YA is the Way to Go at the End of the School Year

Wednesday Wars  Okay for Now        I'll be there Just Call My Name       Red Kayak The journey Back

The fourth nine weeks reading list for our Seventh Graders is a YA Marathon. The students read Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt, I’ll be There Holly Goldberg Sloan and Red Kayak by Pricilla Cummings.  Our students, overloaded with standardized tests and infected with Spring Fever devour these three action-packed novels at the time of year when kids and teachers alike are white knuckling it until June.

Inevitably students want to know what happens to each of the protagonists and I have the pleasure of sharing the good news.

Red Kayak has the sequel The Journey Back that follows up on Brady’s friend Digger. It is now available in paperback and eBook. Heartbreak and redemption- kind of.

 Wednesday Wars has the companion novel Okay for Now that picks up the story of a minor character and expands it. It is available in paperback and eBook. Funny stuff!

I’ll be There has a sequel coming out August 5th entitled Just Call My Name. It is available for preorder. Adventure, suspense and romance! Woo Hoo!

The YA Marathon has been a success for everyone. Students get about 700 pages of highly engaging reading under their belts with few complaints. In turn, teachers are rejuvenated by the students’ enthusiasm so late in the school year.  Kind of.:-)



3 thoughts on “YA is the Way to Go at the End of the School Year

  1. Does your school have class sets of these books?

    I really enjoyed THE WEDNESDAY WARS and often recommend it to my students, but I didn’t realize it had a companion piece too. That’s going on my literary wish list! Promoting YA at the end of the year is a great idea! Students seem to flock to the plot lines held within.I’ll give this a try next year (because you know it’ll be here before you know it!) Thanks for the great ideas!

    • Our students are required to purchase or check out the books from the library. Our PTA provides scholarships for students in financial need. If you visit our language arts blog- carverlangarts.wordpress.com, you can see the final project instructions. I was impressed with the students’work. We modeled it after a project in Jim Burke’s What’s the Big Idea. Thanks for checking out my blog!

      • Thanks for the info! I liked the other blog, too. I wonder if that wouldn’t be something cool to try out with my students next year. I did a similar end of the year reading project where students had to choose a book to present and then choose their presentation method – something that best represented their talents. They also created their own rubrics. For an end of year assignment, I was quite impressed by their efforts. You can find a photo of The Fault In Our Stars projects on my Twitter page. Thanks for a great resource!

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