parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Tuesday, January 09, 2007
    This past weekend, I read Persepolis 1 and 2. I loved them. The first one started when the girl was 10 in Iran, and her life as the country went through the overthrow of the Shah, and then the cultural revolution. I thought it was well done, complex, yet simple. e. showed an interest, and I handed her the book. Beloved was less than thrilled with the idea, but I still think that he was conflating the two books in his mind. The second one was about her time in Europe - alone. No parents, no guardian - nothing. Starting at age 14. Wow. Yeah, she did a little drugs, she had a little sex. I would say nothing too crazy, and certainly nothing permanently damaging, but she had a tough time.

    I would NEVER put that book in e.'s hands. Sex? Drugs? What are you NUTS??? Okay - so I put a book with torture, war, religious oppression and death into her hands (the first one), but not SEX AND DRUGS!!!

    e. loved it. She said she enjoyed the "deep concepts" and appreciated the graphic novel format. She said she wants to read more books that are "deep."

    I don't know what to give her. She told me a few weeks ago that she feels like she's outgrown the books of her age level. She's sick of the fantasy, and sick of the Harriet the Spy ... and wants MORE from her reading time. What do I do?

    I told her that as you get older, the stories go toward romance, and she is not interested in that (so she tells ME).

    Does anyone remember anything from their childhoods that struck you as a pretty "deep" read, and that stretched your thought process without rushing you into thinking that you had to have a boyfriend/girlfriend in order to be cool and real and whole or making you think that drugs sound kind of interesting?

    She's 10, but has unfortunately read most popular books aimed at her age group.

    [I just thought of Wrinkle in Time and all of those, which perhaps she will enjoy now - I tried to offer them to her about a year or so ago, and she wasn't so interested, but perhaps this is a good time - but I don't know what ELSE]

    Beloved is also having a hard time thinking of anything. Although, he is at work all day today, where he's surrounded by books.

    oh - and he handed me Maus, which is another graphic novel, this one about the Holocaust. I wasn't willing to say yes without reading it first. I only felt confident passing Persepolis to her because I had just finished it myself. And I don't regret it. So there. [directed at beloved]

    Labels: , ,

    posted by Zuska @ 2:14 PM  
    • At Tuesday, January 09, 2007 4:31:00 PM, Anonymous kristine said…

      You said she's sick of the fantasy, and some of these suggestions might also be a little old for E., but here are a few to look at:

      Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series (five books) (this one is right in her age range, but also interesting and deep enough that I reread it every few years. Has some Arthurian myth interspersed, so a little "fantasy"-ish, but is not otherworldy like Harry Potter.)

      "The Mists of Avalon" (might be a bit old for her)

      Mary Stewart, "The Merlin Trilogy" (maybe a bit old, too)

      The Phillip Pullman, "His Dark Materials" trilogy (again, might be a bit above her age level)

      Several of the Judy Blume books might also be good--"Tiger Eyes" comes to mind right away. The main character is a little older than E., but I read it at about her age and loved it. Read it over and over and over. Also "Iggie's House."

      Definitely the Madeleine L'Engle books--get all four: A Wrinkle In Time, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. L'Engle also has another series that involves the same world and characters which I have not read, but that are reportedly excellent, one of which is An Acceptable Time. Another set has Meet the Austins. L'Engle writes terrific material for E's age group and older.

      Some others definitely age appropriate, though I'm not sure if she's read them yet:
      "Island of the Blue Dolphins"
      "Sarah, Plain and Tall"
      "Bridge to Terabithia"
      "Where the Red Fern Grows"
      "Old Yeller"
      The Little House books are great, too, though they start out young and get older. The last book is probably right at or just a little above her level, but the stories are good and I loved reading them even when I was in my teens.

      One more to consider, though she might be a little too young is The Diary of a Young Girl. That's one I read and re-read and kept getting more out of the older I got.

      OK. That's probably enough! :-) As you might guess, I am a HUGE fan of YA fiction, and I also was something of a precocious reader.

    • At Tuesday, January 09, 2007 4:55:00 PM, Blogger Zuska said…

      Mists of Avalon is on my bedside table, for me to pick up and open at random pages when I'm bored or can't sleep -- I cannot WAIT until she's old enough for that. Maybe since she doesn't have a brother to try and re-enact the whole Morgaine/Arthur situation with, it would be okay, but I'm not gonna try it yet. I do LOVE it for a commentary on women, though. I am sure I was reading that level of stuff by the time I was 15 or 16, so I don't have too long to wait before I can safely leave it around the house.

      Many of the others she has read - in (Bridge to Terabathia and Where the Red Fern Grows) and out (I read the Pullman books to her a LONG time ago - when she was in 2nd grade - they're on her re-read list now, though) of school, but also many good ideas. Thanks a lot. If you think of any more, let me know!

    • At Tuesday, January 09, 2007 6:27:00 PM, Blogger Lyco said…

      Wow. I am floored by Kristine's recommendations - they are EXACTLY what I would have recommended! Especially Cooper and L'Engle series. wow. Also, I'd say books by Garth Nix are very good. Particularly the Abhorsen trilogy and Shade's Children. Anything by Alanna Pierce is good, but she may not be into it because there's definitely some (light) romance. When I was that age, I also started reading Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass. There are some Jane Yolen books that are great for YA but can get pretty intense. I, of course, loved them.

      I've not read it, but I hear Nancy Garden's Dove & Sword: a Novel of Joan of Arc is good for that age.

      Oh, and Maus is intense but fantastic.

      Phew, I could do this for hours. Fun!

    • At Wednesday, January 10, 2007 1:22:00 PM, Anonymous naomi said…

      I suspect Lyco meant Tamora Pierce, whose first series had a main character named Alanna. (I second the recommendation.)

      Has she read Inkheart?

    • At Wednesday, January 10, 2007 1:30:00 PM, Blogger Zuska said…

      e. didn't like Inkheart. I bought it a year or so ago, because I thought it sounded really cool. When she was disinterested, I picked it up - and I found the story to be a bit thin. I felt like I kept waiting for something which never came. The ending was a slightly disappointing climax, in my opinion. The teasers on Inkspell (the sequel) seem like perhaps IT provides what I was waiting for (which I think was more info on the other world that people were jumping into and out of), so once that one's out in paper back, I will get it.

    • At Wednesday, January 10, 2007 1:43:00 PM, Blogger LawSchoolMom said…

      Lizzie is also 10 and is an avid reader (which was sort of forced upon her by her English-Lit mom. Hey, that degree is going to be good for something :-)

      Some selections from Lizzie's bookcase:

      "Our Only May Amelia" - Holm
      "Anne of Green Gables" - Montgomery
      "Little Women" - Alcott
      "Behind the Mountains" - Danticat
      "A Swiftly Tilting Plant" - L'Engle
      "The Devil's Arithmetic" - Yolen
      "Harriet the Spy" - Fitzhugh

      The "Dear America" series is also very popular in our house as is science fiction (Funke, Barker, and Angie Sage.)

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