School

Children's and young adult books in the classroom.

Pictures (adolescent lit class #5)

Pictures week

This week’s class (Nov. 24, 2014) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. I offer some questions in the individual posts about the role of these books in the classroom; as always, feel free to respond in other ways with your thoughts on any of this […]

Two picture books

sis_tree of life

      The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic, 2007) The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís (Farrar, 2003) Illustrated books can be easily overlooked for and by adolescents, who may see picture books as the domain of small children only. Sophisticated titles such as Shaun Tan’s The Arrival or elaborate, finely detailed works […]

Three graphic novels

Yummy

          Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013) Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low, 2010) Graphic novels are enjoying a surge of interest and critical attention. Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel nominated for […]

Fantasy and science fiction

fantasy2014

This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of imaginary worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely […]

Far Far Away

far far away

Folk and fairy tales have long been fodder for writers, who re-tell, borrow, fracture, and invert the original stories in their own. I would suggest that Tom McNeal bends the relationship between fairy tale and novel in a new way in his suspenseful tale Far Far Away. What do others think about blending of new […]

Feed

feed

At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

Historical fiction and nonfiction

histfic_nf_2014_550x384

Next Monday (November 10), Lauren’s class will be discussing several books. The theme for the day is “The past made present” so they will look at both historical fiction and nonfiction — including one book that’s a hybrid of the two. Everyone will be reading One Crazy Summer; they will choose to read either No […]

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia In the “crazy summer” of 1968, three black sisters set out from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to reconnect with their estranged mother, an active member of the Black Panther political movement. How does Williams-Garcia balance historical events with the girls’ personal journeys? How do both these aspects of the […]

No Crystal Stair

No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie Documents, photos, fictionalized and true accounts of historical figures and events are woven together in this portrait of Nelson’s larger-than-life great uncle Lewis Michaux. What to you make of the […]

Three nonfiction books

Claudette Colvin

        Bomb: the Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge Acclaimed author Jean Fritz, innovator in children’s nonfiction (and biography in particular), has said: “Children don’t need a perfect picture. They need to see what […]