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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 9, No. 2, December 2001

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 9, No. 2, December 2001

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Tributes: From Authors, By Students, To Books

  • Dear Teachers: Letters to Another Hero

    A tribute from authors

    Abstract: Presents 54 thank you letters written by authors (of children's literature, young adult literature, and professional texts) to classroom teachers, from the shadow of the events of September 11th, 2001, offering their thanks for teachers' efforts to face those events with children, offering their personal thoughts about the events, or their thoughts of the power of literature in dark times.

    Keywords: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, College, Diversity, Literacy, Pedagogy, Professional Development

  • Sipping Applejack with Steinbeck

    Richard F. Abrahamson

    Abstract: Describes how the author helps his students understand the power of books and the impossibility of predicting what book will profoundly affect a person, by asking two questions: "What book made the biggest difference in your life?" and "What was that difference?" Describes the profound impact on the author's life of John Steinbeck's book "Travels with Charley."

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Literature, Professional Development

  • Difficult Days and Difficult Texts

    Robert E. Probst

    Abstract: Suggests that all teaching in literature classes is in some ways preparation for events such as September 11th. Argues that teachers teach students to read events such as these by showing them how to move from reaction to reflection, and from image to empathy; and to write so that they capture their thinking, reexamine it, and present it to others.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Pedagogy, Professional Development

  • The Outsiders

    Betty Carter

    Abstract: Offers short descriptions of 12 books for young adults that involve outsiders and that explore conflicting needs for identity and community. Argues that books may provide the spring boards for a dialog which has heated up since September 11th: how we as a nation can stand united yet retain our strength in diversity.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Diversity, Literature, Reading

  • Winners in My Book

    Teri S. Lesesne

    Abstract: Offers brief annotations of 18 books for young adults which are the author's favorites: books that break new ground with unusual styles and formats; that discuss hitherto taboo topics; and present fresh distinctive new voices for readers.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Literature, Reading

  • It's a Guy Thing

    Jeff Wilhelm

    Abstract: Discusses text features that tended to engage boys, and describes their desire to use literacy to share and socialize. Finds that boys were more different than alike, and that very particular conditions in the social context were more important than preexisting interests. Offers brief descriptions of 11 books the author has found to be appealing to many boys.

    Keywords: Middle, Diversity, Literature, Research, Reading

  • It's A Girl Thing

    Cheryl Karp Ward

    Abstract: Offers brief annotations of 24 books for adolescents in which girls take on tough tasks, face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and triumph over adversity.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Diversity, Literature, Reading

  • Books for Struggling and Reluctant Readers

    Patrick Jones

    Abstract: Youth Services consultant and writer Patrick Jones provides his list for struggling readers.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • When Gifted Readers Hunt for Books

    F. Richard Olenchak

    Abstract: Presents brief descriptions of 24 books that are likely to interest gifted readers in the middle grades. Notes that such literature can serve to bolster their overall development and also enhance appropriate self-advocacy for their talents.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Pedagogy, Reading

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy

    Erin Pierce

    Abstract: Offers brief annotations of 40 science fiction and fantasy books that middle school readers might enjoy. Notes that readers can confront the realities of this real world as the fictional characters fight good and evil, search for identity, summon courage, and enjoy family and friends.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • Historical Fiction-New and Old

    Linda M. Pavonetti

    Abstract: Offers brief descriptions of 41 books of historical fiction that may interest intermediate and middle school students, many of them new releases that tackle unusual historical topics. Argues that historical fiction is an ideal medium for taking intermediate and middle school students out of their day-to-day surroundings and into other times and places, helping them learn more about the world.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • Information Please: Books to Inform and Entertain

    Ed Sullivan

    Abstract: Offers brief descriptions of 17 books of nonfiction that will inform and entertain, and that middle schoolers will enjoy when they want some information and want to know about the workings and wonders of the world and the people in it.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • Who Dun It? Mysteries

    Anna Zanarini

    Abstract: Offers brief descriptions of 23 mysteries that will appeal to adolescent readers. Notes that further lists of excellent titles in the category of juvenile and young adult mystery are available on the Edgar Allen Poe website at

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • Beyond Silverstein: Poetry for Middle Schoolers

    Rosemary Chance

    Abstract: Offers brief descriptions of 23 books of poetry for middle schoolers. Notes that these selections may lure readers who are dismayed with poetry back to a love of poetry.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • Good Sports

    Dee Steitz

    Abstract: Offers brief descriptions of 22 books (both fiction and nonfiction) that middle schoolers may enjoy, that deal with sports, including some that focus on girls in sports.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • An Overview from The Alan Review

    Pamela Sissi Carroll with Ted Hipple

    Abstract: Presents brief annotations of 11 articles that consider the place of young adult literature in the classroom. Notes that these 11 are judged the best of Hipple's compilation (published in "The ALAN Review") of 99 fine articles about young adult literature, articles that were written across several decades and published in a variety of journals.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Pedagogy

  • From Insider to Outsider: The Evolution of Young Adult Literature

    Michael Cart

    Abstract: Discusses changes in the field of young adult literature since the 1980s. Examines how the definition of "young adult" has evolved. Offers a brief overview of the history of young adult literature from the 1940s. Considers the rise of awards for merit in young adult publishing, noting three in particular. Concludes this is a golden age of young adult literature.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Reading

  • EDITOR'S MESSAGE: The Nature of Tributes

    Kylene Beers

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Poems by Middle Schoolers

    A tribute by students

    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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