Sunday, April 19, 2009

YA and Children's reading lists... long overdue

Not having Internet access at home really sucks!!! ARRRGHHHH!!!

Now that I got that off my chest, I present to you my completely incomplete list of books for children and young adults.  I know I am leaving a ton of great books off the lists.  I know there are hundreds of wonderful stroies I have yet to read.  So far, this is what I've got:

Young Adult Books Shannon Says You Should Read

A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
The Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury)
Wild Magic (Tamora Pierce)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
His Dark Materials Trilogy (Philip Pullman)
The Abhorsen Trilogy (Garth Nix)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? (Blume)
My Side of the Mountain (George)

Children's Books Everyone Should Have on Their Shelves (IMHO)

The Witches (Dahl)
Matilda (Dahl)
The Harry Potter series (Rowling)
Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
Island of the Blue Dolphins (O'Dell)
The Cay (Taylor)
Artemis Fowl (Colfer)
The Bridge to Terabithia (Paterson)
The Little Princess (Burnett)
Bunicula (Howe)
Because of Winn Dixie (DiCamillo)
Ella Enchanted (Levine)

So what am I missing?  What needs to be added?  Which books did you love as a kid, or love for your kids?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trying something new

Real life strikes again. Real life in the form of Internet crapping out at home (for two weeks!), grades, parent-teacher conferences, and (for the first time in nine years) a college class. Yes, that’s right. I am not only a teacher, I am now a student.

This past week I attended the first class for the course “Teaching Young Adult Literature.” How cool is that? A class to learn how to teach a genre of literature that I love. I was very excited when I first signed up for the class. I am a little leery after meeting the professor. She seems rather... rigid. And painfully perky. A strange combination, to be sure. I am keeping an open mind, though.

A couple nights ago I started reading the one and only text book for the class. I was not looking forward to this. All of my worst college memories center around trying to slog through poorly written, dry, boring academic writing. I decided to set myself a realistic goal: one chapter (38 pages.) Well, color me startled, I found it rather interesting. The book covers the definition of “young adult” and “young adult literature”, and tracks the history of the genre up through the mid-90's. The first chapter covered the genre definition and the “birth” of Young Adult literature (pre-1960.) Tomorrow I will read at least one chapter, perhaps two. Still manageable without being overwhelming or painful. By Monday I need to start on my homework assignment. Yup, I have to do homework. It’s so weird!

I’m looking forward to reading the actual Young Adult novels on our list. There are five all told, only one of which I have even heard of (The Book Thief.) This could be a great opportunity to add to my list of must-read books for young adults.

What list of must-read Young Adult literature, you ask? Why, the one I plan to share tomorrow, of course!