R is for Resilient

R is for Resilient

It’s day 18 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter R Day for my theme

Novels for Young Adults.

Young adult readers can observe resilience in action when protagonists battle and overcome physical or social obstacles. These observations can be called up later when teens face similar problems in their own lives.

Room

Room by Emma Donaghue

Room is an Alex Award winner. The American Library Association confers Alex Awards on books written for adults that young people would enjoy. High school teachers sometimes assign students to find an Alex Award book to read and review. If you’re interested in learning more about Alex Awards, click hereRoom is narrated by a five-year-old boy whose mother was kidnapped seven years ago and kept in captivity in one small room. This one small room is the only world Jack has ever known. As the book opens, tension between Jack’s mother and the kidnapper is increasing. Fortunately, living in Room with a wise mother has taught Jack to be resilient for the arduous task ahead. This is one of those books people either seem to love or hate. Lots of 5 star and 1 star reviews. I became a fan of Room and often give this book to students to examine voice and point of view.

 

Ruined (Ruined, #1)

Ruined by Paula Morris

A ghost story! Yay! I consider myself a connoisseur of ghost novels. Rebecca feels abandoned by her dad with whom she has lived in New York City when he takes her to live with an “aunt” in New Orleans (who is not an aunt) for a year. New Orleans society does not embrace Rebecca, so she often walks alone in a cemetery near her new house. There she meets the ghost Lisette who is eager to befriend her but who has a deadly request. Rebecca must nurture her resilient nature to navigate the snobby school scene and the demands of her only true friend. Young adults who enjoy ghost lit will learn about the history of New Orleans and its diverse population as well as its history of racial division.

Who is your favorite resilient character? Have you ever taken a lesson from a novel you’ve read?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

 

Q is for Quick-witted

Q is for Quick-witted

It’s day 17 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter Q Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Yesterday in the P is for Perseverance post, we discussed the challenging ordeals teen narrators face down. One way teens face down these obstacles is by using their brains to outwit circumstances. Today’s selections showcase two such young narrators.

Q & A

Q & A by Vikas Swarup

You’re probably more familiar with the title Slumdog Millionaire for this novel of a young man accused of cheating after correctly guessing all 12 questions on India’s quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? Ram Mohammad Thomas must demonstrate his quick-witted nature both in answering the quiz show questions and in convincing the police that he did not cheat. Though this book was not written specifically for the young adult market, it will appeal to mature young adult readers. I’ve been assured that the novel is less graphic than the movie. Reviewers are mixed about whether they prefer the book to the movie. After the spectacular reception of the movie, the title of the novel was changed to match.

Queen's Own Fool (Stuart Quartet, #1)

Queen’s Own Fool by Jane Yolen

Queen Mary buys the orphan Nicola to serve as her fool. Young Nicola is not only the jester of Mary, Queen of Scots, but she also becomes the queen’s friend and confidante. When palace intrigue and betrayals plague Mary, the quick-witted Nicola is there to offer advice and honesty. Jane Yolen is an eminent author and researcher who has written award winning books for young people.

Have you seen the movie Slumdog Millionaire and/or read the book? If both, which did you prefer? Who is your favorite quick-witted character?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

P is for Persevere

P is for Persevere.

It’s day 16 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter P Day for my theme

Novels for Young Adults.

You’ve no doubt noticed that in most young adult literature (as well as most literature of any kind) the main character faces obstacles–usually both external and internal. A teen’s job is to figure out ways to overcome the obstacles of life. By following along with characters facing terrible odds, young people learn strategies to cope with these struggles. Teens observe characters who persevere.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a wallflower, one who observes, one who stands apart. But along the way Charlie searches for a place for himself on the edges of high school society. At first, it appears it is only Charlie’s differentness (probably not a word, but difference just didn’t cut it) that keeps him apart. Later, the reader will see that Charlie fights a battle inside himself–a dark secret from his past. When Charlie manages to persevere despite the odds and the heartbreak, his victory is that much sweeter. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is also an excellent movie. In fact, I watched the movie before reading the book.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride is a delightful book and movie (one of those instances in which I liked the movie more) about two would-be lovers, Buttercup and Westley, who persevere through terrible odds (including a death that may or may not be final). The Princess Bride contains elements of whimsy with a giant who rhymes and an out-of-work swordsman searching for a man with six fingers. An excellent movie for the younger set, and for the older young adults, a first look at meta-fiction (the narrator embeds a literary sleight of hand in one S. Morgenstern).

Who is your favorite character who never gives up? Do you prefer the book of the movie of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Princess Bride?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.

O is for Orphan

O is for Orphan

It’s day 15 of

the A to Z Challenge!

Otherwise known as the letter O Day for my theme

Young Adult Novels and Novels with Young Adult Narrators.

Have you ever noticed how many young adult novels feature an orphan as the main character? That’s something I’ve thought about for some time. A docent at the Mountain View cemetery in Oakland once told me that the orphan is a symbol of rebirth. (She also told me the pelican is a symbol of rebirth, something to do with the way it feeds its young; I’m still trying to digest that one.)

Orphans are on their own and must re-invent themselves…hence the idea of rebirth. For today’s selection we have two classic young adult novels brought to you by the letter O.

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Forced into poverty, young Oliver finds himself the prey of an evil master thief who coerces Oliver into servitude and near starvation. This is a wonderful tale of good triumphing over evil with some anti-workhouse morality thrown in. The language and sentence structure of Dickens can be pretty challenging for young readers, so a good alternative is to watch the movie or see the play.

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The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Ponyboy is luckier than Oliver Twist in that, though an orphan, he has a family that cares for him. But Ponyboy is caught between two worlds. He feels allegiance to the working class world into which he was born, but is drawn to the intellectual pursuits of the upper class in his community. As part of Ponyboy’s rebirth, he must create a place to exist between these two worlds that too often clash with violent results.

What is your favorite young adult novel featuring an orphan? Have you read either of these?

In case you’re dropping in for the first time, you’ve just entered the A to Z Challenge. Bloggers from all over the world write 26 posts in the month of April, one blog for each letter of the alphabet, six days a week with Sundays off. Anyone who blogs or likes to read blogs can join in. Click here to get started! And be sure to visit other participating blogs and leave comments.