Last week, my older students began reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter. I left the book for the Sub to start. When I called to see if she had any questions, she asked me if she could give them a summary of the Introduction, "The Custom House" and move on to Chapter 1.
"In my experience, that first bit loses about half the students before the really nitty gritty even starts." I decided we could go back to "The Custom House" if we really needed to and gave her the go-ahead to start reading chapter one.
I think the kids are starting to shake in their boots. They think the book is too difficult for them. I think they'll be just fine.
At this time, Eighth Graders are finishing up Treasure Island. This book has been a difficult read. We stop and summarize all the time. I'd like the students to realize that Stevenson has come up with the mold for most adventure novels. The Lightening Thief and Harry Potter all start in similar ways with teens as main characters. There is definitely something very Indiana Jones about Jim Hawkins. Hawkins' dramatic flair adds so much flava to the story.
Tomorrow, seventh grade will start A Day No Pigs Would Die.
I get to do this. Lucky me.