Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Am a Reader

I enjoy reading. Since my wife is an English teacher, I try to read the books that she teaches in class which helps me to understand her struggles in class with students and assignments. When she started teaching a class in her high school for college credit called, "Children's Literature: Birth to Adolescence" I discovered that I LOVE to read Young Adult Literature. The side benefit is that since I hang out in the high school library a lot with my friend the Media Specialist, I also have a lot of good discussions with kids about books.

Last year, I asked teachers to fill out the posters above and post them inside our outside of their classroom. The posters were made with Stationery Studio, but you could use any graphic program. I know for me it was the starting place for many discussions about the books I was reading at the time. When I was reading "Motorcycle Diaries" there was a lot of talk about the movie by the same title because they had watched it in Spanish class.

Want to make connections with kids by having positive conversations about learning and reading? Give it a try next year!

I am a Reader! Here is a list of my favorite Young Adult books:

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams (Mystery - Very engaging)

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (Warning-- was 'banned' from schools because it has the word "Scrotum" a few times. Don't let it scare you off-- very sweet book)

Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles (Baseball is a major part of this story)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Took a while for me to get into it, but a great perspective)


Farfisa said...

What a great idea! I read loads of books from the YA section, from recs from students and while my son is choosing books. But I don't talk much about the "grown-up" books I read or about the non-fiction I read. I think this would be a great way to start the year for teachers and students... Off to recommend it to my principal and colleagues!

TJ Shay said...

Dear Farfisa,

"Off to recommend it to my principal and colleagues" is the greatest compliment. I do this blog to share the ideas I have and the things I have used that seemed to work. I am glad this was an idea worth sharing!


Patti Harju said...

I am an avid reader myself and as I have children ranging in age from 10 to 17, I am a big reader of youth literature. Some of my favorites (and there are too MANY to list) are; Twilight series, House of the Scorpion (Nancy Farmer,)
Chasing Vermeer, Ella Enchanted, Elsewhere, City of Ember, The Giver, of course everything Harry Potter (waited in line at midnight for last 4 books!) I had better stop here as I would fill all your blog space with my favorites!

TJ Shay said...


I will have to admit that after grad school, I stopped reading for a LONG time! Then, a little guy named Harry Potter came along. I like to know what people are talking about, cultural literacy, and so I started reading them....consuming them, actually. They awakened the joy in reading I had lost with the 50000 journal articles:+)

Thanks for commenting!

diane said...

Among my favorite YA series: Pendragon cycle by D.J. MacHale; the Artemis Fowl stories by Eoin Colfer; and the unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

I also love Un Lun Dun by China Mieville