25.5.11

Recommending books

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spencerfinnley/3262135656/
Every year, I have some students and lots of parents ask me to recommend some books for students to read. I am uncomfortable with this.

First, I don't have any expertise in young adult fiction. I didn't read any when I was young myself, and I've read very little since. I am not a teacher who reads for school on my own time. I admire those who know this topic, but I don't know much about it myself, nor am I inclined to learn about it.

Second, I find it difficult to suss out the purpose of these requests. Do the kids want the recommendations or do the parents? Are they looking for reading that will interest the students or that will be 'good for' the students? Is reading level significant, or is content appropriateness more significant? Any list I would develop would need to reflect a range of needs and desires, and I have neither the skills nor the interest in managing those issues.

So here's what I've done:

https://sites.google.com/site/kilmerish/book-list

The idea is that students and/or parents can shop around these sites, looking at which fits their needs the best. You might notice that I've ranged them from social networking like Goodreads to the very straightforward, somewhat plonky lists. My hope is that at least one of these will meet most needs; I plan to spend more time on some of these, especially Booktrust.

My main hope is that parents and students will have a sense that online resources shifts the responsibility of finding reading material from me to the students themselves.

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