Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Reading Can Be Fun When You Enjoy The Subject

Dear Tazi:

I am having an argument with my mother and I am hoping you can help us to reach a reasonable compromise. Reading has always been my worst subject in school, and I have always worked hard to improve it. I am going into the seventh grade, and I have books that have been assigned as summer reading books, as well as a list of books where I can choose what I want to read.

I do not want to spend my whole summer reading boring "classics" that the school says I have to read. I think the teachers know that, too, which is why we have a list of popular books to choose to read as well as the stuff we have to read for school. My mother thinks that I should stick to reading stuff that is non-fiction or based on real life events. She thinks it will boost my grades in History this year, which in the past have not been all that great because of my reading skills.I would rather re-read The Hunger Games and other, more modern selections.

Tazi, can you think of a compromise that will please both me and my Mom? She has already said no to my idea of reading one of the books she chooses and then letting me read a book of my choice. I think it should not matter what I read, so long as I am reading!

Not A Reader

Dear Not A Reader:

I got that impression when you called classic books "boring". These classics - from Alice in Wonderland to Animal Farm are much more than the story that appears in print; you have to read between the lines to get the full message. In the case of both of these aforementioned books there is a lot of political talk that makes history lessons that much more interesting. Trust me when I tell you that MGM left out a lot of interesting controversy when they turned The Wizard of Oz into a movie!

Currently, my Mommie is making her way through Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, a set of wonderfully accurate and richly descriptive historical novels, detailing life from the early 19th century through the Cold War era. While these books are a bit mature for you, I mention this to show you that history can make for some good reading! I did a search on Goodreads.com for Historical Fiction for Teens and was provided a list of over 500 books, one of which should be on your summer reading list, Newbery Award winner The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I am sure there are several dozen others, including The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Girl With the Pearl Earring, and another Newbery Award winning Sounder, just to name a few.

This is my Mommie's favorite book!

I suggest that you and your mother compromise by reading some historical fiction this summer. You could choose a particular era (The Civil War, The French Revolution, The Civil Rights Era) or even a particular country (U.S., England, Russia) and read books that focus on that particular historical genre. If you know what you will be studying in History this coming school year, let that knowledge guide your choices. Many of the books on your required reading list are probably historical fiction, so this will ease your reading burden. As with any skill, the more you do it the better you become at doing it, so try to read a little bit every day!


P.S. to all my readers: What is YOUR favorite book and why?

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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