High School Book Club Recommendations
December 4, 2012 9:48 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for specific book recommendations for high school exchange students.

I'm tutoring small groups of high school exchange students (juniors and seniors) and I'd like to include a book club aspect with each group. However, I'm having trouble coming up with a list of good books that will be accessible and engaging for the students. Most of the students have read only a handful of (non-textbook) books in English, so I want to start with something I'm sure each student can finish. Their reading levels vary, but I estimate one group has a reading level comparable to an average high school junior's level, while the other groups are further behind.

Help me find novels or collections of essays/short stories that we can read and discuss together.
posted by trueluk to Education (3 answers total)
How about Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger?

He's an easy read, and you have a lot to discuss. Plus, they're awesome.

Hunger Games?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2012

I recommend French and Americans: The Other Shore by Pascal Baudry. Although it's ostensibly about the differences between French and Americans, it could easily be any "X" vs Americans.

The writing is plain but engaging, and there are lots of things that your students will find relatable and fun to agree and disagree with. One example: mother and child at a playground... American mother says: go play! French mother says: be careful!

It is possible that some parts of the book will be over their heads but it's not a very thick book so you could easily highlight specific parts to read.

Otherwise, in a pinch, go to any advice column, and print out some suitable "human interest" type situations.
posted by rada at 12:09 PM on December 4, 2012

What about anything by Roald Dahl? Yes, he's a children's book author, but he's engaging and the language he uses is actually quite advanced. All levels could enjoy it and get something out of it. Or any other kind of young adult fiction would work. Harry Potter? The Westing Game?

You could also give them some easily accessible, interesting articles from The New Yorker -- Gladwell's essays are engaging, well-written, and comprehensible to a wide audience by design.

Good luck!
posted by caoimhe at 7:23 PM on December 4, 2012

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