("Tales from the Classroom" is a feature posted occasionally here at this blog. All tales are true and present matters about which I have personal knowledge. Note: If you must have politics, please scroll down to other posts)
I strive to assign each student a book that fits that student. Criteria: book that the student has never before read except in a very simplified edition, student's reading level, student's interests, student's personality. This year, I had two misses, both of them students new to the homeschool group I teach. One student really disliked 1984, which he found too negative. The student who read The Picture of Dorian Gray didn't care much for her assigned book, either; she said, "The book gave me nightmares."
This year's list of books read, with the student's grade level in parentheses:
1. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (10)
2. 1984 by George Orwell (9)
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (11)
4. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (12)
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (10)
6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (11)
7. Dracula by Bram Stoker (9)
8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (11)
9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (9)
10. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (11)
11. Animal Farm by George Orwell (9, IEP student, non-verbal autistic)
12. The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis (12)
13. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (9)
14. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
15. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
How may of the above classics have you read?
The most amazing book report of the 2014-2015 was that of a ten-year-old middle schooler, who read an unabridged translation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. And she understood the novel, too. This little child is the child of immigrants — her father from China and her mother from South Korea. And, no, they are not tiger parents.