Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught _____101

How fun is this week's Top Ten Tuesday Topic? Linking up with The Broke and The Bookish to talk about my imaginary curriculum for my imaginary YA class.

What would I teach? Intro to Young Adult Literature, of course! The goal of the class would be to give students a foundation of knowledge about YA lit, from its beginnings to today--trends and sub-genres included.

Here's my required reading list:

1. THE OUTSIDERS by S. E. Hinton.
This book is a precursor to today’s YA genre, not to mention Hinton wrote it at age 17. Strong voice and themes we can all recognize. 
2. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry.
Like THE OUTSIDERS, this book is part of the origins of YA dystopian. Reading it will help build a base for later discussions on worldbuilding.
3. TIGER EYES by Judy Blume.
I was going to go with my girl Margaret, but I decided to cut the boys in the class a little slack. The MC of TIGER EYES is a little older (this is one of Blume’s YA books, not MG) and she deals with grief (the loss of her father) in a very honest way.
4. SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Because how could I not? Everyone should read Melinda’s story.
5. LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green.
I opted for ALASKA over THE FAULT IN OUR STARS because more people have probably read TFIOS. Plus it’s Green’s Printz winner (we’ll talk more about book awards later in the list) full of humor, tragedy, and thought-provoking discussions. Also, THE PRANKS!  
6. THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak.  
This book has a completely unique narrative style and structure. I wanted to add a touch of historical fiction to the list.
I want to squeeze in a paranormal book, and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE has such beautiful prose. Even if paranormal isn’t some students’ thing, they can at least learn from the writing style and character development.
8. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins.
We can continue our dystopian/worldbuilding discussion from THE GIVER (and perhaps DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE as well) and also dive into the murky waters of movie adaptations. I’d show the Hunger Games movie after everyone read the book, then we can discuss what makes a good movie adaptation.
9. ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers.
I’d pair this with SPEAK in a discussion about rape/rape culture in society, as well as how the issue is portrayed in YA (why it’s important, when it’s written well, etc).
10. I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson.
Not only is this one of my favorite books of all time, it’s a Printz winner, which will give us the perfect opportunity to discuss YA book awards. This book has everything we’ve talked about in the other discussions: gorgeous prose, well-developed characters, relatable themes.
Any books you'd add to my course list? If you could design your own course, what would it be? What books would you assign?


  1. I should probably take this class as I am sadly out of the loop when it comes to YA lit lol :) My TTT

    1. I highly recommend any and all of these books if you're looking to dabble in YA! :D Thanks for stopping by, Carrie!

  2. All The Rage and Speak are both on my TBR. I love The Hunger Games, it was on my list this week too, but for a different 101 class! The Book Thief is one of my favourite books ever! A Daughter of Smoke and Bone is also on my TBR!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/top-ten-tuesday-19/

    1. I highly recommend both SPEAK and ALL THE RAGE. It's been a few years since I read SPEAK, but I just read ALL THE RAGE in April and I still think about it so often...it sticks with you.

  3. Um, this list is perfection. I'm not sure I'd change anything about it! I love how you chose books of different genres and writing styles, and yet they all fit together really wonderfully. And just seeing I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN's gorgeous cover makes me want to reread it immediately. Great choices, lady!

    1. Thanks Katy! And HAVE YOU SEEN THE PAPERBACK for I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN? http://www.bustle.com/articles/106529-11-of-the-best-ill-give-you-the-sun-quotes-in-honor-of-jandy-nelsons-unique
      I'm totally buying it again when it's released because it's stunning! <3

  4. I love that you've gone for a variety of different genres, it really highlights the diversity found in YA. Great choices too!

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday list!

    Also, please take the time to enter my giveaway!

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination


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