17
   

Which novels would you recommend for adults whose reading skills lag?

 
 
Green Witch
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:05 pm
@raprap,
I'm not saying they are unintelligent, but many have spent years being frustrated by not understanding the written word. Most do not have undiagnosed disabilities. The majority come from homes that were dysfunctional and had parents that offered little assistance during the crucial early school years. I found by giving them books that are fun and not to difficult to start with gets them caught up quickly and they can usually move on to the next level. I understand POM wants books that sound more grown-up, but when someone is not reading at a high school level it usually indicates they have been behind for a very long time and might not do any better being given yet another classical adult novel.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:12 pm
@tsarstepan,
Although they are either in or have completed the developmental (remedial) English sequence, I don't think they would consider themselves unable to read at the college level.

My fall 101 students complained that we, as a class, did not read one book. They wanted me to use a book by Lois Lowry that they insist all English teachers love. I am not a Lowry fan.

I worry about the thickness of the Count of Monte Cristo. The kids balked at the size of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

I don't read crime novels. I never reach page two but that is due to my attitude. I could add a couple after I read them.

I just wonder if Larsson (who I haven't read) wouldn't be a bit to intellectual and hip for them. Again, I am talking about the content but the image.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:14 pm
@parados,
Wouldn't Cooper and Scott be difficult for kids who struggle with a contemporary essay?

Zane Grey might be a great choice. Again, I forgot about him. In fact, I forgot about western books.

Thanks!

What about The Virginian?

plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:17 pm
@raprap,
I was thinking of Travels with Charlie. It's an easy read, as I remember.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:21 pm
@farmerman,
Do you think they could handle the dialect in Huckleberry Finn?

You reminded me of how much I loved reading Mutiny on the Bounty as a ninth grader.

Do you think those Patrick O'Brian books about the sea would interest them?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:22 pm
@plainoldme,
I loved The Virginian, and I read a lot of Zane Grey (we lived at my aunt's and those were some of the not very many books in the house). I was thirteen to maybe fifteen at the time. I also liked Smoky the Cow Horse, but don't remember all that much about it.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:23 pm
@Green Witch,
We loved all those books. I read to my own kids until they were 12 and each decided to read on their own.

I was considering putting These Happy Golden Years on the list as well as Anne of Green Gables.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:25 pm
@farmerman,
I have whole passages of Charlotte's Web memorized because my kids wanted to hear it so often. They also rented the movie once a month and the two older ones were in a Montessori School play based on the novel.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:26 pm
@farmerman,
Actually, since Fern Arable is on the cusp of adolescence, Charlotte's Web might not be bad.

I was thinking of some Madeleine L'Engle as well.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:27 pm
@Green Witch,
My former husband and I read it to our kids twice, but long ago and far away, when I read it to seventh graders, about half of them didn't get it.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:29 pm
@raprap,
I had a mistaken impression that college aged kids loved graphic novels. These students don't.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:41 pm
@plainoldme,
A no on the graphic novels? :-(. That's a sadly dimissive and closed minded attitude your students have (like thinking all animated films are directed at children).

Though the medium is more suited for ESL students then for students who need literacy strengthening.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 05:58 pm
@plainoldme,
Quote:
Wouldn't Cooper and Scott be difficult for kids who struggle with a contemporary essay?

I read Ivanhoe when I was in the 7th grade. I probably read Cooper around the same time. I think they would be easier to understand than Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:09 pm
Other suggestions -

Moby Dick
Dracula (I was going to suggest gothic horror in general but Frankenstein might be difficult.)
A Christmas Carol (Not too long and they would probably know the story.)
Twenty Years Before the Mast
Jack London (if no one else has suggested it.)
Jules Verne - 20,000 Leagues; Around the World in Eighty Days
H G Wells
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:10 pm
@parados,
One of the students who elected to read Twelfth Night compared Sir Toby Belch with Peter on the Family Guy and Feste the clown with Stewie. The essay worked very well!
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:13 pm
@parados,
A Christmas Carol is a great idea. I was thinking of White Fang.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:25 pm
I sort of deal with this with my book club, which is all deaf women. English is not their first language and most of them have some problems with it. I'm only here for a minute and can come up with a longer list of books that worked with this group later, but one that comes to mind is "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time." The language is very straightforward but there is some adult content and sophistication. It also has the advantage of not being particularly "girly" (many of the other books they like are more in the chick lit genre).
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:31 pm
@sozobe,
I have heard about that book. Isn't it about someone on the autism spectrum?
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:33 pm
I was just looking at a list from The Observer of the 100 Greatest Novels of all Time.

Charlotte's Web is included as is Little Women.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde might make a good choice. I liked The Picture of Dorian Grey as a freshman in high school.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Apr, 2011 06:34 pm
@plainoldme,
Yes, the narrator is autistic. (The author is not, but has worked with autistic people.)
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/29/2020 at 05:33:02