Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 23, 2008

Mystery Seminar Invite!

Filed under: Seminar! — katefrazer @ 2:34 pm

I would like to extend an invitation to my seminar on the mystery genre.  We will be looking specifically at titles that will appeal to middle school males and exploring what it really takes to write a mystery story.  The three main texts I’ll be focusing on are:

Rat Life by Tedd Arnold
This novel takes place shortly after the Vietnam in a small U.S. town.  Todd, the main character, finds himself mixed up with a teenage war veteran named Rat and a body floating in the river.  Todd’s unique character and the mystery around him unfold together. 

Vanish Actby John Feinstein
This book is both mystery and sports!  How can kids not love it?  Stevie and Susan Carol, budding teenage journalist and unofficial detectives, jump into the controversy surrounding a kidnapped player from the U.S. open.  Lots of action, suspense, and tennis!

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
Forensic science is the center of this novel.  Cameryn manages convince her dad, the county coroner, that she would make a great assistant.  Suddenly the nice quiet town they live becomes victim of a serial killer.  Cameryn is wants to solve the mystery, even if she ends up in some pretty dangerous situations.

These three books are all quite different, yet by there are many elements of the mystery genre that shine through in each one.  My seminar will look at just what these are and how students can learn from studying “How to write a mystery story.”



  1. Kate,
    I would like to join your seminar if I’m allowed to and if it doesn’t conflict with Joyce’s seminar on autism. I am looking for a seminar that deals with a genre I am not usually drawn to, but that many students enjoy. I think your seminar would be a good fit. I hope it works out!

    Comment by sostrom — April 23, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

  2. Who are #’s 2 and 3 in Kate’s seminar? KES

    Comment by sunyprof — April 26, 2008 @ 9:02 am

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