YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.
The original request
I have a (male) teacher working with a group of Grade 7 and 8 (male students) who for various reasons need reading support but don’t read far below level. In their regular English curriculum they have been doing a lot of dystopian themed works — 1984, Animal Farm etc. — and he was seeking something that is more about overcoming the odds, coming of age, becoming a man, growing into yourself (for want of better words). It can be a short story (he was thinking Hemingway but I’m reluctant to hold him up as the sole emblem of masculine writers), short-ish novels, graphic novels…