Why isn’t more YA fiction read in schools?

School is when we should really be making kids read, because there are so many great books out there with brilliant stories and profound messages behind them, The Guardian says. Reading books that are relevant to lessons, the paper adds, is one missed opportunity.

Code-Name-VerityWhy aren’t books like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Once by Morris Gleitzman being taught alongside history lessons on the Second World War?

Why isn’t David Levithan’s Every Day being used as a prime example of the issues surrounding gender and sexual identity in PSHE lessons for sixteen year olds?

These stories could be so beneficial to students, while at the same time potentially opening them up to a broader reading base and helping them discover something in themselves that they didn’t know about before.

YA books in school

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Classic YA Literature Heroines

The Book of Jezebel is a desk reference of every bit of feminist trivia you could want, Michelle Dean says in Flavorwire. But, she notes, no one starts with an encyclopedia, they start with the books girls are given as children. She examines several, including this one that I loved as a child.

pippi
Pippi Longstocking, of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi books

Pippi gets props for having irritated Swedish conservatives from the start. It wasn’t just her financial independence or even her idiosyncratic style of dress that got them; it was her refusal to actually behave. But her ever-sunny demeanor stopped speaking to girls after a certain age, I think.

YA heroines

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A Brief History of Dude

You know … if you’re into the whole brevity thing

Contemplate this, dude: that when I call you dude, there’s a whole range of things I might mean—you’ll understand me from my intonation and the overall context—but each time, I’m also reinforcing a specific kind of social relationship“, J.J. Gould muses in The Atlantic.

No matter how I use the word, it always implies the same thing: solidarity without intimacy. It says close, but dude, not too close. What’s up with that?

Understand, dude?

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Can these books actually change your life?

Yes, Erin La Rosa writes in BuzzFeed, and all you have to do is read them. Take, for example, her comments on Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro:

never let me goThere’s nothing easy about reading Never Let Me Go, because it has an honesty that will make you question so many things. Like the social alienation of specific groups of people, and the painful fact that love can be lost or missed, all because of timing. It’s beautiful, haunting, and complex. Did I also mention it’s science fiction? Yeah, go read this.

Life changing books

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Arizona Lifts Ban On Mexican-American Studies Books

The Tucson Unified School District is reinstating seven books banned after a Mexican-American Studies program was outlawed in Arizona, NPR reports. The Arizona Daily Star reports that the governing board voted 3-2 to reinstate the books as “supplementary materials.”
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Alma Alexander

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