Cover image for Great books for high school kids : a teacher's guide to books that can change teens' lives
Great books for high school kids : a teacher's guide to books that can change teens' lives
Ayers, Rick.
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Beacon Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xx, 240 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z1039.H54 G74 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Z1039.H54 G74 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Teachers Rick Ayers and Amy Crawford always wanted to find a guide to the vast world of great books for teenagers-one that didn't talk down or moralize. When they couldn't find one, they set out to create it. An early prototype offered at Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, California, was an instant success. Great Books for High School Kids is the culmination of their efforts.Collecting recommendations and essays from colleagues and advisers around the country, this is a rollicking, thoughtful, against-the-grain guide that challenges stodgy notions of what great books are and what kids are ready for.The book starts with seven essays by high school teachers about exciting, exemplary experiences they have had reading books with students in the classroom-from Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to Aeschylus's Oresteia trilogy.Augmented by an index of more than seventy subjects, the book also has an annotated list of hundreds of Recommended Great Books. The recommendations are playful and irreverent, ambitious and entertaining, and they go way beyond traditional reading lists. From classics to the unexpected, from literary novels to nonfiction, some drama, and even a little poetry, these are all books that teenagers have read with pleasure and can read on their own. Great Books for High School Kids is an invitation and a sourcebook for inspiring passionate, lifelong readers-a book that could seriously change the lives of teachers, of families, and of kids.

Author Notes

Rick Ayers and Amy Crawford both teach English at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

The editors have selected nearly 400 fiction, nonfiction, and poetry titles, all of which have "something that made them extraordinary to readers who love books-." The list follows seven essays contributed by English teachers on their experiences with Bless Me, Ultima, The Things They Carried, Oresteia, Reservation Blues, Song of Solomon, Bastard Out of Carolina and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These anecdotal stories offer lighthearted, "in the trenches" accounts of the teachers' attempts to create meaningful connections between their students and the material. The alphabetical list of books offers brief annotations for classic and modern titles including To Kill a Mockingbird, Dune, Life of Pi, Cut, and Poisonwood Bible. Subject categories range from the usual ("African-American Experience") to the unusual ("Big Fat Books to Take on a Road Trip"). A refreshing bibliography with good instincts about what's "great."-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.