I made a goal of 78 books for 2010. I may or may not be absolutely crazy. Tentative breakdown: 52 young adult titles and 26 adult titles. Wish me luck!
January 2010 (Totals: 3 Adult books + 4 Young Adult books = 7 books)
1. The Good Soldiers by David Finkel
- Adult Non-Fiction
- Recommended by my brother-in-law who served in Iraq. It’s not a “good” book but it is so informative and intense. Finkel was a journalist who was embedded and reported on one unit’s time in Iraq during a time when IED’s and attacks were far too frequent.
2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
- Adult Fiction
- I really thought that I was going to put this book down a number of times. I just couldn’t get into it until about 3/4 of the way through the book and then I couldn’t put it down. I will likely put this on the shelf for my World Literature students. I find it interesting that a number of Caribbean authors use a structure that starts off in present day, goes back a generation, goes back another generation, and then concludes with present day.
3. No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
- Young Adult Realistic Fiction
- Korman really knows how to hook his audiences. While I liked his book Schooled a little more, this one was still entertaining for an English teacher. The premise of a kid writing a “bad” book report because he doesn’t like books with dogs as the main character is totally believable. I can’t blame him. It seems true that the dog always dies: Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Young Adult Realistic Fiction
- This was a tough book – tough subject matter (suicide) and tough to put down. I liked the way that the author weaved together the characters to create a cohesive story. The premise of the story was unique. I can understand why a lot of the Grade 10 & 11 girls are clamoring for a chance to read it.
5. Ocean of Words by Ha Jin
- Adult Historical Fiction
- I’m working on my commitment to reading more of the books on my World Literature shelves. I didn’t even get a chance to shelve this one before I put it in the hands of a student who was looking for a book for his individual reading. I found this book of short stories fairly easy to read. I had heard that Ha Jin usually included gruesome content in his books. I didn’t find that really to be the case. I did put a post-it note warning on one of the chapters before I handed it off to my student.
6. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
- Newbery Winner! Young Adult Science Fiction (but feels like Realistic Fiction for most of the book).
- I think this is going to be a hit among my students who like novels that are a little more literary in nature. I like books that reference other books. If I haven’t read the referenced book, I usually want to pick it up. If I have read it, it makes the book all the more richer. Stead incorporates one of her childhood favorites – A Wrinkle in Time. I found myself wondering where the book was going to go all the way up to the last couple of chapters.
7. Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle
- Young Adult Science Fiction (with some Biblical history and speculation).
- So different from A Wrinkle in Time despite the fact that they are in the same series. I felt that L’Engle’s description of birth was a little graphic for a young adult book but perhaps that was because I had watched a video of a birth just the night before I read that chapter.
February 2010 (Totals: 1 Adult book + 0 Young Adult books = 1 book)
8. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
- Adult Realistic Fiction.
- Realistic Fiction doesn’t even begin to describe this book. We read it in my Grade 12 World Lit. class and then created four bulletin boards as a class. One of the bulletin boards is titled “The Greatest War Novel.” I don’t know if it is still considered the greatest but it has to be one of the most realistic and gut-wrenching descriptions of World War I.
March 2010 (Totals: 0 Adult books + 5 Young Adult books = 5 books)
9. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
- Young Adult Fantasy.
- I cannot believe how well Riordan incorporates Greek mythology into this series for young adults. I found myself transported back to teaching The Odyssey two years ago with Grade 9 students. So many references to the troubles that Odysseus encounters as Percy Jackson attempts to find The Golden Fleece.
10. Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
- Young Adult Realistic Fiction.
- To be honest, I probably wasn’t giving my all to reading this book. I was continually distracted by the many other things that need to get done at the end of a quarter – mainly posting quarter grades. However, I found the simple beauty and almost poetic feel to be comforting as I read the book. I loved the very real portrayal of the two siblings and their relationship.
11. Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
13. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
April 2010 (Totals: 3 Adult books + 2 Young Adult books = 5 books)
14. Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson
15. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
16. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
17. Push by Sapphire
18. Silence by Shusaku Endo
May 2010 (Totals: 5 Adult books + 1 Young Adult book = 6 books)
19. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
20. In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
21. A Man Walks Into a Room by Nicole Krauss
22. A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren
23. The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
24. Pyongyang by Guy Delisle
June 2010 (Totals: 3 Adult books + 4 Young Adult books = 7 books)
25. Game by Walter Dean Myers
26. Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
27. Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
28. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
29. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
30. Jesus Girls edited by Hannah Notess
31. Reach by Jeff Utecht
July 2010 (Totals: 3 Adult books + 3 Young Adult books = 6 books)
32. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
33. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
34. The Girl who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson
35. Flight by Sherman Alexie
36. The Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Perry
37. All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg
August 2010 (Totals: 1 Adult book + 11 Young Adult books = 12 books)
38. Countdown by Deborah Wiles
39. Knuckleheads by Jon Scieskza
40. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larrson
41. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
42. This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
43. Hiroshima by Laurence Yep
44. Ironman by Chris Crutcher
45. The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O’Connor
46. Looking for Alaska by John Green
47. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
48. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
49. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
September 2010 (Totals: 1 Adult book + 4 Young Adult books = 5 books)
50. The Hate List by Jennifer Brown
51. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
52. War Dances by Sherman Alexie
53. The Other Half of my Heart by Sundee T. Frazier
54. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
October 2010 (Totals: 1 Adult book + 3 Young Adult books = 4 books)
55. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
56. Over the Edge by Norah McClintock
57. Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin
58. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
November 2010 (Totals: 3 Adult books + 2 Young Adult books = 5 books)
59. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
60. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Cleaving by Julie Powell
62. The Help by Katherine Stockett
63. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
December 2010 (Totals: 1 Adult book + 11 Young Adult books = 12 books)
64. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
65. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
66. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
67. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
68. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
69. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
70. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
71. The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt
72. Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder
73. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
74. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
75. Paper Towns by John Green
The 12.31.2010 Results: 25 Adult Books + 50 Young Adult Books = 75 Books!