Heather and I talk a lot about our work, and we talk a lot about what to write on this blog. We set goals. We schedule posts. Sometimes we do okay, and sometimes we simply (or not so simply) let the demands of school and home and family get in the way of what we really want to do here. In an attempt to DO BETTER, we are going to join the It”s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme.
If you look at the Book Journey blog, you can see the original idea, but really, it’s all about sharing books and outlining a weekly plan for reading. Our stacks of To-Be-Read Piles rival any of yours, but this is a little different. We’re actually going to commit to what we are reaching to read during any given week. By doing so, we can show our students that readers have a plan. Readers know what they will read next. It’s not just a willy-nilly wandering through the stacks of a library. (My students think this is the same as having a plan.)
Our friends over at Teach Mentor Texts host their own version of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? with their focus on #kidlit — book reviews and suggestions for children’s literature from pictures books to all things YA. We’re going to tag along here for a while. So. . .
I love dystopian novels: Fahrenheit 451, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and this is a genre that lots of teens enjoy reading. Of all YA books, I’ll choose dystopian over any other. Three of my favorites, all of which are the first in a series (added bonus with kids and reading) and have been around awhile:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Matched by Allie Condie
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This past week I read the ARC of Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum. Interesting. Not quite as engaging as some others. The concept is I-Robot–ish. Robots have taken over society in an attempt to save humans from themselves. The character development was pretty good: three siblings and a couple of friends. I guess the thing that weakened the appeal was the dialogue. I thought it was boring–real as in what kids actually say to their parents and one another but boring. Overall, I give it three of those five gold stars.
This week I am reading another ARC: The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist. I am not positive it’s dystopian, but I have a pretty good idea based on these last few sentences from chapter one:
“We heard Irene and stopped whispering. She came in, turned out the light, and bet over each of our cots in turn. First Isobel, then Caroline, then Eleanor, then me, leaning close to my face and whispering. ‘Go to sleep, Veronika.’
Then she pushed the spot behind my ear, with a click, like always, and I did.”
What’s next? I plan on tackling the pile of dystopian books I haven’t read yet. Some students are helping me sort and categorize the book shelves in my classroom. For now, we have labels taped around the whiteboard rails around the room and stacks of books beneath them. The dystopian stack is the tallest right after Teen Angst. I’d rather not tackle that stack for a while, but that’s just me rebelling against the teen angst I deal with every single day.
I’d love to know your favorite dystopian reads. Please leave your book suggestions in the comments.