Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tom Sawyer versus Harry Potter

It's a time for a show down... who was the better author? Mark Twain or J.K. Rowling?
Would you rather read about Tom Sawyer or Harry Potter?
I imagine the answer will be swayed heavily one way, but I suspect if you read more some of the classic literature available, you might be surprised as to how engaging the older novels are. There may not be wizards and magic, but the authors weave their own kind of magic with the brilliance of their story and character development. In some ways, the worlds of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, or Dicken's David Copperfield [which I really enjoyed] are as alien to you as the castles of Harry and Hermione's world.
Has anyone read any Dickens or Twain?
You will be soon.... Hooray!

Here is a link to an article on the subject... read the article and be prepared to discuss on this blog and at school. I am interested in your opinions. Also discuss it with your parents, older siblings, other friends or family. Your question for them could be:
"What did you read when you were at school? Does anything stick in your mind? Were you glad you were forced to read classic novels? Do you feel there is any worth in reading the works of famous authors, and if so, what?"


Winged Hussar said...

Last year we read Lord of the Flies
By William Golding
it was published in the 50's or 60's and it had a lot of old vocab, and it was pretty good.

black wolf said...

yes lord of the flies was a good book and we learn't a lot from the vocab.

The Other Boy said...

The Harry Potter books were OK, but J.K. Rowling is just squeezing them for money now, with thinking about more books. I am being encouraged at home to read classics, I started reading Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, but I lost the plot of it pretty soon, half the words I didn't understand, like "expostulating". I think I'll try and get the audiobook for my iPod :-), might be a bit easier.

The Other Boy said...

Or not, it costs $7.50 US

MrWoody said...

Aha - very interesting feedback, thank you, Squidlets.
I was thinking of making a short list from which to choose a novel - Lord of the Flies was one. Maybe the Yr 7's could still consider it.
Mr Woody

Nei-Nei Neina-Marie said...

I read lord of the flies and found it very amusing. I also read Kidnapped! by RL Stevenson (I have also seen his grave!) but Harry Potter still takes the cats Pjyamas. I have done a play of Tom Sawyer and found it very good, and would be a very interesting novel.

Winged Hussar said...

why would she squeeze them for money? shes richer than the queen.

MrWoody said...

Thanks for the comments.
Here is a list of novels you suggested in class [You may have to research a little further to find authors and decide if they really count as "classics"]:

Black Beauty
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S.Lewis
The Belgariad
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Jane Eyre - Emily Bronte
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Ann of Green Gables
Lord of the Rings
Pride and Prejudice
Diary of Anne Frank
Earth's Children
The Half Men of O
Under the Mountain
The Power of One
Wind in the Willows
The Sound of Music
Swiss Family Robinson
The Hobbit
Harry Potter
The Famous Five
The Secret Seven
Catch 22
Catcher in the Rye
The Crucible
To Kill a Mockingbird

- Some of these are not classics. Some are. A bit of research is now required as well as working out what being a "classic" means.

Frozen Tree said...

yeah, it is pretty cool, but classics are the best, popular books ARE taking over, it can really suck, but its true, and I guess some people are doing thier best to help.

IM A ROOM5IAN said...

I thought to kill a mockingbird was awesome, we read that and had to do a project or something on it when i was in good old room 5. the part near the end when they're in court court is the best bit.


DX said...

After some research, out of the books listed I think The Belgariad, Earths Children, Power of one and Harry Potter are not really classic books

MrWoody said...

Thanks Room5ian - i agree it is a novel worth reading - I enjoyed it when I was a kid. Boo Radley grabbed my attention, as well as the element of unfair racism.

Drumbledoor said...

My Mum agrees that To Kill a Mockingbird is a great book. She read it when she was at school and it really sticks in her mind.

My brother said that although he enjoyed reading Harry Potter he thinks that most of the classics teach you more eg: Carrie's War
teaches you about the war and evacuees.

Winged Hussar said...

I read Anne Frank's Diary and it was brilliant... teaches you how life was for the opressed peoples of europe during world war 2.

black wolf said...

Dad says Tom Sawyer mum goes Harry Potter