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Books > SF classics for middle school students

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Meyers (markmeyers) | 41 comments I teach middle school and I'm helping the literature teacher select novels for her students age 11-13. She is reading Ender's Game with them now but I'd like to suggest some other SF classics for that age group.

Any suggestions?
Thanks!


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 490 comments I would recommend Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. That was the age when I was introduced and read the books.


message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott The Illustrated Man (or another Bradbury collection)
Dragonsong
A Wrinkle in Time


message 5: by Sffgeek (new)

Sffgeek To be honest, I would have thought most of the Hugo winners would be accessible by that age (I was reading them at 9). The real question is what is the objective of the reading list? Simple pleasure, appreciation of literary worth, or didactic moralising (though not, I hope, political correctness). All of these (and more) can be found in the genre.


message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark Meyers (markmeyers) | 41 comments Reading level and literary worth would be the main deciding factors. For instance, some of them are struggling with the concepts in Ender's Game so the highly-philosophical sequel Speaker for the Dead would be totally over their heads.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 490 comments Mark wrote: "Reading level and literary worth would be the main deciding factors. For instance, some of them are struggling with the concepts in Ender's Game so the highly-philosophical sequel Speaker for the ..."

I think Ender's Shadow would be also a great read for them to compare and contrast with Ender's Game.


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard (thinkingbluecountingtwo) | 232 comments Off the top of my head, a couple of classics that struck a deep chord with me at that age are Childhood's End and The City and the Stars both by Arthur C. Clarke. Maybe a little dated but full of the sense of wonder that first captivated me with the genre.


message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Meyers (markmeyers) | 41 comments Thanks for the suggestions. I've suggested Hitchhiker's Guide to several of my students and I'm hoping some of them read it. The school did teacher Flowers last year to 8th grade. I'm not a fan of Wrinkle in Time but I know that's been very popular at the school before. I just finished Rendezvous with Rama so I think a Clarke novel would be great as well. Childhood's End is on my list. The comparison/contrast idea between Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow is a great idea. I'll have to see how many students enjoyed the book to see if they want to continue.


message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I really enjoyed Dune at around that age, and also a lot of the John Wyndham books. Perhaps The Midwich Cuckoos or The Day of the Triffids?


message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard (thinkingbluecountingtwo) | 232 comments Rachel wrote: "I really enjoyed Dune at around that age, and also a lot of the John Wyndham books. Perhaps The Midwich Cuckoos or The Day of the Triffids?"

Wyndham is a good author for thoughtful kids. I would also suggest another of his, The Chrysalids, good read and some interesting issues to mull over and talk about.


message 12: by Kevin (last edited Oct 30, 2011 07:29PM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 490 comments Hey Mark, did you know that last week Orson Scott Card finally announced that the film version of Ender's Game is finally going to come out and be made? It has a set date of being release in March 15, 2013 with Summit Entertainment backing it along with the director of Wolverine, Gavid Hood, and the producers of Star Trek, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. But who knows? It could change as it has many a time in the past.


message 13: by mark, personal space invader (new)

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
i wonder if the movie version will have Ender destroying a planet of evil insect homosexuals?


message 14: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 20 comments The Ugly Little Boy is a fantastic classic sci-fi book. I think that they'd have no problem understanding it. It raises some important questions for students I think. One of Asimov's top three of his own stories, it was originally a short and Robert Silverberg expanded it with Asimov's blessing.

It's a bit sad - looking at the colder side of science. What we'll do in it's name when we're too wrapped up in the exciting possibilities and how it effects those who are the subject of said experiences.


message 15: by Buzz (new)

Buzz (akabuzz) | 2 comments At that age I was reading the Barsoom series which starts with "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark Meyers (markmeyers) | 41 comments I just read that Burroughs novel recently. Lots of good action. I'm trying to keep things fairly clean. As much as I loved A Stranger in Strange Land, it would never fly with parents of middle school students.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Patrick Ness's "The Knife of Never Letting Go". also Lois Lowry's "The Giver". Knife is part of a three book series, all of which are good.


message 18: by Jam (new)

Jam (lordportico) | 6 comments Around that age, I'd been reading Anne McCaffrey's books like the Acorna series, Dragonrider's of Pern, Harperhall series, etc. I'd also gotten my hands on a copy of I'Robot in the school library.

Some of Heinlein's earlier works are mostly at the YA level, so you could try those. Slan by AE van Vogt is also good.


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