Author Topic: A precocious 11yo and tough topics  (Read 507 times)  

Offline Geoffrey

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A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« on: June 12, 2017, 08:31:31 AM »
I need help from Moms, Teachers and other people who know about things precocious 11yo boys might like to read ....

My nephew and I had a great conversation yesterday about the things he learned recently that I'd like to help him explore in more detail.  He's an avid reader, so I thought some YA fiction or regular fiction could do the trick without scaring the crap out of him ....  So, I thought I'll just ask for some suggestions to see what comes up with various topics:

 - the hardest for me to work with him is he's recently learned about the social inequalities around race and the injustices he's likely to face as a latino male. I've read wonderful books about black and latino justice issues, but most are possibly too adult for him.

- The Holocaust.  At his age, I was reading things like _The Diary of Anne Frank_ and _The Hiding Place_ but I wasn't sure what might be more boy-centric.

 - With WWII, he also brought up the Gestapo so secret police is on the table .... but I think his interest is more toward WWII in general so that opens up a lot of avenues for less dark topics as well.

 - in the conversation, I mentioned the US internment camps for Japanese citizens and I think I piqued his interest there.

 - he also brought of the genocide of the Native Americans.  Again, rough topic.


I want to steer him towards things so he can learn about some of the stuff on the underbelly of humanity, since they're important to know about, and I also don't want to freak him out in the process ... so I think I need to to do a mix of books.  I'm just not really sure which are the best to choose from.  Any and all help is appreciated.

The attached book is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved at his age, so I'm probably going to put it in the pile ....


Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 08:35:14 AM by Geoffrey »



Offline Denae C

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Re: A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 01:34:05 PM »
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (and the following Heroes of Olympus series) deals with lots of social issues on the side, but the focus is adventure and saving the world.  The MC is dyslexic and has ADHD.  His brother has a mental disability.  Some characters discriminate against demi-gods based on parents/powers/abilities.  If he's not ready for really heavy, he might be ready for these.
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Offline NogDog

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Re: A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 02:03:14 PM »
My first thought was the Johnny Maxwell books by Sir Terry, as I thought they did a good job of dealing with some social issues and the related tween/teen stresses; though I'm wondering if they're too British Isles oriented?

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Offline Geoffrey

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Re: A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 10:57:53 AM »
Thanks.  He's read Percy Jackson.  I'm not sure about the Johnny Maxwell books ...

I did find a book that may be up his alley regarding racism since his father is white and his mother Latina and he's trying to sort that out since he looks Latino, doesn't want to speak Spanish and really not sure how he fits in yet ....


Mexican WhiteBoy



Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 06:41:35 PM »
Sherman Alexie's YA novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" came to mind. Although it might be more appropriate for age 13/14 since it does have some mature language and sexuality. It tackles issues of race, identity and fitting in that you mentioned, and also realities of living in poverty, child abuse and bullying.

Offline lmroth12

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Re: A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 10:04:39 AM »
Just wondering if A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court might help him see how culture shapes people and their ideology and influences their actions. The main character was surprised at how actual medieval people lived but befriended them and eventually saw that for the most part they hadn't been taught any better. I can think of some other books such as The Moon of the Popping Trees about Wounded Knee that might help answer some of his questions. Wounded Knee was a huge misunderstanding caused by two cultures that did not understand or communicate well with each other and clashed as a result.

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Offline NogDog

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Re: A precocious 11yo and tough topics
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 02:11:43 PM »
Which has me thinking: would To Kill a Mockingbird be appropriate yet?

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