Ah, a lot to address here.
Did I say this before: that I want to give each of my classes a list of books to read to help them bring up their reading levels? Frankly, they either avoid reading or read the material, then come to class and say, "I don't get it."
Did I say that a few years back, there was a widely made statement which was probably that year's fad, that a child who read 10 books during the summer break would raise their reading level by a grade?
I think if these students do not read with greater comprehension, they will drop out.
I thought I made it clear that the idea of this list is just to pass out a summer reading list.
There are things I liked about the way my high school did summer reading lists. A few pages with titles and authors were given us. Everyone had the same list. As there were up to four pages, there could have been 200 titles. The size makes sense as we had to read six books during the break.
One summer, I picked a book called April Snow. I hated it. It was a complete waste of time. I complained to one of the English teachers who told me that the faculty (Catholic nuns all) didn't want to evaluate the books. They just wanted us not to wander aimlessly around the library. (I suspect that because they were Catholic nuns that they didn't want us reading material with sex in it!)
Now, the list that I have put together contains many suggestions from this thread. I haven't read some of them. When I say I can't read mysteries/spy novels/ detective fiction, I can't. About 30 years ago, several people -- none of whom knew each others -- made me a project. They were determined to make me fan. They kept giving me books. I was never able to read any of them. When I say I can't read them, I am not condemning them.
Hey, most of the time, the words mean what they mean. There is no connotation here, just denotation. ALl I am saying is give peace a chance . . . ok . . . all I am saying is I can't read them. I'll include them. I want a round list.
Some of the books that I threw in, I did because I was fond of them.
What am I saying? I liked this, you might like it. I didn't like this but you might.
Frankly, These Happy Golden YEars is close -- in terms of plot -- to April Snow. It may be I liked the Wilder's book because I read it at a time in my life when I had to follow rules and read YA books. I hated April Snow because I read it at a time when I demanded more from a book.
In my teens, I wanted more guidance than my teachers wanted to give me. From the perspective of 60+ years, I can see that just creating a list -- it wasn't even alphabetized! -- probably by brain-storming --and giving it to all the students is a better teaching than this is:
I feel that many of my students are dependent enough to want a list. If I can give them 50 or so titles and suggest they read 6 to 10, perhaps, that is the best thing I can do for them.