8th Grade Novels - ProTeacher Community


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8th Grade Novels
Old 07-19-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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What are some good 8th grade novels? This will be my first time doing a novel with a class. In the past, the teacher did To Kill a Mockingbird but I think they're a little young for that book and it's on the 10th grade reading lists (but I'm open for suggestions). Any ideas?


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Read Aloud
Old 07-19-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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I think TKMB is a great read aloud for Grade 8. I don't care if they read it in high school, that is a great chance for students to revisit a piece of great literature when they are older, and hopefully and little more mature.

After we are finished reading it, I show them the movie...a great pairing!
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better choice
Old 07-19-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I agree - they're going to read TKMB in the 10th grade. We get to expose them to so few books as a class, so why step on the toes of another teacher and also read a book that will be repeated.

Hunger Games would work quite well with 8th grade and it has two sequels (one coming out soon) that students could independently read later. It is a little long for read aloud.

Code Orange is excellent and shorter and has built into it research skills that the main character (high school student) does - in particular, "putting things into his own words." It is an excellent read and the students would not want you to stop reading.

If you're doing a read aloud, you can skip words or one page if necessary, and therefore, I'd heartily suggest The Chocolate War. Fantastic story, multiple themes, but laced here and there with a vulgar word which you could eliminate when reading aloud.

And lastly, I'd suggest Life as We Knew It. It has scientific flaws, which can be the topics of research, but the story as a whole is good.

p.s. Also Seedfolks and Witness - both short. Seedfolks especially will have them begging that you continue reading.

Last edited by ajmm115; 07-19-2010 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: thought of two others
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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I just ordered Life as We Knew It and am excited to read it myself. I have heard the title The Chocolate War a lot but have never seen or read it. Has anyone ever read Flowers for Algernon ? There is a version of it in our Literature book but was looking read the whole book. I haven't read it yet, but I am thinking about it.
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Author, please?
Old 07-19-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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Just "amazoned" the book you recommend - Witness, and came up with a lot! Do you know the author? TIA


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author
Old 07-19-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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The author of Witness is Karen Hesse. I have a poetry assignment I used with that book, if you do use it.

I have not read Flowers for Algernon - the book - but used the short version in class many times and have a one page test that has an essay part. Let me know if you decide to use it.

I think the movie version is called Charlie, but couldn't swear to it.
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Great book
Old 07-19-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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Flowers for Algernon was one of the best books I read in high school. I went back and re-read it last summer and it was better than I remember it.

It would be powerful as a read aloud because the language Charlie uses changes so drastically. There are some sexually charged and confusing scenes, however, so you may want to read it and edit before reading aloud.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:07 AM
 
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Last year I did something easy b/c it was all during our state testing time. We had a month straight of tests. I did the novel Crash and the kids liked it. The boys liked it b/c it was about a football player.

I ordered The Westing Game for this year b/c I will run into the same problem.

I hope that helps
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Flowers for Algernon
Old 07-20-2010, 06:11 AM
 
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My son read Flowers for Algernon in HS as a Junior. and then watched the movie.. yes, Charlie is the title of that movie.

I think that The Outsiders is a great book for 8th grade.. and the movie is excellent as a follow up.. with a lot of stars back when they were teens.

Another great book for 8th grade...Lord of the Flies. (also with a movie to follow up).. lots of life lessons in these books.
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New at this...
Old 07-22-2010, 06:04 AM
 
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I was just hired this summer as a 7th and 8th grade Reading/Literature teacher. I'm fortunate to have several class sets of novels already in my room, but I'm still trying to figure out which ones to teach! The books I have seem to be on or slightly below 7th/8th reading level. However, I don't have a problem with this because all students should be able to enjoy the books because they are easier, and I can always adjust the difficulty of the assigments that accompany the novels.

Here's just a few that I'm considering: The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963, Hatchet, Lyddie, and Hope was Here ..I don't have a set of Out of the Dust, but would love to do it as well

**I would LOVE to do To Kill a Mockingbird, but it's read in HS here too.**
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:10 AM
 
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I work at a K-8 school so I know what they read in all of their previous classes. They read Hatchet in the 4th grade (which I wish they didn't) and I'm having my 7th graders read The Watsons go to Birmingham. I have never read Lyddie or Hope was Here. I had a few 6th graders read Hope was Here last year and they loved it! I may have to check it out. I have Out of the Dust but haven't read it. I need to catch up!
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:03 AM
 
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My 8th graders LOVED "The Outsiders" and "The Devil's Arithmetic" (we did a Holocaust study and also read the play version of Anne Frank, "Surviving the Applewhites", and several short stories). I've never had a class not enjoy "The Outsiders".

"Hope was Here" is also a good choice.

We've also read "A Christmas Carol" and did lapbooks.

My 7th graders read "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry", which might work for you if you want a book about civil rights.
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The Giver
Old 08-13-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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My 8th graders read The Giver and most of them really enjoyed it. Our 7th graders read The Outsiders and The Watsons Go to Birmingham.
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