More YA Literature, and This Week’s Storytime

My storytime this week had four kids instead of two!  Which was very exciting, actually.  What is also exciting is how consistently great the parents/caregivers are who come with the kids – doing a lapsit storytime depends pretty heavily on parental involvement, and the parents I’ve been seeing have not hesitated to jump right in and sing, rhyme, and interact with me and their babies.

The books I picked were not great, and I’ve been bad about practicing my books ahead of time – after this week I won’t make that mistake again!  I read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle, and Joey and Jet In Space by James Wang.  Both great books, but Joey and Jet especially was a little too abstract for my group.  I thought Polar Bear, Polar Bear would be good for some animal sounds, but if the kids are too young to really participate it ends up reading too fast and not very smoothly.

Here’s an update on our YA brackets!

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2. I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
3. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
4. Sabriel, Garth Nix
5. The Monstrumologist, Rick Yancey
6. Coraline, Neil Gaiman
7. Airman, Eoin Colfer
8. The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
9. Abarat, Clive Barker
10. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkein
11. Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
12. Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine

Science Fiction
1. Ender’s Game
2. Leviathan, Scott Westerfeldt
3. The Giver, Lois Lowry
4. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
5. Feed, M.T. Anderson

Realistic Fiction
1. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
2. Looking for Alaska, John Green
3. Holes, Louis Sachar
4. Hatchet, Gary Paulson
5. Fat Kid Rules the World, KL Going
6. Whale Talk, Chris Crutcher
7. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
8. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares
9. Memoirs of a Bookbat, Kathryn Lasky
10. My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
11. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
12. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
13. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
14. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
15. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

Historical Fiction
1. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
2. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
3. A Separate Peace, John Knowles
4. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
5. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell

A couple of things to note while we’re selecting our brackets. The original problematic bracket from EW is focused on young adult literature – that’s literature written and aimed at teens, with specifically teenagers in mind. One of the problems I had with their selections is that some of them (Dune, Flowers for Algernon, etc.) are adult books that happen to be popular with teenagers. Other books on the list are really aimed at children, or at least young people under the age of thirteen. I’m not including Watership Down, for example, because the author wrote it with his young daughters in mind – daughters younger than teen years. Samesies with Roald Dahl’s work, or Tamora Pierce – both authors wrote almost exclusively for the under-twelve crowd.


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