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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Last Week’s Posts

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

    

Tuesday: Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Special Announcement! The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner Wins the 2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award! Finalists: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, & The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Wednesday: Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway: The Real Us by Tommy Greenwald
**Giveaway open until Tuesday!!!**

Thursday: Ricki’s Adolescents’ Literature Class Syllabus

Friday: Vanished by James Ponti

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “Cap’n Rex’s Steps to Writing a Fictional Picture Book” by Henry Herz, Author of Cap’n Rex & His Clever Crew

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 Last Week’s Journeys

Kellee

Ah. The start of the school year. There is no tired like the first week of school tired. And that tired means very little reading; however, it does mean I’m back to driving 25 miles each way daily, so it allows for great audiobook listening time. I LOVED Highly Illogical Behavior! I am so glad that Ricki told me to listen to it–it is definitely a winning audiobook.

 Ricki

My sister is getting married, so I am flying back to Connecticut this week and weekend. I’m sorry I’ll miss you all!

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This Week’s Expeditions
Kellee

I

  • Currently reading: Unsouled by Neal Shusterman – I need to get going because I want to get through it and the final book in the series before the ebook expires from the library! And I have Scythe to read for my faculty book club on 8/8, so I need to finished the Unwind Dystology to start Shusterman’s new series.
  • Currently reading: Gamer Squad: Attack of the Not-So-Virtual Monsters by Kim Harrington – These are going to be loved by my students! Perfect for a fans of monster fantasy, video games, and Pokemon.
  • Currently listening to: The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock – I have read 3 of the 5 Walden honorees, so I grabbed this one when I saw that the audibook was available from my library.

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Upcoming Week’s Posts

Tuesday: Top Ten Antagonists from Christian U., 7th grade

Wednesday: Marti’s Song for Freedom by Emma Otheguy

Thursday: The First Week in Kellee’s Classroom

Friday: Tinyville Town by Biran Biggs

Sunday: Author Guest post

 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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“Cap’n Rex’s Steps to Writing a Fictional Picture Book”

Today, author Henry Herz joins us. His picture books include: MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY, MABEL & THE QUEEN OF DREAMS, AND LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH.  His latest, just out from Sterling, is CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW. The protagonist, Cap’n Rex, has agreed to offer advice about how to get classrooms excited about a writing assignment, and some of the other things they will learn along the way. Please welcome, Cap’n Rex.

Arrr! It’s a pleasure to be aboard, me lasses. I may be a long-in-the-tooth dinosaur pirate, but I’ve a mess o’ experience teaching wee sailors how to write fictional picture books. It keeps ’em from getting bored on our long sea voyages. There be seven steps on my map to the buried treasure of children’s literacy. Read on, if ye dare!

  1. Form crews – Arrr, there be nothin’ like a little friendly competition to inspire performance. Arrange yer students into teams o’ four. Have each team pick a name. Some o’ me favorites arrr Mystery Marauders, Biography Buccaneers, and Paranormal Pirates. But, I may be biased toward piratey appellations. Each team’ll be writing their own picture book. Savvy?
  2. Define the details – Have each team parley among themselves to figger out the story elements listed below. This here be a bonus learning opportunity to teach them some writing concepts.
    • Main character – What is the main character’s name, race/species, gender, title/role, and personality traits?
    • Other characters – Do the same for yer other characters. Limit yerself to no more than four characters in all.
    • Theme – If yer story will offer a lesson for the reader, what is it? Fer example, do unto others as you’d have others do unto you, or think outside the box.
    • Goal/obstacles – Stories are more fun if there’s tension. What goal is the main character trying to reach (in my case, it’s usually booty). And what obstacle(s) must he or she overcome to reach that goal? One tried and true formula is: try-fail, try-fail, try-succeed. That makes victory all the sweeter, me buccos.
    • Time frame – Will yer story take place in the past, present, or future? How far back in the past or into the future?
    • Setting – Where will your tale unfold? On the high seas? In yer backyard? On Mars? In an ant hill?
    • Genre – Will yer tale be fantasy, science fiction, mystery, historical, comedy, romance, horror, tragedy, or somethin’ else?
    • Point of view – Does it work better if the tale be told by the main character or by a narrator?
    • Tense – Should the tale be told in the present tense, as if it’s happening right now? Or, would it be better described in the past tense as something that’s already happened?
  3. Tell yer tale – Fictional picture books can have anywhere from zero (it’s true!) to 1,000 words. Aim fer about 500 words. Since there are often fourteen two-page “spreads”, that works out to an average of 36 words (three to four sentences) per spread. Picture books are usually written fer three to seven year-olds. So, make sure yer word choices are suitable for younger readers. Not too many syllables per word or words per sentence, or ye’ll walk the plank! Now yer teams can write their first draft of the manuscript.
  4. Time fer inspection – Just as dinosaur pirates have their work inspected by their handsome T-rex captain, yer young writers will need some guidance. Pair up yer teams. Have each member of one team read the other team’s story. Then, they offer feedback, alternating between things they liked about the story and things in the story that didn’t make sense or didn’t seem to help the story. Team members should not defend their writing. Just listen politely and take notes.
  5. Swab the deck – Just as a ship’s deck needs cleaning, so too does yer writin’. Now it be time for the teams to use the feedback they received to revise their story and make it seaworthy.
  6. Draw yer pictures – Now it be time to paint a pretty picture. A spread can be completely filled with a single illustration. Or, it can contain two to four smaller spot images. The latter is often used when the story pace has quickened. Give each team fourteen 11”x17” pieces o’ paper. Each team will divide their revised manuscript text up across the fourteen spreads. Then they’ll draw or paint pictures that help describe what is happening.
  7. Celebrate – Treats and grog (non-alcoholic) fer all when the stories be done! Each team takes turn reading their yarn to the class. Stories can be posted on the mainmast fer later parental enjoyment. What fine little writers ye arrr!

Cap’n Rex & His Clever Crew
Author: Henry L. Herz
Illustrator: Benjamin Schipper
Published August 1st, 2017 by Sterling Children’s Books

Shiver me timbers! It’s the DINOSAUR PIRATES!

Meet Captain Rex and his band of buccaneers. These dinosaur pirates sail the seven seas in search of buried treasure, but whenever they hit an obstacle—like a giant shark or pea-soup fog—the crew members are quick to say they can’t overcome. To this, Captain Rex just glares with teeth bared and says, “CAN’T YE?” And, somehow, the crew always comes up with a clever solution.

A delightful story about using one’s creativity and individual strengths to solve problems. It will encourage kids everywhere to think and say, “I can!”

Learn more about CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW and author Henry Herz at www.henryherz.com.

We Thank Ye fer Today’s Post, Cap’n Rex & Henry!

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Vanished!: A T.O.A.S.T Mystery
Author: James Ponti
Published August 22nd, 2017 by Aladdin

Summary: Florian Bates—the only kid on the FBI Director’s speed dial and several international criminals’ most wanted lists—must uncover the truth behind a series of middle school pranks that may or may not involve the daughter of the President of the United States in this hilarious second novel in the T.O.A.S.T. Mystery series.

Middle school is hard. Solving cases for the FBI is even harder. Doing both at the same time— well that’s just crazy. But that doesn’t stop Florian Bates!

After helping the FBI solve an art theft at the National Gallery and uncovering a DC spy ring, Florian’s finding life at Alice Deal Middle School a little boring. But that’s all about to change! His FBI handler, Marcus, has a job for him! Is it a bank robbery? Counterfeit ring? International espionage? Actually it’s middle school pranks…

Sounds pretty ordinary except that the pranks are happening at a prestigious private school attended by the President’s daughter who may—or may not—be involved. So Florian and Margaret are going undercover to see if they can use their TOAST skills to figure out what’s going on before the media gets hold of the story.

However, once the crime-solving pair arrive at the school, they discover that there’s a lot more than a few pranks going on and the conspiracy of silence reaches all the way to the top. Then a student vanishes in the middle of a concert at the Kennedy Center and things take a sinister turn!

Can Florian and Margaret save the day? Or are they about to get toasted?

Here is my review for FRAMED the first of the T.O.A.S.T. Mysteries 🙂 

Review: Like Framed!, Vanished! is a crazy adventure of a mystery with twists and turns that make the reader struggle to solve the mystery before Florian does! Once again Ponti’s mystery is easy to follow yet complicated enough to make it so that the reader doesn’t figure everything out before the end (which I think is the best kind of mysteries!).

What I love about this mystery, is that it teaches us more about the characters while also putting them in a whole new setting and mystery. I really enjoyed how different the two mysteries were and how Florian and Margaret’s character development really grew. Anyone who loves Framed! is going to be so happy with the sequel.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Like Framed!, I think it would be so much fun to play some mystery games with TOAST. And just liked Framed! dealt with art, this mystery includes classical music which can be explored along with it being introduced in the story.

Discussion Questions: Who did you think the prankster was?; Did the solution to the mystery surprise you?; What foreshadowing clues were there to show who the villain was?; What part of Florian and Margaret’s time in school is most realistic to the real experience?; How does Margaret help Florian face his bullies?

Flagged Passages: (When the headmaster doubts that Florian and Margaret can help, they put TOAST on display.)

“‘You have nothing to worry about, Dr. Putney,’ I assured him. ‘W’re discreet. We’ll approach it the same way you approached your church mission. Just like when you went to Brazil and adapted to their customs, we’re guests and will respect the customs and traditions unique to Chatham while we do our work.’

Marcus shot me a wink.

‘Y-y-yes,’ he stammered, trying to make sesne of what I’d just said. ‘But how did you know that?’

‘How did I know what?’ I asked. That you went on a mission? Or that it was to Brazil?’

‘Both,’ he replied.

‘TOAST,’ I said.

‘Toast?’

‘The Theory of All Small Things.’ answered Margaret. ‘The idea is that little details often give away much bigger pieces of information than you think. When you add them up, you have an indisputable truth. That’s how we’re going to find who’s responsible for the pranks. Florian and I are going to use TOAST.’

He looked back and forth at us like we were speaking a foreign language. ‘What little details could possibly tell you that I took a mission to Brazil?’

‘On the wall beside your desk are your college diplomas,’ I explained. ‘They’re from Bringham Young University. Over ninety-eight percent of the students at BYU are Mormon. And roughly a third of all Mormon men go on a mission.’

‘Okay, but that means two-thirds don’t,’ he said as a challenge. ‘What makes you think I did?’

‘You’re featured in the welcome video not only as a headmaster but also as a graduate of Chatham Day,’ I replied. ‘But there’s a six-year gap from your high school graduation until the date you received your bachelor’s. That’s four years of college with two years left over for your mission.’

‘As to Brazil,’ Margaret said, picking up without missing a beat, ‘that was easy. There’s a picture of you on the far bookcase when you were about twenty years old. You’re standing in front of the giant Christ the Redeemer statue, which is in Rio. There’s also a picture of your family on your desk. It looks like a vacation shot and it in you’re wearing a yellow-and-green jersey. Anyone who plays soccer knows it’s the jersey of the Brazilian national team. I’m guessing you became a fan while you lived there and you’ve continued ever since.’

He sat for a moment flabbergasted, unsure what to say.” (p. 32-34)

Read This If You Love: Mysteries like FRAMED! by James PontiWig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher, Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

Recommended For: 

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Colorado State University

Dr. Ricki Ginsberg

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course focuses on adolescence and the reading, analysis, and understanding of young adult literature. Some of the themes we will explore include: the body and mind, culture, (dis)ability, gender, grief, intersectionality, race, sexuality, and social class. Because the course is designed primarily for future English teachers to prepare them to examine issues of adolescents/ce, we will also consider supportive practices for teaching young adult texts critically in the classroom. This course will allow us the time and space to (re)consider our perspectives of adolescence. The reading and coursework is designed to be both rigorous but rewarding.

REQUIRED TEXTS

Required, Whole Class Texts:

Alexie, S. (2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian. New York, NY: Little, Brown.

Farizan, S. (2013). If you could be mine. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin.

Nelson, J. (2014). I’ll give you the sun. New York, NY: Speak.

Roskos, E. (2013). Dr. Bird’s advice for sad poets. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Saenz, B. A. (2012). Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Schrefer, E. (2012). Endangered. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Sepetys, R. (2011). Between shades of gray. New York, NY: Speak.

Shusterman, N. (2007). Unwind. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Thomas, A. (2017). The hate u give. New York, NY: Balzer + Bray.

Woodson, J. (2014). Brown girl dreaming. New York, NY: Nancy Paulsen.

Yang, G. L. (2006). American born Chinese. New York, NY: First Second.

Zentner, J. (2016). The serpent king. New York, NY: Ember.

Literature Circle Group Text (Disability and the Body):

You will select this text during the first week.

Anderson, L. H. (2009). Wintergirls. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Draper, S. (2010). Out of my mind. New York, NY: Atheneum.

Van Draanen, W. (2011). The running dream. New York, NY: Ember.

Palacio, R. J. (2012). Wonder. New York, NY: Knopf.

Gemeinhart, D. (2015). The honest truth. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Stork, F. X. (2008). Marcelo in the real world. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Lindstrom, E. (2015). Not if I see you first. New York, NY: Poppy.

Sloan, H. G. (2013). Counting by 7s. New York, NY: Puffin.

 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. Analyze and critique a wide range of adolescents’ literature across genre and form (as evidenced in the reading portfolio, classroom discussions, and Book Bistro conversations).
  2. Examine research and theories of adolescence through a range of scholarly sources and (re)consider our own assumptions (as evidenced in the discussion of the Youth Lens and in the Scholarly Journal Article critique).
  3. Evaluate the purpose of literature that is written explicitly for adolescents and the value of using this literature for classroom instruction (as evidenced in each course requirement, particularly the Leading a Class Discussion assignment).
  4. Explore the ways in which adolescents’ literature can be highly political in nature (as evidenced in the selected required texts and the focused discussions and classroom activities in weeks 14 and 15).

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING

The outside work for this course adheres to the instructional time equivalent to the federal credit hour definition of 2 hours of outside work for each contact hour. As such, you can expect to do approximately 5 hours of outside work each week. Much of this time will be dedicated to the course reading (required and free choice). I will not accept assignments after they are due. Please wait 24 hours to dispute a grade.

1.   Free Choice Reading Portfolio (25%)

You will be required to read a total of 3,000 pages of books written for and about adolescents.

The portfolio will reflect this work and must include:

  • A cover sheet listing the books and total number of pages that you read. If you prefer to keep track by hand, feel free to print the book log available on Canvas. At the bottom of your cover sheet, please include a signed honor statement that indicates that you read all of the pages that you list on this page.
  • A one-pager for each of the books that you read. Examples of one-pagers will be provided in class. The only requirement is that the one-pager must fit on one side of a piece of paper. Please complete these one-pagers as you read. You will be showing them to your peers during Book Bistro meetings.

Selecting texts:

  • Select texts from a variety of authors, forms, genres, subjects, and marketed age levels. Do not read over 1,000 pages of the same author, genre, or form.
  • Do not read a classic text unless it was expressly written for adolescents. For example, To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye were written for adults, but The Chocolate War and The Contender were written for adolescents. Check with me if you are unsure whether a text is traditionally considered to be a YA text.
  • Do not read books that were written for adults (Crichton, Grisham, King, Steele, etc.). You may, however, read books that are very popular, free choices among adolescents (e.g. Books on the Alex Awards lists).
  • Consult adolescents, librarians, the adolescent literature collections at the Morgan Library and 322 Eddy, ALA Award lists, and other published listings of texts. The Fort Collins libraries have great collections. Ask your peers what they are enjoying, and share books with each other. I will make ever attempt to flood you with books that you might be interested in reading, and I will bring a rolling classroom library to most classes.
  • ENJOY what you are reading. I typically use a 50-page rule. If I am not enjoying a book after 50 pages, I put it down. Please use whatever system works for you and keeps you reading. You can (and should) count the pages of unfinished books toward the 3,000-page requirement.

2. Class Participation (20%)

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your participation in class. You are expected to read the entire required texts before you come to class. I am not a fan of reading quizzes, but I need to know that you are doing your homework. As such, you will complete a reading quiz at the beginning of many classes. If you are late or absent, you will miss this assignment for the week. Your literature circle presentation will also be included in this grade.

3. Leading a Class Discussion (in pairs) (15%)

You will sign up with a peer to lead an hour-long discussion of one of the required texts. You and your peer can decide how to structure the class time and activities. You do not need to focus your discussion on the weekly topic listed in the schedule. The only requirements are: a) you will give a 5-minute reading quiz at the beginning of the hour, and b) you will lead a discussion of the reading for some portion of the time. You and your peer will grade the reading quizzes and return them to me the following class.

 4. Book Bistro Participation (10%)

You will participate in five scheduled Book Bistro meetings. You will be in charge of leading one of these meetings and inspiring conversation around the books that the members in your group are reading. You will sign up to lead the meeting in the beginning of the semester.

5. Scholarly Journal Article Critique (in pairs) (10%)

Working in pairs, you will read and critique a scholarly journal article about young adult literature or adolescence. I will help find this article. You will present your findings, complete with a handout, to the class. Your presentation should last between five and ten minutes and can include discussion.

6. Final Exam (20%)

You will design a project for the final exam that meets your personal and professional needs and passions. I will provide suggestions from previous courses that I have taught, but I recommend that you design a project that you will find exciting. We will dedicate some class time to help you determine, workshop, and independently work on this project, but you will complete most of the work outside of class. You will present your project during the university-sanctioned final exam time. The exam is scheduled for Monday, December 11, from 4:10pm-6:10pm.

7. Graduate Students Only (10%, overall grade calculated out of 110%)

In an effort to help you organize and synthesize your thinking about your Master’s thesis or project, you can choose to write five annotated bibliography entries (choose a combination of the require texts—novels and articles—for this course plus texts of your own choosing.

OR

You can design a similar project tailored to your needs. Please see me early in the semester to discuss this course requirement and to solidify your choice. This work is due to me on December 3, 2017.

 8. Honors Credit Only (10%, overall grade calculated out of 110%)

Those who seek honors credit will be required to read five advanced reader copies (galleys) of texts within (not in addition to) their 3,000 page required. They will complete five book reviews in the form of blog posts. If these students choose, I can publish these blog posts on www.unleashingreaders.com, and this work can be featured as publications on their resumes. Please see me if you are seeking honors credit.

 Grade Overview

  1. Free Choice Reading Portfolio (25%)
  2. Class Participation (20%)
  3. Leading a Class Discussion (in pairs) (15%)
  4. Book Bistro Participation (10%)
  5. Scholarly Journal Article Critique (in pairs) (10%)
  6. Final Exam (20%)

As per University policy, I use +/- grading. Calculations on a 4.0 scale are:  A+ = 4.0; A = 4.0; A- = 3.667; B+ = 3.334; B = 3.00; B- = 2.667; C+ = 2.334; C = 2.00; D = 1.00; F = 0.00

 

POLICIES

Attendance Policy

Attendance is critical for your success in this course. I expect you to be punctual. Absences beyond two per semester will result in a grade deduction of ½ grade, as this is equivalent to over a week of missed classes. For instance, if you earn an A in the course but miss three class sessions, your grade will reduce to an A-. You will also miss reading quizzes, which will impact your grade. Please see me with any concerns about your attendance. Excused absences will not count against your grade, and these will include participation in University-sanctioned activities, as well as participation in religious holidays and observances. If you will be absent for an excused reason, please see me in advance of class or email me at least one day in advance.

It is respectful to email me prior to class if you will be absent. This will help me (and your peers who are presenting) adjust class plans and groups accordingly. Please do not sign up to present on a day that you anticipate you will be absent for an excused purpose.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

The course will adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy of the Colorado State University General Catalog and the Student Conduct Code. Do not plagiarize. Any student who plagiarizes or cheats on any assignment in this course faces penalties that may include an F on the assignment or an F in the course.

Cell Phones and Computers

Please remember to turn off your cell phone before coming into class. That means no text messaging during class. Please be respectful about your computer use and do not surf the internet or check emails while in class. Abuse of this policy will result in a lower classroom participation grade.

Safety, Reporting and Resources:  

CSU’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation policy designates faculty and employees of the University as “Responsible Employees.”  This designation is consistent with federal law and guidance, and requires faculty to report information regarding students who may have experienced any form of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking or retaliation. This includes information shared with faculty in person, electronic communications or in class assignments.  As “Responsible Employees,” faculty may refer students to campus resources (see below), together with informing the Office of Support and Safety Assessment to help ensure student safety and welfare. Information regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking and retaliation is treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible while also ensuring student and campus safety.  CSU’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation policy designates faculty and employees of the University as “Responsible Employees.”  This designation is consistent with federal law and guidance, and requires faculty to report information regarding students who may have experienced any form of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking or retaliation. This includes information shared with faculty in person, electronic communications or in class assignments.  As “Responsible Employees,” faculty may refer students to campus resources (see below), together with informing the Office of Support and Safety Assessment to help ensure student safety and welfare. Information regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking and retaliation is treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible while also ensuring student and campus safety.

Any student who may be the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking or retaliation is encouraged to report to CSU through one or more of the following resources:

  • Emergency Response 911
  • Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Office of Support and Safety Assessment (970) 491-1350
  • Colorado State University Police Department (non-emergency) (970) 491-6425

For counseling support and assistance, please see the CSU Health Network, which includes a variety of counseling services that can be accessed at: CSU Health Network (http://www.health.colostate.edu/).  And, the Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team is a confidential student resource that does not have a reporting requirement and that can be of great help to students who have experienced sexual assault. The web address is: Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team (http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/need-help-support).

Accommodations

If you are a student who will need accommodations in this class, please do not hesitate to make an appointment to see me to discuss your individual needs. Accommodations must be discussed in a timely manner prior to implementation.   A verifying letter from Resources for Disabled Students may be required before any accommodation is provided.

COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1           What is Adolescent Literature? and Introductions

08/21   Introductions, Select Literature Circle Texts

Read: The Youth Lens article and the Book Bistro article

Watch: “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Begin: Your choice reading. Anticipate reading about 150 pages of choice per week, and you will be successful.

08/23   Histories and Definitions of Adolescents’ Literature

Resources for Finding and Using YA Literature

Draw table numbers for Book Bistro, Sign up to lead class.

Read: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

 

Week 2           Identity Part I

08/28   Discuss The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

08/30   The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Read: American Born Chinese.

Bring: All of your book pages thus far to share in class.

 

Week 3           Identity Part II

09/04   NO CLASS: LABOR DAY

09/06   American Born Chinese

Book Bistro #1

Read: The Serpent King

 

Week 4           Family and Friendship

09/11   The Serpent King

09/13   The Serpent King

Read: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

 

Week 5           Sexuality

09/18   Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

09/20   Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Read: I’ll Give You the Sun

 

Week 6           Negotiating Death and Grief

09/25   I’ll Give You the Sun

Research project proposal due

Bring: All of your book pages thus far to share in class.

09/27   I’ll Give You the Sun

Book Bistro #2

Read: Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

 

Week 7           Mental Health

10/02   Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

Bring: One text that you’ve loved and enjoyed this semester.

10/04   Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

Midway Book Talks

Read: Between Shades of Gray

 

Week 8           Adolescents Across Time and Place: Part I

10/09   Between Shades of Gray

10/11   Between Shades of Gray

Read: Endangered

 

Week 9           Adolescents Across Time and Place: Part II

10/16   Endangered

Bring: All of your book pages thus far to share in class.

10/18   Endangered

Youth Lens looking across all texts???

Book Bistro #3

Read: Brown Girl Dreaming

 

Week 10         Adolescents in the “Real World” (Nonfiction)

10/23   Brown Girl Dreaming

10/25   Brown Girl Dreaming

Read: Unwind

 

Week 11         Adolescents in the Imagined Worlds (Fantasy and Science Fiction)

10/30   Unwind

11/01   Unwind

Read: Literature Circle Text

 

Week 12         Disability and the Body

11/06   Literature Circle Text of Choice (See first page of syllabus)

Bring: All of your book pages thus far to share in class.

 11/08   Literature Circles

Book Bistro #4

Bring: Anything you need for your literature circle presentation.

 

Week 13         Disability and the Body

11/13   Literature Circle Presentations

Read: If You Could Be Mine

11/15   No Class (Ricki at NCTE) – Independent Reading and Work on Final Project

 

Thanksgiving Break; No Class; November 20-24, 2017

 

Week 14         The Politics of Adolescence

11/27   If You Could Be Mine

11/29   If You Could Be Mine, Skype with Sara Farizan

Read: The Hate U Give

Graduate Students: Paper Due Next Class

 

Week 15         Adolescents as Agents

12/04   The Hate U Give

Bring: Your completed Reading Portfolio

12/06   The Hate U Give

Book Bistro #5

 

Week 16         Final

12/11   Final Exam Presentations

 

 
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The Real Us
Author: Tommy Greenwald
Illustrator: J.P. Coovert
Published August 8th, 2017 by Roaring Brook Press

Summary: Laura Corbett and Damian White are loners, and not by choice. Kids make fun of smart, sarcastic Laura for her weight and artistic Damian for his tendency to sweat through his shirts. Calista Getz, however–well, everyone agrees that Calista is the prettiest girl in the whole school. Maybe even the whole state. Let’s just say that she sits at the popular lunch table. Laura and Damian don’t.

But when Calista wakes up just before the school dance with the BIGGEST pimple she has EVER seen right in the middle of her face, and her attempts to hide it backfire spectacularly, Laura and Damian are the only ones who don’t ignore her. In fact, they seem to see not only past her pimple, but past her popularity, too. Together, they’ll challenge the school’s status quo in this hilarious, heartfelt novel The Real Us, by Tommy Greenwald.

About the Author: Tommy Greenwald has enjoyed reading all his life, which is why he’s appalled that his kids Charlie, Joe and Jack, would prefer getting a dental check-up to checking out a book. After years of pleading, threatening, and bribing, Tommy finally decided the only way to get his kids to read was to write a book about how to get out of reading. The result was Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading. And they read it! (So they say.) The Executive Creative Director at SPOTCO, an entertainment advertising agency in New York City, Tommy lives in Connecticut with his wife, Cathy; his non-reading sons, Charlie, Joe and Jack; and his dogs, Moose and Coco.

Review: Middle school is a time of finding one’s identity. In The Real Us, Tommy Greenwald explores three different examples of kids in middle school and their search for who they really are. Damian is like many of our students who has something to hide from his peers so is quiet and hidden. Laura is friendly and known, but because of her weight is still excluded from most social activities. Then there is Callie. Who seems to have the perfect life, but even she learns through a bump in the road that perfection is not always what it seems. All three of these characters will resonate with readers either as a mirror or a window.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is going to be loved by middle school students. Add it to your classroom and school libraries, and it will be read and loved!

Discussion Questions: Callie’s life seemed perfect, but it wasn’t. How was it not as it seemed?; Which of the three characters do you relate to the most? Why?; Why did Callie stop being friends with Laura? What does this tell you about the two characters?

Flagged Passages: 

Damian: “I wish they had assigned seats at lunch like they do in class. It would make life a lot easier.”

Callie: “Here is a math equation for you: Sitting in class + A bandage on your nose = Forever.

Everyone gets pimples, Patrick had said.

I don’t.”

Laura: “I start to walk away, since my work here id done. But Ellie has one last question for me.

‘Do you play goalie?’ she asks. ‘Because you kind of look like you could totally block the goal all by yourself.’

Ellie and Ella dissolve into hysterics. I look at Calista, who doesn’t seem amused. But she doesn’t seem mad, either. She doesn’t seem anything.

‘No, I don’t play goalie,’ I answer. ‘I play defense. And you better watch it before I defense your butt with my foot.’

That shuts them up. I walk away.”

Read This If You Love: Roller Girl by Victoria JamiesonInsignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti BowlingMoon Shadow by Erin Downing, Posted by John David Anderson, Real Friends by Shannon Hale, Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Recommended For: 

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Don’t Miss Out on Other Blog Tour Stops!

7 August Ms. Yingling Reads | http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com — Review

8 August Maria’s Melange | http://www.mariaselke.com/ —”Why I Wrote The Real Us

9 August Log Cabin Library | http://logcabinlibrary.blogspot.com/ — Review

10 August Diary of a Happy Librarian | https://diaryofahappylibrarian.blogspot.com/ — Review

11 August Always in the Middle | https://gpattridge.com/  — “Make ‘Em Laugh”

14 August Randomly Reading | https://randomlyreading.blogspot.com/ — Review

15 August One Great Book | http://onegreatbook.com/ — Review

16  August Unleashing Readers | http://www.unleashingreaders.com  — Review and Giveaway

17  August Mr. D. Reads | https://misterdreads.wordpress.com — Author Interview

18  August Tommy Greenwald | http://tommygreenwald.com/blog/ — Giveaway

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2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner & Finalists Announced

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the 2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction winner and finalists. Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.

The 2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award winner is:

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
(Crown Books for Young Readers / Random House Children’s Books)

The 2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
(Delacorte Press / Random House Children’s Books)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
(Philomel/Penguin Young Readers)

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
(Wendy Lamb Books / Random House Children’s Books)

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
(Delacorte Press / Random House Children’s Books)

The winning title and finalists will be honored at the 2017 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 20th at 4:30pm in St. Louis, MO, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.

The 2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the many publishers who submitted titles for consideration.

The 2017 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered nearly 300 young adult titles throughout the process.  The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities.  They are:

Lisa Scherff, Committee Chair
ELA Teacher, Department Chair
Cypress Lake High School, Fort Myers, FL

Mark Letcher, Past Committee Chair
Assistant Professor of English Education
Lewis University, Romeoville, IL

Joellen Maples
Associate Professor, Graduate Literacy Program
St.  John Fisher College, Rochester, NY

Lisa Morris-Wilkey
Librarian
Casa Grande Union High School, Casa Grande, AZ

Beth Scanlon
ELA Teacher, Literacy Coach
Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL

Jessica Lorentz Smith
Teacher-Librarian
Bend Senior High School, Bend, OR

Wendy Stephens
Library Media Specialist
Cullman High School, Cullman, AL

Beth Shaum
ELA Teacher/K-8 Librarian
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School, Allen Park, MI

Sheila Benson
Associate Professor, English Education
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls IA

Marie LeJeune
Professor of Literacy
Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Kerry Neuberger
Composition I & II, Eng 9, Model Teacher
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, Garner, IA

For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents http://www.alan-ya.org/awards/walden-award/

 and

**For more information about the Walden Award and our time spent on the committee, stop by “My Time on the Walden Committee,” a post by Kellee linking to all Walden Award posts**

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

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Last Week’s Posts

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

 

  

Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Unbelievable Moments in Books [Spoilers!] from Courtney and Yasmine, 8th grade

Wednesday: The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon by Frances Poletti & Kristina Yee

Thursday: 2017 Picture Book 10 for 10: Favorite Picture Books to Use in the Secondary Classroom #PB10for10

Friday: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “An Interview with…Myself!” by Ann Herrick, Author of The Ugly Girl Party

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 Last Week’s Journeys

Kellee

School is back. That means less reading 🙁 But I was able to finish the amazing Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds! What an awesome introduction to the character with really important race issues also discussed. I cannot wait to share this one with my classes.

 Ricki

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I finished listening to The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This book will stick with me forever. I can’t get over how talented Sáenz is. He is one of my favorite authors of all time. It’s like he breathes life into his characters. This book will give teachers a lot to talk about.

I also reread Fair Isn’t Always Equal by Rick Wormeli. I like this book a lot because it forces teachers to (re)consider their views toward assessment, differentiation, and grading. The book covers a lot of topics like the “burning questions” we ask ourselves about grading and whether homework should count. I’m excited to use this book in my Methods class next semester because I think it will spur a lot of debates.

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This Week’s Expeditions
Kellee

 

  • Currently reading: Unsouled by Neal Shusterman –YES YES YES! I’m so excited to continue this series. If you haven’t read it, it is a wonderful dystopian series (with some serious political undertones).
  • Currently listening: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley – Oh man! I love this book so much! I was struggling with my last audiobook, so I grabbed this one to help me get out of the listening rut, and it is working! I want to listen to it all the time. If you haven’t read this one, I definitely recommend it.
  • Coming up: Gamer Squad 1 & 2 by Kim Harrington – I look forward to reading and reviewing these for UR.
  • Coming up: Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari – I look forward to reading and reviewing this one for UR.
  • Coming up: Giant Pumpkin Suite by Melanie Heuiser Hill – I look forward to reading and reviewing this one for UR.
  • Hope to get to s0on (will read it before it expires from the library!): Finding Perfect by Elly Schwartz – This one has come highly recommended by many of my friends on Twitter, and I finally got my reserved copy of it from the library.
  • Hope to get to soon: Stealing Our Way Home by Cecelia Galante – I loved Summer of May by Galante and this one has come highly recommended by Michele, so I look forward to it.
 Ricki

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I am listening to (and loving) The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.

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Upcoming Week’s Posts

Tuesday: Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Announcement

Wednesday: Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway: The Real Us by Tommy Greenwald

Thursday: Ricki’s Adolescents’ Literature Class Syllabus

Friday: Vanished by James Ponti

Sunday: Author Guest Post

 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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