Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Children and Young Adult To Read List

On my account, I often run across books that sound great, and add them to my "to read" list (did that sentence make sense?). I figured that today would be a good day to just throw a few (five) of those titles out there, some great children and young adult reads that I haven't gotten to yet but want to read. I've heard this called a "book garden" before, meaning books that you have in a "to read" pile. If you know anything about any of these, then let me know if they're really worth the time and how kids are responding to them, I'd love to hear more.

1. The Dead and the Gone, by Susan Beth Pfeffer: I loved Life As We Knew It (see my review HERE), which is the basic story line that this book follows. I hope to read The Dead and the Gone first over the vacation.

2. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore: I've heard about this book through a few young adult lit blogs, and have run across some people on Goodreads that loved it, a few have even said it's their favorite of all time. From what I can gather, Graceling sounds like a fantasy mix, maybe slightly like Lois Lowry's Gossamer, with some other elements mixed in. I'm going to pick this one up at the bookstore tomorrow.

3. Surrender, by Sonya Hartnett: This book sounds like a great story all around. It's the story of a young man who has made some mistakes in his past, but has a dog named "Surrender." There seems to be some mystery, and (possibly) some redemption in Surrender. I want to check this out.

4. Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, by Gene Luen Yang: Gene Yang is the writer of one of my favorite graphic novels, American Born Chinese (see my very short review in an article titled Teaching With Graphic Novels). It just sounds like a neat graphic novel, about a boy who gets something stuck up his nose. If it's anywhere near as good as American Born Chinese, then I'll love Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks.

5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, by Jeff Kinney: This one doesn't release until January 13th, and I'm not interested in personally as much as I am to have it for my class to read. The kids love these books (see my review of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid HERE), and they're a nice beginning book if you're looking to get your students into graphic novels.

There are a few blogs out there that I comb through to find valuable information on new reads in children and young adult literature. A few of my favorites that you should check out include (these are also a few blogs that have discussed me in their pages recently, so they all obviously have good taste in blogs, right?):

  • Ms. Yingling Reads: One librarians attempt to read all the Young Adult Literature in the world and shoot her mouth off about it.
  • Charlotte's Library: Notes on buying and reading the children's and young adult books in my local public library, what I'm reading to myself and to my boys (ages 8 and 5), and other random bookish stuff.
  • Jen Robinson's Book Page: Promoting the love of books by children, and the continued reading of children's books by adults.


Anonymous said...

DEAD AND GONE is actually slightly more popular than LIFE AS WE KNEW IT in my 6th grade class. Granted, we are in NJ so I think the NYC connection hits closer to home than the Central PA setting. But it's a great book!

Jen Robinson said...

Thanks so much for the referral. I've definitely been enjoying your blog, too, since discovering it. I know that Terry and I will be linking to you often in our Children's Literacy and Reading News posts.

As for the books, I liked the dead and the gone a lot. It's a bit darker than Life As We Knew It, but fascinating. And I haven't had a chance to review Graceling yet (it's hard to be motivated to write a review when so many other people have already written their glowing reviews), but it's one of my top picks of 2008. I can't wait for the next book!

Happy reading!

The Buss said...

Thank you both for your comments. I usually discover great children/young adult literature through professors and now, bloggers (other professionals like yourselves who have a desire to share their love of these books). I need to get out there and get these books, and start doing more reviews myself. It's hard to be a part of those discussions when I'm just now finding out about some of these great books.

Thanks again for the comments, I appreciate the kind words.

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