In school, English class was always my favorite, but I often wondered why we couldn’t read something fun instead of spending so much time on “the classics.” I’m in search of contemporary fiction with teen appeal and credibility for teachers. I interviewed teachers and here is what I learned.
Mike teaches grades 6, 7 & 8
Emily R. teaches grade 11
Emily D teaches grade 7
What contemporary fiction novels do you use in the classroom?
Mike: I don’t really use contemporary fiction novels in the classroom except as books available for book projects and book reports.
Emily R.: I may have them do an independent project this quarter with a novel of their choice.
Emily D: House of the Scorpion (2003 Printz Honor Book) by Nancy Farmer, Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, Monster (2000 Printz Winner) by Walter Dean Myers, and Seedfolks (Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers) by Paul Fleischman.
What older classics do you or have you used in the classroom?
Mike: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (The Ultimate YA Bookshelf), Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (2002 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults), and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
Emily R.: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.