Category Archives: Coming of Age

A Seat at the Table

In addition to teaching 8th grade ELA, I also teach Research Methods and Capstone Writing in the Urban Teaching Residency (UTR) program in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at UPenn. (That knowledge and $1.25–if you have EZ Pass–will get you across the Delaware on Rt 295 in Mercer Co.) As it’s May, I’m just finishing up reading my students’ theses for completion of their Master’s Degree. One of my students designed her study to be a case study of two formerly incarcerated men. She wanted to find out how their former incarceration affected their children’s education. One of the men received a pardon, and the other is going through the pardon process. What she found and wrote about was heartbreaking.


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On Pointe

After reading The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, I decided to check out her back list. I chose Pointe and Little & Lion to add to my classroom library. Pointe initially intrigued me because the protagonist dances. I can’t think of one single book in my classroom library that features dance as part of the book and yet I have a lot of students involved in dance. The tagline on the cover also grabbed my attention: “First he stole her heart. Then he took her friend. Now she knows the truth.” 

Book Cover

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Stealing Power

“With a smart and stealthy heroine who should appeal to Gallagher Girls fans, Carter’s story is fast-paced and popcorn-ready” (Publishers Weekly).

In my last post, I explored the problematic relationships found in Pretty in Pink and The Anatomy of a Misfit. I was (and still am) concerned about the images we present to our girls about being female. I’m still bothered that Andie and Anika did speak up and yet they were silenced. But not all portrayals of female characters in YA are still stuck pre-second wave Feminist Movement

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Pretty Misfit

Yesterday morning I was up early and flipping through the channel guide looking for something mindless to watch. My brain was still half asleep, and I just wanted the tv equivalent of comfort food. I was surprised to see that Pop TV was showing Pretty in Pink. Admittedly, this was not one of my favorite 80’s movies, but I could resist the pull of the Duckman, so I flipped to it.

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This Is Not Your Typical Coming-of-Age Book

In exploring This Is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey, I’m going to do something I normally don’t do. I’m going to start with a very brief summary. I’m playing with the structure of the blog a bit, and I really think this post lends itself to lists. So you’ll see a lot of them this week.

Summary: 

It’s 1998, and Jess is a junior in high school. She’s dealing with normal high school things: 

  • A crush on her best friend, Tyler
  • An unwanted date to the Spring Formal
  • Trying to get out of the house even though she’s grounded
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