YA Literature Elective Begins

Posted: January 16, 2016 in Uncategorized
flickr photo by Tracy Elizabeth http://flickr.com/photos/tracyelizabeths/7411953756 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

flickr photo by Tracy Elizabeth http://flickr.com/photos/tracyelizabeths/7411953756 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

So, I’ve been thinking about teaching YA novels in high school for a few years. I am going to get a chance to do just that, with second semester seniors, just to add a little wrinkle to things.

Each set of works will have a required read for all and then some choice. My goal here is to have some quantity to discuss and compare.

Here’s the outline of the class.

Unit 1

required title: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. If students have been at my school since 5th grade, they will have read this then. I am curious to how they read this differently now and am really looking forward to talking with older students about this book.

choice titles: Combo 1: Hush by Jacqueline Woodson and Monster by Walter Dean Myers OR Combo 2: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson and The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.

Unit 2

Required title: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Will anyone have read this?

Choice titles: Haroon and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie or The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente.

Unit 3

Required title: Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande.

Choice Titles: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan or Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

Finally, we are going to read a number of articles that made up some online debate in 2014 (started by this piece on Slate) about adults reading YA literature. I know my seniors are not quite adults, but I’m going with it.

Fingers crossed. I am so excited.

Any thoughts on the book choices or reading YA with older students? I could always use any words of wisdom you have.

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Comments
  1. LisaC says:

    I love “The Phantom Toll Booth”–especially the tension between letters and numbers, and the focus on “precision of language” (phrase from “The Giver”, another great YA novel), like ‘jumping to conclusion” (I think I’m remebering that correctly).
    Can’t wait to hear about your adventures in the classroom!

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