Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Young Adult - Fiction and Fantasy

It's been almost a year since my last post and that year has flown by!  Last fall, I started at Penn State to get my master's degree in curriculum and instruction in children's literature.  In about a month, I will finish my second semester and fourth class.  Choosing this degree has been one of the best choices I've made.  I am loving these classes and what I am learning along the way! 

My first two courses were Fantasy in Children's Literature and Studies of Children's Literature.  Both of these classes were based on Young Adult novels.  I thought I would share my favorites from both classes!

**Note: These books are all Young Adult and I've looked up the recommended age/grade level for each book and listed it below the covers.  The subject matter and maturity level may not be appropriate for younger children.

Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson
Suggested Grades: 4-7
This is an excellent book based on actual events from a historic 1912 labor strike in the Lawrence, Massachusetts, textile mills.  The story follows two very different children, Rosa and Jake, and how they overcome the obstacles of the time.

 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Suggested Grades: 9-12
This book follows the (fictional) story of a 15 year old boy with autism.  You will notice in the first few pages that the story feels broken, chapter numbers skip, and the emotions felt are raw.  As you read, you will fall in love and feel empathy for this unique little boy.

 Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
Suggested Grades: 7-10
One of the sections in my Studies of Children's Literature class was on Feminist authors.  Donna Jo Napoli is  a Feminist author who has rewritten several classics.  This book is really well written, however VERY dark.  Zel is Napoli's version of the Brother's Grimm story Rapunzel.

 The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
Suggested Grades: 7 and up
Typically, I steer away from talking animal books (and movies, for that matter!) and I only read this one because I had to for my class!  However, this book completely took me by surprise. It is funny and heartwarming.  Maurice is a cat who has a crew of educated rodents who help a little boy and girl save a small town.  It is also part of a series of books written by Terry Pratchett called Discworld. 

 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Suggested Grades: 5-9
Don't let the cover and title fool you!!  This is a very involved book with amazingly complex characters that isn't nearly as dark as the cover may lead you to believe.  Bod is a normal boy who lives in a graveyard and is raised by loving and kind ghosts.  He meets many characters and, of course, learns that not everyone in the graveyard is friendly!

 The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Suggested Grades: 7 and up
An outstandingly written tale that revolves around cloning.  It follows Matt from birth to age 14 where he realizes long the way that he is actually a clone of a very powerful, and evil, man. 

**All images are from  www.amazon.com

No comments:

Post a Comment