“Our respect for a well read person
is praise enough for literature.”
At our last book club meeting the group discussed the heroine Coraline and how she compares to other contemporary heroines. Of course the main characters from The Hunger Games and Divergent came up. After a tremendous amount of thought, I decided to let Lilah read these books, so long as she talks about her feelings while reading with me. I thought she would be so happy, but as is the case with parenting, our children often surprise us. She is not overly eager to read them, she just wanted the opportunity to read them. I told her to let me know if and when she is ready.
On the other hand there is John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. I may relate to this subject differently than my daughter would, as is expected, but each of us can relate to the theme of what would you do with the opportunity of unimaginable wealth? Is is a blessing or a curse? Even though there is the topic of rape in To Kill A Mockingbird, Grace has a background understanding of the civil rights movement, enough to understand this piece of literature and have it touch her the way it touched me.
When you are free from required reading and able to pick the best books for your child or help your child self-select the best books, where do you begin? There are so many choices.
In high school I knew I was going to major in International Business and my course selection demonstrated that. I read minimal American Literature choosing European works like Don Quixote (one of my favorites) and Kaftka’s Metamorphosis as well as Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. I read Moliere’s Tartuffe, but since I do not remember the plot, I doubt I comprehended much of it. But oh how I loved The Odyssey and The Iliad and Les Miserables.
I want my girls to love the books they read over the next few years. I’m beginning to research books read by high school age children that I want to either read or listen to as audiobooks. It will be interesting to see what books others have on their all time favorite book lists.