Readingislove) | 3 comments Hello,

I teach 8th grade LA(English) and I'm looking for books to put in my classroom library AND some that the teachers can look at to put into our curriculum.

I'd love suggestions for books that I should look at.

Thanks!


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna | 47 comments Hate List by Jennifer Brown (her debut novel)
The Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Keesha's House by Helen Frost
Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

You would definitely need to preview all of these books due to subject matter, but all are relevant to teens.


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken I teach 8th grade, too, Leanne, and I was going to type in a bunch of titles. But then I said, "Why do that when I have a whole bookshelf on my profile called YA?" Check it out. Four and five stars = check it out. Some of them push the boundary, but we tell parents that up front and also tell them that we will support them if they object.


message 4: by Susan (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Anna's titles seem a bit mature for 8th grade but maybe I'm wrong.

Might be too young but I think, If A Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko.


Tripmastermonkey The Other Side of the Island has been very popular with 8th graders at my library


Dead Is the New Black is short and good for reluctant readers

i think Words of Stone could be good for better readers


message 6: by Susan (last edited Oct 04, 2009 01:23PM) (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Anna wrote: "Hate List by Jennifer Brown (her debut novel)
The Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Keesha's House by Helen Frost
Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

You ..."


Hi Anna,

I don't doubt they are relevant. Many of them I've seen reviewed on YA blogs. It's the age level I'm wondering about. I wonder how much the average 8th grader will comprehend or appreciate.




message 7: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 236 comments The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt


message 8: by Susan (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Maizon at Blue Hill by Jacqueline Woodson
I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson
Hush by Jacqueline Woodson


message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna | 47 comments Susan I totally understand your opinion and I wouldn't lend any of these books to a middle schooler without parental awareness.

Truthfully the average 8th grader comprehends too much about sex and drugs due to videos and song lyrics. If they don't understand a song lyric they will actually look it up on the internet. In my area (an affluent suburb of a big city) most 8th graders have also been exposed to drugs, sex among peers, alcohol abuse, and eating disorders. Last year several were also exposed to peer suicide (of an 8th grader), imprisonment of a parent due to embezzlement, and issues with step-parents/boyfriends of parents.

My bigger concern with the choices were flak that the school would get from the parents.

I second The Wednesday Wars. Tangerine by Edward Bloor is also good for 8th grade. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli--I absolutely loved this book and the message. Unfortunately both Tangerine and Stargirl might not have an 8th grade Lexile number.


Now if you want a list of books that middle school girls like (but really are not appropriate for school)--the Pretty Little Liars series. Quite a few 8th grade girls read Jodi Picoult. Laurie Halse Anderson books might also be considered too adult for an 8th grade library, but those too are read by many middle schoolers.




message 10: by Susan (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Anna,

I'm pretty liberal. I don't find the content objectionable per se. I'm talking about the maturity and comprehension levels of most 8th graders. In my experience, even when they been exposed to all the realities so many parents freak out about, the fact many parents are overlooking is that little Kim often not only knows about these issues but she's often engaging in them blindly because we fail to openly discuss them.

I think exposure equals comprehension. Young people will tell you anal sex really isn't sex. When discussing rape or some other form of abuse, teens can be incredibly insensitive or indifferent. My concern is maturity level and if we're providing a context for what they are reading.

Anna, I'm the parent who will pull out the banana and condom. I'm no prude and I'm certainly not naive about what kids know or do.

Thanks,


message 11: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 236 comments Jordan Sonneblick's---Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie
a new one---When You Reach Me
The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen | 4 comments Has anyone read a 2006 book from Joyce Carol Oates - something like After the Wreck I Spread My Wings and Flew Away?

Also - any boy-friendly suggestions in particular for 8th grade?


message 13: by Susan (last edited Oct 07, 2009 07:26AM) (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Oates wrote something for kids? I'd be curious to know what it is.

bj, The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake is one of the most popular books in our library and is read by 9th graders in some high schools.



message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken Oates has written a YA called Big Mouth and Ugly Girl that I think just went paperback. Haven't read it (or any of the bazillion Oates books).

8th grade boys will love:

The Monstrumologist (Rick Yancey)
The Maze Runner (James Dashner)
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)
The Last Thing I Remember (Can't Remember)
Rash (Pete Hautman)
Runner (Carl Deuker)
Crackback (John Coy)
Gym Candy (Carl Deuker)
Soldier X (Don Wulffson)
Soldier Boys (Name Escapes Me)
Lightning Thief Series (Rick Riordan)
The Car (Gary Paulsen)

That's a starter kit, anyway....


message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim | 47 comments Hi all,
I'm a young adult author and teacher. I just wanted to throw out a title for boys called "Dunk" by David Lubar that a couple of my students read and really liked last year. You've probably already heard of it but I thought I'd mention it.
Smiles,
Kim


message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan | 15 comments Carter Finally Gets It
Airborn (series) by Kenneth Oppel
Gone and Hunger by Michael Grant
The Midnighters Series by Scott Westerfeld
House of the Scorpion Nancy Farmer
Fat Kid Rules the World

Definitely Hunger Games and Catching Fire and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series



message 17: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cathy_ikeda) | 3 comments My 8th grade reluctant male readers like:
Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan
Ball Don't Lie by Matt dela Pena
Crackback by John Coy
Lightenig Thief series by Rick Riordan
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
My boys tend to like authors they trust. They'll usually pick up whatever they can of these authors.


message 18: by Susan (last edited Oct 09, 2009 06:34AM) (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Newengland wrote: "Oates has written a YA called Big Mouth and Ugly Girl that I think just went paperback. Haven't read it (or any of the bazillion Oates books).

Thanks, Newengland,

I have suffered through Oates. While I think she is a brilliant writer, I also find her work dense. It takes her forever to say the simplest thing and I don't have the patience to wade through most of the time.

I can't imagine her writing for teens. I might look for the book just to see if she alters her style in any way.


message 19: by Sue (new)

Sue | 1 comments My 8th grade male readers like:

Alex Rider Series Anthony Horowitz
Compound S.A. Bodeen
Airman (not to be confused with Airborn) Eion Colfer
Shadow Club and Shadow Club Rising Neal Shusterman
Full Tilt Neal Shusterman
Ranger's Apprentice Series John Flanagan
Unwind Neal Shusterman

I would consider these to be parent friendly as well :)




Jen wrote: "Has anyone read a 2006 book from Joyce Carol Oates - something like After the Wreck I Spread My Wings and Flew Away?

Also - any boy-friendly suggestions in particular for 8th grade?"





message 20: by Ken (last edited Oct 11, 2009 02:46AM) (new)

Ken ... Although Unwind has that unsettling scene where the boy is conscious while the doctors systematically harvest his body, organ by organ and limb by limb, for medical purposes. Disturbing, but effective. Whether every parent would find it "friendly" is another matter entirely!


message 21: by Susan (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Newengland wrote: "... Although Unwind has that unsettling scene where the boy is conscious while the doctors systematically harvest his body, organ by organ and limb by limb, for medical purposes. Disturbing, but e..."

I read Unwind. It is unsettling to say the least and it should be. I want students to know to grasp the value of reading literature that challenges us and I don't mean it terms of difficulty but reading a work that makes you rethink what you thought you knew, what you thought your position on issues were.

I don't think our children are challenged enough to developed critical thinking skills and that is no slight against teachers.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken If children aren't challenged enough to develop critical thinking skills, then teachers are doing something wrong (or possibly not doing something right). Still, I don't think Shusterman's futuristic idea of "unwinding" was all that realistic of an idea as dystopian novels go. The book was enjoyable, though, so all's forgiven.


message 23: by Susan (last edited Oct 11, 2009 05:49PM) (new)

 Susan | 39 comments Newengland wrote: "If children aren't challenged enough to develop critical thinking skills, then teachers are doing something wrong (or possibly not doing something right). Still, I don't think Shusterman's futuris..."

Newen,
Was he going for realistic? I think his aim was too show how absurd we can be and that is not entirely baseless.

As far as what teachers do, if there was less emphasis on passing tests and more on learning, more critical thinking could take place. Yes, some teachers fail at their job but many aren't doing more because of the interference from parents, administrators and policymakers who don't know two cents about teaching.



message 24: by Anna (new)

Anna | 47 comments These were recommended by the YALSA as Books That Won't Make You Blush (Note: it is a 2006 List)

Abbott, Hailey. The Bridesmaid. 2005.
Bauer, Joan. Backwater. 2000.
Bruchac, Joseph. The Warriors. 2003.
Cabot, Meg. All-American Girl. 2003.
Cappo, Nan Willard. Cheating Lessons. 2003.
Carlson, Melody. It's My Life: Diary of a Teenage Girl. 2000.
Ferris, Jean. Love Among the Walnuts. 1998.
Hilgartner, Beth. Murder for Her Majesty. 1992.
Hobbs, Will. Leaving Protection. 2005.
Karr, Kathleen. The Boxer. 2004.
Lubar, David. Dunk. 2002.
Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. 2005.
Rabb, M. E. The Rose Queen. 2004.
Rallison, Janette. All's Fair in Love, War, and High School. 2005.
Schindler, Nina (translator, Rob Barrett). An Order of Amelie, Hold the Fries. 2004.
Shaw, Tucker. Flavor of the Week. 2005.
Sheldon, Dyan. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. 2005.
Smith, Greg Leitich. Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo. 2005.
Takaya, Natsuki. Fruits Basket Vol. 1. 2004.
Trottier, Maxine. Sister to the Wolf. 2004.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped. 2003.
Vaughan, Brian K. Runaways Vol. 1: Pride & Joy. Illustrated by Adrian Alphona.
Weaver, Will. Memory Boy. 2003.
Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. 2005.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Dead Is the New Black (other topics)
Words of Stone (other topics)
The Other Side of the Island (other topics)