Sunday, August 29, 2010

Each new school year brings new experiences!

I realize my title is a duh! Of course, a new year brings new experiences. This is just to introduce my new and wonderful experience. This is my sixth year in elementary/middle school. Prior to five years ago my total educational experience was with high school students. Each of my preceding five years at this small Catholic school, I would have one, maybe two really serious readers, that is, middle schoolers who would read



The sixth grade girls had a class visit on Friday. After our road trip with Dewey, they began looking around for books to check out. I heard one girl say, "I've read Pride and Prejudice. Have you read Sense and Sensibility?" The answer: "No, but I've seen the movie. Is the book here?"

So, what have I discovered? It's time to add more classics to our collection. One had checked out a collection of short stories by a Victorian writer. I told her the vocabulary was fairly difficult . Her indignant response: "Mrs. Polhemus, this is the Claire! You know I can read this!"

See that blur? That was I, speeding to discover from my books and internet, proper choices for this band of girls. Let's see: Eight Cousins Eight cousins, or, The aunt-hill / by Louisa M. Alcottand Rose in BloomRose in Bloom (A Sequel to Eight Cousins) (mobi) by Louisa Alcott, all of Austen, better copies of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I might as well get them a hard copy of Silas Marner (Signet Classics)Silas Marner (Signet Classics). They keep asking for romance. Yes, there's a lovely, little romance  woven into this novel of Victorian sensibilities and woe. Let's see--what else?

Sidenote: It was "the Claire" who introduced me to Caroline Cooney's [The Face on the Milk Carton]{Cooney, Caroline B.][Paperboundmassmarket][The Face on the Milk Carton]{Cooney, Caroline B.][Paperboundmassmarket] and the following books in the series.

What about Seventeenth SummerSeventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly as romance book (a modern classic)?

More to come--

Classic Literature Reading List for Middle School Students

By: LuAnn Schindler
Many middle school students enjoy the connection with a young adult novel, but classic literature never goes out of style. Several humanities organizations have established a classic literature reading list that emphasizes the importance of reading timeless books.
This list introduces new characters and alien worlds to the middle school set. Several of these books are commonly taught in middle school English classes, so adding them to a summer reading list can give your child an advantage when they come up during the school year.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  • A Stranger Came Ashore by Mollie Hunter
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
  • Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
  • Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
  • Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  • Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
  • Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl
  • The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Ghost Belonged To Me by Richard Peck
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Horatio Hornblower Series by C.S. Lewis
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Incident at Hawk's Hill by Allan W. Eckert
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  • Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O'Dell
  • Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Last Mission by Harry Mazer
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Irving Washington
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • M.C. Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • My Brother Sam Is Dead by James and Christopher Collier
  • My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  • The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
  • Poems by Robert Frost
  • The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
  • Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Shane by Jack Schaefer
  • Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • To Be a Slave by Julius Lester
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss
  • War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  • Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • The White Mountains by John Christopher
  • The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.