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7-8th grade book suggestions needed for research study


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Hi all! My company was recently hired to do a study involving middle and high school students' reading skills, and we need to choose a book for the participating kids to read. I'd love to hear (read) any suggestions you guys have that fit the criteria below.

 

- Appropriate for 7th-8th grade reading level

- Not commonly found in school required reading lists (i.e., most kids shouldn't have read it already)

- Not exceedingly long (goodbye WoT  ;))

- Main character(s) are male or both male and female (most participants will be boys)

- Does not contain subject matter that might/would be objectionable to most parents (e.g., sex, drugs, magic/occult)

 

 

Post suggestions here or send me a PM. Thanks!  ;D

 

-kt

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Hey Kate, long time no see.

 

Does not contain subject matter that might/would be objectionable to most parents (e.g., sex, drugs, magic/occult)

 

Lol. Are parents really so straightlaced in America. Half the books I read in school had a combination of the above.

 

The Bridge to Terribithia maybe, though that might be too young. The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody has vague supernatural themes, a group of kids on the outside come together to resist an evil infecting the town, but it handled very innocently so I don't think it could be reguarded as glorifying the occult or anything--and I read a review that spoke of it as a suggestion of the intervention of God.

 

Obernewtyn by Carmody, too would be great. It's about a girl in a post-nuclear world who is deemed to be tained by radiation because she can hear thoughts. As I recall it was the one that pretty much everyone in the class went on to read the other books of, whether they liked reading or not. It's a good one too, for kids--thematically its all about 'outsiders' coming to trust people again, and make new friends, and that no matter how bad things seemed they get better.

 

 

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Thanks for the suggestionsm I'll pass them along to the decision-makers.

 

I know the content specs are a little tight, but our client is a big tech corporation so the book needs to be something they are comfortable having associated with them, and parents who are irate because the study asked their kids to read a book with some scene in it that they feel is not appropriate for their precious little angels isn't good for the client's business.

 

I don't think there needs to be NO mention of any of those things, just that they shouldn't be graphic or a major focus of the book. Some romance is fine, as long as it doesn't get into much more than kissing, handholding, etc.

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In that case, The Name Of This Book Is Secret by Psudonymous Bosch. It's an adventure about a girl ("survivalist") and boy (talks way too much/"codebreaker")who are searching for a dead magician's secret. I loved the author's sense of humor.

 

The kids are 11, so it's around the right age, but may be a year or two younger. I'm a bad judge of those things (my third grader reads middle school books. *shrugs*).

 

The magician is a sleight of hand type vs the Harry Potter type, though at the end there is a suggestion that maybe magic is real (villains are searching for immortality and have lived up to hundreds of years.).

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"The Collector" by John Fowles

 

Its dark, creepy, but has no sex, very little violence, and the only occult terms come from Shakespeares "A Midsummers Night Dream"

 

If you cant get that through, look for a group of books from Aussie Author Tim Winton called "Lockie Leonard" which are written for kids about that age

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My younger brother in law is 13, going into 8th grade, and having some trouble with reading comprehension. We took out "The Pushcart Wars" and he loved every minute of it. He said that was the first book that ever "made him see pictures in his mind" It is about 7th grade level I believe.

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Ender's Game strikes me as perfect - protaganists are brilliant kids, no objectionable content, its got layers of meaning if you want to look for em, and its age appropriate.

 

Also, Nation (by Terry Pratchett) could be a terrific choice (although its references to aboriginal gods might cross the line)

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Ender's Game has swearing and violence. When I taught language arts, I was refused permission to teach it because the Assistant Principal thought it was too inappropriate for seventh graders.

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If you cant get that through, look for a group of books from Aussie Author Tim Winton called "Lockie Leonard" which are written for kids about that age

 

They deal with masturbation and sex though, which might be a problem.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Ranger's Apprentice is a pretty good book/series to get started in not only fantasy, but reading in general.  There's no magic that I can recall, no sex or swearing, and it has a pretty good message. 

 

The Hobbit would be a good place to start too.  Tolkien's magic and villainous creatures are pretty close to English fairy tales anyway, so parents wouldn't get too crazy. 

 

The Lightning Thief was written for 7th graders, and it's a play off of Greek Mythology, which all kids need an understanding of anyway since much of the modern world shares names and ideas with Greek/Roman gods and goddesses. The only downside to that one is the movie that's pretty recent.

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