Literature By The Numbers, 30.376.

School vs Learning by George CourosI stopped on the path to a new chapter in my life, and looked back over my shoulder. What have I learned this semester?

At the beginning of the semester, I didn’t know there was a genre of literature for young adults/adolescents! I don’t know if my teachers ever considered whether or not I was reading at the appropriate level, and they never asked about what else I was reading.

Page by Paige by Laura Lee GulledgeThis semester I discovered graphic novels! I read comic books as child, but I’ve never known there were entire novels captured in pictures/dialogue! (Doesn’t everyone like books with pictures?) Of the 26 books I read this semester (definitely the most books I’ve read in the span of 4 months!), my favorite was the graphic novel, “Page by Paige” by Laura Lee Gulledge. Not only did Gulledge write the book, she drew the art as well! If I were to suggest a book to be added to the list of required reading, this graphic novel would certainly be at the top of the list.  They’re such a great way to get hesitant readers to dive in!

Fahrenheit 451 graphic novelOr how about another graphic novel that I read, “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury? I’ve never been able to get all the way through “Fahrenheit 451” before, but this was a great way to read this complicated story! My second favorite graphic novel was “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier, for two reasons, 1) it’s a graphic novel, my new Drama by Raina Telgemeierfavorite genre, and 2) it’s about students putting on a musical – right up my alley!!!

Since I work full-time and take college courses to complete my endorsement, I listened to audio books for some of my reading.  I couldn’t have gotten through so many books without them. Besides, I really enjoy audio books, sometimes more than reading, depending upon the book.

Catching Fire - Suzanne CollinsI listened to the “Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, and “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth series, and really enjoyed them. I highly recommend using audio books. I’ll likely use them in my classes next year.

Of the required reading, my favorite book was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  I appreciated the self-deprecating humor that lightened the serious content.  I will certainly be using this book in my class! A close second was How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson, because I easily connected with the main character, even though my childhood was not very similar.

My favorite blog, among those that I wrote, was “Keep the Passion!” meant to express my thoughts about being passionate about education. I am passionate about theater and teaching! William Yeats once said:

lighting of a fire WB Yeats

Effie Trinket, Hunger Games
Effie Trinket, Hunger Games

Right On!  Preach it, brother!  Which leads me to my choice of blogs from my fellow Lit classmates: Pamela Lliteras and Rian Mamula write with a positive, supportive, and humorous voice in their blogs.  They are passionate about literature and learning!

Pride and Prejudice Jane AustenMy Goodreads page is loaded with “Want to Read” books, but I’ll be looking for books to share with my students, and then ask them to share their reviews in the form of “daily book advertisements.” Tops on my list to share will be the faves listed here, and more.  I’ll be reading books recommended by classmates, like “Yummy,” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” I’ll also look at some classics like “Pride and Prejudice,” and not so classic, like “Matilda.”

Reading can be fun, informative, instructive and self-reflective. Sometimes students don’t know they’re using a book as a mirror or window until we show them. I might even begin my reading time in class with a question, “What do you know about Young Adult Literature?”

live like the gates openSo what did I achieve this semester? Thus far I’ve written 30 blogs containing 13,476 words, 376 tweets (out of 905 total since January), read 15+ articles, 26 books in 100+ hours, over 16 weeks, and earned 3 credit hours. Add to that podcasts, videos and countless TedTalks! Those are some impressive numbers, but the best thing that I’ve accomplished is discovering how to share my love of literature and learning with my future students! And that’s pretty exciting!


2 thoughts on “Literature By The Numbers, 30.376.

  1. Brilliant! I listen to a lot of audiobooks too–love using them to “pad” my reading list and experience books in a different way. Page by Paige is one of my all-time favorite graphic novels–so glad you read it and loved it! Same author has another good one called Will & Whit–also highly recommended. I’m reading a great middle-grade one right now too that you must get for your classroom: Roller Girl. I’ll probably review on my blog next Monday!


  2. I bet you guessed that those numbers are half of the number of blogs and only about a third the number of tweets put out this semester! You’ll see the total number in my final paper.

    I have certainly found some great ways to incorporate more book time into my life, and I’ll certainly want to continue when I’m teaching this coming Fall!

    Thanks so much for your class – it was a blast!


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