Summer Reading List
“These books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.” ~Jeod, Eragon
My love of young adult literature is one of the reasons I have embarked on a teaching career. With all the literature available to students, I have decided to compile a list of YA literature that I intend on reading during my summer break. This will enhance my knowledge of YA literature in order to better inform my students of the wonderful texts available to them. I have also included titles that some of my current students have strongly recommended to me.
Behind You, by Jacqueline Woodson
In the beginning of the book the main character, Miah, is killed suddenly. His loved ones are left behind to deal with their grief and sadness. This book ultimately tells how they came together to mourn his death. In doing so they end up helping each other out of their despair and learn to remember the past while living in the present. I liked how this book dealt with issues surrounding race, sexuality and social status. I also think it has nicely developed characters that students can easily relate to. Finally, although this is the sequel to If You Come Softly, it is not necessary to have read that book to understand or appreciate this one.
Eragon , by Christopher Paolini
This book is the embodiment of fantasy literature. There is a hero, an enemy, a great challenge, revenge, magic, romance, vast landscape and imaginary creatures. It is truly a piece of literature that would appeal to male students based on the young male protagonist and the personal growth he encounters throughout his journey.
The Guardian, by Julius Lester
The Guardian is a very quick read but very griping. Lester’s beautiful language spins the story of a young boy caught between doing what he believes is morally right (defending an innocent black man) and obeying his father (a white businessman in the local community). Although this is fiction, the story itself embodies authentic historic details making this story of loss and hope even more powerful.
Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Th1rteen R3asons Why, by Jay Asher
This story is told through thirteen cassette tapes on which a suicide victim hauntingly details the story of her high school life. She reminds her classmates, teachers and the reader to be aware of the actions we take. There are always repercussions, even if we don’t realize it.
Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson
This book is pretty much the male version of Speak. It is full of dry humor and sarcasm from the main character. It’s about a male student’s senior year of high school in which he attempts to over come his past criminal activities, his dysfunctional family life, his nonexistent love life and continual thoughts of suicide.