Monday, October 20, 2008

Things change, or they stay the same.

We just had curriculum night at the boy's school. When talking to his English teacher, she mentioned that they will be reading "The Chrysalids" by John Wyndham this year (the context was that "the boy reads too much, and don't worry, we will read a book this year, but I can't give you a grade on reading unassigned novels in class. It's great that you love to read, but...") Anyway.

The Crysalids is a fabulous book. What I remember is: There's a boy and his younger sister, and their mother is very stressed out about pregancies, because no one wants to be producing mutant babies. And apparently that's pretty common in the post-apocalyptic future in which they live. Their father is some kind of religious nut. The boy has a friend with six toes. Many of the children are psychic. In order to avert whatever crisis of being found out is going to befall them, the children, led by the boy's younger sister, use their psi powers to cry for help (the boy's sister cries really loud). Australians come and save them.

I think, based on nothing, that's not an incredibly bad plot summary for something I read 25 years ago, when I was in Grade 9. But that's the problem. Have no new books come out that are more relevant to Grade 9 students?


Your EG Tour Guide said...

Oh dear! So, if they are not reading something now, what ARE they doing in English class?

Hmmm. I guess they must be writing?

Robyn said...

I believe they are studying and learning to write comparative essays. I got to read one last week, the theme of which was "Neat people are lazier and meaner than messy ones". I wholeheartedly agree.