How to Read Literature Like a Professor: For Kids Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-14 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 35 user ratings

"I love the HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A PROFESSOR book for adults, and so I bought this book sight unseen, and had great expectations for it. While I enjoyed reading the book, I have to say, though, that the adult book is better and more on target for the age group to which it speaks. I had really expected the author to use the same ideas, as he has done, but to use these concepts with examples more in keeping with what a middle schooler or a high school student might be reading. How do his points fit in with THE PEARL, or ANIMAL FARM, or TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, was what I was hoping to find. He did not do this nearly enough, I'm afraid. Mostly, it was like reading the abridged version of the adult book, and so I was disappointed by that. But the book is good, and if you don't have time to read his adult book, and/or you need a quick review prior to writing a paper for college, than this is a great book to have on the bookshelf. But, have the original on hand, too." said.

"I read the original book for a college class so I read the kids' version with my students in mind. I recommend both books to anyone who loves literature.
Thomas C. Foster adapts How to Read Literature Like a Professor with this edition just for kids. I wish he had defined this as "for young adults" as opposed to "for kids" because his target audience is middle-school-aged or older; they don't consider themselves to be "kids" so might not be interested based on the title. Reading this book will help younger readers think about how they read and how to draw connections between various works of literature. Not much different from How to Read Literature Like a Professor, but Foster mentions popular Y.A. works such as the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series in addition to classics such as the Iliad, which gives his readers a point of reference and shows the value of reading popular titles as well as the "classics" they read in English class.
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"This is a hard book to rate and review. While I liked the book, I don't think it is "for kids" as the title suggests. Young adults, sure, but not the 8 to 12 crowd this book targets. Here's one of many examples where it missed its mark:

"Now let's think about this for a moment. A nasty old man, attractive but evil, violates young women, leaves his mark on them, steals their innocence, and leaves them helpless followers in his sin. I think we'd be reasonable to conclude that the whole Count Dracula story is up to something more than merely scaring us out of our wits. In fact, we might conclude that it has something to do with sex."

This book is a disappointment. If it were executed correctly, with the correct literature and analysis for the book's target market (for kids!), I would've been able to utilize it in my elementary/middle grade homeschool literature lessons. The idea is there, but it's poorly executed.
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"Thomas C. Foster has written several books for adults on how to read and understand literature. Now Foster has written a novel just for kids: How to Read Literature Like A Professor for Kids. It's very similar to his book, How to Read Literature Like A Professor that came out a few years ago. In fact some of the chapters are exactly the same. I think this is a great book for kids who want to get more out of their reading. I found it very easy to read and understand. Very short, but to the point, chapters too. Foster gives great tips on how to recognize a quest, why geography matters, and other hidden gems in novels. He gives great examples from books and movies. At the end of the book he also includes a list of recommended books for kids to read as well as movies.
This book really doesn't have a recommended reading age to it, but I'd suggest ages ten and up. I really think this is a book every kid should read, but especially kids who love to read. I think it would help them 'read between the lines' and get a better understanding of literature.
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"This guide to reading has no plot, but speeds along at a fast pace. It has no characters but the works of literature it discusses. I could not put it down. With engaging style and intriguing content Foster demystifies the reading of literature by bringing together familiar-to-teens and new examples to show how - and why - new literature comes from classic literature, myth, and art, and how it all involves timeless ideas about life. Foster tells readers to expect the enjoyment of "aha" moments when they relate one story to another, and then gives them plenty of opportunities to experience it while reading his book. This book helps to explain that when we ask students to become familiar with literature that isn't of their choosing it is partly in order to bring them into a community of readers with a shared mythology in order to deepen their enjoyment of the reading (and art) they do select for themselves. If ever there was a nonfiction book that would send kids running to the shleves to find books they've missed, this is it. If I were teaching English to 7th - 9th or 10th grade students, I'd want many copies of this book in my classroom - if not in my curriculum. I wish I'd had this book when I was in 8th grade." said.

"I was really looking forward to this book when I heard it was coming out, since I read the original and loved it. I even thought it would be a great book to read at the beginning of 5th or 6th grade next year when I teach at the intermediate building. However, I'm disappointed. I think it missed its mark. I was expecting a book for middle grade kids to get the same insight into reading literature that Foster's original book did for college-aged kids. The thing I think Foster missed was that his original book was widely read by high school kids. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to introduce 4th-6th grade kids to the same concepts (minus the sex chapter, of course) using middle grade literature. The cover of this new book even suggests that it is for young kids. Not so. The literature Foster references is all over the place - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (which would have been a perfect level to stay with) to The Odyssey (not perfect and already addressed in the original one). The book even opens with a 1968 scene in which 16-yr-olds Tony and Karen are fooling around in a car at the A&P as Kip pulls up beside them on his bike to get a loaf of Wonder Bread. Foster is trying to show his readers that this is a classic quest story. Yes, great example, but this book is supposed to be for kids!? This book is still really for teens, who already got it in the original book. Bummer. Don't miss the original book, though - you can adapt it yourself to fit the students you're teaching." said.

"English Professor Foster breaks down for younger readers some of the tricks of his trade. Little things that help him know secret meanings in the story that give it extra depth. Journeys that are quests, quotes from Shakespeare, allusions to ancient literature, etc. Foster explores how to read beyond the surface story and pick out the things that will give it greater depth, but all the while encouraging readers to also enjoy the read.

A good book and rather unique. There’s not much else quite like it out there available for kids. At the same time, it was a touch difficult to know what age the intended audience would be. You could tell the author was used to a college-aged audience several times. Some of the example literary pieces aren’t exactly the kind of thing you’d pick out for a 3rd grader to read. I’d say teens are probably those who’d most benefit from reading the book themselves and overall seems to be the age the author was talking to, though then why they didn’t put “for teens” on the front instead of “for kids” I don’t know. I think adults could definitely use parts of this with younger ages, but sometimes I think his explanations are too dense or mature for them. Still a great resource for Secondary English teachers.

Notes on content: No language issues. Sex is mentioned a few times, nothing graphic or detailed or anything that would ruin innocence, but the word is there and obviously the author thought the reader would be old enough to handle it. One of the examples is Oedipus Rex, and the basic plotline of him murdering his father and marrying his mother is given, but again, with no details. Some summaries of violent stories are given, but no gory details.
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" makes it easy to understand what Literature is about. Enables you to delve deeper into the book. " said.

August 2018 New Book:

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