Your Book Reports Are Due On Thursday

I saw on Fox & Friends this morning that a school, I think it was in Georgia, is letting students read any book they want to do reports on rather than just the “classics”. I can’t find a link anywhere for this story though. Honestly, I think this is a good idea. I mean, isn’t the whole point to get kids to read? Does it really matter what they’re reading? And who’s to say that To Kill A Mockingbird or Moby Dick are better than The Dark Tower or Harry Potter? I remember in 10th grade we had to read A Tale Of Two Cities. The teacher put a tape in and we had to follow along in the book. I fell asleep each day we did this. They were the most boring hours of my life. If a kid has no interest in Charles Dickens or Mark Twain then they’re not going to be engrossed in their books. They’re not going to care about some cranky old man who sees the error of his ways or a jumping frog.

5 Responses to Your Book Reports Are Due On Thursday

  1. Greta (Hooah Wife) August 30, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    Great idea. I just met my 11 yo’s teacher. She makes them read 30 min in class and at home. She said her job is to get to know them and offer them suggestions based on their interests. She said people who don’t like to read just haven’t found a good book!

  2. Christopher Lee August 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm #

    Wish they would have let me do reports on any book I wanted when I was in school. “The Cat wore a red and white hat and had a cane. He was a trouble making cat and the family fish didn’t like him much.”

  3. William Teach August 31, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    When I first heard about this, I thought it was terrible. Kids wouldn’t read the classics. Then I remember that a good chunk of those classics were boring as tears. The Great Gatsby and many others sucked a**. Shakespeare? YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWN!

    Moby Dick was great, though. The Hobbit and The Once And Future King, as well.

    If they can get the kids to read doing this, though, great! They need to make sure the books are the proper reading level, though. Of course, since I tend to read mostly science fiction….. But, then, I’m done with school 🙂

  4. Silke August 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Having lived in Georgia and had two kids in the public school system there I know they actually have a requirement that the children read a certain amount of books per year (25 at the middle school level). These can be any books of their choice and of course if they are long books they may count as several. If they read over the summer those books count as well. Georgia has really started to put an emphasis on reading and I think it’s great.

    Having said that, I still think it’s important to expose high school students to the “classics.” I agree there are some really boring ones out there (yes, Shakespeare is boring when you read it as a book, but it is meant to be seen as a play and if it is done well it is impressive and timeless) but I’m glad I read Heart of Darkness, Lord of the Flies, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, etc. (to name just a few). I don’t think I would have read those on my own and I had good teachers who made the discussion of these books interesting and relevant.

  5. Trent Smith September 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    It’s all fun and games till the first kid hands in a book report of 120 Days of Sodom. Then this policy is out the window.

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