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HBook Podcast 1.16 – Drugs ‘n’ Booze in YA

Horn Book Podcast the sixteenth in which Siân and Roger talk about booze, drugs, and young adult lit. Books we talk about John Montroll and Min Sung Ku, Wonder Woman Origami: Amazing Folding Projects Featuring the Warrior Princess (DC Origami) Justine Larbalestier, My Sister Rosa Maggie Stiefvater, Raven Boys series Anonymous, Go Ask Alice April […]

Recommended Poetry: Young Adult

Block, Francesca Lia How to (Un)cage a Girl 119 pp. HarperCollins/Cotler 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-135836-4 Library binding ISBN 978-0-06-135837-1 This three-part collection includes forty-five autobiographical poems. Part one details Block’s teenage years; part two follows her as an adult; part three contains “Love Poems for Girls.” Readers will welcome advice from someone who not only understands […]

HBook Podcast 1.3 – To Kill a Mockingjay

Podcast the third (recorded on 2.19.16) in which Roger and Siân talk about Harper Lee, YA readers, and opera. (Yet another warning, Siân had not yet banned cell phones from the “recording studio” so there are a few crackles after the 20 minute mark.) Roger’s YA post Books we talk about: Harper Lee, To Kill […]

At least they aren’t reading romance

I have lots of conversations with teachers and teachers-in-training about what adolescents can, do, and should read. I don’t mind talking about what they can read or what they do read, but I get nervous when people start declaring what they should read, especially on their own time outside the curriculum. Recently, in a class […]

Telling and choosing our own stories

For this year’s Boston University/Boston Green Academy Summer Institute (which I’ve blogged about before), we decided to change up our usual routine of reading one book, and this year we chose two – Darius and Twig by Walter Dean Myers and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Our essential question for our rising ninth and […]

Intentions and He Said, She Said

I have written before about our summer program* with Boston Green Academy, and we just finished our two-week institute with ninth and tenth graders from BGA and my students from Boston University. For this summer’s core text, we chose the book He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander, and it has been fun to watch […]

Sur-reality

From kidnapped young women in bizarre landscapes to invisible helicopters; trippy, graffiti-like illustrations to tantalizing chapter openers that tell a whole other story, these novels use distinctive narrative structures to describe teens in…unusual…circumstances. Patrick Ness’s The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a fantasy novel — and simultaneously a fantasy-novel send-up — whose true […]

Review of Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook) While comprehensive in his synthesis of the political, historical, and scientific aspects of the creation of the first nuclear weapon, Sheinkin focuses his account with an extremely alluring angle: the spies. The book opens in […]

Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Young Adult

Bausum, Ann Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights 120 pp. Viking 2015. ISBN 978-0-670-01679-2 Bausum begins with a detailed, nuanced exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots as a galvanizing moment for the gay rights movement, then traces the movement’s evolution (in a somewhat more cursory way) for the second half of […]

Teaching and reading in a YA movie world

The first time I read The Giver, I was astounded. I got to the last page, sat for a moment in wonder, and then flipped back to page 1 to begin again, in the hopes I could hold that moment for just a little longer. The images that the book conjured for me were permanent, even today, many years and reads later.