Tag Archives: YA Literature
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.
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.
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
It’s been a busy four months since I last posted, and for that Dear Readers, I am sorry. The last week of August added a new title to my name: Professor. It also added a rich, new dimension to my life that I never expected. It has also kept me quite busy. Between my seventh and eighth graders and my first and second-year graduate students, I find myself fully immersed in literacy. And I love it!
I’ve been reading a lot during these months. And yes, I have failed to even post to my “What I’m Currently Reading” page.
September 1 marks the start of my 25th year teaching middle school. In two different districts and three different middle schools, highly qualified ceritification, standards, benchmarking, and state testing, one thing has been constant: work family. Each school I’ve been in has focused on creating a work family. Sometimes, the family is more dysfunctional than others, but through it all, we’re there supporting each other. We celebrate the good times, we mourn losses, we hold each other up.
Because I’ve been reading a lot about classroom libraries, I’ve been making a conscious effort to add books to my room that represent all of my students. I’ll be honest, teaching in a predominantly white, middle/upper-middle class school, I wasn’t sure how students would respond, but not all of my students were white, upper-middle class, Christian, heterosexual people. Not all of my students had families that were “normal.” And so, I started listening more closely to students talk about books like Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, Rules by Cynthia Lord , or Wonder by RJ Palacio. I began to have conversations with my students when I thought about adding a book like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseBenjamin and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz to the class library. I took their suggestions when they recommended books to me. I asked them about favorite characters, especially when the books they were reading had characters who were no cis-gendered, mainstream people.