Posted on December 28, 2011 by agirlnamedsara
Winter Town was one of the ARCs I received at NCTE11 in November. Finally, while on winter break, I got a few free hours together to read it. I have to say I enjoyed it. The story has two main characters, a teen boy and a teen girl and follows their friendship as they navigate their own teenage problems. What I thought was unique and interesting is that throughout the story are little comic strips or images that coincide with the story as illustrations, or are part of the story as examples of what the characters are writing. It is not the type of story that I would use in my classroom to teach but I would feel comfortable recommending it to students and having it on my shelf. There is some mention of drinking (and throwing up because of it) and casual mentions of sex but nothing is explicit nor does it come across as encouraged. I think that this book is very timely and modern discussing texts, emails and even mentioning Glee. That, actually, might be one of my concerns for the book that it will become dated quickly but only time will tell with that.
Interest Level: High School
This book was published on December 5th, and as of now I have not found any information regarding the reading level or awards that it has won. If I come across any in the future I will update this post!
Filed under: First Love/Crushes, Fitting In, Graphic Novel, Individual Read, Multi/Alternative Genre, Realistic Fiction, Teen Boys, Teen Girls | Tagged: Stephen Edmond, YA Literature, Young Adult | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 18, 2010 by agirlnamedsara
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This book was handed to me by the woman in charge of curriculum at my current school. She told me that it was the newest book that they had ordered for bibliotherapy. I was immediately intrigued because I have read other books by Creech before and was interested in what this one was like. Once I found out it was written as a series of free verse poems I was a little more hesitant but decided to give it a try. It took me 15-20 minutes to read straight through- which especially for the population of students I’m working with is a big plus! The book is written as if a early teen boy wrote the poems and through them a small story line develops revolving around his feelings about poetry and about his pet dog.
One of the things I really really enjoyed about this book is that Creech included references to well known poetry such as The Red Wheelbarrow, some of Robert Frost’s poems, and poetry by Walter Dean Myers (one of my favorite YA Lit Authors). The focus for the bibliotherapy aspect of the book is to encourage our students to use writing as an outlet, identify their feelings, and to discuss loss and grief. In addition to that I think that we can really use this book to explore a poetry unit- focusing specifically on the poems mentioned int he book and then writing our own poetry as well.
When I hopefully do teach this book I will fill you in on how it goes, and perhaps find a way to post any activities that I create or adapt to go with it!
This book is definitely a 6-9th grade book. I would recommend it for middle school primarily, though reluctant readers in 9th grade may appreciate its brevity. Our class is primarily male and we are hoping that the male protagonist will make it appealing to them.
Mitten Award (Michigan)
Claudia Lewis Poetry Award
Filed under: Grief, Multi/Alternative Genre, Pre/Early Teen, Teaching Methods, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Uncategorized | Tagged: Sharon Creech, YA Literature, Young Adult | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 16, 2010 by agirlnamedsara
Push by Sapphire has received a lot of attention after being turned into the award-winning movie “Precious.” I picked a copy of it up at a bookstore a few months ago and then forgot about it. I’m glad I read it now though. I had a feeling I would like the book but was not prepared for the way in which it was written. The novel is written from Precious’ point of view and is written as if she wrote it- and as a girl severely lacking in reading and writing skills this means that there are phonetic spellings, lots of swearing, and also slang. I did find it easy to follow though and read it rather quickly.
I think this is a great book for English teachers to read because it reminds us of what deficiencies our students may be coming to us with that we might not think of. i.e. the inability to read or write. Due to the graphic descriptions of rape, incest, and abuse I would be hesitant to use this in my classroom. I think it has a message that could be discussed, but having worked with students coming from this type of a background themselves I would be concerned about triggering flashbacks and or re-traumatizing them. I would however recommend it to students in 11th and 12th grade while explaining to them that there are some rather graphic scenes, and letting them make their own mind up about whether they want to read it or not.
Overall I really enjoyed the book.
2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults- YALSA
Filed under: ALA Awards, Black, Fitting In, Individual Read, Mentally Handicapped, Multi/Alternative Genre, Poverty, Racism, Realistic Fiction, Sexual Assault, Sexuality, Summer Reading Plan, Teen Girls, Teen parent, Weight Issues, YALSA Awards | Tagged: ALA Awards, books, YA Literature, YALSA, Young Adult | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 4, 2009 by agirlnamedsara