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View Full Version : Need Some Advice (Thinking of giving an 8th grader Ender's Game to read...)



Mr. Anonymous
09-20-2008, 03:48 AM
Ok, so here's the deal.

Ender's Game is, personally, one of my favorite books of all time.

Now, I'm doing this program through my college where I tutor a student from a local middle school.

Basically, he's not applying himself, and I'm hoping to do my best to change that. Furthermore, the previous tutor (from last year) has mentioned that he was suspended multiple times for getting into fights, etc.

What I'm thinking is that giving him Ender's Game to read could possibly spark some enthusiasm towards reading and maybe writing, and that personally, he might be able to identify with Ender, so that by reading and discussing it, he might be able to understand more about himself.

The previous tutor mentioned he danced around topics like fighting and stealing, so I'm hoping I might be able to take a somewhat more indirect approach.

My main concern here is that people can be stupid. I don't want to give anything away for those who might not have read it, but suffice to say, there are certainly some very mature undertones at play in Ender's Game and I'm afraid I might get in trouble for giving something like that to him.

I don't want to actually ask for permission, because then if they say no and I do it anyway, then I'm opening myself up for trouble. Whereas if I gave it to him without asking, I could simply take the "I didn't know" stance. What do you guys think?

JoNightshade
09-20-2008, 03:56 AM
I can't imagine you getting in trouble for giving a kid Ender's Game. I'm pretty sure it's already being used in school curricula in various places. In any case, OSC is known for being pretty moralistic (he's Mormon). I mean, I'd give a kid Ender's Game way before, say, Catcher in the Rye, and that's been in high schools forever. Me, I'd say don't worry about it.

Mr. Anonymous
09-20-2008, 04:00 AM
Yea, I know it's in school curriculum, but its usually reserved for high school, unless I'm mistaken. I mean, I'm just worried that his parent might pick it up, read about how Ender kills a kid in a naked shower fight, and go berserk. lol.

geardrops
09-20-2008, 04:00 AM
Eighth grade. So he's 13?

I won't even go into the kind of stuff I was reading at 13. Ender's Game is pretty tame fare. And from the sound of the kind of stuff he's getting into, it's probably pretty tame fare for him too. I'd venture the hard part is getting him to read it.

Mr. Anonymous
09-20-2008, 04:11 AM
Eighth grade. So he's 13?

I won't even go into the kind of stuff I was reading at 13. Ender's Game is pretty tame fare. And from the sound of the kind of stuff he's getting into, it's probably pretty tame fare for him too. I'd venture the hard part is getting him to read it.

Already have that worked out. xP I've printed out the first chapter. It's only 5 pages. I'll make him read it while I'm there, and after he reads it, I figure he'll want to continue of his own accord. Or so I hope. lol.

TrickyFiction
09-20-2008, 04:18 AM
Is there any way you can check with his parents about what he's allowed to read?

Mr. Anonymous
09-20-2008, 04:45 AM
Nah, I don't get contact info to the parents. The only way I'd be able to talk to them would be through him. And of course, well, you know how telephone works...xP

bethany
09-20-2008, 04:58 AM
I taught 8th grade for years (teach 10th now) I gave dozens of kids Ender's Game. Also The Gunslinger by Stephen King (very popular series for that age group).

Mr. Anonymous
09-20-2008, 05:04 AM
I taught 8th grade for years (teach 10th now) I gave dozens of kids Ender's Game. Also The Gunslinger by Stephen King (very popular series for that age group).
Ok cool, that's good to know. Thanks very much!

And thanks to everyone for your responses.

wordmonkey
09-20-2008, 08:02 AM
Terry Pratchett.

You can start at the beginning, but I'd jump to Mort (http://www.amazon.com/Mort-Terry-Pratchett/dp/0061020680/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221883325&sr=8-1).

I have read comments that many librarians have observed kids who don't read, read Pratchett. It helps that its funny as well.

CommaSplice
09-21-2008, 10:49 PM
I read Ender's Game when I was in elementary school. I haven't turned out violent, disturbed, or genocidal (although I do fall into the category of "Just Plain Weird").

And actually, the shower fight scene was one of my favorites, even from the first time I read it. I was a ten-year-old girl. Does that make me...odd?

TheAntar
09-22-2008, 01:22 AM
I read Ender's Game when I was in elementary school. I haven't turned out violent, disturbed, or genocidal (although I do fall into the category of "Just Plain Weird").

And actually, the shower fight scene was one of my favorites, even from the first time I read it. I was a ten-year-old girl. Does that make me...odd?

Probably you just had a crush on Ender and he "manned up" while naked. lol. I can see that.

I love Ender's Game.

Mr. Anonymous
09-22-2008, 01:35 AM
wordmonkey - I've never actually read Pratchett, though I have heard of him quite a few times. I'll have to look into him, thanks!

commasplice - I'm not worried he'll turn out to be, well, whatever. I'm worried about getting in trouble. lol.

Barb D
09-22-2008, 02:56 AM
My 17yo read Ender's Game in school when he was in middle school. He'd already read it on his own and loved it. Ender's Shadow has some more mature themes, as I recall.

BarbaraKE
09-22-2008, 04:03 AM
I would highly recommend giving it to him. "Ender's Game" is the book that got my son reading.

He had to pick four books from a list the school provided. I suggested that one. I remember when he got to the part where Ender finds out it's all real. I knew he was close and I was listening from the next room. All of a sudden I heard him say something and knew he had gotten to it. He was totally taken aback. He ended up reading all the books in the series.

I think your idea is wonderful. I hope it works.

TheAntar
09-22-2008, 05:31 AM
Holy throw in a spoiler alert, cripes!

kuwisdelu
09-22-2008, 07:30 AM
At my middle school, I think we read Ender's Game and Catcher in the Rye in, like, 6th or 7th grade. Go for it.

BenPanced
09-23-2008, 04:47 AM
Ok, so here's the deal.

Ender's Game is, personally, one of my favorite books of all time.

Now, I'm doing this program through my college where I tutor a student from a local middle school.

Basically, he's not applying himself, and I'm hoping to do my best to change that. Furthermore, the previous tutor (from last year) has mentioned that he was suspended multiple times for getting into fights, etc.

What I'm thinking is that giving him Ender's Game to read could possibly spark some enthusiasm towards reading and maybe writing, and that personally, he might be able to identify with Ender, so that by reading and discussing it, he might be able to understand more about himself.

The previous tutor mentioned he danced around topics like fighting and stealing, so I'm hoping I might be able to take a somewhat more indirect approach.

My main concern here is that people can be stupid. I don't want to give anything away for those who might not have read it, but suffice to say, there are certainly some very mature undertones at play in Ender's Game and I'm afraid I might get in trouble for giving something like that to him.

I don't want to actually ask for permission, because then if they say no and I do it anyway, then I'm opening myself up for trouble. Whereas if I gave it to him without asking, I could simply take the "I didn't know" stance. What do you guys think?
I think you've answered your own question right there. Not telling his parents is just asking for it.

And trust me: "I didn't know" is enough to ignite a firestorm with the boss.

TheAntar
09-23-2008, 04:52 AM
It's Ender's Game. There are adult messages but the writing is pretty clearly aimed at young adult and up.