Sunday, March 3, 2013

Talking About Books - Classic?

Last week, right before the 4-day weekend, I got a request from the 8th grade ELA teachers to do some book talks for their Standard (non high ability) classes. I immediately said yes, cuz that's how I roll. Then, after my 6th period class, which is conveniently located downstairs next to said teachers, I went in for clarification. What types of books would they like to talk about?

"We'll be doing a Classic Lit unit."
Oh. Hm.

But, then they went on to explain that students would read books pubbed in the last 13 or 14 years and debate if the books were on their way to becoming classics.


Each teacher gave me some titles they wanted me to talk about, and some they wanted me to avoid, based on units they'd done earlier in the year.  Of course, these books were totally different for each class! Also, they wanted to cover a variety of genre. Variety of genres? Whichever works.

I started walking around the library and looking at Printz titles, Newbery wins, a few YA National Book Award winners, books that I've read and re-read, and some of the classics. Is there a young adult version of the classic vampire book, Dracula? Could we have contemporary edition of Around the World in 80 days? Is there a book that still addresses our need for love and friendship or how we may destroy ourselves if we don't make a change in our lives? And on the other hand, what books are fun and fluffy but will be weeded next year?

What makes a book a classic?

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