Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Recs

So I'm planning to start most of my classes with self-selected reading (SSR). We'll start off with 15 minutes each day, then go to 35 minutes Mondays & Wednesdays. I'm planning to do book talks & poem readings (alternating between them) as a transition at the end of that time.

I need to remember to ask our librarians to purchase any of the books that we don't already have. I'm hoping to highlight books that are fun, slightly-challenging reads for reluctant or struggling readers, and I want to focus on books that aren't EVERYWHERE (like Twilight, Harry Potter, or the Gossip Girl series). Are there any on the list that maybe shouldn't be? (I'm not that good at spotting possible Issues.) Are there books I've left out?

Samurai Shortstop
Schooled, Gordon Korman
Dragon Slippers, (can't remember author's name & Amazon is blocked)
Ranger's Apprentice, John Flanagan
Skullduggery Pleasant, (I can't believe I left that off the list!)
Masterpiece, Elise Broach
Bloody Jack, Louis Meyer
Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
Need, Carrie Jones
Squire's Tale, Gerald Morris
Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Peeps, Scott Westerfeld
Poison Study, Maria Snyder
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
Unwind, Neal Shusterman
Chance Fortune, Shane Berryhill
Graceling, Kristin Cashore
Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson
Epic, Conor Kostick
Meg Cabot
The Underneath, Kathi Appelt
Stiff, Mary Roach
Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
Naked Economics, Greg Mankiw
Under the Black Flag, David Cordingly

Graphic Novels:
Castle Waiting
Pride of Baghdad
The Irregulars
Rapunzel's Revenge
El Cazador

Any suggestions? I'd like to have more nonfiction recs, that's for sure.


Liz said...

I'm not sure if you have these already or not, but I liked Sabriel and that whole series.

Into Thin Air was good, but may be a little high for what you're shooting for. I can't imagine it'd be much more than Under the Black Flag though. (I'm suprised Stiff had as high of a RL as it did...)

The Best of Evil was really good. The follow-up not so much...

The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns? They've both got some really intense scenes in them, but if they're for the library?...

Stuff by Jodi Picoult.

What about memoirs? Me Talk Pretty One Day comes to mind as one I really liked recently. And I guess those would count as non-fic depending on who writes them.

Clix said...

I'll need to re-read Into Thin Air before I can rec it. I've already got it, though, which is nice - if I can find it.

Uh. I haven't read any of the rest. ;p Except I did read My Sister's Keeper. It annoyed the hell out of me.

Sell me on Kite Runner?

Does Sedaris get into any 'dodgy' topics in the memoir?

R2P2 said...

Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper is good and usually a big hit with boys (oh those reluctant readers!).

My students are also getting into Ellen Hopkins. The books are intimidating because they're huge but it's because it's written in poetry. I recommend Impulse and Crank.

I just read Soldier X by Don Wulffson (sp?) which is great, especially for boys. OH! And I can't forget Book of 1000 Days, the newest addition to my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE YA list. Best for girls; I just adored it.

Nonfiction recs: Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti--the reading level isn't terribly challenging, but it gives an interesting perspective to WWII; Tweak by Nic Sheff - I read his father's memoir and haven't read Nic's yet, but I have a feeling students would find his story intriguing; and finally my students - when they had to choose books and give booktalks - LOVED A Child Called "It" though I haven't read it myself yet.

This is my own list that I gave to students when we had an assignment of independent reading. If you have questions about anything w/ a star next to it, I can speak about it personally.

Liz said...

I don't remember dodgy topics, but that doesn't mean they weren't there. Although, if you're getting them for a High School library, I can't imagine it was THAT dodgy.

That was my other question. Are these for HS reluctant readers, or MS reluctant readers?

I'd heard Book of 1000 days was good too.

My librarian has really been pushing me to read Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? But I haven't had the time yet.

As for Kite Runner. I don't think my 7th or 8th graders would get into it, but I bet there'd be several HS kids that normally don't pick up a book that would.

As for JP, I ALWAYS have kids in class carrying around one of her books. I've liked the ones I've read.

Clix said...

Whew! Well, I've definitely got a pile of books that'll be waiting for me when I get to the library next. Thanks for the recs! I've got Tears of a Tiger and I think one other in that series for my classroom library; the media center has the entire set. Found it kind of bleh myself, so won't be booktalking it.

These are for high school. I wasn't able to get into Montmorency although the premise sounded good.

Did you get The Time Traveler's Wife for me?

Ms Characterized said...

The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak.

The President's Daughter (first of four in the series) by Ellen Emerson White

Non-fiction nature stuff by Farley Mowat.

Perfect You

I love the website Bookshelves of Doom. She's a librarian and writes great reviews of YA. Guys Lit Wire is a good resource for inspiring boys to read.

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