Hatchet (Paulsen). The Story of My Life (Keller, H.). Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor). Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Freedman). Lightning Thief (Riordan).
What do these all have in common? They were all published at least nine years ago. They are all the only choices for a middle school (6th grade) using new CA adopted English-Language Arts curriculum. They are all books your grandmother may have read in school.
Is California kidding me? With all the great writers and literature dealing with current topical issues, this is the approved list? I mean, I guess Freedom Walkers is at least only 9 years old. But The Story of My Life is from 1903! This is the list that is going to get kids hooked on reading? (Well, see there’s the problem. California education and some school districts aren’t interested in creating lifelong readers. They are interested in creating test takers who can read short non-fiction articles to ensure their stats are on the rise.)
Clearly, it seems they are interested in creating 21st Century learners by using Stone Age literature.
Okay, rant over…but it does lead me to today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. (This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.) It’s a freebie this week, so I thought I’d devote it to Books Today’s Middle School Students Should Read. There’s nothing wrong with the classics, but I think we can do better by kids and young adults and teach them using books that are relevant and topical and celebrate today’s authors and what they contribute to YA and Middle Grade lit. These are just a few of the…
Top Ten Books Middle School Kids Should Be Able to Read via School Curriculum
(click on the photo for a link to a description)