Oct 14, 2012

Searching for great YA nonfiction

Next week, I'm picking up a class teaching gifted seventh grade students in language arts.

I'm soooo excited for this opportunity for several reasons. One: I've known these kids for several years, watched them grow and am already familiar with their work habits/abilities. Two: LA is my field. I was an English major and then a journalist. While I like teaching math, and love P.E., I've had a steep learning curve for both. (Yes, even for P.E. Contrary to popular belief, there's a lot more that goes into a successful P.E. program than organizing a round of rabbit sticks.)  But this is my native hearth.

So for the next several days, I'll be putting together a curriculum supplementing  regular 7th grade LA. We'll be taking writing to the next level, working on critical thinking skills, developing multimedia presentations and reading nonfiction that's not in the (limited) district agenda.

And that's where I need your help. I'm looking for great books - that inspire, educate and broaden horizons. ENDANGERED by Eliot Schrefer is on my list. So is Sherman Alexie's THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN. SPEAK by Laurie Halse Andersen. I'm also considering MONSTER by Walter Myers and UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand and many others.

What else can I add to my list? If you're able to link this question on Twitter or your blog, I'd so appreciate it! The more recommendations, the better! :)

Have a great week!


Kimberly Gabriel said...

I could gush about this topic for way too long. I LOVE Monster, Part Time Indian and Speak. One book that I really enjoy teaching to 7th graders is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. We complete a whole unit that revolves around the themes in that book - not judging people based on looks/reputation, being kind to others - topics that are really meaningful for 7th graders. I also LOVE teaching classic short stories to 7th graders - Poe, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Most Dangerous Game. I also use chapter excerpts from David Sedaris (An appropriate one) and Freakonomics (difficult - but good). Okay....I'll stop there. You will be so good at teaching LA to the 7th graders!

meradeth said...

7th grade is such a fun age! How about The Book Thief? That's the first one that pops to mind when I think about ones I recommend :)

Jessica L. Foster said...

Oh that must be very cool that you are going to be teaching. Sharing your love of words with kids must be cool. Good luck.