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Old 06-13-2013, 05:39 PM   #16
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I've said before that if I didn't already enjoy reading going in, school would have destroyed the hobby for me.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
As a sci-fi fan, I'm kinda happy. Seemed like the whole genre was dying until recently. I'm hoping the Hunger Games gave it the same kind of surge that fantasy did from Harry Potter.

Also, if these are the same kids that I see at work, then some of their wanting escapism is because reality is pretty bleak.
Absolutely. I read a lot and I'm a Librarian, for crying out loud, and I detest most "literary" fiction. I like fantasy but I read other things, too. You wouldn't think 1970s Laos would be a good, escapist place to spend your summer but I've been inhaling Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboun books. I love David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which can be construed as historical fiction. I don't have the energy to stay up all night reading anymore but I did spend all night reading The Vampire Lestat when I was 16, so I don't knock the Vampire books too much, though Rice is certainly a better writer than Meyer.

Anyway, Tolkien quote...

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” ~J.R.R.T.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:46 PM   #18
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I've read Anais Nin, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, and James Joyce. Boring, boring, boring. Would rather read an Alcott, Tolkien, or Rowling any day.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:10 AM   #19
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Humph.

As somebody wrote in the comments, worst problem is kids not reading at all, than kids reading fantasy.

This article is full of mumbo-jumbo. By its logic, anybody over 20 has no place reading YA. Yeah right.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:40 AM   #20
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Last year, almost all of the top 40 books read in grades nine through 12 were well below grade level. The most popular books, the three books in The Hunger Games series, were assessed to be at the fifth-grade level.
I'm a bit confused with US grades, but fifth-grade is the last elementary school grade isn't it? If so, the students should be around 9-10 years.
Bear in mind that I haven't read The Hunger Games series, its on my TBR pile, but from what I get the contents are not quite for elementary students. I would feel somewhat more comfortable giving those books to middle school students.
So on one hand there is the difficulty level, and on the other hand there is contents level

In the end, I see reading better than not reading, whatever one is reading. It's not easy to start the habit of reading.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samhy View Post
I'm a bit confused with US grades, but fifth-grade is the last elementary school grade isn't it? If so, the students should be around 9-10 years.
Depends on the school district, but around here most are:

Elementary = Kindergarten and 1-6
Jr High = 7,8
High School = 9-12

You begin Kindergarten between 4-6 yrs old, depending on your birthdate, etc. I was 4.
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Depends on the school district, but around here most are:
The one I work for goes like this:

Elementary -> K-5
Middle Schol -> 6-8
High School 9-12

With some high schools keeping their freshmen in a separate wing.

The Christian school I went to did it like this:

Kindergarten
Elementary -> 1-3
Middle -> 4-6
Jr.High -> 7 & 8
High -> 9-12
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #23
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Thank you Twowheels (like that name ) and teh603.
I see now why I'm so confused. The whole thing is confusing!

So to be safe, one should be around 9-11 when in fifth-grade. Still, I wouldn't give The Hunger Games books, with teenagers having to fight to the death, at someone who's 9 (of course, each child is different)
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by samhy View Post
Thank you Twowheels (like that name ) and teh603.
I see now why I'm so confused. The whole thing is confusing!
Each state has its own system, and some of those systems vary from county to county, or even within a county. Bloody huge headache, but that's what you get from an overly libertarian system. No two people can agree on even the basics, like what kids should be able to read at a given age.

Quote:
So to be safe, one should be around 9-11 when in fifth-grade. Still, I wouldn't give The Hunger Games books, with teenagers having to fight to the death, at someone who's 9 (of course, each child is different)
I don't see a problem. Then again, I'm all for advancing public school standards to the same level that the Christian schools are at. Encyclopedia Brown in the second grade, Hardy Boys in third, Pilgrim's Progress or equivalent by the fourth, and reading contests each of the first three years.

Last edited by teh603; 06-14-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samhy View Post
I'm a bit confused with US grades, but fifth-grade is the last elementary school grade isn't it? If so, the students should be around 9-10 years.
Bear in mind that I haven't read The Hunger Games series, its on my TBR pile, but from what I get the contents are not quite for elementary students. I would feel somewhat more comfortable giving those books to middle school students.
So on one hand there is the difficulty level, and on the other hand there is contents level

In the end, I see reading better than not reading, whatever one is reading. It's not easy to start the habit of reading.
My daughter did read them at 9 to 10, but yes they are pretty violent and not written for that age group regardless of what reading level the text is. Newspapers are also written at a pretty low reading level as I recall.

Anyway, my daughter has an interesting personality that involves a love of macabre, and so she is not put off by darkness and violence, but a lot of kids in the 9 to 11 age range would have trouble with the Hunger Games books.

I think people should read the books they like. Once upon a time, the classics were just popular books.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:15 PM   #26
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I don't see a problem. Then again, I'm all for advancing public school standards to the same level that the Christian schools are at. Encyclopedia Brown in the second grade, Hardy Boys in third, Pilgrim's Progress or equivalent by the fourth, and reading contests each of the first three years.
The issue with advancing public schools standards to the standards of (insert special type of school here) is that public schools tend to be a catch-all. You have everything from very motivated kids with proactive and supportive parents, to kids that no separate school would accept in communities where very few teachers would want to teach.

It's also a bit unfair to paint public schools with the same brush, since there are good ones you know.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:33 PM   #27
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I think reading (text based book) is what is important. Reading Anything.
A lot of what was required left me cold and I would read other stuff in class.
The instructor got mad and gave me a reading test: 800WPM and 89% comprehension (twice as fast an the next highest in the class AND I exceeded their comprehension by 20%) . He did not believe the results and gave another test with similar results.

After that, I was mostly left alone
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #28
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I think the Reading has lost most of the luster it had (has been going downhill for at least 100 years). It is now to the point where instead of learning the three Rs in school, it will be reduced to just two.
I don't know if it's very useful to compare today's high school students to those of 100 years ago. In 1913 only about half the students went on to high school at all. My own grandfather left school at 8th grade.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:18 PM   #29
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In my elementary school, beginning with the third grade, IIRC, we used the SRA Reading Laboratory system for our reading lessons. I remember really enjoying that because we read at our own pace, the stories were never more than four pages so they weren't that long and they were on a variety of topics, and the comprehension tests were like playing. The segments were color-coded and when you finished all of the stories in one segment you moved on to another color. I always reached further in the color levels than my classmates because I read faster. I think that system encouraged my love for reading, because it introduced different genres to me and also introduced me to non-fiction.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:31 AM   #30
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Thank you Twowheels (like that name ) and teh603.
I see now why I'm so confused. The whole thing is confusing!

So to be safe, one should be around 9-11 when in fifth-grade. Still, I wouldn't give The Hunger Games books, with teenagers having to fight to the death, at someone who's 9 (of course, each child is different)
I remember reading the Brothers Grimm and Little Red Riding Hood at about 5-7 years old. Think those books couldn't give you nightmares. Most childrens fairy tales were pretty gory (remember Bluebeard) when I was growing up.

I found a lot of fairy tales to be mildly unsettling, but I had friends whose greatest delight was making up scary stories. By grade 5 I had waded through Hamlet and Macbeth and while I didn't understand it all I sure understood the gory parts

A great part of children's literature is classified as horror and seems to be selling well. And many 10 year olds have seen every Saws episode there is and seem to take great glee in the fact.

Cannot say I entirely approve, but do we do the children/young adults a service by wrapping them up in cotton wool.

Helen
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