I don’t think I am the only one who finds it difficult to pleasure read while in school is in session. With all the academic readings and assignments to tackle, more reading is the last thing I want to do. But, the term is finally over so we can slowly start to re-introduce pleasure reading back into our routines! My favourite way to get back into reading is to indulge my inner teen and read some fabulous young adult literature. You’ll be able to see a collection of some of my favourite young adult literature in the OISE library’s lobby display.
Without further delay, let’s get into my top recommendations!
Starting off with a classic, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. I think we all remember the famous line said to Ponyboy “Stay gold”, but, it might have been a decade or so since last reading this famous novel. Perhaps now is the time to refresh your memory and relive a novel from your youth. For those of you who haven’t read this classic or need a quick reminder, the novel is a coming of age story following a group of low income teens and the trials and tribulations against a gang of wealthier kids from across town. As tension escalates between the gangs that result in a murder, the boys find themselves in a dire circumstance.
Moving away from classics, Scythe is currently a popular young adult novel by Neal Shusterman, published in 2016. Scythe take place in a world where there is no misery, no hunger, no sickness, not even death. The population stays in check by the hands of the Scythes, a group of people whose job is to keep the population in check by ending lives. The story begins when the two teen leads are forced to take on the role as Scythes apprentices or face their own deaths. This dark dystopian novel tackles themes of morality and compassion, bringing the reader face to face with one’s own personal understandings of death and how our society treats this delicate topic.
Strange the Dreamer is a fantasy novel written by Laini Taylor. The story follows a young man named Lazlo Strange, a librarian who has dedicated his life to understanding and collecting knowledge about the lost city of weep. This story is beautifully told, and is at its best when you know as little as possible before you pick it up! I would highly recommend this book as an excellent adventure to embark upon to start your summer vacation!
Of course we don’t want to entirely fall off the academic bandwagon, so take a moment to pick up, From Hinton to Hamlet: Building Bridges Between Young Adult Literature and the Classics By Sarah K. Herz with Donald R. Gallo. As the title puts forth, this work seeks to help the reader gain a better understanding of how to introduce and connect young adult literature with classic literature. There are many ways for people to enjoy and engage with literature, and so many modern works are deeply rooted in the histories of the classics! Learn how you can inspire your students with all levels of literature.
Teaching Young Adult Literature Today: Insights, Considerations, and Perspectives for the Classroom Teacher by Judith A. Hayn and Jeffrey S. Kaplan can help you teach students to make connections with young adult literature, with the goal of encouraging them to become lifelong readers. Introducing accessible and relatable works to young people can incite a love of reading and give them the ability to transport themselves to new places regardless of where they are. This work also makes recommendations of great young adult literature that you might want to introduce into your classroom.
I hope you find an excellent novel to transport you this summer! Happy Reading!