Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Children's Lit Favorites, and Being a Student Again

1. The Amazing Bone; 2. The Girl Who Spun Gold; 3. Locomotion; 4. Grandfather's Journey; 5. Extra Yarn; 6. A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

I mentioned before that I'm taking a course in children's literature at the college where I work. Higher Ed has lots of perks - not lots of money, but time off, a nice pace to the days, and the gift of working in an intellectual environment. Also, free classes!

I haven't been an official student since I graduated from college in 2006. And while I write and edit all the live long day, but that's very different than literary critique. We do things like think about Little Red Riding Hood from a feminist perspective, and examine the use of triangles in picture book illustrations. It's nerve-wracking and exciting to use my brain in this new way.

As an undergraduate, I was always a good student, but I remember it being a bit of game to see how little I could get away with doing and how quickly I could complete a decent assignment. Now I want to swim inside my reading assignments; mull over how to make my transitions strong but compact for my next paper. And I see elements of my class all over the place, like beer bottles or in Talk of the Town.

The class about a third of the way finished now, and I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite books from our reading list so far. We're doing many of the classics, too, but I skipped those in favor of newer or more obscure books that might be new to you (they all were to me!). Of the ones listed above, Locomotion is my absolute favorite. It is a stunning novel, written in verse, from the perspective of 11 year-old Lonnie. He's a character who stays with you, in the best possible way.

I'll try to remember to check in again at the end of the semester with more recs - we still have historical fiction, fantasy, and YA to cover!


  1. When I started working as a librarian, I was a children's librarian. I'm going to look for Locomotion the next time I go to the public library! Now that I work at a high school, I read YA fiction. When you get to the YA, I hope you are able to read some of John Green's books!

  2. I loooove Extra Yarn... I did a K lesson with it!

    Read The One and Only Ivan... PHENOMENAL!


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