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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 5, No. 2, April 1998

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 5, No. 2, April 1998

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Young Adult Readers

  • From Chip Hilton to Bo Brewster: Some Little Truths about Heroes

    Chris Crutcher

    Abstract: Describes how the author realized that his prepubescent Superboy hero is not brave and represents what can never be. Describes how he came to believe that true heroes are defined by how they respond to what they do "wrong." Notes how this affects the author's writing and the heroes he creates in his novels.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • Why I Teach, Promote, and Love Adolescent Literature: Confessions of a College Professor

    Jim Cope

    Abstract: Argues that the number one goal in teaching literature should be to create lifelong, reflective readers, and that the job of a novel at its highest level is to illuminate the human condition. Argues that good adolescent literature does all of these things, and does it in such a way thatadolescents will ask for more.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Loving Sam

    Kathryn Lasky

    Abstract: Describes how the author came to love Mark Twain's writings, taught "Huckleberry Finn" and other of Twain's writings to a ninth-grade class in a Hasidic Jewish Academy, and learned to really love Samuel Clemens. Describes how this love inspired the author to write two books celebrating what she has valued most in 40 years of reading Mark Twain.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • "Is This Really English?": Using Young Adult Literature in an Urban Middle School

    Rebecca J. Joseph

    Abstract: Describes how one urban middle school teacher uses young adult literature to encourage lively class conversations, to develop students' fundamental skills, and to sharpen their abilities to connect literature with their own lives. Discusses parent/guardian permission and interdisciplinary connections, supplementary readings, literature "matchmaking," and ways books can relate to other facets of English.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Classroom Talk about Literature or The Social Dimensions of a Solitary Act

    Kylene Beers and Robert Probst

    Abstract: Discusses the importance of talk in the classroom, in particular talk about books. Includes student conversations and comments about such discussion, and the lack of it in their classrooms. Describes what such discussion has to offer to individuals, classrooms, and society. Notes the difficulties of achieving discussion in the classroom.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Literacy, Literature, Pedagogy, Reading

  • Finders Keepers: Owning the Reading They Do

    Jayne M. Hobgood

    Abstract: Describes how the author has her students create "found poems" and use them in conjunction with the students' own Readers/Writers Logs to help students make more of a text, own it, and discover the power of effective language. Includes instructions, student samples of found poems, and samples of the entire process.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Writing

  • Classics Reconsidered: Tolstoy in the Middle School Classroom

    Francis E. Kazemek

    Abstract: Argues that classic authors can and should still be kept at the center of the literature curricula in the middle school. Uses Leo Tolstoy as an example, describing briefly some of Tolstoy's works that are especially appropriate for early middle school readers, later middle schoolers of average reading ability, and the most able middle school readers.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Pedagogy

  • Learning from Fantasy

    Jack Wilde

    Abstract: Describes how two fifth-grade boys developed and sustained a love of fantasy books. Describes how these two discriminating readers have developed taste and a social context for their reading experience. Shows how their experience demonstrates important principles about reading and about reading curriculum.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Bear in the Family

    Ben Mikaelsen

    Abstract: Young adult author Ben Mikaelsen writes lovingly of his "child": a six hundred pound black bear named Buffy.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Message from the Editors

    Linda Rief and Maureen Barbieri

    Abstract: In this themed issue, "Young Adult Readers," the editors first address the question, "What do adolescents want from reading?" By inviting YA literature into our classrooms, we invite trust in our students to choose the reading that is meaningful to them and we help fulfill our goal as teachers to create lifelong learners.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Clip and File Reviews -VM, April 1998

    Abstract: Available in print issue only.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Index [FREE ACCESS]

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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