I want to take the time to explain a little bit about the project I am trying to conduct here. As a second year English teacher and a life-long fan of novels, I found myself quite dismayed by the lack of student motivated reading that takes place between the ages of 11 and 18. Maybe I was just a super nerd, though I like to just think of myself as socially challenged, or perhaps unique, but I adored reading. I lavished in my ability to escape into different worlds, become different people, explores other's lives. As my second year of teaching is coming to a close, I have come to realize that it is not that students do not want to read, they just don't know what to read. The world is a fast paced place. Images overload our senses everyday on television and the internet. We have created an entire language for the purpose of chatting on internet social networks such as MySpace and Facebook. I was beginning to think the novel, or at least our appreciation of it, was dying. This was perhaps until Twilight. Last year, I had a student who I constantly had to tell to put her book away. I know, shocking and depressing, and quite ironic. Here I was a teacher who feared more than anything that students had lost interest in the exploration of literature and I was telling a student not to read (oh the joys of standardized testing and the pressures we all must face as a result). Finally, I asked my student about the book she was reading--Twilight. It sounded interesting, and she was always talking to me about it, and I mean ALWAYS, but didn't seem like quite my cup of tea (snobby brit lit fan here). Over a year later, I finally flipped through my copy of the book (it had been lying around my house for months...a sleeping monster just waiting to devour me). I fell in love, with the story, with the characters, and knew my students would love it. I immediately went to work! Finally I had found a story that I thought I could hypnotize my students with. As a result, I think over half the eighth grade at my school has read or is reading the novel--and its a plague that is spreading. This blog will be used to explore young adult literature in an attempt to compile a list of books that teenagers perhaps might want to read. I hope that it will be a place for students to share their views on books and suggest books for other teens to read. My first giant expose will be on the Twilight series. Please check back soon (most likely by the end of next weekend) for a huge story of my school's reactions to the series. Quite amusing I assure you. Some things to look out for:
1) Converting a male die hard Harry Potter Fan (He actually yelled the killing spell at a sub once in the middle of instructional time).
2) Pictures of my students Twilighting out (or geeking out!).
3) Student Written Reviews
4) Student Predictions for Breaking Dawn
5)Student Reactions to the Twilight Movie (Yes, I let them watch the trailer during my class).
As a reader of this blog, I hope you will reply to my first series of entries on Twilight and offer suggestions. I know my students are looking forward to working on this blog with me. If you can think of any questions for them, please post :-) I am also taking suggestions on what book or series I should focus on next!!