Young Adult Lit/Crit

May 21, 2008

From the Craigs

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunyprof @ 8:11 pm

Please let me know that you’re seen David and Lisa’s note. That way I will know who is reading the blog. I will send the note by email to others. I sent it to everyone on Tuesday, the 20th, but discovered that the Banner Web listserv is no longer active. Administrators must take it down when the course ends. If you’d like me to send the brochure David references, let me know and I’ll do that in an email. Karen

Dear Karen,

Thank you and your class so very much for the generous contribution to Corey’s endowment. We were so overwhelmed when we opened the package and read your letter and the beautiful messages from your teachers in YA Lit. The experience of sitting in with your class and sharing thoughts and feelings is something that we will always remember. Thank you for giving us all the opportunity to learn from each other.

Since our visit, an informational brochure was created for the endowment. I am attaching a copy for you to see.

Thank you once again for inviting us to your class, and for your kindness and generosity.

God Bless you all,
Lisa and David Craig


May 18, 2008

Teens’ Top Picks for 2008

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 10:38 am

Take a look at this terrific handout w/annotations to use with students to promote their top picks. This is another annotated list of the picks. The ALA site is also promoting a bookmark and other materials to hook adolescent readers.

Some of you will find familiar titles here as well as unfamiliar ones. Those are worth checking out. Remember, I said we have just scratched the surface!!! Yea! KES

The Essential Man’s Library

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 9:03 am

This is a beautifully organized and eclectic list. You’ll find many surprises and no doubt unfamiliar titles here as well as many you know. Fascinating. KES

May 17, 2008

Book Club for Equity

Filed under: Uncategorized — sostrom @ 2:26 pm

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to invite you to participate in the ICSD Book Club for Equity.  We are meeting next Friday at 4:00 to discuss the book Young, Gifted and Black.  It is a short book of three essays discussing the roots and solutions to the achievement gap.  One of Ithaca’s primary goals is eliminating race, class and disability as predictors of success.  If you are interested, let me know and I’ll send you directions.  Next month’s book is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, which we’re all familiar with.  I figured this would be a good opportunity to see a different aspect of a school district than you usually see in a placement or student teaching, possibly make some connections, and discuss an issue that you will undoubtedly encounter in your classrooms.  Let me know if you’re interested!

May 16, 2008

Subscribe to Booklist Online

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 11:37 am

I’ve been enjoying the BOOKLIST emails–all kinds of interesting information about new books for adults and YA’s presented in an engaging and visually appealing way. I encourage you to subscribe. One more source of information for English teachers about books! KES

May 14, 2008

Reflection on Sports Seminar

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mandy @ 4:00 pm

I think that my seminar went incredibly well and it helped that I absolutely loved my topic (sports) and had an abundance of interesting texts to navigate and utilize. For those who weren’t in my seminar, four fantastic YA titles that you MUST read include Raiders Night, Peak, Amazing Grace and Dairy Queen.

The most interesting thing about the reading I did was that my books weren’t just about sports, although sports were a central theme to my books and my seminar. All of the books contained other important topics and issues relevant to teens today– such as drugs, love, sexuality, relationships, trust, loyalty, sacrifice, and most importantly, they contained explorations of moral character. And I think this is a universal theme that is and can be explored in all texts, and which has come up in all of our reading this semester. I am intrigued by moral character, and how some people have it, while others don’t. Further, I think examining character is something that can be done with all texts, and through this, we can reach a better understanding of ourselves and the world we live in. Also, sports is only one of many ways that character can be explored! Although I loved my topic, at the same time, I was repeatedly disappointed with how girls are represented in the majority of sports texts. I want to try and locate several more texts where females are presented as strong athletic individuals, like in the two texts that I used for my seminar. Although I can appreciate cheerleaders and dancers, I don’t think this is solely how female athletes should be portrayed. I am interested in further studying why and how females are so sexualized in sports media, texts, and literature.

I really enjoyed the level of engagement of the participants in my seminar. I had a lot of fun presenting my topic and was glad that everyone was interested and involved. Alison, Erica and Josh asked some great questions and had some good suggestions, and there were immediately things I wanted to add to my seminar, which really revealed how instruction is fluid and constantly changing, and how we have to be open to these changes and learn and grow with our students. Since I have always been a sports buff, I felt like a expert on my topic and therefore, I felt very comfortable in front of my peers, which is definitely something that I have improved on during the course of this program. I also think that I have some fun ideas that I can bring to the classroom to keep my kids engaged and I can’t wait to do so. Finally, I loved this topic so much that if I get any choice during my student teaching, a sequence of instruction on sports is definitely something I am going use with my adolescents.


May 13, 2008

Chance to Make a Nomination!!

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 3:16 pm

As ALA Annual Conference approaches, the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults is finalizing the list of titles they will discuss in June. On May 15th, nominations will close until after the conference.

If you know of titles that may fit one of their four thematic lists (Dead, Dying and the Undead; Fame and Fortune; Journey and Destination; Spies and Intrigue), please do submit a field nomination. All field nominations must be seconded by a committee member, but we greatly appreciate hearing from you all what is popular at your library! Please remember that to be eligible for PPYA a title must be in print and in paperback and cannot have been on a PPYA list in the last five years. The nomination form can be found: here.

If you’re curious what titles have already been nominated, please visit this site.

If you post suggestions here, I’ll send along to Karen. KES

Thank you,
Karen Brooks-Reese
Chair, PPYA 2009

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwill7 @ 3:13 pm

I want to wish you all a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  I’m not sure if this is something that is just happening in my area, but teachers are never appreciated enough so it applies to all.  I sincerely enjoyed working with you all (all y’all) this semester.  I wish you all all the best.  Have a lovely week.  Peace.


Your Reflection and Feedback to Classmates

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 12:46 pm

As I read these comments while working on semester grades today I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your own reflections on facilitating your seminars as well as your feedback for classmates’ seminars. It’s wonderful to see such engagement and community in this class. Very very gratifying for me. Remember, though, we’ve just scratched the surface!! KES

May 12, 2008

Reflections on my seminar: YA Music Lit.

Filed under: Uncategorized — scrollman @ 2:26 pm

First of all, I’d like to thank Sarah and Mandy for participating in my seminar on YA Music Literature.  Their contributions were incredibly insightful, and their enthusiasm helped to make the experience both stimulating and enriching.    

My decision to choose this topic for my seminar was inspired by my own experience in the classroom.   In my five years of teaching, the subject of popular music has always been an area which generated an incredible amount of interest and excitement for my students.  Over the years, I’ve purchased countless biographies, autobiographies, lyric collections, and music anthologies, but until this semester, I had not considered using YA Music lit. as an area of focus.  What I discovered, as I read countless novels in this field, was that YA music lit. provides something for students that other books about music and musicians don’t: stories about people like them.  My three focus books: King Dork, by Frank Portman: Hip-hop high school, by Alan Sitomer: and Heavy Metal and You, by Christopher Krovatin, all focus on teen characters who define themselves according to the music they listen to and play.   Music not only helps to shape their identity, but provides an incredible source of comfort and joy during a very difficult time period.  Adolescence can be rough, and very often a song can heal a teenager’s spirit more than any friend or parent.  On a fundamental level, I think students will be drawn to YA Music lit. because the topic is so relevant, and the stories so familiar.

In my seminar, I made it a point to connect each of my focus books to their corresponding extension activities.  Although the activity for King Dork (having students form and promote their own bands) might seem somewhat ambitious, I think that our students are capable of more than we give them credit for.  Right now I am actually doing song writing activies with my students, and they find it incredibly rewarding.  We are all creative beings, and given the opportunity, we can produce amazing works of art without even knowing that we ever had talent.

During my seminar, there was also substantial discussion on the opportunities for critical pedagogy using my key texts.  My extension activity for Hip-hop high school involves doing an assignment that the main character was prohibited from doing in the novel: a paper comparing the civil rights movement of the 60’s to the hip-hop movement of the 90’s.  The assignment would involve extensive research into the writings of Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and Cesar Chavez– not to mention Tupac Shakur and Eminem.  Music is very often a form of protest, and students who blast hip-hop out of their cars are protesting in a very blatant way, although they might not be able to express their protest in an academic way.  Discussions in the classroom about the relationship between music, language, and power, are vital to helping our students put the music they know and love into a larger historical context.  My supplementary texts, such as Alexander-Smith’s Feeling the Rhythm of the Critically Consious Mind, all advocate the use of popular music as a way to engage students in discourse that is meaningful to them, and helps them to question many of the institutional structures that would otherwise be invisible.

I hope that Sarah and Mandy enjoyed my seminar as much as I enjoyed facilitating it.  I learned an incredible amount and I will surely be using these texts for years to come.


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