Ok, ok. I really haven’t powered through three books a month like I wanted to, but here’s what I did finish recently. On a side note, I am currently in the middle of The Passage by Justin Cronin and it’s pretty awesome (albeit over 1000 pages).
In the meantime, welcome to some young adult fiction!
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preuss: OMG! I loved this book! I totally picked it up based on it’s cover (because that’s what I do) and have now chosen it as my currently read aloud my class 6th graders. It’s a true story but told in narrative style about a young Japanese boy from a fishing village in the 1800s. He gets marooned on an island, rescued by American sailors, travels to America, returns to Japan, is imprisoned for being a spy, and becomes a freaking Samurai. Riveting, with lots of teachable moments.
Life as We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer: OMG! I also loved this book! Ok, technically I’ve read it before, but I wanted to refresh my memory for it’s use in class. This one is totally fictional and is an epistolary novel (my favorite) following a teen girl after an asteroid hits the moon and essentially causes an apocalypse for the whole world. The main character goes from being a whiny amateur ice skater to a total self-sacrificing hero when her family is about to get all Donner Party.
I frequently ask my students what their favorite books/series are because they are required to read SO MUCH (far more than I require of myself, haha), but I like to introduce them to new books as well (especially apocalyptic ones and ones about talking animals). Did you know that they pretty much despise Harry Potter? They balk at Twilight? They are even running a little tired of Hunger Games? But what’s most interesting is that when I cleaning up the room at the end of the day, I constantly have to put back my graphic novel versions of classics like Macbeth, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. Apparently Shakespeare is the it thing…?