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MG Sci-Fi

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I teach a literature class to a group of homeschoolers (5th-7th grade). I had planned to choose The Giver for my sci-fi selection but one of the kids has read it recently. I'm considering The Forgotten Door- a classic, but it's about the right length. A lot of sci-fi books are too long for the class (I'd like to keep it 200 pages or less) and also I don't want something too intense as I have a few 10-year-olds in the group.
A couple have also read A Wrinkle in Time, my next choice.

Any ideas??? Thanks!
#1 - December 22, 2012, 09:02 AM
EXTRAORDINARY ( Skypony Press  May 2015)
CALL ME SUNFLOWER (Skypony Press May 2017)
EMILY OUT OF FOCUS (Skypony Press May 2019)

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How about one of my favorite MGs? The Newbery winner When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
#2 - December 22, 2012, 09:32 AM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

http://www.DebraLGreen.com

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I'll second Debby's suggestion, but man, if there are boys in the group, I'd go True Meaning of Smekday all the way. One of my absolute favorites. (if it's sci enough... but it's probably at least as sci as Reach.) :)

But also see this thread which might give you more ideas to check out; some of them are younger than others: http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?topic=65765.msg778251;topicseen#msg778251
#3 - December 22, 2012, 09:46 AM
The Farwalker Trilogy
The Humming of Numbers
Reality Leak

www.jonisensel.com

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Smekday is awesome! Girl MC, but my boys loved it. Also The Doom Machine, by Mark Teague. (A recent book, but it has that classic 1960s MG scifi feel.) And I love The Forgotten Door! It's old, but it has sort of a timeless feel, too. In that vein, if you're looking for any short stories to fill in, Zenna Henderson write quite a few about aliens who come settle earth that have an Alexander Key feel to them. Also old (1960s), but still readable. I think one of her collections is called The People.

A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books of all time, so definitely that one! And there is even a brand-new graphic novel out of it.
#4 - December 22, 2012, 09:46 PM

Woods

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Hi writg tchr! Great to see you on here again.

How about DARK LIFE by Kat Falls? It's a cross between sci-fi and dystopian. The MC is a 15-year-old boy but it's definitely an MG, with great plot and action, and no extreme violence.
#5 - December 23, 2012, 07:12 AM

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Out of curiosity, how many kids are in your class? Even if one of them has read The Giver recently, it's probably still worth doing, simply for the discussions the kids can have. The Giver is definitely a thinking book, and kids generally explore the themes and issues in books much deeper when they're discussing it in small groups.

For example, in my fifth grade class, we spend the month of January with Tuck Everlasting. One of my students read it last year (and shared some plot points with her friends last year as well.) Because of the way my co-teacher and I structured the unit, these students are thinking about the story in a different, deeper way. (We created literature response activities focusing on characterization, setting, figurative language, and other literary devices, and for each set of chapters, they break into small groups to discuss questions and concepts on the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy.) Anyway, they definitely strive higher when they're required to justify their thinking to their peers.
#6 - December 27, 2012, 09:12 AM

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I've not read The Giver myself, but hubby has and says that it's dark and depressing...which led me to think that it was more YA than MG. One sci-fi tale that I read in high school (around 1980 so it might be too dated for you) that I loved was The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (yes, of Day of the Triffids fame). It was a dystopian novel before those were in vogue, but it does have a hopeful ending.  :grin3 My older son (we homeschool!) read that when he was around grade 5.
#7 - January 11, 2013, 02:24 PM

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I like Whales on Stilts: M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales and its sequel, The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen.
I think many argue HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL By R. Heinlein is middle grade.


 
#8 - January 23, 2013, 05:47 PM
Plumb Crazy (Swoon Romance, 2014)
Big Fuzzy Coat (MeeGenius!)
Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs (Barron's)

www.mollyblaisdell.blogspot.com

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I think many argue HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL By R. Heinlein is middle grade.
I :love4: Have Spacesuit, Will Travel!
#9 - January 23, 2013, 06:40 PM

Mike Jung

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Jenn Reese's ABOVE WORLD is upper MG, but it's excellent. Greg Van Eekhout's THE BOY AT THE END OF THE WORLD is also excellent, and a relatively rare example of MG dystopian sci-fi. Simiilar to Greg's book in some ways is Tony DiTerlizzi's WONDLA series. Err, my book is sometimes described as sci-fi. *cough*
#10 - January 23, 2013, 07:09 PM

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Err, my book is sometimes described as sci-fi. *cough*
I've got to read your book soon, Mike. A fellow IN-SCBWI buddy thought it was great (he posted to his blog and on Goodreads), and since I trust his judgement...  :)
#11 - January 24, 2013, 10:35 AM

jeffman

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Whales on Stilts

Such a great book!

Quote
HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL

A timeless classic. There's a lot of real science in it, too, and some philosophical questions at the end that are just right for MG age. Nothing inappropriate either, though some things may seem dated, such as soda fountains.
#12 - January 24, 2013, 02:24 PM

One of my favorites is Barbary by Vonda McIntyre.  Very tame sci-fi (orphan girl of about 12 goes to live with foster family on space station, smuggles on pet cat against the rules) with realistic science, no violence.  My daughter and I read it out loud when we homeschooled her (grade 6), and she liked it fine.  Might be out of print, though.
#13 - January 24, 2013, 02:32 PM

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