Cart applies his considerable expertise as columnist and critic for Booklist to identifying 200 exceptional adult books that will satisfy a variety of young adults’ recreational reading tastes. Based on the notoriously choosy reading interests of today’s older young adults.
Marita Thomson's insight:
I look forward to getting my hands on this volume for some inspiration.
This summer get tangled up in fairytales, myths and legends by participating in the 2012-2013 Summer Reading Club, Untangled Tales!
Your local library may be participating or have their own summer reading program.
Marita Thomson's insight:
State Library of Queensland & ALIA Public Libraries provide this excellent resource for those who want to be inspired to read across the summer. Interesting stuff for preschool, primary and secondary kids.
There is much to celebrate and much reading to be done.
Your votes have been streaming in all year, so here are the top 10 Aussie Books for 2012, as chosen by you.
Cloudstreet - Tim Winton The Book Thief - Markus Zusak A Fortunate Life - A.B. Facey The Harp in the South - Ruth Park The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay Jasper Jones - Craig Silvey The Magic Pudding - Norman Lindsay The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas The Secret River - Kate Grenville Picnic at Hanging Rock - Joan Lindsay
You can also browse the top 50 books from this popular vote. Some young adult books have made the list and many others which will appeal to older teens or those who are ready for a challenge.
Fabulous collection for a reading challenge or as a spur to get teens to debate what should be dropped or added:
"...we’d like to present this wall of over 140 books that we think will speak to the boys of YA. They’re full of adventure, magic, real-world issues, and romance. Some of them are even written by - *gasp* - women. They give us all kinds of male figures: strong, brave, struggling, emotional, confused, and yes - even a few great role models. Most of all, they give us great stories for any reader -- almost all of these books appeal to us as adult women even though we are probably not the target audience from a marketing perspective. That being said, while we do think that there will always be outlier readers who feel comfortable reading anything and everything (and we love them for it), we also realize that it might be a struggle to hand-sell a book with a girl in a dress on the cover or a romance-driven plot to the "average" boy. We'd love to think of this list as a tool for educators, librarians, parents, and teens to find a great read for the boys in their lives, but anyone who enjoys a great story will find something in this wall of books."
A wise article about what works in YA fiction, with words from a number of authors, some new to me that I'll be following up.
Next step: Which Australian writers are producing books of this kind?
"Writing books that appeal to boys is a joy and a challenge. Here are some “boots on the ground” perspectives from readers, teachers, and librarians, as well as invaluable insights shared by children’s authors Darren Shan, Ellen Hopkins, Tim Wynne-Jones, and break-out debut novelist, Scott Blagden on how to reach this important readership."
"Seven Victorians had their silhouettes made at a little shop in London, and then, they vanished. What happened? The letters tell all. Laser Lace Letters is a series of tangible stories where you become a steampunk detective on the trail of a string of mysterious disappearances. At the heart of each story is a beautiful, laser cut cameo handmade in felt by artist Haley Moore."
This is a Kickstarter project which would be brilliant for storytelling, modelling and exploring the steampunk genre. Here's hoping it reaches it's target. Otherwise, perhaps it is an idea to emulate with kids.
Always a valuable place for reliable opinion, the ReadPlus blog has reviewed 8 of the YALSA Teens' Top Ten. The full list is:
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Lu, Marie. Legend Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Dessen, Sarah. What Happened to Goodbye. Revis, Beth. Across the Universe. Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. Forman, Gayle. Where She Went. Cabot, Meg. Abandon.
"Summer, like youth, is fleeting. But the books we read when we're young can stay with us for a lifetime. Here's hoping that when the school bell rings in a few short weeks, it will find you engrossed in just such a memorable read, selected by the NPR audience. Enjoy."
"More than 75,000 of you voted for your favorite young-adult fiction. Now, after all the nominating, sorting and counting, the final results are in. Here are the 100 best teen novels, chosen by the NPR audience."
Much of this is what we have been hearing forever, it seems, but make sure you get down to How To Bridge The Reading Gap. Noted literacy researcher, William Brozo, has some sensible ideas that work and are very replicable, including honouring personal choice of reading material.
Via Heather Stapleton
"Before there was The Hunger Games trilogy, there was Suzanne Collins' middle-grade series, Gregor the Overlander. We pay some attention to the best B-sides from a few of our favorite Y.A. and children's authors." Exploring a favourite author's backlist can be like striking gold.
"Kids from New South Wales judge their own literary awards each year - Australian books that inspire, amuse, terrify, enlighten and engage them most."
Marita Thomson's insight:
Get thinking about your favourite Australian books. Kids up to Year 9 nominate theirs in Term 1, read from the shortlist and vote by the end of Term 3. This is an excellent structure for a school or library book group (we did it with years 7 & 8 in 2012), or a class focus. Disclosure: I'm on the committee!
"The books listed here will ... feature clear narratives that quickly draw readers into the action and are supported by snappy dialogue that helps move the stories along. Add to that appealing protagonists, attractive covers, and layouts that feature generous print size and plenty of white space, and bingo, you have something to hand to the hard-to-please. A few series titles and sequels are included to keep them reading once they’re hooked."
Via Heather Stapleton
Marita Thomson's insight:
An interesting list for early teens and younger. Some well known and respected authors here and some new to me.
All this needs is some Australian content - Seven Little Australians, The Magic Pudding, Shy the Platypus, Ivan Southall, Nan Chauncy, Patricia Wrightson, Graeme Base, Garth Nix, Melina Marchetta, Libby Gleeson, etcetera. Will have to sort that out some day.
"When confronted with over a hundred books, it can be really helpful to have expert recommendations – sort of like reader’s advisory about the reader’s advisory, if that’s not too meta for you all. While we were putting together yesterday's wall - 140+ Books for the Boys of YA – we thought we might branch out a little bit and ask some of the authors featured in the wall itself for recommendations." This post covers an impresive variety of quality (and fun) books for the young & young at heart - or even those who can just barely remember either state.
"Young-adult fantasy is in the main, written for, published for, or marketed to readers between the ages of 12 and 18. For the purposes of this page we have decided to feature books that we believe are both aimed at the YA market and also feature a young adult as the main character. And so therefore coming-of-age also plays a large part in the books we have chosen. Many of the books will be familiar but we hope there are also a few surprises that allow you to discover some great new titles."
This is an excellent place to start if you want to get a grasp of the genre. I like the overlap with adult titles and the combination of classic and new.
"Like Town, this is another collection of short stories. But as well as being set in a different kind of environment, the ways in which the characters connect in City are different too. The thing is that in a country town, everyone thinks they know everyone else, whereas people who live in cities will happily drive for an hour to have coffee with a friend, but won’t know the name of the lady who lives upstairs. "And since 90 percent of us live in cities, I thought that this idea was worth thinking about." JAMES ROY
The Kids Own Australian Literature Awards have finished for another year with a big celebration at Monkey Baa Theatre in Sydney's new Darling Quarter. This year the Year 7 to 9 category shortlist had an excellent range of Australian teen books, with a satisfying inclusion of established and newer authors. You can get involved in the 2013 process by having students recommend their favourites early in the year, or jump on board when the shortlist comes out later.
When teens considered reluctant readers get hooked into an early morning writing class then someone is doing something very right.
"What disrupted the conventional wisdom about adolescents and their lack of enthusiasm for school in general and for writing in particular? We believe an important element was our use of the texts of popular culture—graphic novels, anime, internet sources, and music—as tools to motivate and inspire creativity (Frey and Fisher, 2004). Although our class was focused on writing, our students engaged every day with nontraditional texts selected to spark interest and to serve as mentor texts for their writing. We debated content and then analyzed the ways in which artists and writers conveyed their points of view in powerful ways."
Article by Keeli Cambourne on school libraries being transformed to support literacy development in students. Features the changes school libraries are making to accommodate the needs and interest of 21st century learners, incoluding ebook collections, students creating book trailers, National Year of Reading initiatives and supporting struggling and reluctant readers. Also features the benefits of recent refurbishments to these school libraries.
Features three Sydney schools: Roseville College, PLC Sydney, Mount Annan Christian College Currins Hill.
"Home page of the Library of Congress Poetry 180 Project...Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year." Chosen by Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate and all round very readable poet himself. This is a simple idea that could easily be supplemented with local content. Collins says: "Listening to poetry can encourage students and other learners to become members of the circle of readers for whom poetry is a vital source of pleasure."