Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies question

What Should a 9th Grader Read?
thethousanderclub thethousanderclub Jun 03, 2013 03:21AM
I've recently been pondering the books that many 9th graders read and whether or not it's wise for them to read them. I vacillate back and forth between believing it serves a valuable purpose that they read books which are filled with complicated, consequential, and important ideas so they're introduced to the ideas that matter most and believing they're reading and comprehension skills, to say nothing of their maturity, are not sufficient to actually provide them the ability to appreciate those important ideas. Although I wander between those standpoints I've never felt confident in either.

See the full blog post here: http://thethousanderclub.blogspot.com...

Animal Farm
The Giver

I read your blog and fail to see where your credentials to make these judgments come from. You mistrust the guides? Have specific teachers betrayed your trust in some way? Or is it simply because we are teachers that we aren't trustworthy? (What a crooked bunch we are) Have you spent any time in a 9th grade classroom? And as for the students...have you spent much time around 14 year olds lately to talk about their world views? You spend a lot of time discussing your beliefs, feelings and worries, but you don't really have any evidence to base these impressions upon. It seems you are merely perpetuating stereotypes.

In any case, the only book you mention that is taught in 9th grade in any school I have taught in is To Kill a Mockingbird. The rest are taught in 10th grade, which is a surprisingly large maturity jump. I see no reason to dumb down any curriculum. Instead, we need to challenge the students to raise their level of effort to engage their brains in things that are difficult. They can read all the YA books on their own time.

I think the books you read have nothing to do with the grade you're in nor with your maturity, because you mature as you read; you can't hope to start to understand books just because you grow up, you have to work for it. I'm now a woman in my twenties who considers herself quite wise, and I think it's mostly because of the books I've read through the years; it can be quite shocking to people when they hear me tell that I read Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude at the age of 9 (in the original spanish version, since it's my mother tongue and didn't learn english until I was 14). For me it was disappointing to be forced to read simple books when I was in 5th grade; I read books about dog's adventures and in a city, but I would have loved to read 1984 or brand new world instead. Moreover, reading beyond what I was supposed to read has always worked for me; and I even think that I got where I am because my mother kept giving me books that were, to other people, completely inapropiate for my age.
To sumarize, I'm just trying to say that to forbid a child to read a book just because it's too young it's a mistake in my opinion and it's better to guide him through the book so he can have a glimpse of a different world.

As a ninth grader myself, I agree with your ideology about the content of the books that we are currently reading. I find “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Lord of the Flies” very violent and deep. Most 9th graders have very minimal experiences in life, and cannot relate or understand what the books meaning is. It can leave us with misconceptions about, slavery or human nature. I feel that students should be reading books that they can truly relate to, a majority of the concepts in TKAM and LOTF, I cannot even fathom or understand what the author is trying to interpret. It is beyond me simply because I have no experience or understanding of the dark and saddening stories of these writters.

My daughter was a ninth grader this past year and she was given a book list last summer to read. I had already read some books on it (the older classics) but there were some new ones. I decided to read a few too. The books I enjoyed in my 9th grade year were not as intense as the ones they have listed now. Sure, The Scarlet Letter was scandalous, Ethan Frome was heartbreaking and The Great Gatsby was fun and frustrating. However, The Fault in our Stars is heartbreaking as well, Speak is sad and frustrating and The Uglies makes you look at yourself a little deeper. I now read quite a bit of YA novels and my daughter and I discuss them while driving, cooking, or sitting out back on the patio. I think the main point is to get them to read and understand what the author is trying to express. Should they walk away with something more from it, that's a plus. With all the shows and movies out now nothing is going to shock these kids or give them ideas that were not already there or known. I'm happy just to see the Ipod plugs out of her ears and a book in her hands.

David Schwinghammer I'm a former teacher. I think it's great that you're discussing books with your daughter. I wish all parents were like you. ...more
Apr 07, 2015 10:20AM · flag

Feliks (last edited Jun 17, 2013 09:09PM ) Jun 17, 2013 09:09PM   1 vote
I like Noah's comment. Its my conclusion as well. More than ever, literacy is under an onslaught; there's never been anything like this digital revolution. Its a whirlwind.

I also agree with Lara (above) who says to keep the learning curve steep. Why on earth would we want to deliberately lower it? It makes no sense at all to me. Is the goal not to provoke perspicacity, acumen, mental breadth, and powers of critical thinking in kids anymore? What exactly is worth substituting in place of all that?

Also, (just as an aside) what is up with the sentence structure in the OP's original musing? Holy hannah!


p.s. oh alright, one more: I groan at Patrick's comment...
and thus probably not universal to both sexes.
My god! Why would it have to be? Last time I checked the human species is still primarily made up of at least two distinct genders right? Well...embrace the distinction!

Lillian (last edited Apr 05, 2015 08:56PM ) Apr 05, 2015 08:56PM   1 vote
One more thought.
When children reach high school I think that they should be able to feel whether or not they should read a certain book, by themselves. Adults guide children to make wise choices when the children are young but by high school shouldn't children have reached the level of maturity to be able to judge novels and act accordingly? Shouldn't they be able to restrain themselves from reading a certain novel if they feel that it has too much mature content? Or wait until they gain enough perspective to understand it? I know that I was able to make theses choices fairly well when I was that age. People should just read what they feel comfortable reading. I read "War and Peace" in eighth grade and I felt comfortable doing it. I read "Divergent" in eighth grade and I did not feel comfortable doing it. That is simply that.

(I have asterisked ones that I really enjoyed, think have great messages or themes, or that are commonly talked about/alluded to. Just to give you some ideas.)

I went to a public high school after being in a Catholic school for 5 years. We had a fairly good mix of short stories, poems, plays, and novels. I read To Kill a Mockingbird* in both 8th and 11th grade.
A few I remember from 7th and 8th grade:
A Christmas Carol
The Gift of the Magi*
Flowers for Algernon*
The Outsiders*
Selections from The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights*
The Giver*
The Hobbit*
The Pearl

I can't exactly remember what I read in 9th grade other than Romeo and Juliet*, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer*, and Great Expectations. But throughout high school, I read:
The Crucible
The Good Earth
Julius Caesar*
Lord of the Flies*
Ender's Game*
Girl in Hyacinth Blue
The Book Thief*
The Kite Runner*
Never Let Me Go*
The Five People You Meet in Heaven* (the regular English class read Tuesdays With Morrie instead)
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe*
The Pit and the Pendulum*
1984* (the other class read Animal Farm*)
The Scarlet Letter*
A Christmas Memory
The Most Dangerous Game
The Tell-Tale Heart*
The Cask of Amontillado
The Cold Equations and Other Stories*
Of Mice and Men*
We didn't have time to read Moby-Dick*, so we watched the movie and answered a packet of questions.

I would suggest some newer bestsellers in addition to some classics if you really want to get the students excited about reading. John Green is really popular right now. My little sister hates reading but loves James Patterson. I also enjoyed reading The Lovely Bones, My Sister's Keeper, Uglies/Pretties/Specials, Slaughterhouse-Five*, and The Hunger Games on my own.

the problem is that public school is failing. Every year reading levels are dropping....so when you talk to people about what 9th grade was like FOR THEM> it doesn't apply anymore.

A lot of places illiteracy is higher the more urban it is. I would focus on trying to get them excited about learning again because that's really what you are fighting against.

I understand your concern about the youth today and the public education system. As far as your claim that 9th graders are not able to comprehend and understand such complex ideas, I don’t quite agree with. There are many young intellectual thinkers out there and I don’t think they should be deprived of reading older books with such strong messages because other kids can’t wrap their heads around it. I do, however, feel as though there should be a choice between a, for lack of a better word, ‘lower level’ book (like the YA novels you mentioned) and something that may be harder to read (Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, Romeo & Juliet etc.). I feel as though students who understand the ‘lower level’ books and feel as though they need something with more of a message or just the student that are craving a challenge should be able to choose a course that contains these older books and require critical thinking. (Aleisha LaCruise)

I do not believe that books should have an age restriction. Ninth graders should be able to read books that benefit them, such as the titles mentioned. Although some people may be concerned about the darker themes in the books "Lord of the Flies" and "Animal Farm", I believe that it is necessary to explore this themes. People mature with what they are exposed to, not what they are hidden from. Besides exposure these books provide insight on human nature and other useful topics. Other problematic titles may include "To Kill a Mockingbird" because of sensitive racial topics. Racism in books should not be censored or hidden from children, because that would be like pretending it never happened at all. In order to advance as a society, we must learn from the mistakes of the past

Hannah Cattanach I couldn't agree with this more.

How is a child to know when something bad is happening when they have no knowledge of anything bad to base their expe
Apr 05, 2015 11:41AM · flag

I agree with the author. I think that the violent, mature topics covered in most of the books that 9th graders read are inappropriate for that age group. In order for them to be appropriate, the teacher would have to focus more on the overall message of the book, and not the violent acts committed throughout the books. If the teachers could ensure that the kids are learning what they're supposed to be learning, and not that violence or immoral acts are acceptable, then I would say that it is okay for 9th graders to be reading these books. But because there is no reassurance, I do not think that 9th graders should be reading books such as The Lord of the Flies and others.

I'm just going to say it without pulling punches: "Lord of the Flies" and "Animal Farm" aren't exactly masterworks of subtlety. Sure, they're more sophisticated than whatever paperback series is popular at the moment, but this isn't like foisting Pynchon or Joyce on 14-year-olds.

Personally, I do not agree with you because it is alright for a 9th grader to read a book like Lord of the Flies or Night. The reason why I say this is because if 9th graders read books like this at a young age they know what to expect, or what not to do when they get older. In your response you say, ¨I would feel comfortable with a 9th grader reading a book like To Kill a Mockingbird.¨ I agree with you here because this book shows a lot of prejudice, which shows kids it's not right to act like that. Also in your response you say, ¨Most importantly, they include ideas which require a significant amount of context and established knowledge to fully comprehend. Ideas like totalitarianism, communism, atavism, and atheism don't exist in a vacuum.¨ I also agree with you here because these books do show all of these ideas, but these ideas show kids what's right and whats wrong in our world today.

Honestly, I feel that many young adult books are filled with very adult themes. Could I suggest, though, some Ernest Hemingway? "The Sun Also Rises" is a fabulous novel. "The Lord of The Flies" is great too, I read it in eighth grade and thought it was good. Of course we all love "Divergent" but I rather wonder if some of the themes in that book are too adult. I read it in eighth grade as well and I think it was too early. Another incredibly amazing book is "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Somehow I had trouble handling "Divergent" but I was able to handle this one. Don't know why.

Leslie (last edited Apr 02, 2015 08:52AM ) Apr 02, 2015 08:35AM   0 votes
I personally do not agree at all. I think that people, no matter what age, should read whatever they want. No one should take away that privilege from them. Books are for reading not to just sit around. Reading a more mature book makes the reader more mature. Reading books with mature content should be read so the reader analyzes and becomes aware of what would happen in sticky situations like in LOFT; where they were trapped on an island."[Jack] began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. (4.33)" This shows lack of civilization from a 12 year old child. The book itself is about children. Why can't one read the book? There's no reason in that.

I read The Lord of the Flies and 1984 in 8th grade, and liked and understood both (I read them on my own, but they were taught in other classes at my school.) This was a long time ago, and I don't know how the average ninth-grader is today, but perhaps the reason students lack reading comprehension skills (if that is true) is that they are not challenged or encouraged to read above their level. Like Lara I would like to know more about how you come to these conclusions.

I agree Mr.Adam because kids and teenagers today should read books appropriate to their age. The content in the book may be harsh and disturbing, and kids may be influenced by it. In the book ¨Animal Farm¨ it says ¨All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.¨. This quote is quite hard to understand because at first it doesn’t even make sense. An adult may be able to explain this, but they can’t do it all the time. Sometimes the concept may be hard to understand and may not be appropriate to explain and describe. That’s why some books are kept away from kids and teens because the books have many violent topics and mature content.

It's been quite a while since I was in High School and I was in Advanced Placement English all through it, so my experience is somewhat skewed, but here are some of the books/plays we read:

Crime and Punishment
Death of a Salesman
Waiting For Godot
The Grapes of Wrath
The Brothers Karamasov
Moby Dick
Lord Jim (Conrad)
The Metamorphosis (Kafka)
The Trial (Kafka)
The Stranger (Camus)
The Sound and The Fury (Faulkner)
King Lear
Oedipus Rex

I've forgotten many of the others. Surprisingly enough, when I took an English class in college the reading level was lower than what I was used to in high school. In one class, the teacher assigned us Mary Renault's "The King Must Die" a slightly lurid retelling of the Greek mythology of Theseus.

In my opinion I think that the author is incorrect. I think that reading books like this we can expand our common senses and maybe even learn more. Also if we read these stuff at a younger age we can be prepared of these stuff if they do happen in real life. Being mature is something that comes to you through age and experience. It also helps with the understanding of bigger meanings of things. In the book Lord of the Flies, it says that Piggy gets hurt by the littluns. If the younger children read this they get prepared for their life ahead of them.

I personally disagree with the author. What he said about books that 9th graders should read was very controversial. In the blog post, the author said,”believing they're reading and comprehension skills, to say nothing of their maturity, are not sufficient to actually provide them the ability to appreciate those important ideas.” Who is he to say that we aren’t mature? A fine majority of the 9th graders at our school are mature enough to read these kinds of books. Even if they aren’t mature enough to understand the concepts, that’s what the teacher is there for. In the blog post, he wrote,”Although I wander between those standpoints I've never felt confident in either.” This shows that the author has a biased opinion on the maturity of teenagers today.

I disagree with the author because TEENAGERS in HIGHSCHOOL, should be able to handle the 'mature concepts' in the book. In the blog, the author states, ¨These are very mature books that deal with some very mature ideas. Most importantly, they include ideas which require a significant amount of context and established knowledge to fully comprehend.¨ Teenagers that age have probably read, or seen images more violent than that, considering the movies and T.V shows that they watch on a daily basis. In my opinion, the books you read make you more mature. If ninth graders read these books they will eventually develop strongly and know what to do, and what not to do.

I agree with these opinions because most 9th graders are usually still very childish and immature. Books that mention serious matters such as racism could be confusing and misunderstood by teens. When you are not mature yourself,reading mature books will not make you more mature and only expose you to ideas you are not ready for. 9th graders are still considered too young to understand some experiences and concepts in these books. Books like LOTF are very graphic and have bigger meanings to them that some people could not understand yet.

I strongly disagree with what the author of this post is saying. Just because students can't comprehend some of this information, doesn't mean they can't try. For example, in his article, he argues that these books contain certain ideas that need some sort of prior knowledge. However, this is not the case. These books are written somewhat specifically for young adults. These ideas are put simply for us to understand. For example, the author brings up the book "Lord of the Flies." These ideas are put in a way that seem relatable to young adults. The book explains the importance of rules and having adult supervision. Without these, the kids go insane. This applies to real life. If you are not supervised, you should think about the choices you make because the consequences of a bad decision can and will be harsh.

Yes, as teachers we must always ask whether the reading material is appropriate to the target audience. I teach in an English teaching program for future instructors here in southern Mexico and I have pondered this exact question for several years. Recently I read a comment that on learning a foreign language, if less than 95% of the vocabulary is known by students, their interest flags considerably and it just becomes way too difficult for them to wade through even the most exciting literary adventure. I would apply the same to stateside high school students. If teaching back in the USA I would not expect students to make it through Henry James, Nabokov or so many other more "literate writers".
In my own 9th grade experience, I read THE OX BOX INCIDENT, LIGHT IN THE FOREST and the CAINE MUTINY. Those were odd choices by an otherwise excellent teacher, in fact the best I ever had, but those were novels that were widely popular in the 50`s.

When I got to the 10th grade, it was FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON, MY ANTONIA, MOBY DICK, METAMORPHOSIS and who knows what else.

For 11th grade it was PARADISE LOST, UNDER THE MILKWOOD, and who knows what else as that teacher was one of the worst we had.


In fact, I don`t see any particular advancement in complexity or maturity level in the successive grades but rather we were assigned those novels teachers felt most comfortable teaching. I would never assign a novel or literary work that I did not myself enjoy. I believe it to be imperative that one demonstrate enthusiasm to one`s students...assign a book you don`t care for and they won`t either.

As for Mexico, I assign short stories-Ray Bradbury`s I SEE YOU NEVER, a story about a Mexican aviation mechanic living in the USA or Alvarez`s SNOW about a young Hispanic girl`s first year in an American parochial school, or MEXICAN MOVIES by Sandra Cisneros. If I were back in the USA and teaching an inner city group, I would do the same and INVISIBLE MAN, THE COLOR PURPLE, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, or THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES.

Hunter (last edited Apr 02, 2015 09:06AM ) Apr 02, 2015 08:48AM   0 votes
I think that the author is wrong and right. In some cases, there is always going to be kids that are not as developed mentally as others. Some students are going to fully understand the books and some are just going to read them because they have no choice. All students should try to understand the deeper meaning or message of a book. It helps to develop your mind and maturity level. These books do contain some in-depth material that requires the reader to think about what is happening. In chapter 12, its says, ¨And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.¨This is said at the end of the book and talks about how the boys changed. Lord of the Flies contains some crucial themes like the loss of innocence and civilization verse savagery. I don't think that freshman should read this book, but wait until later on in high school.

I think this is fine for our age group because, we are not little kids who are going to get influenced to kill others. I mean it is possible but I don't think 90% of the readers are going to become savages, plus they are not even trapped on an island this time.

I disagree with the author because 9th graders should be mature enough to be abe to read mature content. If teenagers are babied through their entire lives then they will have a tougher time adapting to the real world when they are considered to be adults. Reading mature content is what makes you knowledgable.

Personally, I believe that a book that is rich in literary elements can definitely something that a 9th grader can read. Although one may say that a teenager still has a lot of room to improve, a teenager's capacity is still evolving and working as they start to read and learn. A 9th grader should be challenged in the work that they do. By reading a story book or biography, a teenager's mind is able to fully progress and develop through different stages. This brings me to my next point, the author is not correct in what he has to say. If a student reads literary masterpieces and classics, it says a lot about the student itself. A student that reads legitimate pieces of literature such as ¨Animal Farm¨ or ¨The Lord of the Flies¨ says that the student is a mature and young adult. In the article, it says the following, ¨Furthermore, I don't trust that students, even seniors in high school, have the reading comprehension skills to understand anything much more complicated than the most basic young adult fiction¨. This point makes no sense whatsoever because a senior in high school is definitely smart enough to understand and have the reading comprehension to know what a book is talking about. They will definitely be able to understand that a book has an underlying meaning. For example, a high school senior would definitely be able to understand that ¨Animal Farm¨ is talking about communism and has am somewhat dark and thoughtful underlying meaning.

Students should read these books because of the important ideas they have. You said you’re worried about students taking these ideas in the wrong way and they lack life experiences to understand these ideas. However, how are they doing to be exposed in the first place? Reading these types of books in high school are supposed to challenge you and make your mindset grow. Completely forbidding these books from a curriculum is a mistake. Under guidance, 9th graders can have a different perception of the world.

I disagree with the author because I personally believe that 9th graders need to be introduced to these type of novels at this age. I believe this because they need to know the type of books they may be reading throughout the rest of their high school years. Also, it is better to introduce ninth graders to these types of books at this age because it also prepares them for understanding the theme of the book at an early age. To me, it is almost like getting headstart for being able to possess the skill of comprehending the themes of novels. I believe that reading these types of books is actually a good idea because it shows what to expect throughout their years in high school and even college.

In my opinion, I think that the author is incorrect. I don't really see anything wrong with reading these books. The books have some complex and mature ideas, but I think this will help teens later on in life. If you start reading these mature books in think that this will help make you mature. Books like “The Lord of the Flies” is a very mature book and has some dark parts in the book but some of the in this teens watch on television or on the internet is worst. I doubt a book will have more of an effect on some than some violent television shows. In our society, there are beheadings and killings on the news all the time. We have gotten used to violences, we are starting to get desensitized to it.

I believe that 9th graders should be able to read these types of books. Adam C. Zern states, “ I don't trust that students, even seniors in high school, have the reading comprehension skills to understand anything much more complicated than the most basic young adult fiction”(1), at the end of his response. He states multiple times in his response that books like Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm are too mature for 9th graders and that they deal with some very mature topics. He points out that the children will not be able to grasp the concepts of the stories but says that To Kill a Mockingbird is an okay book for 9th graders to read. I understand the viewpoint that he is coming from; he is trying to say that children should not be able to read these book because the book will influence them be mature things. However, children are already being exposed to mature concepts on a daily basis. Because of that, I believe that it is alright for 9th graders to read this book even though the books might influence mature ideas.

I disagree with the author to become mature you need to be expose to things to make you mature. Being exposed takes away innocence but it leads you to maturity it part of growing up. Many 9th graders are actually more mature than what people think, many don't need a teacher to point out things. They can understand the content in the text by themselves. Only a few out of a class need help with the content in the text but that's what the teacher is there for. I say 9th graders are capable to read and understand these books

Zack (last edited Mar 30, 2015 12:24PM ) Mar 30, 2015 12:15PM   0 votes
I agree with the author.Ninth graders should read books like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Giver.What I do disagree with the author is ninth graders should not be the only one able to read these books,any kid can read these books.It is important for ninth graders to read these books so they can be exposed to important ideas like race and justice.Also,it teaches the students to comprehend things like communism.

I think that it is alright for teenagers and 9th graders to read violent mature books like these. Although books like these should be used as a learning tool. Books like these are very violent and could give some people the wrong meaning if not interpreted correctly. However on the other hand if students are reading these books in class and are taught how to interpret them where they get the purposeful meaning it becomes different. Basically, if children/ students are going to read these books than they need to know how to get the intended meaning. Violent books like these could give the wrong meaning to many immature teens, however if the meaning is explained or fully understood by the reader than it is ok for them to read violent material such as, The Lord of the Flies. I think that most teens will be able to handle violent books. Even though some kids get the wrong point and need to be taught how to interpret them, many more mature students will already know how to do this. I think that many adult may misjudge the material that teens are getting a hold of. Ratings on movies, videogames, and television shows are made to limit the amount of violent and sexual content teens and children get into their hands. However, most teens are going to not look and the ratings and just watch what they want to, or play the video games that they want to. With this point of teens being defiant, they are getting hold of inappropriate material. For this reason, most teens are better at interpreting violent material. Most teens these days will not have that much trouble interpreting violent books because they have already been exposed to this violence. This is why it is alright for teens to read more violent books, because they already understand how to differentiate right from wrong, and they also have the aid of their teachers if they get confused.

I don't agree with your interpretation. You had mentioned that Students would probably not be able to grasp the right ideas or lessons from this level of literature. I disagree. Our class goes through many activities each and every week in order to get the right understanding. Reading these books take very deep thought, analyzation, and realization in order to understand them. We are taught how to analyze and think to a greater extent in order to get a full understanding of these stories and what they can teach us. I think that 9th grade is just the right age to start with this deeper kind of thinking. Having a teacher to also guide us along the stories and with lessons will help us even more to understand scenarios to connect to our world and to other books.

Kevincy (last edited Mar 30, 2015 07:34PM ) Mar 30, 2015 01:37PM   0 votes
I do not agree with your blog post. Furthermore, it is understandable that books like ¨The Lord of the Flies¨ conveys a violent message, but teenagers learn not to follow the same actions once they have read or seen a negative action. They also have teachers to guide them, so they can understand the real significance of the book. Moreover, teenagers these days actually read these books as a remedy to violent thoughts after have seeing so many gruesome movies, public events, and shows. It is not accountable to say 14 year-old are learning from these books, when they are actually watching worse on television. In fact, a credited kids health website states, ¨Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior.¨This quote proves that T.V is what affects teenagers and not books.

I think it is inappropriate for kids in 9th grade to read these kinds of books. I think this because there are some books that should not be read just when coming out of middle school. In the article it says “These are very mature books that deal with some very mature ideas.” This quote is right. 9th graders shouldn't read too mature books. It might affect their way of thinking in a negative way.

Ramille (last edited Apr 01, 2015 12:33PM ) Apr 01, 2015 12:30PM   0 votes
I personally think that there's nothing wrong with reading Lord of the Flies if your 9th grader. I believe that the 9th grader is mature enough to understand the ideas of the book. Reading the book would help us mature and think maturely. You said that "These are very mature books that deal with some very mature ideas." I think reading the book would help us deal with problems. Reading books with mature ideas would expose us to real life experience and prepare us to face the real world. I don't think that reading books with violence would also make you a violent person but rather the people that influenced them. I believe that a 9th grader has the right mind to know what bad and good is. What I'm trying to say is that it depends on a student's level of maturity to be able to read Lord of the Flies.

When freshman read books of much maturity, it makes them much more exposed to the world. If minors are constantly sheltered from reality, then the adults are just enabling the teenagers to fail in life. Criminal acts of a violent nature happen everyday, and if anything, teenagers should know what people (specifically criminals) are really capable of. Mature novels prepare adolescents for reality in a sheltering way. It is a very real representation of the world without coming to life and injuring anything much more than the young reader’s emotions (feeling bad for the characters). Vulnerability can be questionable but it definitely allows a teenager’s mind to expand and realize the true nature of humans before they have to support themselves as adults.

No, I do not agree with this author. 9th graders should be allowed to read these type of books. In this quote, the author of the article explains the reason that young adults should not read these type of books, "but I worry that not only are students not learning the important lessons from these important books but I'm especially afraid they're learning the wrong lessons." 9th graders are young adults who are in the beginning of high school who need to experience what the real world looks like. A safer environment to experience life lessons are in books. These young adults could learn from the character's mistakes, rather than making them on their won. In all, these books give underlying meanings that they will come across in life.

In my opinion, I feel the author's perspective is quite incorrect. Books like "Animal Farm" and "Lord of the Flies" unleash a different side of the world. This builds upon one's maturity, giving the wisdom to deal with these kinds of issues. At this age, we are taught to analyze pieces of writing similar to the ones you provided as an example. In the 9th grade, we are at an age to understand the deeper meaning of a piece of literature. Books with violent material end up showing us the consequences of performing acts of violence and darkness. After all, human beings intend to learn from other people's mistakes. Also, if some teenagers get the wrong message, parents and teachers are present to aid them in the right direction.

I do not agree with the author of that blog post. I do believe that 9th graders should be reading these types of books. As a 9th grader you should be able to grasp the ideas of novels/books like Lord Of The Flies, and if you do not fully understand the whole point of the of the novel/book then as 9th graders we should have the ability to ask to get a better understanding. Once you enter into high school whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or a senior you are supposed to be challenging yourself. If the author of this blog post says that not even seniors in high school who are preparing for college should be reading a book as “mature” as Lord Of The Flies, then when should we be challenging ourselves to reading books like that? As a 9th grader myself I was able to grasp the meaning of this book and I am not any smarter than any other 9th grader in America.

Atmanah (last edited Mar 31, 2015 12:11PM ) Mar 31, 2015 11:58AM   0 votes
I believe that books like the OP mentioned are ok for students to read, integral even. There is definitely a connection between literacy and maturity and the reading and discussing of books like this only add to the reader's resources and knowledge. Being a ninth grader I am currently reading TLOTF and at first glance the sheer violence of some scenes shocked me however through further discussion the point the author was trying to make through his manipulations of the characters was revealed.In particular I found the scene where the boys on the island murder Simon disturbing, chanting “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!” they don't realize they are murdering one of their own. After in depth analyzing I found that the author did that to demonstrate how insane and savage the boys had become after being on the island and also about how evil comes to the surface in a person. Books like TLOTF expose a lot of human nature that isn't often considered by the common 14 year old and for that I think they should be read.

If I may weigh in here: the fundamental purpose of handing books like "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Of Mice and Men" to teenagers is to broaden the perspectives of our future generations. While I do agree that by offering such controversial material, the risk of misinterpretation arises, I must point out that such risks are inexorable.

The teenagers of today are exposed to violence at all levels; why should violence present in a classic be any different?

Novels like "Lord of the Flies" offer a platform for fervent thought and development of maturity.

Introducing novels with controversial material, particularly those with historical context and societal applications (such as "To Kill a Mockingbird"), to students provides a very necessary challenge.

I read "War and Peace" at thirteen; I found its presentations of life and death enthralling and mentally stimulating. Facing mature concepts at a young age opens new doors and provides material as a basis for choices in the future.

You said it yourself: “how can a student ever become familiar with important ideas unless they’re exposed to them?” When considering the reading material given to high school students, one must take into account the importance of our future generations’ choices.

By being exposed to topics like the human condition and the superego, students are asked to assert themselves in pursuit of understanding how the world works- an essential lesson that needs to be learnt.

I think if a 9th grader is looking for a good book to read that's not too difficult and still relevant to them, I think This Side of Paradise is tough to beat. It's well written, poignant, and not as dark or pessimistic as other 9th grade books like Lord of the Flies or Of Mice and Men.

The only knock against it might be that it's clearly written from a man's perspective, and thus probably not universal to both sexes.

In my opinion, I think that the author is incorrect. I don't really see anything wrong with reading these books. The books have some complex and mature ideas, but I think this will help teens later on in life. If you start reading these mature books in think that this will help make you mature. Books like “The Lord of the Flies” is a very mature book and has some dark parts in the book but some of the in this teens watch on television or on the internet is worst. I doubt a book will have more of an effect on some than some violent television shows. In our society there are beheadings and killings on the news all the time. We have gotten use to violences, we are starting to get desensitized by it.

It's difficult to match appropriate reads to a grade level, simply because ninth graders have a wide range of reading levels as well as experience and maturity levels. What's appropriate for one ninth grader may be too mature or too advanced for the young person in the seat next to her.

Admittedly, I haven't been a 9th grader for 20 years, but I remember reading a unit on Greek and Norse mythology, then a Greek tragedy (I believe it was Antigone); a 20th-century drama unit that included an Arthur Miller (All My Sons) and a Thornton Wilder (The Skin of Our Teeth); and then Lord of the Flies. The last one I'd already read independently in middle school.

I went to a private, Catholic school and was in an advanced placement English class. I think the college-prep English class read Romeo and Juliet instead - fortunately, I'd read that in 7th grade.

Tytti (last edited Apr 24, 2015 07:00PM ) Apr 24, 2015 06:59PM   0 votes
When I was about 14 I started reading more from the daily newspaper than just sports and tv programs, mainly the world affairs because USA was again fighting a war somewhere. Of course I had been watching the news years before that.

Someone said that 15-year-olds are just out of middle school. Where I come from they start their last year in the comprehensive school, the next year some already move out of home to study in another town. And you are asking can they read some books, whether the themes are too mature or inappropriate? They are almost adults!

If they can't be trusted to read some books, what makes you think they are ready to get married and have children (or join the military) only three years later? They just suddenly mature when they turn 18 after being sheltered all their lives?

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