The unique visits for the blog are up 41% in 2018 and the page visits are up 30 %. Thank you!
Please talk a minute and browse the contributors link. Drop to the bottom and take a look at all of the great minds who wrote a post last year. They include middle grades and high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, classroom teachers, and other academic who are teacher educators and/or scholars of Young Adult literature.
Take a minute to look at the Weekend Picks, it has been update with a slide show of all of the picks.
Jennifer S. Dail and Shelbie Witte
We ended up with two edited books about using Young Adult literature in a digital world with digital tools. In the blog we highlighted the books and the chapter authors in this blog last May (Please find it here.). We are proud of the books and the books at the contributions of the wonderful chapter authors. After all, isn't a blog about teaching and reading YA literature just another example of YA literature in the digital world?
Michelle and I talked about the issues and decided to collaborate on a book project about grief and death and how it is addressed in the English language arts classroom. We started thinking and put out a call for proposals. We received many more responses than we could use. The publisher agreed to give a contract for two books. One that concentrates on the individual experience with death and grief and one that focuses on how society focuses on these issues.
The two books were officially available Nov. 23, 2018. We know many of you have been able to get it yet, but it should be one of you New Year's resolutions to remedy that. I look below we have a coupon. Come who can resist a coupon.
Like with the previous project, I learned a great deal. It was pleasure to work with Michelle and her sharp intellect. Once again these book enter the world as a result of some tremendous work done by the chapter authors. We had a wonderful round table session at NCTE with a keynote address by Sharon Draper who graciously agreed to participate. We will highlight that session with chapter summary for each book a blog post in the near future. Stay tuned.
Shelly Shaffer and Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil
I have written about mass shooting too many times:
Say His Name!
Las Vegas Strong. Find the helpers. On Tuesday Morning I Found Kathryn Erskine
Once Again.Shocked and Sad. That is my emotional state today 10.2.2017
Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora Colorado, Orlando, Las Vegas, and now Parkland.
When I wrote the last post, I was afraid to post it until I consulted a couple of trusted readers. I turned to Shelly Shaffer, who studies YA literature that focuses on school shootings, and Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil who has become one of my co-authors and who judgement I value. They both agreed I should post the piece--with a couple of edits as always. Together we continued to discuss the issue of gun violence in the English language arts classroom. With in two weeks we had an outline for a book and began soliciting authors for specific chapters. In a month, we had a contract. The book was done very quickly and was published, according to Amazon on Nov. 22, 2018, but is so new we don't have our author copies yet. But once again--there is a coupon.
Shelly, Gretchen, and I are thrilled this book is in the world. The book has YA literature components, but it does not focus on YA literature. Instead, it focuses on how to talk about the issue in a variety of ways within schools. We looked for English Education experts who could talk about writing, social media, teacher education, advocacy, and we added discussions about how to use literature to talk about the issue before students experience the issue and what might be done in the aftermath of shooting.
We are preparing a round table session for next year at NCTE and we will feature a blog post that summarizes chapters and what they have to offer.
Frankly, in our opinion, putting one of these books in the hands of every ELA teacher would do more for the instruction integrity of lessons around the issue of gun violence and the emotional well being of students and teachers, than arming them with a gun.
People remind students, both young and old, that they need to look for helpers. I have written previously and I still believe it to be true:
Students see us (teachers) as anchors of sanity in a world that is often confusing. They look to us to say something soothing and to carry on with hope. They don’t look for us to be helpers. They already think we already are. It doesn’t matter if we also feel grief; we do. It doesn’t matter if we hurt for the loss that might directly touch our lives or lives of others; we do.
When you visit the blog. I hope you take a couple of minutes to check out the Weekend picks, look up a few past contributors or share the url with your students and colleagues.
If you need a speaker for a conference, a book group, a ya literature course, please send me a message.
Until next time.