Literature for Adolescents
English 310/510

Marilyn Annucci (

This page features information on young adult (YA) books we'll be discussing this semester,
and provides resources on YA literature. To participate in the Discussion Board,
to see the syllabus, and to receive announcements, log on to Desire2Learn.

          CENSORSHIP:  Banned Books Week is Sept. 24-Oct.1.  Celebrate your freedom to read and educate yourself about censorship
at the American Library Association's Banned Books site.
            The first ten texts below are required reading for the Sp '05 course; the rest are recommendations.
Picture of Ironman novel by Chris Crutcher
Read the author profile on Chris Crutcher, and visit his webpage.
     For those planning on using Ironman in the classman, check out this helpful Teachers Guideon the Random House website.
This beautifully written novel is about an interracial friendship between two 14-year-old girls, and a difficult secret. Read about the author at her website here.
Discover more in this interview with the author from Downhouse Books, and the site at RandomHouse provides various links, including a helpful teacher's guide .
This powerful novel with its witty, cynical narrator raises issues for teens about power, conformity, date rape, and the importance of speaking one's truth. Read this author interview. And read all about the author and her work at the writerlady site. 
Picture of Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Picture of The Road to Memphis novel by Mildred Taylor

This beautifully written coming-of-age story is about a friendship between two fifth graders, a boy and a girl, and how love changes us in ways we hadn't imagined. Go to the author's web page here.
Hear the author at The Charlotte Zolotow Lecture and Award Presentation, 1999.
Winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal.  In this beautiful story about loyalty, perseverance and creativity, a 12th-century Korean boy dreams of becoming a master potter. Check out the author's web site.
Winner of the 1991 Coretta Scott King Award, this is the third in a series involving the Logan family, now in 1940s Mississippi. To understand what blacks people were up against, read about the Jim Crow laws and etiquette in place at this time.  Here's a helpful Teacher Resource File.

Joey Pigza Loses Control

Picture of Shabanu novel by Suzanne Fisher Staples

pic of Feed cover

Read an interview with  Jack Gantos, author of Joey Pigza Loses Control and other YA books.

Go to Suzanne Fisher Staples' web page, and read this article by the author in which she talks about Pakistan and her experiences there.
    Also, check out this helpful compilation of materials, including lesson plans. 

What if television and computers were hard-wired into your brain from birth? Welcome to the world of Feed, a brilliant and chilling satire by M.T. Anderson.

cover of Perks of being wallflower
Picture of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Esperanza Rising

This much-talked about first novel by Stephen Chbosky is a touching coming-of-age story that features Charlie, a wise, funny, confused and very likeable high school freshman.
This labor-of-love guide to reading the novel contains more than 400 annotations to the text. Read about the Jim Crow laws and etiquette in place during the time of this novel.  Read, too, about the Scottsboro Boys, a case during the 1930s similar to the one in the novel.  To find out more about the award-winning Esperanza Rising, its author and related links, check out the author's web site.
Dragon's Gate
Picture of Out of the Dust novel by Karen Hesse
Laurence Yep is an award-winning author of many books for children and adults.  This YA novel is a tribute to the Chinese immigrants who worked on the transcontinental railroad in the mid-1860s.  A 1998 Newbery Medal winner set in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.  For information about the author and ideas for classroom lessons, view this teacher resource file.  For ideas on how to integrate technology and literature, using this book, review this classroom unit. Also helpful is a list of companion studies to the book. This novel by ME Kerr raises questions and shows the effects and complexity of a young man's decision to stay true to his Quaker beliefs during WW II.  Read more about pacifism and Quakers at the Quaker Peace Page

True North by Kathryn Lasky
Pic of The House You Pass By on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson
Picture of The Circuit, short stories by Francisco Jimenez
 In this novel by award-winning author Kathryn Lasky, the lives of an abolitionist's granddaughter and a fugitive slave girl intersect on the Underground Railroad in 1858. Read what this author has to say about the role of truth in historical fiction.  Woodson provides a subtle and complex exploration of sexuality, particularly lesbian, in a 14-year-old girl.  Beautifully written--sensitive and provocative.  Read about the author at her website here.   Subtitled "Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child," this wonderful award-winning book chronicles the hardships of a migrant family in 1940s California.  Learn about the author's life in this article.

            Picture of Kit's Wilderness novel by David Almond

This story of survival is a Newbery Honor Book.  Here's a helpful bibliography to introduce you to this popular YA author and his work.  A wonderful portrait of the author's grandfather emerges as Bruchac explores his Abenaki Indian heritage and his journey from childhood to adulthood. Read this interesting interview with the author, Joseph Bruchac.    Read this author profile on David Almond.  For those interested in using this lyrically written novel in the classroom, see the Teacher's Resource Guide
Fighting Ruben Wolfe

Picture of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Read an interview with the author of this tough and tender novel on

This is a cleverly plotted and brilliantly written book that kids love. Here are some discussion questions for classroom use.  This slideshow might be interesting to some of you.
Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye
Born Confused
Read a short bio on the author.  Kyoko Mori talks about her experiences as an Asian-American writer. In this poetic novel by Naomi-Shihab-Nye, 14-year-old Liyana moves with her family from St. Louis, Missouri, to Jerusalem where she encounters warm and wonderful Palestinian relatives she has never met, a Jewish boy with whom she becomes romatically involved, and a rich and complex culture.

This coming-of-age novel about an American-born teenager of Indian parents has been called lush, vibrant and exciting. Read about the author, Tanuja Desai Hidier, at her website

Picture of Izzy Willy-Nilly novel by Cynthia Voigt

Stay Tuned for more books...
Read about Cynthia Voight, who has written Izzy Willy- Nilly, and is the author of several popular books for young adults.  
To learn more about the author, read this interview. For those planning to use this book in the classroom, here's a Teacher's Guide you might find useful.  If you're interested in learning more about Lois Lowry and her books, check this site. Read her profound and illuminating Newbery Medal Acceptance speech for The Giver.

       Other Resources