YA Lit and Detention

Lately, I’ve been immersed in the world of YA Lit as part of my preservice teacher education program. My fellow TCs and I have been given a list of YA literature that I’m sure will prove to be a handy resource in the future. The list:

Adult Contemporary Literature

Kalisha Buckhanon – Upstate
Tracy Chevalier – Girl with the Pearl Earring
Amanda Davis – Wonder When You’ll Miss Me
Alicia Erian – Towelhead
Gregory Galloway – As Simple As Snow
Hark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Khaled Hosseini – The Kite Runner
Kazuo Ishiguro – Never Let Me Go
J.R. Moehringer – The Tender Bar
Ann Packer – The Dive From Clausen’s Pier
Nancy Rawles – My Jim
Kit Reed – Thinner Than Thou
Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
Curtis Sittenfeld – Prep
Martha Southgate – The Fall of Rome
Art Spiegelman – Maus
Tobias Wolfe – Old School
Craig Thompson – Blankets
Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife

Contemporary Adolescent Literature

Laurie Halse Anderson – Speak
M.T. Anderson – Feed
Judy Blume – Places I Never Meant to Be
Joshua Braff – The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green
Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Martha Brooks – The True Confessions of a Heartless Girl
Stephen Chbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Robert Cormier – The Chocolate War
Sharon Creech – Walk Two Moons
Jennifer Donnelly – A Northern Light
Alex Flinn – Breathing Underwater
Mel Glenn – Who Killed Mr. Chippendale
Karen Hesse – Phoenix Rising
A.M. Jenkins – Damage
David Levithan – The Realm of Possibility
Melina Marchetta – Saving Francesca
Tom & Laura McNeal – Crooked
Stephenie Meyer – Twilight
Christopher Moore – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
Michael Morpurgo – Private Peaceful
Richard Mosher – Zazoo
Kenneth Oppel – Airborn
Phyllis Alesia Perry – Stigmata
Cynthia Rylant – A Fine White Dust
Louis Sachar – Holes
Jerry Spinelli – Stargirl
Sarah Weeks – So B. It.
Scott Westerfeld – Peeps
Chris Wooding – Poison

Multicultural Adolescent Literature

Julia Alvarez – How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Francesca Lia Block – Witch Baby
Joseph Bruchac – The Heart of a Chief
Sandra Cisneros – House on Mango Street
Linda Crew – Children of the River
Sharon M. Draper – Romiette and Julio
Louise Erdrich – The Birchbark House
Will Hobbs – Bearstone
Merle Hodge – For the Life of Laetitia
Angela Johnson – Bird
Victor Martinez – Parrot in the Oven
Carolyn Meyer – White Lilacs
Kyoko Mori – Shizuko’s Daughter
Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye
Pam Munoz Ryan – Esperanza Rising
Walter Dean Myers – Monster
Lensey Namioka – Ties that Bind, Ties that Break
Gary Paulson – The Crossing
April Sinclair – Coffee Will Make You Black
Gary Soto – Buried Onions
Martha Southgate – Another Way to Dance
Rita Williams-Garcia – Every Time a Rainbow Dies

‘Classic’ Adolescent Literature

Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Anonymous – Go Ask Alice
Judy Blume – Forever
Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game
Robert Cormier – The Chocolate War
Chris Crutcher – Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
Anne Frank – Diary of Anne Frank
William Golding – Lord of the Flies
Bette Greene – Summer of My German Soldier
Jeanne & James Houston – Farewell to Manzanar
Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
Robert Lipsyte – The Contender
Lois Lowry – The Giver
Katherine Paterson – Bridge to Terabithia
Gary Paulson – Hatchet
John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men
Mildred D. Taylor – Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Theodore Taylor – The Cay
Cynthia Voigt – Homecoming
Paul Zindel – The Pigman


Steve Almond – Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Melba Patillo-Beals – Warriors Don’t Cry
H.G. Bissinger – Friday Night Lights
Lynn Cox – Swimming to Antarctica
Barbara Ehrenreich – Nickel and Dimed
Henry Louis Gates – Colored People
Jon Katz – Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho
Alex Kotlowitz – There Are No Children Here
John Krakauer – Into Thin Air
Lealan Jones – Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago
Walter Dean Myers – Bad Boy: A Memoir
Michael Pollan – The Botany of Desire
Mary Roach – Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Brent Runyon – The Burn Journals
Julia Scheeres – Jesus Land: A Memoir
Eric Schosser – Fast Food Nation
Tobias Wolfe – This Boy’s Life
Koren Zailckas – Smashed: The Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Sexual Identity Themes

Nancy Garden – Annie on My Mind
Marion Dane Bauer – Am I Blue
Ellen Wittlinger – Hard Love
Garret Freymann-Weyr – My Heartbeat
Judd Winick – Pedro and Me
David Levithan – Boy Meets Boy
Bette Greene – The Drowning of Stephan Jones
Jacqualine Woodson – From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

Fantasy/Science Fiction

Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner)
C.S. Louis – Chronicles of Narnia Series
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials Trilogy: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter Series

Obviously not comprehensive in the least, but it provides a good starting point for those who are foreigners to the realm of YA Lit. Some of the ones I’ve read lately and highly recommend are The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

As for the second part of this post, as promised, I need to talk about detention.  One of the things I have the most trouble with is disciplining students when I feel like my MT’s classroom is not my own.  They definitely don’t take me as seriously as her, and possibly never will.  The point is, though, that I need to learn how to discipline.  Giving detention is integral to this.  I don’t have to worry about administering their detention since I am never there after school, but I am wondering how I am going to administer detention next year.

I know that a lot of teachers make their students serve detention by forcing them to write and write and write.  The problem is, what kind of message does that send my ENGLISH students if I make them write as a punishment.  I really wish teachers would stop making their students write the one sentence over again.  Or, even writing the chapter, even if it is a chapter they are going to be studying anyway.  What I want is to force my students to clean my fishtanks, my desks, my floor, and, perhaps, help the cleaning personnel with after-school clean-up.  I wonder how other teachers do detention for their students ….

This entry was posted in Classroom Management, Reading Resources. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to YA Lit and Detention

  1. Mike Blakely says:

    Is it possible to update the links for the state of Georgia? And is this an active site?

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