Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Help Craig Choose a Book!

Craig, my 12-year old son, has a reading assignment for school this summer, in preparation for 7th grade.  He has to read two books:  Sounder, which he just finished, plus one other of his own choosing from a list.  The problem is that of the 13 book on the list, I've only heard of one of them before.

So, we're asking for your help!  Craig generally enjoys fast-paced books with action, adventure, and/or humor.  Some of his favorites are The Hardy Boys, the Charlie Bone series, A Wrinkle in Time, and Bruce Coville's Unicorn Chronicles and Aliens series.  So, please let us know if you'd recommend any of the books on this list - thanks!
  1. Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman (1955 Newberry Honor award - about a boy climbing the Matterhorn)
  2. Brian's Song screenplay by William Blinn
  3. Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson (autobiography of inner city kid who becomes a top neurosurgeon)
  4. Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor (in 1935, a black man is tried for murder by an all-white jury)
  5. The Lottery Rose by Irene Hunt (an abused boy slowly begins to heal at a home for boys)
  6. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (1998 Newberry medal winner set in Depression-era Oklahoma dust bowl)
  7. Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers (1988 Newberry winner about a boy who's pressured to join a gang)
  8. Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers (convict father takes teen son on the run with him)
  9. Thank You, Jackie Robinson by Barbara Cohen (interracial friendship between a boy and a man joined by a love of baseball)
  10. Time of the Cay by Theodore Taylor (follow-up to The Cay, about a white boy stranded on a desert island and the black man who saves him)
  11. Titanic Crossing by Barbara Williams (story of 13-year old boy on the Titanic - mixed reviews)
  12. The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (1996 Newberry winner about a 6th grade academic bowl team)
  13. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (a Newberry winner  - mystery about 16 people in a strange game having to do with a strange will)
Wow - lots of Newberry winners there!  Also, lots of historical novels and African-American characters - I'm guessing they'll be studying American history this year!  I also noticed lots of sad stories  - I saw the phrase "gut-wrenching" more than once as I looked these up.  Craig doesn't love sad books; he said the ending of Sounder was really tough!  At first glance, it looks like he might like The Westing Game.

So what do you think?  Which book would you choose?


visionbird said...

I would also choose "The Westing Game'. The others sound good but like very heavy reading, especially for summer. Serious books are important, but they are tough, especially if you tend to get emotionally connected to the characters, as most of us who like to read do!


detweilermom said...

All of my kids liked the Westing Game.

Jan von Harz said...

Let the Circle be Unbroken is the second book in a wonderful series by Mildred Taylor. The first, Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry. Of all the books on the list this is one I wold highly recommend, but I would definitely read the first one before reading Let the Circle Be Unbroken.

Lottery Rose is also a good read, but I am not sure Craig would enjoy it as much as you would.