Monday, August 25, 2008

What Kids are Really Reading


Today was the first day of school. As a teacher, I've never really had to forfeit the first day of school. I get them often. Twice a year as a matter of fact. Yes, I usually buy a new outfit. I always buy new notebooks and folders. I taught three classes today: an English 061, an English 071, and an English 101. In each class, I gave a questionnaire. I ask the question "What was the last book you read?"

Today, roughly 75 students told me. Er, actually four left it blank and three admitted either they didn't remember or they never read.

Never read? What a hole that would leave in my life. I'm reading The
Nineteenth Wife
right now. I'm fascinated and disturbed. I'm also reading The Sisterhood of the Dropped Stitches and How to be a Mid-life Mom.

Stephen King is the all-time winner of my freshman queries. He only had one book today, but every semester, he's mentioned. Danielle Steele and John Grisham often are mentioned. Lately, the up and coming series is Twilight. I had more mentions of that than any other book. Harry Potter, for the first time in years, was not mentioned. The Bible was mentioned, specifically the book of Psalm. The Shack was mentioned. Made me feel a bit inadequate. I own The Shack. I started it. I cannot get past page eight. Maybe because I have a toddler and the content made me want to cry.

Many students post what their high school senior English teachers require. I see a lot of The Bell Jar. I see Gatsby. I see Fast Food Nation.

My students will get a lot of Langston Hughes from me. O Henry comes in second. I've had them read All Things Great and Small by James Herriot. Until I taught the book, I didn't even notice all the British slang.

I love books. If I could only have ten books (I'm not including series; I'll do that next week) on a deserted island, I'd have

The Bible
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Minor Adjustment by Beverly Summers - an old Kismet book.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe
The Other Woman by Joy Fielding
Our Husband by Stephanie Bond
The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham
Years by LaVryle Spencer
There's a young adult by Carolyn B. Clooney, but I don't recall it's name. I'll dig through my books and find it. I've read it about ten times. It's that good.

Okay, guys, which books did I leave off.

Pamela

2 comments:

Lisa Mondello said...

Pam, did I ever tell you my 14 year old daughter is on a Gone with the Wind kick? She's not a big reader like my oldest daughter is (I'm convinced my 16 year old eats books. Not that I'm complaining!) But I told her if she wanted to give GWTW a try, I'm all game for buying it.

PamelaTracy said...

I have three GWTW books. One is really old with a yellowish cover. When I first saw the movie, I came home and told my mother I was going to marry Clark Gable. She, not really having much of a sense of humor, simply informed me, "He's dead." I was crushed.