This Monday, I’ve decided to participate in It’s Monday! What are you reading?, which I found through Jen Vincent’s Blog TeachMentorTexts.com, and Kellee’s Unleashing Readers. Jen has children’s literature as the subject for these posts, which she has defined as “picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit…”
Since I tend to read middle grade and young adult novels for school, and I’m currently writing a young adult novel series, my focus will be on the older end of the children’s literature spectrum.
Therefore, these books are a little darker than most you would find in intermediate and primary fiction.
I suppose this keeps with October’s theme. A link to Common Sense Media appears under each book for parents and teachers to assess whether or not the book’s material is appropriate for their children / students.
If you’re interested in books appealing to younger crowds, or children’s literature in general, check the links that Jen Vincent provides on her blog. There you will find a list of sites participating. Each separate site has a similar posting with children’s literature titles.
What am I reading?
Pax by Sarah Pennypacker
Pax is the youngest book on the spectrum; it is often marketed as an intermediate book. Pax follows a young boy and his fox as the two are separated and trying to find one another. This book blossoms with crisp and descriptive prose, as well as emotional-intelligent character development. From my own experience, the book was true to boyhood. Obviously, that depends on the reader! As Pax and his boy, Peter, find their way in the world, the reader becomes increasingly aware of the personal and inter-personal conflicts involved in the human condition. Peter must form and patch up relationships with adults, while Pax must navigate what it is like to be a domesticated fox released into the wild. The novel alternates perspectives and storylines, creating an unforgettable experience for the reader.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost is easy for a sixth grader to read, but I would recommend it to seventh and eighth graders first, purely based on the first chapter. The main character, Castle Cranshaw, experiences a traumatic; he and his mother must run away from his father during a frightening alcoholic episode. This event is referenced in the book; however, most of the book follows him as he goes through the milestones of middle school: joining the track team, finding his place among peers, learning to overcome embarrassment, and running towards the person he wants to be. It’s a great book. I had the opportunity to hear the author, Jason Reynolds speak at a school function. He was phenomenal. Ghost is part Jason Reynold’s Track series.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman’s prose are deliciously dark and sharp. He pulls no punches, as the book starts with a very creepy murder. If children’s horror is up your alley, look no further! According to my sixth grade students, The Graveyard Book is a great, is a great, imaginative read. I just started it this week, so I can only speak to what I know. Neil Gaiman has impressed me with his other work, and I have no doubt the rest of the book will continue to hook me with every scene.
What are you reading?
Please comment or share. The new layout occasionally moves the comment link to the top of the post! Happy Monday!