The thing I love about teaching Grade 10 is that to a 15 year old everything is SO INTENSE! When students feel emotions, they FEEL them. They tell you how it is, because they are not too immature to talk about feelings and they are not too old to want to control them. When they hate an assignment, they tell you exactly why. And when they like a book they need to SHARE it. NOW. HERE.
The book was Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. And my student shoved the 600 page hardcover in my face until I could literally smell the cover. Then he made me promise to read it. Like pinkie swear, cross my heart read it. And when a Grade 10 boy tells you to read something – you listen. Even if your first thought is: “Didn’t Orson Scott Card writer Ender’s Game? Isn’t he a CHILDREN’S writer? Am I not too old for this?”
But the awesome truth is that YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD to read YA! Look at all the adults who read Harry Potter…or Twilight for that matter. There are even groups for it on Goodreads.com. In fact, adults could learn a lot about Young Adults if they read more YA fiction. Some of my best conversations about books are with my students. They aren’t jaded by college-level theory, or look too deeply into themselves or others. They make statements that start with “Imagine if…” and ask questions that start with “If I were…”. And they get the themes and the conflict and the character development and READ the book with every feeling in their bodies.
But best of all, when I read YA fiction, I get a magical power: I become visible on the subway! I have kids come up and ask me what I think of the book, or even demanding to know why I’M reading the book in the first place.
So, when you read this book and you are 15, or 12, or 75, remember that reading may be a solitary endeavour, but that sharing the experience is what makes it rewarding.
- What Students Read When They Can Read Anything (whatsnotwrong.wordpress.com)
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card 4 emmys (extraordinaryreads.wordpress.com)