Sorry for my long hiatus. Once I started teaching full time I seemed to lose any extra time to just read for pleasure. And with it, the time to post about anything I’ve read. But, I need to find more time for myself, and I am going to make a more concentrated effort to begin posting again.
In the meantime, let me catch you up on what I’ve done with YA Lit in my classroom thus far.
My 9/10 class read Tears of A Tiger by Sharon Draper. I chose this book because I did not know what reading level the majority of my students were at, and felt it was a high interest book. It was met with very mixed reactions. I had a handful of students who read it almost straight through, and one girl who immediately went on to read Forged by Fire and Darkness Before Dawn; the two other books in the trilogy. I was so happy to see some of the students so interested in the story. There were several who hated it, they felt it was too low level for them. I acknowledge that the reading level is low, but explained that the content is appropriate for high school students. Some really did not like the multi-genre aspect of the story. The rest of the kids either didn’t attempt to read it at all or read it and were rather indifferent. I plan on allowing them to choose their own book from my YA lit collection to read for our next assignment. Currently they are finishing up a research project where they had to choose between teen depression, suicide, underage drinking, and drinking and driving as their topics. They seem to be enjoying finding out new interesting information for the most part, and I’m hoping that some of the information sticks with them outside of school.
My 11/12 classes “read” Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher. I put read in quotes, because I am pretty sure that only about 10% of the kids actually read it, a few skimmed, and a few chose to not participate in the unit at all. The older class has made it clear that they do not want to read young adult books. They definitely prefer having more control over what they have to do, so I would like to try having them choose between a few classic novels for our next unit. The few students who did complete the book ended up liking it but felt that it took too long to get to the good parts. I am not sure if I will use this book again in my teaching.
Yesterday I stopped at Half Price Books and picked up 10 books for just under $25. Lucky for me it ended up being teacher appreciation weekend and I got 20 percent off. I found several YA book to purchase for my classroom library. I’m hoping that I can continue to stock up and build an interesting and varied selection of books for my students to read. Some of the books that I picked up I have not read yet, so hopefully I will be able to update again soon with new reviews.