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Bookworms of the World Unite....(and Secondary English students too!)

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by nims, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Hi Bookworms,

    Thought I'd start a thread for recommending good reads for Key Stages 3+ and putting reviews up. Anything you've read, been told to read or been recommended will do and possible ideas for teaching them. I will be brave and kick off with "Boy In The Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne (2006).

    This is a fantastic book for children and adults alike. It is an entirely different take on the Holocaust because it is viewed through the eyes of a Camp Commandant's son, Bruno. Its brilliance lies in the build up to the conclusion and the conflicting feelings the boy has about the human beings across the fence. The diction is clear and childlike but carries implications and subtleties beyond its straight-forward language. This would lead to discussions about choice of words, weaving meaning into a text , reader response, lateral thinking and much more. Looking at other events in history from another persons point of view is a great way of opening students minds to a wider picture. As a result this text could be studied right up to GCSE and possibly beyond. The book would be great for a cross curricular effort with History and Citizenship and if such a collaboration could be achieved then the results would be fruitful.

    Ok, so now its your turn, don't want a dissertation but a few lines to get people thinking and then if we pool our reading resources everyone benefits. Oh and no giving away the ending!

    Cheers

    Nims
     
  2. Hi Bookworms,

    Thought I'd start a thread for recommending good reads for Key Stages 3+ and putting reviews up. Anything you've read, been told to read or been recommended will do and possible ideas for teaching them. I will be brave and kick off with "Boy In The Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne (2006).

    This is a fantastic book for children and adults alike. It is an entirely different take on the Holocaust because it is viewed through the eyes of a Camp Commandant's son, Bruno. Its brilliance lies in the build up to the conclusion and the conflicting feelings the boy has about the human beings across the fence. The diction is clear and childlike but carries implications and subtleties beyond its straight-forward language. This would lead to discussions about choice of words, weaving meaning into a text , reader response, lateral thinking and much more. Looking at other events in history from another persons point of view is a great way of opening students minds to a wider picture. As a result this text could be studied right up to GCSE and possibly beyond. The book would be great for a cross curricular effort with History and Citizenship and if such a collaboration could be achieved then the results would be fruitful.

    Ok, so now its your turn, don't want a dissertation but a few lines to get people thinking and then if we pool our reading resources everyone benefits. Oh and no giving away the ending!

    Cheers

    Nims
     
  3. have you read 'Hitlers canary'? its a good one-my daughter whos 9 read it, creid, then read it again and loved it!
     
  4. I read 'Boy in the Striped Pjs' as well, and absolutely loved it. To add to your comments (all of which I agree with), I went to see the new film of it last night. I thought it was an incredible take on the book. There is something lost in translation to film in that you don't quite feel inside Bruno's mind (no voiceover or anything like that). But the acting was superb, and the audience was left literally speechless as the credits rolled - the dramatic effect of seeing such a story on the big screen really was remarkable. Thoroughly recommend reading it, then seeing the film version.

    I have also recently read 'Once' by Morris Gleitzman - another book on our reading list. Similar themes to 'Boy in Striped Pjs' - Nazism, Holocaust etc, but told from point of view of a Jewish boy of similar age to Bruno. Not quite as affecting as 'Boy', but another great read. I'm very interested to find out at what age these texts would be introduced in secondary school - the language is simple, but the content is very affecting, often graphic, and let's face it, the topic of the Holocaust is always a tricky one - it's just so horrific.. but as you mentioned, perhaps could go alongside WW2 studies in History very nicely indeed.

    Either way, read these 2 books people, they're stunning!

    xxx
     
  5. roobee95

    roobee95 New commenter

    Just finished doing Once with class of Y5/6 as part of WW2 topic. They absolutely loved it and produced amazing work (pictorial story map of Felix's journey with quotes), writing in different genres (letter from Orphanage, Wiktor's diary, a new next chapter, etc) as well as thoughtful and moving drama using scenes from the book and on related theme of leaving. Because it was easy to read it was accessible to the least able, but the content was so shocking to them that they were all genuinely moved. Can't recommend it highly enough.
     

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