Teen Book Recommendations Needed

There is an increasing appetite among STJ bloggers for fresh books to read. At the STJ Library blog the list of books read and reviewed keeps increasing, however, I fear the lack of choice in our current library stacks may soon inhibit this momentum.

So, I’d like to try something to abate/assuage my fears.

In my vision, I’d like to have a solid list of “teen recommended books” in my hand that I’d like to have the library acquire … some day.

So here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Create a single “Top 10” post identifying and justifying in a sentence or two a top 10 list of books you would like to read.
  2. For each text you list, be sure the link has the book’s ISBN-10 number (ie. link to the book at amazon.ca).
  3. identify at least one Canadian author
  4. identify at least one “non-fiction” title
  5. justify your choice of text after considering course focus questions
  6. Bonus: Add a “Showcase Widget” to your sidebar that does the same.
  7. Optional Extra Bonus: Create a “Listmania” or “Wishlist” list at Amazon.ca
  8. pingback or leave comment with a link to your post here

I’ve added a few widgets to the Library blog with links to libraries, resources, and reviews to help get you started. However, I personally find Amazon’s “listmania” feature quite useful.

The Lottery Writing Assignments

Shirley Jackson regarding the letters she received after publishing The Lottery

Curiously, there are three main themes which dominate the letters of that first summer–three themes which might be identified as bewilderment, speculation, and plain old-fashioned abuse. In the years since then, during which the story has been anthologized, dramatized, televised, and even–in one completely mystifying transformation–made into a ballet, the tenor of letters I receive has changed. I am addressed more politely, as a rule, and the letters largely confine themselves to questions like what does this story mean? The general tone of the early letters, however, was a kind of wide-eyed, shocked innocence. People at first were not so much concerned with what the story meant; what they wanted to know was where these lotteries were held, and whether they could go there and watch.

Assignment 1
Work with a partner to complete task A and B.
Task A. Imagine you live in 1948 have just read The Lottery (originally published in The New Yorker, June 28, 1948).

Write a letter to Shirley Jackson.

Task B. Imagine you are Shirley Jackson and you have just read a letter from your audience in response to “The Lottery” during the summer of 1948.

Write a letter in response to that letter.

Assignment 2
Write a post examining the cause and function of violence in your life in 2009.

  • 30-2: select appropriate detail from your personal experience to include in your analysis
  • 30-1: select appropriate detail (image–
    >symbol–>archetype) from The Lottery to include in your analysis

Personal Writing Prompts

Write a personal essay in response to one of the following:

  1. Most of us have been in a situation where we made a promise that for one reason or another we were unable to keep. When were you disappointed because someone made you a promise that they failed to keep? Or when did you break a promise that you made to someone else?
  2. All of us are works in progress with a long way to go before we reach our full potential. In what skill or area are you still working to make progress?
  3. Our society uses the word hero in many different ways? How do you define hero, and who is a hero in your life?
  4. We all tend to judge people by their appearances, even though looks can be deceiving. Have you ever prejudged someone incorrectly based on their appearance or has someone ever prejudged you unfairly based on how you look?
  5. Everyone has problems or challenges to overcome. What obstacles are you proud to have faced and conquered?
  6. There is a famous adage: “To err is human, to forgive divine.” When did you feel divine because you were able to forgive someone for their mistake? When did someone act divine by forgiving you when you were wrong?