The Next Best Book Club discussion

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TNBBC's Lists > Top YA Social Studies Books

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message 1: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) Alright, so I'm actually just looking for suggestions. The 7th grade SS dept. is looking into working with LA in order to improve both reading and writing, as well as SS content.

Any suggestions? Do you have a top 5? Are there any to avoid?

We're specifically looking at books that deal with religions, Asia, Africa and world cultures in general. Also, any cultural conflict would be great (to read, we're not in favor of actual conflicts...)

I've been looking at lists and reading books and reviews etc...

Number the Stars is good, but it's a little young. Also, even though it deals with Judaism, we don't actually see Judaism much in it...

Elephant Run: I just finished it. It was a slow start for me, and I'm not sure I can get all (or even the majority of) my students to rally around it.

The Life of Pi would be great, but the reading level is too high for 95% of my students...

What are some other good ones that are out there?


message 2: by Ralph Gallagher (last edited Mar 06, 2010 09:23AM) (new)

Ralph Gallagher | 64 comments The Giver was a book I really enjoyed when I Read it in 8th grade. I dunno if it would work for your subject matter or not though. It does deal with ethical issues without being too difficult for younger students to care about.

ETA: Double Helix is a great book dealing with the ethical issues with gene splicing and the like. I read it a couple years back but I don't think it was a difficult read and was certainly interesting.


message 3: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) Great! Thanks. I added them all to the list. (I made a new bookshelf...)

I think they read The Giver in 8th grade, so that might not work... But it's on the list. : )

Oh, another major standard that we have to hit is contemporary government types, so any YA book dealing with Dictatorships, Oligarchies, Absolute or Constitutional Monarchies, forms of Democracy, etc... would be great.

Religions, Gov'ts, Africa and Asia...


message 4: by Charity (last edited Mar 06, 2010 03:21PM) (new)

Charity (charityross) Here are a few that sprang to mind...


Friedrich (Puffin Books) by Hans Peter Richter
Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter
OR
Night by Elie Wiesel
Night by Elie Wiesel
OR
The Diary of a Young Girl (Penguin Modern Classics) by Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Across Five Aprils  by Irene Hunt
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Puffin Classics - the Essential Collection) by Emmuska Orczy
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy


message 5: by Chantelle (new)

Chantelle (chantelle13) | 90 comments Oh my gosh, how did I just find this thread?!? I'm a middle school language arts and social studies teacher, and I LOVE historical fiction.


Here are some of my favorites:
Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
Bound
Homeless Bird
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Crispin: The Cross of Lead
Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo
The Breadwinner
Ask Me No Questions


message 6: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) This is great stuff. Thanks a lot. Some of these won't align with the 7th grade standards, so I won't use them - but it couldn't hurt to offer them as extra credit.

Keep 'em coming if you can.


message 7: by Chantelle (last edited Mar 08, 2010 11:33AM) (new)

Chantelle (chantelle13) | 90 comments Give me some more specifics about the particular standards? I can probably come up with more for you. This is one of my favorite things to do, lol.

Death of a Princess is a good one about Egypt...

Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey - Henry VIII...

I can keep going, just give me more details. :)


message 8: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) I'm really looking for cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere - Asia, Africa, Australia...

Anything dealing with colonization, imperialism, cultural diffusion, political conflicts between cultures, religion or religious conflicts between cultures... Routes to independence by various countries - India, South Africa, Australia, and the U.S. all took quite different approaches...

Ancient civilizations in those regions - Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Persians, Indus River/Harappan, Chinese... YA books set in those time periods...

Books dealing with life under oppressive or unlimited governments. I hope this helps. If you want more, let me know.


U.S. History doesn't help me much, but I could offer those books as extra credit.


message 9: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) This thread has a bunch too.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...


message 10: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 08, 2010 02:37PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments How about When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, by Judith Kerr?

At that age I really liked Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany, by Ilse Koehn, and To Build a Land, by Sally Watson (probably long out of print).


message 11: by VMom (new)

VMom (votermom) | 42 comments Philip wrote: "I'm really looking for cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere - Asia, Africa, Australia...

Anything dealing with colonization, imperialism, cultural diffusion, political conflicts between cultures, ..."

I have not read it yet, so I don't know if it's YA. but I imagine that you could pair
Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time with the movie. The movie was emotionally intense; very good indeed.

A good YA I read some time ago is A Girl Named Disaster.


message 12: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) This is great. I hope you can throw even more in. I'm going to the library tonight to see if they have any of the ones you all have mentioned.

My school librarian mentioned Sunrise Over Fallujah so I'm adding that one to the list too.


message 13: by Chantelle (new)

Chantelle (chantelle13) | 90 comments OOh, yes, I forgot that one. It's pretty good.


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