Reading

Reading in bed

Reading ‘in’ Bed

Ender’s Game gets four thumbs up from our family. I picked it for our teen book club, before it was announced that there would be a movie.

Some of the kids in our group don’t read sci-fi, and one of my goals for this year was to explore various genres. I think this book is a shining example of why sci-fi exists, of what it can do that regular literature can’t. It excels at setting up structures that force us to enter into a dialogue with the narrative about morality, ethics, possibilities, and more. Sci-fi is made up of ‘What if’ questions in an engaging package; my first year philosophy class given characters and plots to turn the questions into page-turners.

Normally, Matthias, who is 13 now, doesn’t join us. He’s still working up his confidence in reading, not to mention his reading stamina or interest. This time, I told him he had to. I put my foot down, an unusual thing for me to do with him, my force-of-nature son. Then I sweetened it with an offer to pay him. Sigh. Don’t tell the homeschool police.. And at first he struggled along. Then I noticed he was picking the book up on his own. Then he was picking it up first thing in the morning. Still reading his page quota each day, but with interest.

He has 8 pages to finish tomorrow before 1 pm. He’ll make it. He’s loving it. He thinks it’s awesome. Reading with italics. That doesn’t happen too often for him.

Do you have recommendations for books he might like? He’s seen ‘Hunger Games’ but not read it.

I should go. It’s a busy day: soccer game to coach, supper to cook, pets to brush before the whole house fills with hair, Othello to prep for tomorrow’s Shakespeare co-op with another family, and I have 3 pages worth of questions to sift through before tomorrow for book club. There’s just so much we could talk about.

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6 thoughts on “Reading

  1. Jen says:

    If he likes Ender’s Game, he may like some of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi books. There’s also the book version of “I Am Legend.” Male protagonist, timely theme, etc.

    If he likes fantasy, there’s the Bartimaeus Trilogy (though now four books, the prequel is best read after the original three) and Fablehaven. From reading your blog for several years now, Matthias may connect with the sibling relationship between Seth and Kendra, the two main characters of Fablehaven.

    And, lastly, if he likes the theme of independent, resourceful kids, there’s the Mysterious Benedict Society books. Both of my kids plus the reluctant sci-fi-only partner enjoyed the books immensely.

  2. germfinnchick says:

    Hunger Games book is much better than the movie, IMO. A lot of what happens in the book is below the surface and internal thoughts or assumptions about what other people are doing and their motivations. The movie felt completely dead and emotionless to me in comparison. The most annoying thing about the book was that it took pains to set up a love triangle which I’m sure is addressed in the other books but I haven’t really felt a need to read them. He may like it and if he doesn’t, it’s a short time investment since it’s not too long :P

  3. leslie says:

    My kids loved the 100 Cupboards series. I loved them, too and I’m not a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan. Also a second on the Bartimaeus books and perhaps Golden Compass?

  4. Nicole @ homemakershideaway says:

    The City of Embers was a really great book. Much better than the movie as is Inkheart. That is just a couple of my favorites. Of course there are the classics that my son loves, Tom Sawyer, Mysterious Island, Treasure Island, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to The Centre of The Earth. I will have to check out Ender’s Game. Thanks for taking time to share!

  5. Jackie says:

    Just thought I’d mention Homeschoolliterature.com since they offer books by and about homeschoolers, and they have an online book club. There are lots of book reviews and resources available as well. This is a free site I’ve really enjoyed.

  6. Passerby says:

    I’d recommend Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu (the third book comes out next year, I think.) It’s a really good series set after a civil war has split the United States in half (after two books the details are still unfolding.) There is a bit of a romance subplot, but it didn’t swamp the storyline, and I was grateful there was none of that, “I’ve just met you! You must be my soulmate!”-type nonsense so many YA books have. Perspective alternates between a teen boy politically-driven rebel on the run and an older teen girl working for the state who’s charged with bringing him down.

    I’m thirty and I can’t wait for the third book :)

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