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Thread: Literature for young freshman

  1. #1
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    I'm working to mix some dialectic and some rhetoric literature selections for my young freshman son, and wondering if anyone has some suggestions, especially their wouldn't-want-to-miss R level selections?
    One specific I'm wondering about is the Scarlet Letter, not b/c I'm concerned about how the adultery is handled, but b/c he hasn't yet read any George MacDonald and I wonder if he'd really enjoy the Princess and the Goblin. (FWIW I have to buy both - his younger sister will read "Goblin" and his older brother will read Hawthorne).
    Thanks,
    Bonnie

  2. #2
    My 12 and 13 year old boys love The Princess and the Goblin. I think they have each read it at least three times in the last 8 months. I mean we have a ton of books, but when they find one they like they don't mind reading it several times.

  3. #3
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    Thank you, Mindy - that's very helpful information. Anyone else who can chime in on what Rhetoric literature selections I wouldn't want my freshman to miss (since he won't get this year again); or dialectic selections? I want to do a combination, hopefully hitting the best of both and transitioning him to R lit.
    Bonnie

  4. #4
    My 9th grader plodded patiently through Rhetoric level Pride & Prejudice, and Les Miserables, but I don't believe he really understood a lot of the discussions. I just switched down to the Dialectic Princess & the Goblin, and suddenly he is able to comprehend meaning through form, religious allegory, and plot patterns. Better yet, his three younger siblings have enjoyed the story read out loud, and benefitted through discussion time in a way that they couldn't with the more difficult literature selections.

  5. #5
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    I think it depends on the child. My 8th grader happily read several Dickens novels last year and a couple of Dumas novels and Pride and Prejudice (this was on his own). I, on the other hand, dislike the Princess and the Goblin intensely (The Light Princess, I love).

    But it is certainly true that many of the 19th century selections for R are long and include lots of nonaction sections so mixing the D and R selections to create a 9th grade mix is a good idea. If I had a boy, I might pass P and G by and select Frankenstein, the Invisible Man before. In the last weeks I'd do The Importance of Being Earnest instead of the R Wilde selection which I think has a much more subtle point.

  6. #6
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    I agree, Pat, about how kids differ. After beginning this thread I made some choices, including having my freshman listen to P&P unabridged on audio, while still doing the Poetics and discussion; he liked the book. And I gave him longer to read Les Miserables, but he really seemed to like it and it was an excellent stretch. In between, I read aloud to him and his dialectic sister, The Princess and the Goblin. He dropped out 3/4 through. Dd and I finished it, but none of us liked it. I guess the big lesson for me is I need to seek counsel (which several here have given - thank you!), pray for wisdom, and then believe that God gives it and go ahead with what seems best for MY kid(s).
    My freshman son is now ready for a lighter read (after les Mis.), so he's going to read Jekyll and Hyde or Tom Sawyer. On the other hand, les Mis. wasn't the same kind of stretch for my high school junior, so he will move on in R level; they'll converge again at some point later this unit. Thanks, TOG, for encouraging flexibility and tweaking!
    Bonnie in IN

  7. #7
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    Hi ladies,
    I believe you've hit the nail on the head. When a rhetoric work seems to difficult, but you want them to at least have exposure, audio versions are wonderful. One thing I often did was assign all of the dialectic books, but give them a few audio options of rhetoric books.

    Blessings,
    Dana C. in TN
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
    I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"
    Deut. 32:2-4

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