I have an amazing 8th grade class this year. They are extremely academic so I want to change my reading list around to something more challenging. We are already reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Romeo and Juliet. Any suggestions for challenging novels, that won't be completely over their heads.

Also, I'm looking for a free site that will allow my students to have threaded discussions about the books they read. Any ideas??

Thanks!!

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Hi Robin,
Free sites for discussion could include edmodo, twiducate, today's meet or a blog. As far as books, have you tried any Edgar Allen Poe stories; they are definitely challenging but full of symbolism and themes to discuss.
I would go with Edmodo. One of our middle school teachers is doing her Master's paper on running book clubs using Edmodo. We have set up our own Edmodo domain for our school district (19 schools).
I just took at look at Edmodo. It's similar to some college textbook applications in that a code is given to participants so only these individuals have access to the content. You are so right Craig, this looks like a great way to run a book club or continuing conversation on a book or any topic. The tutorial stated that students can even get information through their every-present cell phones!
How about reading Anthem - full of symbolism and teens fighting the system! You could use Edublogs (edublogs.org) and create a page for the book you choose. Then post open-ended questions on the main page for students to answer in the comments section. You have full editing control over comments of students. Has your class or any others used a blog for book disucssion and how did it work out?

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