Some titles that have been pulling the kids in (middle school):
anything by Gail Giles--she's a big hit this year
What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sones
Sweethearts by Zarr (?)
Lessons from a Dead Girl by Knowles
13 Reasons Why by Asher
Fact of Life #31 by Vega
anything by Sarah Dessen
A Boy at War by Mazer
The Brimstone Journals by Koertge
We're tracking our thinking--that's the big push with our reading right now--and it is amazing how kids will jump into an activity, any activity, if they can use post-it notes. We reviewed what they should be "paying attention for" while they're reading, and they went at it like experts. There wasn't a crazy flurry of post-its, but a serious thinking about their thinking. They are charting lots of interesting vocabulary, lots of questions, and lots of "It made me feel..." kinds of things. The students will use their recordings to write about their reading, and in a few weeks, they'll use the post-its to trigger their speaking during book groups.
What are they "paying attention for:"
-questions, either about why the author wrote something or about things that confuse them
-things they think will be important later (predictions)
-things that make them "feel"
-interesting uses of words and language
-places where meaning breaks down
-connections to other readings or to themselves
My favorite thing? We're reading for at least 25 minutes every day this week, and the kids are excited about it!!!