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位置 > 首页 > 学校新闻-英文 > KWA 2018 Classic English Novels Reading List for Parents

KWA 2018 Classic English Novels Reading List for Parents

发布时间:2018-01-26 | 浏览次数:

A good family reading atmosphere is important for improving children’s learning enthusiasm. For English learning, specifically, one of the best ways is for parents to act as the children’s reading partners.


 


School-family cooperation is an important part of the school education at Beijing Kaiwen Academy (KWA). KWA teachers, while recommending books for students, have also recommended 10 classic English novels for parents to help them improve their English.

 

Recommender: Jennifer Roy/USA 

The English subject group leader at KWA secondary school division


Ms. Jennifer Roy has 22 years of experience in teaching English and social studies. She holds a master’s degree in English education for secondary schools, an undergraduate degree in education, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is accredited to teach English and Psychology in secondary schools and holds a Certificate of Advanced Educational Technology. She served as an editor for a regular publication of the New York English Council and participated in the U.S. National Writing program designed to develop English learners’ writing and speaking skills.

 

Most of the recommended books are classics for American teenagers and have won major international book awards. They all have a Chinese version and some of them have been made into movies. Jennifer suggests that parents make a plan to read these books on a monthly basis. Parents with a good English level should read the original version, while those with a poor English level can read the Chinese version or watch the movie.

 

Ms. Jennifer Roy also stressed that after reading or watching these wonderful stories, parents should discuss them with their children and ask them to retell the stories based on a thorough understanding of them. She believes this will greatly help the children develop good reading habits.



 

 

Catherine Called Birdy

 

The Chinese version:《小鸟凯瑟琳》

Author: Karen Cushman


 

Reasons for Recommendation

Few books present the Middle Ages to the children as realistically as Catherine Called Birdy. The intriguing story is told in lively and humorous language. The Chinese version is well translated. After reading this book, children may fall in love with the heroine Catherine, who is decisive, imaginative, stubborn, brave, and witty, and admire her for her determination to go her own way.

This book won the 1995 American Newberry Silver Award for Children’s Literature, the American Library Association (ALA) Award for Outstanding Children’s Book, the International Reading Association (IRA) Best Children’s Book Selected by Teachers, the United States Children’s Book Golden Kite Award, and many other international awards.

 

Plot Summary

Catherine Called Birdy is set in a small manor in medieval England, where the fourteen-year-old Catherine vividly records one year of events in her life in diary format. Catherine’s father is determined to marry her to a rich man, and her mother wants to make her a lady. Catherine herself, however, thinks otherwise. The book, while describing Catherine’s longing for freedom, has vividly depicted the peculiar and fascinating daily life in a medieval manor.

 

 

Number the Stars

 

The Chinese version:《数星星》

Author: Lois Lowry


 

Reasons for Recommendation

Number the Stars is a must-read masterpiece for American secondary school students. It is a work worth reading by readers of any age group, whether from a literary and historical perspective or from an inspirational perspective. This book won the 1990 American Newberry Gold Award for Children’s Literature.

 

Plot Summary

What is bravery? This question has puzzled the ten-year-old Anne for a long time. Since the Nazi conquest of Denmark, many things Anne has known as a child have vanished from her life. It is not until the Nazis start the hunt for Jews in Denmark and Anne has to come forward to protect a Jewish friend of hers that she first realizes, through her own actions, the difficulty of keeping one’s courage.


 

The Midwife's Apprentice

 

The Chinese version:《孤女流浪记》

Author: Karen Cushman


 


Reasons for Recommendation

The Midwife’s Apprentice is a plain novel. The book is not about heroic battles or bloody dynastic changes but about a social group closely related to people’s livelihood at the time. The book won the 1996 American Newberry Gold Award for Children’s Literature.

 

Plot Summary

The story is set in the Middle Ages shortly before the witch hunting. Jane is a woman with a remarkable “witch” trait. She is irritable, but she knows simple folk life skills and secrets for effective folk remedies. She knows how to deliver a baby and as a result has saved many in-labor women who are on the brink of desperation because of obstructed labor. Jane is respected for her life skills, but her mysterious behavior has provoked doubts.


 

 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

 

The Chinese version:《黑色棉花田》

Movie: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Author: Mildred D. Taylor


 

Reasons for Recommendation

Some things are destined when you are born. You cannot change your family background and become someone else. However, you are lucky this way because no one can replace you. Cassie Logan, a little black girl, tells you that there are things you cannot give up and you have to stand up because no one’s respect is more important than that of your own.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is on the must-read book list for international students to study in secondary schools in the United States. It is a children’s book recommended by the American Education Association (AEA) and was awarded the 1977 American Newberry Gold Award for Children’s Literature. The famous American movie star Morgan Freeman starred in the same-named movie adapted from this novel in 1978.

 

Plot Summary

The Logan family, all black, live on their own land in Mississippi and have suffered all kinds of racial discrimination in the 1930s. They have to fight for their land. What happened to the Logan family is only an interlude of that era, and today inter-ethnic conflicts continue to occur all over the world.


 

 

Hatchet

 The Chinese version:《手斧男孩》

Author: Gary Paulson


 

Reasons for Recommendation

Hatchet is rated as one of America’s Top 50 juvenile books in the past 100 years. This book was a recipient of the 1988 American Newbery Silver Award for Children’s Literature and the Chicago Tribune Juvenile Literature Award.

 

Plot Summary

Brian Robeson, a thirteen-year-old boy, is left on his own in a primeval forest because of a plane crash. Wearing his thin summer clothes and aching all over, he is going to face the winter in the primeval forest alone. Brian learns how to build a shelter, make weapons, hunt animals, make clothes, and some other living skills that lead to his survival in the uninhabited primeval forest.


 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Chinese version:《波特莱尔大冒险》

Movie: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Author: Lemony Snicket


 

Reasons for Recommendation

With a deliberately created mysterious atmosphere, A Series of Unfortunate Events has a rich vocabulary and is full of teasing and ridicule. The book topped New York Times’ best-selling children’s book list for 448 weeks. It is also the American book that edged the “Harry Potter” series out of the list for the first time. The movie adapted from this novel won the Oscar Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

 

Plot Summary

The series follows the adventures of three siblings called the Baudelaire orphans. The children become orphans after their parents are killed in a fire at the family mansion. They are sent to live with a distant relative named Count Olaf after briefly living with Mr. Poe, a banker in charge of the orphans’ affairs. The siblings are then moved around to live with their various guardians. With help from his many accomplices, Olaf, who intends to get his hands on the enormous Baudelaire fortune, often tries to murder or frame the siblings through disguises and traps. Ironically, the Baudelaires can see through the tricks of the villain, but no adults believe them or come to their rescue. They can only rely on their extraordinary wit and mutual cooperation to deal with the evil forces.



 

The Old Man and the Sea

 

The Chinese version:《老人与海》

Author: Ernest Hemingway


Reasons for Recommendation

The Old Man and the Sea was the last novel published by Ernest Hemingway, a modern American novelist. Once it came out, it caused a strong international response. The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the 1953 Pulitzer Prize and the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature.

 

Plot Summary

The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of a battle between an aging, experienced fisherman, Santiago, and a large marlin. Santiago finally catches the big marlin after having gone 84 days without catching a fish. But the fish is big and drags his boat in the sea for three days before it is exhausted and Santiago kills it. Santiago straps the marlin to the side of his skiff and heads home. However, on his return journey, he is repeatedly attacked by sharks. At last, the sharks have almost devoured the marlin’s entire carcass, leaving only a skeleton consisting mostly of its backbone, its tail, and its head.


 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

 

The Chinese version:《穿条纹衣服的男孩》

Movie: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Author: John Boyne


 

Reasons for Recommendation

The fence that separates life from death leads to a thought-provoking “fairy tale.” The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a New York Times bestseller. The book ranked first on Ireland’s book sales list for 54 weeks. It won the Irish Book Award, the Sheffield Book Award, the Italian Original Literary Award, the United States Carnegie Medal, and many other awards.

 

Plot Summary

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas tells a story that took place in 1943 when World War II was in the white-hot stage. The Bruno family moves from Berlin to Auschwitz in Poland because Bruno’s father’s work changed. Having no idea what is going on, naïve Bruno meets with Shmuel, a Jewish boy of the same age on the other side of the wire fence, and they secretly become good friends. One day, Bruno decides to wear the same striped clothes as Shmuel to the other side of the fence for an ultimate adventure. Unfortunately, both children are rounded up along with a group of prisoners on a “march” to the gas chamber.


 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

 

The Chinese version:《纳尼亚传奇:狮子、女巫与魔衣橱》

Author: C.S. Lewis


 

Reasons for Recommendation

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a well-known children’s book in Britain and the United States, and is universally recognized as one of the best children’s books of the 20th century. The Michigan State University, Oxford University, and other institutions of higher learning have opened the “Chronicles of Narnia” optional course. The Chronicles of Narnia has also won the Carnegie Medal for author Lewis.

 

Plot Summary

The four siblings of the Pevensie family—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—accidentally enter a land known as Narnia and go through a series of adventures there.


 

Speak

 

The Chinese version:《纸片少女》

Movie: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson


 

Reasons for Recommendation

“The truth will change everything.” Speak tells a story of self-redemption. This book is a well-known New York Times bestseller and won the National Book Award in 1999.

 

Plot Summary

Melinda starts her high school as a silent outcast after suffering an embarrassing trauma during the summer vacation. She hardly speaks anymore in protest to school, friends, and her family. In art classes, she begins to describe the incident in the form of painting. After the truth finally comes out, she speaks of the terrible experience and why she chose to be silent.


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