professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Time for some more discussion

Here is the link to TIME's list of Best YA books of all time: If you will recall, yesterday I talked about my feelings about lists in general. I try to avoid making lists (and checking them twice). I do keep a running list of all the books I read each month. I do have back lists of books from the past decade or so, books I have read and book talked. I have served on selection committees for NCTE and IRA and ALA where I have had to make lists, narrow choices, etc. I CAN do this. But, outside of those committees, I would prefer to have HUGE lists of books. The reason? There are so many readers out there, readers who do not fit into a mold, readers who eschew award winning books, readers who have idiosyncratic tastes and preferences. I try to read widely and to keep my lists as wide open as possible. You see, I do not know which book might just be the gateway book for a reader. Years ago I did a PD session at the school where I was a middle school ELA teacher for years. All faculty had to attend the session (and how much do I hate those situations?), so I talked about a cross section of books that might interest content area folks. Several months after the PD, a former colleague, a coach and PE teacher, thanked me for talking about a book that I included. She read it and now was reading all the books by that author. It was NOT a book I had selected for her or her content area. It was a book I knew would appeal to English teachers, though. But it struck a chord with this teacher. I always find ti interesting to see which kids select which books when I book talk.

So, all this is prelude to the YA list and the questions I have about it.

1. Who were the YA "experts" consulted here?

2. What were the criteria for making the list?

3. How was YA defined? There are a TON of MG (middle grade) novels here that I would not label as YA.

4. Why are there books written for adults on the YA list? I am speaking, of course, about the classics. They are NOT YA. They were never intended for YA. Most YA readers dislike them. Why, oh why, do we need to perpetuate the inclusion of literature intended for adults in YA literature?

5. Charlotte's Web? Really?

6. International authors? Authors of color? Diversity?

7. While I applaud the inclusion of Peter Sis' THE WALL, where are the other picture books for older readers?

8. Nonfiction?

9. Poetry?

10. More GNs? Novels in verse?

Again, I know the titles on this list. But if I removed the classics, the MG books, and the novels for elementary readers, I could include a WHOLE lot more titles representative of the golden age of YA lit and now its second golden age. There are authors overlooked entirely.

I need to see if I can teach a seminar this summer. I really, really, really want to talk about these lists with others.
Tags: best book lists, idiocy

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