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Which classics for DD (14)

(27 Posts)
AugustRose Fri 26-Feb-16 10:19:10

DD will be starting year 10 in September and her teacher has suggested she reads some classics to extend her reading. She loves reading but like me prefers thrillers/mystery with a fast paced story.

With the change in GCSE English she will be reading more classics anyway but I don't whether to encourage her now to see if she enjoys the style of writing, or whether this will put her off in advance.

Any suggestions of what to start with would be great thanks.

YorkshireMansWife Fri 26-Feb-16 10:21:07

I think Rebecca and To kill a Mockingbird as first classic reads for a young lady.
They are not overly big books and have a fab story.

Enb76 Fri 26-Feb-16 10:26:26

Wilkie Collins - Woman in White/The Moonstone (both mysteries - The Moonstone has the accolade of being one of the first detective stories)

Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

Edith Wharton - The House of Mirth

Thackeray - Vanity Fair

A very short list - mostly for the fairly quick pace and what appealed to me as a 14 year old. Otherwise the list would be thousands long.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 26-Feb-16 10:29:02

How about Jane Austen? Northanger Abbey is a nice quick first one.

Maddaddam Fri 26-Feb-16 10:31:54

Catcher in the rye.
1984 + Brave new world.
Handmaid's tale.
Pride and prejudice.
The colour purple.
I know why the caged bird sings.

I have dds this age and I give them these books and the above suggestions. They read some of them. At that age I was a total bookworm and read very widely, but my dds (who read a lot of modern YA lit) aren't as keen on the classics as I was. So I look out for shorter or more contemporary ones.

Rpj16 Fri 26-Feb-16 10:32:13

I read fear and loathing in las vegas when I was that age and loved it! A classic to me. Or how about that dated coming of age one... Catcher in the Rye? Maybe not choices teachers would approve of (but maybe they would?!), but I enjoyed both when I was younger!

Rpj16 Fri 26-Feb-16 10:33:29

ooh Snap! mad Handmaid tale was on my GCSE reading list! That's a good one. Compare and contrast with 1984!

AugustRose Fri 26-Feb-16 10:50:54

Thank you for the suggestions. I love To Kill and Mockingbird, we also have Catcher in the Rye. To be honest for a household with a huge selection of books, including classics, I'm quite ashamed to admit there are so many I have not read.

Rpj16 DS1 (19) would agree with you about Fear and Loathing, he is a huge Hunter S Thompson fan and wrote an A Level English piece about him.

LooseAtTheSeams Fri 26-Feb-16 16:12:37

How about Edgar Allan Poe if she likes suspense? DS1, same age, loves the stories! And Sherlock Holmes if she hasn't read them already.
Definitely agree about Wilkie Collins and anything by Margaret Atwood.

mary21 Fri 26-Feb-16 16:29:53

I loved Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights at that age

AlbusPercival Fri 26-Feb-16 16:33:46

I second Rebecca, it has the air of the whodunnit about it. Or to get into the older style of writing something like a Agatha Christie, i.e. 10 little soldiers, which was dramatised for bbc at xmas

Happymummy007 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:08:31

Jane Eyre if she's a romantic type, or 1984 to give her the shivers?

RalphSteadmansEye Fri 26-Feb-16 20:43:26

I think by classics your dd's teacher will mean pre-twentieth century novels specifically. But as she likes thrillers, that's quite easy: Arthur Conan Doyle, R L Stevenson, Wilkie Collins, EA Poe, some Dickens short stories should be a good start. Maybe some H G Wells and Jules Verne?

hesterton Fri 26-Feb-16 20:47:01

'Day of the Triffids' and 'Lord of the Flies'?

AugustRose Fri 26-Feb-16 23:29:29

So many great suggestions, thank you all. She started The Time Machine a couple of years ago but wasn't keen so I'll suggest she gives it another go now. I am going to look into Wilkie Collins for myself too.

She is studying Lord of the Flies at the minute and seems to be enjoying it, I remember hating it when I was her age but maybe I just had a crap teacher.
Thanks again.

AppleSetsSail Sat 27-Feb-16 09:04:45

I Capture the Castle?

EvilTwins Sat 27-Feb-16 18:02:39

The Woman in White is great if she likes thrillers/mysteries. Dickens if she likes a good story - Great Expectations/Oliver Twist.

Personally I would avoid Handmaid's Tale for now - much more enjoyable at when older. It's on a lot of A Level specs and I did it for A Level too, but have enjoyed it much more on second reading as an adult. Brave New World has a lot of sex so depends how she'd be with that.

I loved Jane Eyre at that age. Also Austen, but it depends on her tastes.

What about Frankenstein or Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde?

notagiraffe Sat 27-Feb-16 18:09:32

Def Dr Jeckyll. It's short and it's brilliant.
Frankenstein (Tell her it was written by a teenager.)
Pride and Prejudice
Northanger Abbey
Jane Eyre
Cold Comfort Farm (funny)
Animal Farm
The Midwich Cuckoos

JeanPadget Sat 27-Feb-16 20:13:48

If she likes LOTF, then I would suggest The Beach by Alex Garland. I read The Time Machine for the first time recently and found it quite hard going. How about The Country of the Blind, which is a cracking short story by H G Wells?

Incidentally, I have an English degree from an RG uni and had read practically nothing but Dick Francis, Agatha Christie and George Orwell (who is, of course, in a different category to the first two) by the time I took my O levels blush. Don't stress too much; I would have hated Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights in Y9.

JeanPadget Sun 28-Feb-16 10:15:23

Oh, I'd also read a lot of John Wyndham and Nevil Shute (as you may guess from my slightly misspelled user name - I had to add the 'd' to make it long enough wink)

I agree with EvilTwins that The Handmaid's Tale and Brave New World may be rather adult / troubling in content for a Y9 girl.

DaphneWhitethigh Sun 28-Feb-16 10:21:28

War of the Worlds is an easier HG Wells
Dracula is a cracking read (not high art)
Emma is good - maybe team it with a watching of Clueless
I think Jane Eyre is approachable for many bright y9s, Rebecca might be an easier starting point.
Can't go wrong with Jekyll and Hyde

clary Sun 28-Feb-16 19:15:33

My DD is 14 and she loved Pride and Predjudice; she is also reading Frankenstein and liking it v much.

YY wilkie Collins is very good if you like mysteries. YY also to Jekyll and Hyde. Both that and Frankenstein are on the GCSE syllabus, as is Animal Farm and also P&P.

Some nice 20th C books too eg The History Boys and Taste of Honey. DD hated Catcher in the Rye and I did too at her age (love it now tho).

Great Gatsby is 1920s and fabulous also v short.

sendsummer Sun 28-Feb-16 20:17:20

Rider Haggard 'She who must be obeyed' and 'King Solomon's Mines' are good adventure stories as is Kim by Rudyard Kipling.
Henry James The Turn of the Screw is short and full of gothic suspense

HocusCrocus Sun 28-Feb-16 20:27:43

As well as many other good suggestions, I would try Austen's Persuasion and Golding - Pincher Martin - quite hard but short. Oh and utterly back up the Woman in White to get used to longish pre C20th classics if she likes mystery/ detective stories. If you are just trying to get her used to a different style than modern writing how about a couple of Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes - again short.

cdtaylornats Sun 28-Feb-16 21:59:31

Lord of the Rings
The Murder on the Rue Morgue - the first detective story
The Name of the Rose
The 39 Steps
Alan Quatermain
Le Morte d'Arthur
The Once and Future King
White Fang and Call of the Wild

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