Thankfully Reading Weekend. So far, I've finished one book (Bait by Alex Sanchez) and have a good start on another (Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde) for this reading challenge. Off to a good start, time to play a little!
For mini challenge number one, Jenn is asking readers to choose a book that they are thankful for. While there are so very many books that I could choose, I am going to go with my first thought. It's the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
I've read thousands of YA books at this point in my life. As a teacher, there are few books every year that warrant the effort of going through the school board approval process and the fight for funding to order books. It is a complicated and (typically) frustrating process. But, the second I started to read Suzanne Collins's the Hunger Games about three years ago, I knew that needed to teach it.
Not every book is a great read-aloud book. Not every book should be taught to a whole class of students. Not every book needs to be written into the curriculum. This one does.
I have never had students so interested in reading as I have with this series. I teach students who are considered to be "at-risk". Often, this label comes with a lack of reading ability and interest. But, this series seems to appeal to every reader that I've ever taught it to. And, I've taught it for three school years now.
It is so amazing as a teacher of reluctant, disaffected students to get kids laughing out loud, gasping, crying out in the middle of class, predicting plot twists, and begging for me to keep reading. It feels so very good. Even when my throat is sore, they urge me on. I love it.
No matter how upset some book bloggers have been at the progression of this series, I can never say a bad word against Ms. Collins. She has made my students love books and love reading. To me, this is something spectacular and amazing. I didn't know that I would ever find a universal read. Lucky for me, there are three engaging, well-written books that I know I can give to any student. Thanks Ms. Collins. You rock the most!