My middle school students need multiple copies of 25 young adult novels of various genres and levels with titles from "Breathless" to "The Forest of Hands and Teeth". so that they'll become life long readers, writers, and learners.
We are a large public middle school. Our community is located in an outer metropolitan area. There are 50% of kids who are on free and reduced lunch. There is a large Hispanic population. I teach 7th and 8th grade Language Arts. Our school district, like many in our state, has weathered major budget cuts in the last year. Many of my kids come from families that cannot afford to go to a bookstore and buy books. Many of my kids also go home to a house or apartment that is empty until the evening because their parents work jobs that don’t have traditional 8 to 5 schedules, so their parents can’t spend the hour to take them to the library and pick out a book. We lost our librarian last year so our resources there are running on a shoestring. No one is in charge of ordering new books or presenting books to kids in a way that gets them excited about reading. Research shows that the number one way to become a better reader is to read a lot. The only way a 7th or 8th grader is going to go home and read for 20 minutes consistently is if they have a book that they are sucked into. It is an exciting time in young adult literature because there are so many amazing authors out there writing incredible books that are made for these kids. Kids know about these books. Two weeks into school kids are already coming up to me everyday asking about The Hunger Games or the City of Bones series. Everyday I tell them that no, it’s not in our library, and my only copy is lent out to someone else. Everyday I see these kids that want so much to have a book that they feel is special and theirs, to have a book that they are living in, everyday I see those kids become separated further and further from reading by one simple obstacle: there are thousands of books out there for them but our school doesn’t have them. I need books. I need multiple copies of amazing books like The Hunger Games and Before I Die. My kids are going to gobble these kinds of books up. I see kids rushing to my class so they can get started reading early on reading days when they have these kinds of books. If I had 10 copies of The Hunger Games, that wouldn’t be enough. Books like that get finished in a week by all sorts of readers easily. These kinds of books are going to get kids hooked on reading. These kinds of books are going to make them readers for life. They’ll be more creative. They’ll score higher on national tests. They’ll be less likely to live off of welfare or end up in a penitentiary. How much they read is directly correlated to how well they read, and if these kids are going to read a lot, they need to love their books. That’s why I need the kinds of books I listed. How well they read is directly correlated to what path they’ll take in life and what role they’ll play in society. The average reading level of a juvenile detention inmate is 3rd grade. 75% of impoverished people in the U.S. read at a 4th grade level. I have amazing structures in my class that get kids excited about reading and get kids thinking inside their books. The only thing I’m missing are the books. I see a magical thing happen when a kid comes in to my classroom and has been thinking about their book all day long. They think vividly and articulate themselves fluently. They are the expert. They are a student and an intellectual and for many this is a first. They are hooked into school and reading and writing and thinking. You can help grow this movement. You can put these amazing books into kids' hands. These books will be constantly carried around for years and treasured by students. So let’s together change the way things have been bumbling along for decades: kids going to struggling libraries, checking out books they don’t care about, falling away from a life where they are constantly learning and creating. Let’s create lifelong readers and thinkers and invest in the future success of our communities.
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|Wringer Jerry Spinelli, Cliff Nielsen (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||5||$31.45|
|Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America Geoffrey Canada • Barnes and Noble||$11.20||3||$33.60|
|The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1) Suzanne Collins • Barnes and Noble||$11.69||5||$58.45|
|Catching Fire (Hunger Games Series #2) Suzanne Collins • Barnes and Noble||$11.69||5||$58.45|
|Twilight Saga Collection Stephenie Meyer • Barnes and Noble||$53.95||2||$107.90|
|Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith • Barnes and Noble||$10.36||3||$31.08|
|Before I Die Jenny Downham • Barnes and Noble||$8.99||3||$26.97|
|The Forest of Hands and Teeth Carrie Ryan • Barnes and Noble||$13.59||5||$67.95|
|Breathless Lurlene McDaniel • Barnes and Noble||$8.79||3||$26.37|
|The Mortal Instruments Boxed Set: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass Cassandra Clare • Barnes and Noble||$37.49||3||$112.47|
|Holes Louis Sachar • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-7) J. K. Rowling • Barnes and Noble||$56.50||2||$113.00|
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