For our second month of our 2016 Reading Adventure, I’ve decided to focus on the classics. There is a lot of debate about what makes a book a classic. I chose books that were written well over fifty years ago and have stood the test of time, meaning they continue to be read over the generations.
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I know many people shy away from reading classics because they feel they are too difficult to understand since they were written so long ago, often using unfamiliar language. I didn’t want my girls to think any book was out of reach, so I began introducing classics into our home school when they were in elementary school. They’ve read many on their own now and definitely have an appreciation for them.
So, even if you or your children aren’t really a fan of the classics, I’d encourage you to give them another try. There are many to choose from, so hopefully, you’ll find one that grabs them and teaches them something new.
February Reading Choices for Tweens & Teens
Here are five classic books I think middle school kids will enjoy reading.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
In this classic, Mark Twain paints a picture of a small rural town in the nineteenth century. It centers around Tom, a rebellious boy who lives with his Aunt Polly and is constantly getting himself into trouble thanks to his fondness for pranks. As we follow along on his many adventures, we see clearly what life, and childhood was like in a time long since forgotten.
The Call of the Wild/White Fang by Jack London
Both of these stories, set in the frozen northern territory, are told from the perspective of the dogs. In The Call of the Wild, Buck is kidnapped from his comfortable life in California and sold to a sled dog owner in the Yukon. Many cruelties are inflicted upon him as he’s passed from owner to owner. However, his strong spirit keeps him going. Eventually, he breaks away from the rough life he has endured and finds a way that he can live wild and free.
White Fang centers around a lone dog/wolf cub who must find a way to survive in the harsh Canadian wilderness. He eventually becomes a part of an Indian tribe and is domesticated. However, his life is full of cruelty and brutality at the hands of the men who “own” him. But White Fang has an unbreakable spirit and eventually finds a kind master who turns him into a loving dog.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This story gives us a satirical glimpse into the life and times of a remote rural village during the reign of George III. This funny tale centers around Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five daughters born to an ordinary country squire. Mr. Bennet and his dimwitted wife must find a way to marry off their daughters. Elizabeth is a strong and opinionated woman, one far ahead of her time. Her suitor, an aristocrat named Mr. Darcy, is a true gentleman, who also suffers from the same pride as Elizabeth. Ultimately, they must put aside their pride and get rid of their prejudices before they can be together.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Rebecca Rowena Randall lives with her two spinster aunts in the fictional village of Riverboro, Maine. Rebecca is an intelligent, imaginative and rambunctious child who eventually charms everyone around her. While reading, we watch Rebecca growing up, blossoming into a young lady whose talents and perseverance help her create a better life for herself.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mary Lennox, suddenly becomes an orphan and is sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, whom she has never met, in England, at Misselthwaite Manor. As she tries to settle into her new life, Mary befriends Dickon, a peasant boy, and they spend their days investigating a secret garden they found on the Manor grounds. She is also surprised to come across her cousin, Colin, a sickly boy who has been shut up in his room. The three children become friends and thanks to the garden, each other, and a few caring adults, they each blossom in their own way as they spend more of their time in the garden, together.
If you have a kindle, you can download all of these books for FREE!
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