Monday, September 12, 2011

Classroom Library

So, this week in my favorite grad school class, Literacy History: Teaching Reading in Middle and Secondary Schools, I have an uber exciting project due. It's called a classroom library project. I get to build a library of books for my (imaginary) classroom. I want to teach English (grades 8-12) and for the project I'm pretending it's an 8th grade classroom. I have to have at least 6 trade books and 2 of them MUST be YA! And I'm just thinking Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

I have to do a qualitative and a quantitative analysis on the books but it's worth it!

I've already decided to us Silent to the Bone by E.L. Konigsburg, a book I read and loved thanks to an awesome class/professor I had in my undegrad (big wink and an elbow nudge)! I'm thinking about a lot of different books that I could use and there are so many! I'm in Heaven here but I can't have a list a mile long. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for my fake 8th grade classroom.

I want to have a dystopian novel because a.) they're awesome and b.) I think it's an important concept for kids to start thinking about. I have given thought to choosing The Giver, but I know that most kids read that in elementary school these days so, I was thinking of choosing something a little different, perhaps a little longer. I'm considering The Hunger Games as a possibility. Any input/suggestions for a good dystopian novel would be much appreciated!

Here are some YA books I'm thinking of using in my fake classroom for my fake 8th grade students (whom i already love):
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Any suggestions from fellow book lovers would be super helpful. I want these fake 8th graders to have quality literature to choose from in my imaginary classroom! And I wanted to share my excitement!


  1. This sounds like the coolest freaking project ever. I don't know if you're still working on it or not, but I'd love to know what books you picked.

    I would have a very hard time with the project though, because there are so many YA books that I absolutely love. Probably anything I read in Adolescent Lit would be a candidate to go in there, even the books I didn't particularly like, definitely the Hunger Games because it's freaking awesome and says so much about politics and government and such, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, ...I could go on forever.

    But I'd also be the teacher who gets in trouble for having Looking for Alaska, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Boy Meets Boy on my shelves.

    Also I'd probably put as many banned books in there as possible.

    ...My imaginary classroom library would be huge. ^^

  2. How about _Uglies_ instead of _Hunger Games_ for the dystopian choice? It's a bit less intense with the killing, but still plenty thought-provoking.

  3. So, for my YA books I ended up choosing Silent to the Bone, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and Tuck Everlasting. (it was due last week)
    I actually just read Uglies and loved it!(I spent a lot of time while and after I read it trying to figure out if I would become pretty or not)
    I tried to pick books that weren't "safe" like Nick and Norah and even Silent to the Bone, which deals with tough issues. Of the sample projects I've seen, none of the book choices have much profanity or sexual issues (which are things I think real teens are interested in) so, I tried to branch out.
    For my trade books (that aren't YA) I chose To Kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and The Septembers of Shiraz, which is this amazing book based on a true story about this family in Iran just after the Iranian Revolution. (multicultural!)

  4. yes, Tuck Everlasting! I was hoping you'd pick that one. I love that book/story line! What is your grad school major?