Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Medieval Fiction and Fantasy, Labor Strikes, Race Riots, Dysptopia~ High school reads~ the world at your fingertips

Our library has decided to sponsor an interesting summer reading program for the teens this year (previous years have been rather blase' for the teens~ log your reading, earn $ for a local charity~ nice, but not terribly interactive).  This time they have a "board" to fill out~ for each square they complete they get a candy bar (hmmm... I'm not so sure about that one, but THEY are motivated...;) ), and a raffle ticket for some "literary" gift baskets, passes to local attractions, and gift cards. That's pretty enterprising for the library this year, and I'm impressed!

Filling out a "Board" of books was like going on a treasure hunt to find titles that would fit each genre... FUN (but time consuming... hopefully this will save someone else a little bit of time if they want to do something similar)!

So... on with the books~ I'm going to list their categories and the books that we have chosen (so far) for each one. I'll be scouring the other lists posted in this carnival to help fill these in, and if you have any suggestions, PLEASE leave me a comment! :)



  • Graphic Novel:  Laika Most Graphic Novels aren't our style~ they tend to deal with topics that are... well... graphic...  but  this looks like it should be good.
  • Listen to an Audio Book: Tricky for us, since my kids are very picky audio listeners... but Brotherly Love: Christy Series by Catherine Marshall seems like a good pick
  • Summer Reading List (My choice, since we homeschool! Don't have to stick to the local high school list): Lorna Doone; a Romance of Exmoor  looks like a good "classic" that I'd never heard of... :) 

  • a Classic: Shakespeare Comedies (starting with Twelfth Night ) ~ need I say more? ;) 
  • Book turned into a Movie: Catching Fire ~ For those who have avoided the Hunger Games books, I would like to say that they really are very good dystopian literature. I didn't care for the fact that the story itself was turned into "entertainment" by being made into movies, but that doesn't diminish the value of the story (and/or cautionary tale for our times). 
  • Historical Fiction: My two choices listed here are listed on Amazon as being middle school reads, but our library has them listed on their teen page, and they are certainly good choices for light summer reading for a high school student:  Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Medieval) and/or Bread and Roses, Too (tells of the historic textile mill strike of 1912 in Lawrence, MA ~ we particularly like this one because it is "local"). 

  • Book written the year you were born: Snow In August (Also an Alex Award Winner)~ not one we've read yet, but it looks interesting~ set in 1947, backdrop of a Rabbi and a young boy in Brooklyn, whose lives were changed by WWII ~ a book about relationships, baseball, possibly a little Jewish Mysticism, race riots. Hopefully it's a good one! ~ UPDATE: Foul language right off the bat, so this book went into the "do not read" list... (Sigh~ we don't use foul language, I wish it wasn't so prevalent in fiction these days...) We went with Ella Enchanted (Trophy Newbery) instead, even though it isn't really a high school read~ it's a fun light story.  
  • Fantasy: The Unwanteds ~ not amazing literature by any means, but a good younger high school read that blends dystopia with a hint of Harry Potter(I didn't read this one, but from my daughter's description, the magical premise of this book wouldn't bother me the same way the HP books did).
  • Book with a male lead: from an upcoming review, A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr~ Excellent medieval fantasy~ first book in a series of three.
I hope you enjoyed this list, and maybe it will lead you to some gems~ I forgot until I was almost done making this list that there is a nifty tool listed on my Free Homeschool Resources Page that helps with finding books that aren't "twaddle" ~ a Simply Charlotte Mason Bookfinder! Check it out


Homeschool for Free

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