Articles by Carolyn Ross

December 30, 2013

Students’ Picks: The Best YA Books of 2013 2

I watched my students run through a whole lot of books. Here are three published in 2013 that won the hearts of some young adults I know, recommended in their own words. Pick one up for a young adult in your life: satisfaction guaranteed.

July 25, 2013

The Problem With Summer Reading 31

Summer reading assignments and reading quizzes and book reports don’t teach our students how to be readers. They teach them that reading is a school-centered activity. That it is a chore. That they aren’t good at it if they can’t remember insignificant plot points. These assignments set students up to cheat, or to fail, and always to regard reading as a drag.

February 14, 2013

Walking Enigmas: On the Reading Habits of Teen Boys 12

Teenage boys might be closed books, but the ones that they open are those in which the author manages to capture the honest-to-god truth about coming age.

October 24, 2012

NBA Finalists for Young Readers: On Patricia McCormick’s Never Fall Down 2

Of the novels selected as National Book Award finalists in the Young People’s Literature category, Patricia McCormick’s Never Fall Down is the title that my high school students would reach for.

June 27, 2012

Not Ready to Gush About It: A Brief Book List for Young Readers 1

These kids may have entered my classroom in September as non-readers, but by this point in June every last one of them has loved a book.

September 16, 2010

Dreaming of Hogwarts and Hunger Games 16

The plainspoken pulse of The Hunger Games series doesn’t beg you to stop and savor the language. But I’m not reading Mockingjay for those reasons. I’m reading to find out whether the Capitol mutations bred deliberately to hunt Katniss are going to tear her to pieces before she manages to kill President Snow.