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Posts tagged ‘#yalit’

Books on the Blog: The Tragedy Paper and Like Any Normal Day

by Molly Leahy

The Tragedy Paper

Leahy Blog 2 LaBanIn her first young adult novel, The Tragedy Paper, Philadelphia’s Elizabeth LeBan invites readers to an elite boarding school for dual story-telling. Readers follow Tim Macbeth, a new student who transfers to Irving School, as well as, Duncan Meade, who inherits Tim’s dorm room and his collection of CDs narrating a personal nightmare the previous school year. Both students are linked by English teacher Mr. Simon’s legendary writing assignment known as the Tragedy Paper.

A sign reading “Enter here to be and find a friend” greets students as they enter the school, and fortunately, Duncan has a core group of friends to help him through senior year, unlike Tim. Readers may recognize a classic love triangle between Tim, his only friend Vanessa Scheller, and her jerk boyfriend Patrick Hopkins. The Irving School Bulldogs read Moby Dick and Hamlet, while their English teacher Mr. Simon challenges them to understand themes such as magnitude, and order from chaos. LaBan creates true order from chaos in her choice of narrative structure, recorded CDs that captivate Duncan who can’t stop listening to Tim’s tale, just as readers can’t stop turning pages.  Read more

From the Classroom: If You Build It, They Will Come

By Tricia Ebarvia

Last week, I shared how I organize my classroom library. But how did I build my library? How did I know what books to include? And how do I keep it fresh and inviting for students? This week, I share the answers to these questions and more.


Three years ago, my first attempt at a classroom library was a collection of titles that I’d read during and after college. Well-loved copies of books like A Farewell to Arms, Pride and Prejudice, and Mrs. Dalloway sat along side more contemporary fiction I read for pleasure when I had the time, titles like A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Time Traveler’s Wife.  As an English major and general book nerd, it was a lot of books!  That was also the year I was teaching AP Lit, so many of those “English major” titles were going to come in handy with the independent reading I was planning on having my seniors do.

But I soon realized that while many of these titles were great for AP Lit students, they weren’t so great for my other classes, Read more