Young Adult Books in my classroom library

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Since I have had the Amazon Prime membership (unlimited free shipping for a year), I do a LOT of book buying.  I am always on the lookout for ANYTHING that might get my students to read. I do searches for recommended books, awarded books, book lists on Amazon, anything that catches my eye.  Most of the books I look for are for Latino, because my other students (Brazilian, Asian, African…) are content to read American books.

Journey of the Sparrows by Fran Leeper Buss
The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Flight to Freedom by Ana Veciana-Suarez
Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico by Malin Alegria
Quinceanera Means Sweet 15 by Veronica Chambers
Estrella’s Quinceanera by Malin Alegria
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs
Sister Chicas by Lisa Alvarado, Ann Hagman Cardinal, and Jane Alberdeston Coralin
The Well of Sacrifice by Chris Eboch
Accidental Love by Gary Soto
Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan
Graffiti Girl by Kelly Parra
Heart of a Jaguar by Marc Talbert
My Father, The Angel of Death by Ray Villareal
Roni’s Sweet Fifteen by Janet Quin-Harkin
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa
Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida by Victor Martinez
The Afterlife by Gary Soto
Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena
The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales
Haters by Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez
The Brothers Torres by Coert Voohrees
Prizefighter in Mi Casa by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo
La Linea by Ann Jaramillo
Buried Onions by Gary Soto
Crazy Love by David Rice
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau
Truth and Salsa by Linda Lowery
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan
Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska
Jesse by Gary Soto
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (of course!)
Jesse by Gary Soto
An Island Like You by Judith Ortiz Cofer

And, naturally, all of the Twilight novels

I am still waiting on Keeper by Mal Peet, which is actually about a Brazilian soccer player.

Choosing books for a classroom library (especially a middle school classroom library)  never a sure thing. I have pretty much found out that Mexicans and other Central Americans do not seem to empathize with the Cuban experience (Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez), nor do they particularly like books about Puerto Rico (An Island Like You by Judith Ortiz Cofer).  Fewer girls were interested in the books about quinceaneras than I thought – and it is VERY hard to find anything that boys will read willingly.

As of yet, no one has picked up The Tequila Worm, which is about a Mexican American girl who gets to go to a private school in Texas. Yet, I have had a few students bite on Mexican Whiteboy, which is similar, but about a boy with a sports scholarship to a private school. No one has shown any interest in my stories about pre-Columbian Mexicans (Heart of a Jaguar & The Well of Sacrifice), so that was money ill-spent…

I usually cover Esperanza Rising and House of the Scorpion in a whole group setting.  The other books, I make available for my students to read daily in my classroom.  Usually, half of the class time is spent on teaching content, and the rest is spent reading (it is a READING class, after all).  When I am really on my game, I go to the library and find as many recorded versions of the books as I can, so that students are listening to the books as well as reading them.  I don’t do it all the time, because (after all) they cannot “hear” the words on the CRCT and other reading tests.

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: All the Books… | Maison Celeste

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