读经典,学写作:推荐孩子阅读的11本书

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暑假就要到了,家长们都在计划着如何让孩子的假期生活快乐又充实。一个普遍现象是孩子们在这几周里放羊了,开学后没了学习动力,学习上也有退步,这种现象被称作“Summer Slide”。 要防止这种现象,一个最有效的方法就是多阅读,不让脑子“生锈”。

夏季里孩子时间充足,是阅读的黄金时间。不少网站都推出了适合儿童和青少年读的书单 (Scholastic Summer Book lists100 Best Children’s Books; 100 Best Young Adults’ BooksSouthernliving Reading List,孩子们尽可根据自己的喜好选书。我这里想推荐的是我个人非常喜欢的经典书,不仅情节构思精妙,而且文笔生动优美,对学习写作大有启发。

1. Frog and Toad Series 

By Arnold Lobel

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: K-2 年级

青蛙和蟾蜍是好朋友,通过他们的各种有趣的经历,体现出真挚的友情。故事中人物活灵活现,比如下面描述蟾蜍生气时的样子:

children books for learning writing

2.Corduroy 

By Don Freeman 

读经典小说学写作

萌萌的小熊Corduroy为寻找丢失的纽扣,开始了各种冒险,最后小女孩Lisa把他带回了家,并为他钉上纽扣。

下面这个温馨的场面,朴实而感人:

children book for learning writing

 

3. Little Bear Series 

By Else Holmelund Minarik

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: K-2 年级

Little Bear 里小熊既天真又爱冒险,故事充满了亲情和友情,童真和童趣。里面的对话和动作描写自然,又个性鲜明。比如下面小熊的调皮的动作和语言 (snap, skip 和 chuckle 都是非常具体的动词),小朋友们读书别让这些好词“溜”走了呦:

children books for learning writing

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

By Roald Dahl

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: 3-5 年级

Roald Dahl的所有书我都推荐,Charlie and the Chocolate Factory是他最有名的作品之一。在Ranker网站的Best Children’s Book Authors里Roald Dahl排在第一位,Dr.Seuss 和J. K. Rowling排在第二和第三。他也是我最喜欢的儿童书作家。

他的文笔非常流畅,有亲和力,正像他自己说的:“Books shouldn’t be daunting; they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”

他笔下的巧克力河和上面的小船是这个样子的:

A steamy mist was rising up now from the great warm chocolate river, and out of the mist there appeared suddenly a most fantastic pink boat. It was a large open row boat with a tall front and a tall back (like a Viking boat of old), and it was of such a shining sparkling glistening pink colour that the whole thing looked as though it were made of bright, pink glass. There were many oars on either side of it, and as the boat came closer, the watchers on the riverbank could see that the oars were being pulled by masses of Oompa-Loompas — at least ten of them to each oar.

5. Charlotte’s Web 

By E.B. White 

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: 3-5年级

E.B. White同时也是写作指南经典书The Element of Style的作者之一。Charlotte’s Web讲述了勇敢善良的蜘蛛Charlotte想办法解救朋友小猪的故事。这本书之所以成为经典不仅是因为太感人至深的故事,还有它的令人称道的人物塑造和情节上巧妙的起承转合。

作者擅长情感的烘托,比如Charlotte死去时的情景:

“Good-bye!” she whispered. Then she summoned all her strength and waved one of her front legs at him.

She never moved again. Next day, as the Ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody, of the hundreds of people that has visited the Fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.

6. Holes 

By Louis Sachar

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: 3-8年级

Holes主要关于主人公Stanley被罚去Camp Green Lake挖洞的故事,但其中又插入了他曾曾祖父的故事和100年前Green Lake小镇上Kate和Sam的爱情故事。这三个故事巧妙交织联系在一起,既制造了悬念,又推动情节的发展。里面的修辞手法,人物刻画,和情景描述都颇值得学习。

从第一章作者就设置了压抑的场景,预示出Stanley的痛苦历程:

There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. There once was a very large lake here, the largest lake in Texas. That was over a hundred years ago. Now it is just a dry, flat wasteland. There used to be a town of Green Lake as well. The town shriveled and dried up along with the lake, and the people who lived there.

During the summer the daytime temperature hovers around ninety-five degrees in the shade—if you can find any shade. There’s not much shade in a big dry lake.

The only trees are two old oaks on the eastern edge of the “lake.” A hammock is stretched between the two trees, and a log cabin stands behind that.

The campers are forbidden to lie in the hammock. It belongs to the Warden. The Warden owns the shade.

Out on the lake, rattlesnakes and scorpions find shade under rocks and in the holes dug by the campers.

7. Number the Stars 

By Lois Lowry 

读经典小说学写作

二战期间,德国占领丹麦,纳粹在丹麦追捕犹太人,10岁的Annemarie和她的一家用他们的勇敢与智慧解救了他们的犹太朋友。这本儿童经典书以战争为背景突出了温馨的亲情和友情,勇气和信念,既振奋人心,又发人深省。Lous Lowry也是另一部经典小说The Giver的作者,故事清晰,情节紧扣,文字流畅易读。

下面是在Annemarie家收留了她的犹太朋友Ellen, 德军就要进屋搜查,她叫Ellen快把她那坠着犹太教大卫星(Star of David)的项链摘下来,但是……

The heavy, booted feet moved across the floor again and into the other bedroom. A closet door opened and closed with a bang. Annemarie eased her bedroom door closed silently. She stumbled through the darkness to the bed.

“Ellen,” she whispered urgently, “take your necklace off!”

Ellen’s hands flew to her neck. Desperately she began trying to unhook the tiny clasp. Outside the bedroom door, the harsh voices and heavy footsteps continued.

“I can’t get it open!” Ellen said frantically. “I never take it off—I can’t even remember how to open it!”

8. Where the Red Fern Grows 

By Wilson Rawls  

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: 6-8年级

Wilson Rawls 本是一个木匠,工作之余他忙于写作,终于通过努力成为一名儿童书作家。他去上千所学校演讲,鼓励孩子们坚持读书和写作–“Someday they will make it if they don’t give up.”

Where the Red Fern Grows以第一人称讲述了小男孩和两只狗Big Dan和Little Ann的故事。在一次与狮子的搏斗中,这两个忠实的伙伴先后离世,在他们的墓之间长出传说中是天使播种的红色羊齿草。

下面是搏斗片段节选,非常精彩的动作描写:

The battle raged on and on, down the side of the mountain, over huckleberry bushes, fallen logs, and rocks. It was a rolling, tumbling mass of fighting fury. I was in the middle of it all, falling, screaming, crying and hacking away at every opportunity.

I had cut the big cat several times. Blood showed red on the bit of the ax, but as yet I had not gotten in the fatal lick. I knew it had to be soon for my dogs were no match against the razor-sharp claws and the long, yellow fangs.

The screams of the big cat and the deep bellowing voices of my dogs echoed through the mountains as if the demons of hell had been turned loose. Down the side of the mountain, the terrible fight went on, down to the very bottom of the canyon.

The big cat had Old Dan by the throat. I knew he was seeking to cut the all-important vein, the jugular. At the pitiful bawl of Old Dan, Little Ann, throwing caution to the wind, ran in and sank her teeth in the lion’s tough neck. With her claws digging into the mountain soil, she braced herself, and started pulling. The muscles in her small legs knotted and quivered. She was trying hard to pull the devil cat’s fangs from the throat of Old Dan.

9. The Hunger Games  

By Suzanne Collins

读经典小说学写作

 

适读年龄: 6-12年级

The Hunger Games的电影已经家喻户晓,剧情不用再介绍了。曾经觉得它与日本血腥的电影《大逃杀》的相似剧情而不太想读这本书。直到真正读起来,才发现作者真是好文采,写得精彩生动。情节跌宕起伏,读者随主人公进入一个个情境,经历一次次冒险。

下面是抽签日的情景, 悬念和紧张层层递进,直到最后揭晓结果:

It’s time for the drawing. Effie Trinket says as she always does, “Ladies first!” and crosses to the glass ball with the girls’ names. She reaches in, digs her hand deep into the ball, and pulls out a slip of paper. The crowd draws in a collective breath and then you can hear a pin drop, and I’m feeling nauseous and so desperately hoping that it’s not me, that it’s not me, that it’s not me.

Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothes the slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clear voice. And it’s not me.

It’s Primrose Everdeen.

10. The Joy Luck Club 

By Amy Tan  

读经典小说学写作

 

适读年龄: 9-12年级

The Joy Luck Club (中文名 《喜福会》)是华裔女作家Amy Tan的著名小说,从4对华裔母女的角度讲述了十六篇相互关联的故事,体现出母女间耐人寻味的关系和东西方文化间的碰撞。作者文笔细腻,文章类似回个人回忆录(personal memoir)的写法,是学习写personal narrative的好范例。

下面是其中一个女儿Waverly Jong的了全国象棋冠军后为杂志拍照的场景:

The day they took the magazine picture I wore neatly plaited braids clipped with plastic barrettes trimmed with rhinestones. I was playing in a large high school auditorium that echoed with phlegmy coughs and the squeaky rubber knobs of chair legs sliding across freshly waxed wooden floors. Seated across from me was an American man, about the same age as Lau Po, maybe fifty. I remember that his sweaty brow seemed to weep at my every move. He wore a dark, malodorous suit. One of his pockets was stuffed with a great white kerchief on which he wiped his palm before sweeping his hand over the chosen chess piece with great flourish.

In my crisp pink-and-white dress with scratchy lace at the neck, one of two my mother had sewn for these special occasions, I would clasp my hands under my chin, the delicate points of my elbows poised lightly on the table in the manner my mother had shown me for posing for the press. I would swing my patent leather shoes back and forth like an impatient child riding on a school bus. Then I would pause, suck in my lips, twirl my chosen piece in midair as if undecided, and then firmly plant it in its new threatening place, with a triumphant smile thrown back at my opponent for good measure.

11. The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

读经典小说学写作

适读年龄: 9-12年级

The Great Gatsby是美国文学中的一部巨著,反映了美国爵士时代(Jazz Age)的对浮华背后的空虚和理想主义及美国梦的破灭。 Fitzgerald写法简洁明快,擅长用象征手法(灯光,颜色,日常物品等)来展现主题。

他的场景和人物描述很富有画面感,比如女主人公Daisy出场的经典场面:

The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.

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Frank Smith在Reading Without Nonsense中写道“You learn to read by reading and you learn to write by reading.”经常阅读好书好文,进入孩子头脑的不只是一个个故事,还有词汇,句子,以及对好文章的意识。

书籍供给我们精神食粮,有的书像快餐,给我们一时的满足,而有些书是难得的美味佳肴,值得慢慢品味。精读这些好书,解读作者的思想,学习写作技巧。

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