Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Reading for my son and me

My eldest son enters 9th grade in the fall. That's high school, people! Ack! How did this happen so fast? I'm not old enough to have a child in high school!

In middle school, he finally started to read books for school that were exciting to me. I was thrilled to read along with old favorites (The Outsiders, To Kill a Mockingbird), and to have him experience serious books (Night, by Elie Wiesel, Romeo and Juliet).

And this summer he's required to read two books that I haven't read, but I'm interested in. For English he's reading William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and for History he's reading Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons, about Thomas More and Henry VIII. My son likes history, so this should be interesting to him (I hope).

How great, I can kill two birds with one stone--I can read two things that I somehow missed along the way, and I can help my son prepare for the school year. I'm a little optimistic thinking we're going to make a cozy little book group of two, and have lovely discussions about the book. But I will force him to talk about them, if it kills me!

I was happy (and surprised) when he asked me the other day if he could get a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Perfect, I think, for the teenager that he is. I can't wait to hear what he thinks.


Jeane said...

I liked Lord of the Flies when I read it in high school, although a lot of my classmates seemed to hate it! Catcher in the Rye is really good, too. It'll be interesting to see how both you and your son like them.

Kathleen said...

A book club with your son sounds fun! I've done something similar with my son when he does his summer reading. This summer he's reading Uncle Tom's Cabin and Black, Like me. Last summer we both struggled through the Aenid. We both loved Lord of the Flies when he read it a few years ago. I look forward to hearing what you think. It seems to be a book that people either love or hate.

litlove said...

I love that you're reading along with him. No chance of my son asking for Catcher in the Rye still, but I just finished Cheaper by the Dozen by the two Galbraith's (not sure of that spelling), and that was a funny book that might well come on holiday with us for family reading aloud.

Spangle said...

'Lord of the Flies' was one of the only books, that I had to read whilst at school, which I enjoyed.

I hope you enjoy both books!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read either of those. I know Lord of the Flies is a must read, but I simply haven't read it yet. And I love history, so I'm interested in "A Man For All Seasons". I love the idea of you reading together with your son :).

Ti said...

Lord of the Flies is great. There is so much to dicuss with that one.

My son has a summer reading list for junior high but he swears that if he reads them now, he won't remember them. So he is waiting until the last few weeks. Isn't that a lame excuse? He's not a reader, I know but really.

Gentle Reader said...

Jeane--Lord of the Flies seems to be one of those books that people either love or hate--I'm looking forward to reading it. If I have time I'll tackle Catcher in the Rye, too. I read it as a teenager, but I'll bet I'll have a different reaction now!

Kathleen--I'm looking forward to discussions with my son--I just don't know if he's looking forward to them! I think Uncle Tom's Cabin and Black Like Me would be great for discussion with young people! I struggled through the Odyssey with my other son last year, so I hear you on The Aeneid!

litlove--now if I can just get him to discuss the books! Right now his communication skills at home are lacking, to say the least. My husband says he's entered the caveman stage of the teenage years--he mostly just grunts at us! I think Cheaper By The Dozen sounds like a great family read-aloud--I'll have to look for a copy!

Spangle--That's encouraging--I hope my son likes Lord of the Flies, too. There's nothing worse than assigned reading you have to slog through!

irisonbooks--I love history, too, and so I'm looking forward to A Man For All Seasons (more than my son is, I'm afraid!). I've also got Hilary Mantel's book Wolf Hall on my bedside table, and I hear it covers some of the same historical territory, so I should start it!

Ti--LOL, I love your son's rationale. He's not exactly wrong, either--infuriating, isn't it?

Amy said...

They grow so fast! I hope your reading time together is wonderful. Lord of the Flies is a great choice, especially for a boy. My 17 year old did Uncle Tom's Cabin last year, and it was eye-opening to say the least. He's ended up with tastes for Cormac McCarthy, Sebastian Junger, and Hampton Sides.
Enjoy the time together...

Anonymous said...

J. loved Catcher in the Rye. I'm sure she will give you her insights when you see her. Cheaper By The Dozen is also one of her all time faves.


Gentle Reader said...

Amy--Sounds like your 17-year-old is a reader...what a great thing! I'll bet my son would like Junger's writing, too.

Liz--I'm going to have to get a copy of Cheaper By The Dozen. I loved the old movie (the new ones, not so much). I read Catcher in the Rye so long ago, I barely remember it. I'll have to read it again so I can discuss it with J. and B. Looking forward to seeing you all in August!