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House of the Scorpion
Old 04-24-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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Has anyone read The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and what did you think of it? I have a chance to get several sets from our book fair profits and would like to offer it to 7th graders as an alternative to Tangerine, which many of them like, but not all. I'd like to give them a choice of titles. I know it has won a lot of awards (including Newbery Honor) and therefore assume its themes are important and it is worthwhile literature. It seems about the same reading level and length as Tangerine, plus the setting is in our area. I've read several reviews and will get a copy as soon as I can, but appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


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Enjoyed it...
Old 04-25-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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I read "House of the Scorpion" last summer - it was one of the books I was considering as a whole class book. Very interesting science fiction book. I was disappointed with the ending but there are sequels that I did not read. This book can bring up many great discussions about how we treat people and the differences among us, class (economic) issues, standing up for yourself and what you believe in, etc.

Your science fiction / fantasy readers will really love it. Your realistic fiction readers (like me) will still like "Tangerine" better.
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House of the Scorpion
Old 04-25-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Sorry, I haven't read this one, but it is on my "must read" list. Just my humble opinion, but from my recollection it is a bit long for a class read. I love a long book for personal reading, but sometimes class novels just get too long.

A couple of other titles that are used in our seventh grade are: Red Scarf Girl, Watsons go to Birmingham and The Giver. I'm not a fan of the Giver for 7th graders. I think the themes are too mature and the story a bit confusing for a general class.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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Thank you!! I was afraid I wasn't going to get any replies. Yes, Tangerine is long, but I inherited it when I came and we are billed as a college prep charter, so "it's what we do here." (But I do agree with you Imalith and I know that there are a good chunk who fail the test because they didn't finish the book.) A choice of genres is exactly what I am looking for and appreciate your comments so much, garverl.

PT!
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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I read it on my own and didn't like it, and did it as a read-aloud with my class and got mixed response (7th graders). My students said that the sequence was difficult to follow in parts (especially after he's out on his own), and that it moved slowly. The were making predictions about what was going to happen WAY before we got to it in the book. I also didn't like the ending.


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Old 04-27-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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I definitely need to read it myself, but don't think I'll have time before the order goes in. I was searching through my bookmarks to reply to a different post and came across this post by bzeteacher. Scorpion is on it , which makes me think I will go ahead and order. Interesting list!

In her 3 part article at Teacher Magazine web site, Miller (The Book Whisperer) lists "13 Books You Have To Read Before You Turn 13" which was compiled by one of her classes - these are kid recommendations, maybe that would interest your niece. They are:
The City of Ember
*Where the Red Fern Grows
The Thief Lord
Tangerine
*Holes
The Schwa Was Here
The lightening Thief
The Outsiders
The View From Saturday
The House of the Scorpion
*The Boy Who Saved Baseball
*Maniac Magee
*The Giver
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