Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Literature Options for Reluctant YA Readers

I have the great pleasure of teaching a class for reluctant readers in addition to my regular English 9 courseload this year. And yes, I'm serious. Watching the kids in this class grow as readers, learn to pick out books that they will enjoy on their own, and most of all develop a love of literature (some more than others, of course ... I'm not delusional :-)) has been one of the highlights of my school year.

I just went through their reading logs and wrote down all the books that have been read in class since school started in August. I was absolutely blown away by the list ... and just so, so proud of my students : )

Since many of you that read this blog are aspiring writers (not to mention teachers), I decided to post the list. I realize it's long, but I thought it would be valuable to give you some ideas of what appeals to YA/reluctant readers--if you're a writer or a teacher. I should also note that I log along with the kids, and I did include the titles from my own reading log. What makes me especially happy, though, is that it isn't easy to figure out where on the list my titles are.

Monster (Walter Dean Myers)
Cracker Jackson (Betsy Byers)
Maniac Magee (Jerry Spinelli)
The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
Hole in my Life (Jack Gantos)
Tears of a Tiger (Sharon Draper)
That was Then, This is Now (S.E. Hinton)
Forged by Fire (Sharon Draper)
Darkness Before Dawn (Sharon Draper)
One Good Punch (Rich Wallace)
The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
The River (Gary Paulsen)
Holes (Louis Sachar)
More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Alvin Schwartz)
Sharpe’s Rifles (Bernard Cornwell)
The Boy Who Dared (Susan Campbell Bartoletti)
Loser (Jerry Spinelli)
Paranoid Park (Blake Nelson)
The Boxer and the Spy (Robert B. Parker)
Crackback (John Coy)
Iceman (Chris Lynch)
Bringing Down the House (Ben Mezrich)
Acceleration (Graham McNamee)
Paper Trail (Barbara Shaw Gilbert)
Skate (Michael Harmon)
Digital Fortress (Dan Brown)
Bone Chiller (Graham McNamee)
A Gathering of Days (Joan W. Blos)
Come Spring (Ben Ames Williams)
Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
Eldest (Christopher Paolini)
Brisingr (Christopher Paolini)
A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
The Beans of Egypt, Maine (Carolyn Chute)
The Castle of Llyr (Lloyd Alexander)
Taran Wanderer (Lloyd Alexander)
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man (Fannie Flagg)
Here on Earth (Alice Hoffman)
The Host (Stephenie Meyer)
The Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan)
The House on Mango Street (Sandra Cisneros)
The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
Just Listen (Sarah Dessen)
Lamb (Christopher Moore)
The Ladies of Missalonghi (Colleen McCullough)
Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
Caretakers (Tabitha King)
Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
New Moon (Stephenie Meyer)
Go Ask Alice (Anonymous)
Crank (Ellen Hopkins)
Glass (Ellen Hopkins)
Impulse (Ellen Hopkins)
Burned (Ellen Hopkins)
Beastly (Alex Flinn)
The da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
Nineteen Minutes (Jodi Picoult)
The People of Sparks (Jeanne DuPrau)
Friedrich (Hans Peter Richter)
Just Annoying (Andy Griffiths)
Slam (Walter Dean Myers)
Omega Place (Graham Marks)
“The Body” (Stephen King)
Black Hawk Down (Mark Bowden)
Blood Brothers (Richard Price)
The Compound (S.A. Bodeen)
L8R, G8R (Lauren Myracle)
Stealing Heaven (Elizabeth Scott)
Someday this Pain will be Useful to You (Peter Cameron)
Confessions of a Not-It Girl (Melissa Kantor)
The Break-Up Bible (Melissa Kantor)
My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult)
Perfect (Natasha Friend)
Fearless (Tim Lott)
Boy Meet Boy (David Levithan)
Hangman’s Curse (Frank Peretti)
A Life Without Consequences (Stephen Elliot)
All that Remains (Bruce Brooks)
A Girl in Parts (Jasmine Paul)
That Summer (Sarah Dessen)
Becoming Chloe (Catherine Ryan Hyde)
How to Deal (Sarah Dessen)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brasheares)
Head Games (Mariah Fredericks)
Two-Way Street (Lauren Barnholdt)
13 is Too Young to Die (Isaacsen-Bright)
A Lifetime of Secrets (Frank Warren)
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Jack Gantos)
The Great Gilly Hopkins (Katherine Paterson)
Deadline (Chris Crutcher)
The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen)
If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? (Melissa Kantor)
Tiger Eyes (Judy Blume)