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A Recommended Reading List for my daughter : Take it Outside! • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

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Laycrew
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A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby Laycrew » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:16 pm

I have 5 daughters. The oldest just graduated from college this past spring and the youngest is in the 6th grade. I have spent a many years with my kids attending elementary school. Unlike my middle 3 daughters, my youngest daughter is an exceptional reader. She even reads at a higher level than my two current high schoolers. She is 11 years-old.

This is the first time I have ever seen a "recommended reading list" that she just brought home from school. I use to work at the school and sometimes in the library so it is a fairly new thing they are doing in the library. It could be from the new common core curriculum they are using this year. They use to give her a range based on grade levels which she tells me currently she can read up to a 12th grade level. The way she is scored now is different. It says her "Student Lexile" score is 1265. Based on that score, they have given her a list of books that are at her reading level. I just started laughing at the recommended list:

THE STORY CATCHER by Mari Sandoz
INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer
MOBY-DICK by Herman Melville
WEST WITH THE NIGHT by Beryl Markham
THE SWORD OF SHANNARA by Terry Brooks
FRAKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley
SHADOWFIRES by Dean Koontz
ADOLF HITLER by John Toland
HISTORIC SPEECHES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS by Warren Halliburton
ON DEATH AND DYING by Elizabeth Kubler-Rose
THE FORENSIC CASEBOOK by N.E. Grange

This is just some of the list they gave her. She told me one of her classmates was clever enough to bomb the test badly so he could be allowed to read books he wanted to read. All my daughter wants to read are the ORIGAMI STAR WARS books and other series books geared towards her age, not her reading level. The teacher has pushed my daughter to read books for her book reports that are in her reading level but many times those books are too mature for her and it frustrates her.
Actually I don't expect that she will be required to read any of these books this year. But I'll let you know if she comes with MOBY DICK. I'm just ecstatic she loves to read.

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mammamaia
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby mammamaia » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:06 pm

yikes!

sounds like it's computer-generated... i doubt any human teacher/librarian would churn out that list for an 11-year-old, no matter how fast she can read...
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Laycrew
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby Laycrew » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:35 pm

It totally is. It is a Scholastic SRI form. I'll have to ask my friend what this is all about. She's the librarian at the school.

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LMGilbert
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby LMGilbert » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:44 pm

Your reaction to the "recommended reading list" was right on. It sounds like it was generated by a computer. I have to say she has excellent taste if she's into the Origami Yoda series of books.

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updog
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby updog » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:52 pm

Good grief. Sounds like a good way to scare a kid off reading. :shock:
"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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MookyMcD
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby MookyMcD » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:52 pm

This is going to sound like a brag, but it isn't intended that way. Believe me, when I start bragging about my daughters, it's truly unbearable. Having said that, I have four daughters who are voracious readers. I would guess that by the end of 6th grade, the 3 who have completed sixth grade had read at least half of that list. I assume the same computer program was spitting out titles for them, too, because I specifically remember wondering about going from Moby Dick to Into the Wild or vice verse, and assumed it must be a man v. nature and man v. himself focus. They all tested into the self-contained gifted program prior to 6th, so I think that (or something like it) was the expectation on that tract for the entire class. Flash forward six years and my oldest recently got an unadjusted perfect score on the Reading portion of the ACT and the only perfect score in our state on the AP English exam.

So I guess all I'm saying is, I'd high five her and get those books into my house.

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updog
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby updog » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:13 pm

I think I tried to read Moby Dick in 7th grade and very nearly died of boredom. :mrgreen: It wasn't about ability, it was about interest.

But I also see Mooky's side of this. I do agree that if your daughter shows any interest in reading these books, you should probably encourage her (if you feel the content is appropriate, of course). I found with my own kids the more I expected great things from them, the more they expected great things from themselves. :)

Psst: I'd save Frankenstein for later. She'll probably have to read that in college anyway. My kids had to read it in high school and then again in college. By now they probably know it by heart. ;)
"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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rosebud
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby rosebud » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:38 pm

When I saw your list my thoughts were "What the H#((." The thing I would concern myself with is not the reading of the books so much as the level of maturity needed to understand the content and purpose of the read.

I agree with updog about the Frankenstein book. You don't want her having nightmares. As for the Death and Dying book, it's a helpful tool in understanding the process but it's also on a college level. Not just the read but the comprehension of the material.If she's experienced the loss of a loved one, it's a helpful book.

Also, Hitler, seriously. Better to read Chaim Potok's The Chosen. It's captivating and more relevant, JMO.

I'm surprised they didn't suggest The Iliad or some other classic books. And what about Hemingway? I enjoy his books when I was younger. I could almost feel the salt water on my face in The Old Man and the Sea.

Let us know what she picks out.

Laycrew
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby Laycrew » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:37 am

I forgot to come back and comment. I talked to my daughter if she was required to read from this list and she said no. Which I would have to talk to her teacher if she said otherwise. If she wanted to read the books on her list, I would do my research on it before she started reading something because that is my concern about the maturity level. Just because she reads as well as an adult doesn't mean she is ready to read that kind of material. She doesn't like to read stuff that is really sad. She is into humor and really prefers to read stuff in her age level.

Leymah, that is what concerns me too. Since she really likes to read, I would want her reading stuff she enjoys at this age. I don't want to see her get discouraged. I have seen my older children agonize over their English classes for years now. My oldest daughter has not enjoyed reading at all and assigned reading was pure torture. In high school when her teacher allowed her to pick an author to read several titles from for a project, she discovered she liked Mark Twain. I'm thrilled that she found an author she liked but that was not an author I would have thought would appeal to her.

A series my youngest really likes at the moment is THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY. It is MG.

Laycrew
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Re: A Recommended Reading List for my daughter

Postby Laycrew » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:29 pm

This whole book level thing is still ongoing. I emailed the teacher and she said that they only want her to go about 200 points below her reading level. They are looking for growth I guess but when she's already at the top, I guess it won't look good if she's tested and doesn't improve. :roll: She's still really struggling to find anything that would appeal to her. It was suggested to her to try to read some classics and being only 11, 50 SHADES OF GRAY came to mind and she couldn't find it in the computer. I went :shock: and said, oh that's not a classic and you don't want to read that. She asked why and after my 17-year-old and I fumbled around trying to explain finally I said it has lots of sex in it. Then she went :shock: We had a good laugh but I think she's mortified.

So tomorrow she decided she would like to find out what some of Jane Auston's books reading level is. My older daughter and I agreed that it would be a good choice to look into but might be a challenging read. She's willing to give it a shot.

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