I can't help but think about which books I would include, which books I would book talk, and how I would use the weekend picks as a ready resource for my students who might be reluctant consumers of YA. (I love what my colleagues have chosen so far this year). I keep thinking about what approach I might take: historical, genre, focusing on awards, including Nonfiction, or making sure they discover YA verse novels. Would I include author studies? Should I introduce pedagogy by including literature circle activities? Should I include films with adolescent themes as I know that Angela Insenga and Angel Daniel Matos will be doing? The possibilities are both endless and intriguing. I am a bit jealous, but I will get over it as I watch what what all of you are doing.
What Would I Do?
Here are five that I think are worth revisiting over and over again.
1. I love Padma Venkatraman's post about verse novels' by a verse novelist. You can find it here. She talks about writing her first verse novel, A Time to Dance and a list of others including Inside Out & Back Again, Crossover, and Brown Girl Dream. The last book is a novel I like so much, that I want to reread every time I think about it. I wrote about it for First Opinions, Second Reactions (a journal everyone should follow) about a year ago and i wish every one felt as strongly about it as I do.
This coming fall we will be present at 2018 NCTE Annual Convention in Houston, TX,
Our session title is: Crossing Selma’s Bridge with Visual Discovery Strategy and Young Adult Literature: Allowing Voices from the Past to Echo in the Present
The Panelist will include: Laurie Halse Anderson, Steven Bickmore, Paul Binford, Brendan Kiely, Luke Rumohr, Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil, Rich Wallace, and Sandra Neil Wallace.
We will be focusing on Anderson’s Seeds of America series, Wallace and Wallace’s Blood Brother, and Kiely and Reynolds’ All American Boys.
I would be remiss if I didn't explain how much our colleague Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil has helped us in our efforts. Last January, the three of us had an article in the MIddle Grades Review that explores this further. You can download our article, Crossing Selma's Bridge: Integrating Visual Discovery Strategy and Young Adult Literature to Promote Dialogue and Understanding, here.
Jeff Zetner's Good Bye Days This book is beautiful as it explores friendship and grief.
Mary H. K. Choi's Emergency Contact This debut novel grabbed me from the beginning. I blazed through it.
A. S. King's I Crawl Through It. I am not sure I can explain why I love this book. I do know I was thrilled when I heard that my colleague, Sharon Kane, is using this novel a full class read to start her YA course this fall. You see, I am jealous.
Peter Brown Hoffmeister's Too Shattered for Mending. News flash!! This book is not to be missed. I find myself suggesting this books all summer to people who have been asking me about what new. Really this book is amazing.
Nic Stone's Dear Martin. Okay, I get The Hate U Give, but with all the apologies I can muster, I keep returning to Dear Martin.
Julius Lester's Day of Tears and To Be a Slave. Julius passed this year and we should not forget his contribution to children's and YA literature.
Dashka Slater's The 57 Bus. This is one of those true stories that really helps us show students the value of a variety of genres.
E. K. Johnston's Pursued by a Bear. Shakespeare, Yo!
Elizabeth Partridge's Boots on the Ground. Honor and respect. These book does a great deal for Veterans and joins of host of YA books--fiction and nonfiction.
Okay, it isn't everything, in fact it is only a couple of concrete ideas towards building a syllabus.
Thanks for letting me think a just a little bit about a potential YA course. Since I won't be teaching it, I am focusing on get to NCTE and the ALAN workshop this November. I hope to see you there. I am looking forward to hearing how you constructed your courses.
Until next week.