Susan Norwood shares her perspective on the book Read, Recommend, Remember for Teens: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers today. I have had to pry the book out of her hands several times just so I could tell you about it further down. Read what Susan says:
I confess that I haven’t finished reading Read, Recommend, Remember for Teens: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers, but only because my friendly librarian asked me to give it back to her. I almost caused it to “disappear” from the library the way students’ most-loved books have a habit of doing. Anyway, when I get my own copy, I will enjoy making my own lists from Knight’s lists.
As a Middle School Reading and Language Arts teacher in a large urban school, my classroom library is where most of my students get their reading material. My class is where most of them read. I would find this book valuable in helping me select materials for my library and filling in the gaps of my own collection- over 1,200 books and growing.
After my kids have all exhausted the Bluford High Series, the Urban Lit. list would help me to keep putting books in their hands. Likewise, I probably buy (and lose) five copies of A Child Called It. With this resource, I could turn to the Read–Alikes section and find more books that deal with child abuse.
By the time I’ve graded 200 papers each week and written up Lesson Plans for 3 different classes, I simply don’t have much time to stay caught up with the flood of new Young Adult books. This is the kind of one-stop book that will fill my need.
Diane writes about , Recommend, Remember for Teens: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers by Rachelle Rogers Knight. Published by Sourcebooks, 2010. ISBN 9781402237195. $15.99
The publisher’s note says: Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens offers more than 2400 award-winning and notable reading suggestions in many genres, cross-referenced to help parents and teens chose the right books for them.
Okay, publishers, that description doesn’t begin to explain the lure of this book. Recommend, Remember for Teens is both a journal and a self-help book for us bibliophiles. The first reaction of everyone who opens this book is, "Wow! I’ve got to have a copy of this for me."
It appeals to people on many different levels and for varying reasons. Most teens loved the pages to journal their own selections. I caught several picking up pencils to start marking which titles they already own and which they want. When I asked the middle school teachers if they thought teens would use this book, the teachers were skeptical. I asked teens what they thought. Most of the middle school teens wanted to flip to specific lists, make a copy, and go get a book solely dedicated to their own writing and journaling.
The high school age teens and those in their early 20’s immediately started negotiating to get my copy into their hands and their libraries. They recognized the benefits offered by the wide variety of lists – including the college bound lists – and one teen even said, "I should have had this for my senior project!" Several students said this should go on parent gift lists for teens. The avid readers were most passionate about this title. They liked the construction of the book, the flagged sections, and the space for them to write.
Students and teachers were impressed that the 188 pages of lists at the front of the book went beyond standards for younger students like the Newbery and Caldecott awards. While ALA awards like YALSA’s Teen Top Ten Award, the Schneider Family Book Award, YALSA’s Quick Picks, and the Michael L. Printz Awards are included, there is an amazing variety of other award lists for books that appeal directly to teens. How often do you recommend titles from the First Fantasies list from the Boulder Public Library? Can’t recall the recent Cybils winners and not near a computer? How about the Western Heritage Award for Best Juvenile Book? They’re in this book.
What didn’t I like? If a title has received multiple awards, there are footnote symbols beside that title. Each list has a coded symbol that is listed in the Key to Footnotes. I found that feature rather confusing. There was a small error that I noticed since it involved my state award. The reader’s choice award in Tennessee is called the Volunteer STATE Book Award. We are the "Volunteer State" hence the importance of the word state in the title instead of what is listed: Tennessee Volunteer Book Award. Since this is my copy, I simply drew a caret ∧and inserted the word as needed. Problem solved.
Teachers passionately loved this book. Every teacher indicated they wanted this title on their desk and with them while they were purchasing titles for their classroom libraries. They wanted Read, Recommend, Remember for Teens to help them recommend additional titles. Several returned to seek solutions to particular needs such as romance, urban lit, and science fiction.
I liked lists like "30 Multicultural Books Every Teen Should Read" "Novels in Verse" and "Books by Teens for Teens." Most lists contained empty spaces for students to add the 2010 and 2011 winners. There were columns to the right for teens to mark whether they Own / Recommend / To Read / Want the title. Teachers and I liked the Journal Pages and how they were laid out. Immediately teachers wanted to know if the pages could be copied.
The end of this book contains References and Resources including web sites and blogs to find other great book lists. While this blog was not listed, I have decided it’s because this blog refuses to be pigeon-holed into just one descriptor. Teachers and students were thrilled with the lists of sites. Several times I had to track down my copy to find it was sitting open near a computer. When I checked the internet history, sites from the book had been accessed.
Sometimes in the blogosphere it seems everyone is writing about the same book at the same time. Since Read, Recommend, Remember for Teens was just released this month, it makes since that it appears on the following blogs and journals:
Kittling: Books blog expresses some of my concerns as far as the short lengths of some of the journaling sections
Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology blog
TEEN Fire blog
Savvy Verse & Wit blog
Mrs. Magoo Reads states "…every teen (and even adult!) reader should have a copy. Read, Remember, Recommend for Teens is the perfect gift for any book lover."
Library of Clean Reads blog
YA Fresh blog notes that they are included in the Young Adult Literature Blogs section
April/ May 2010 issue of Justine Magazine
The author Rachelle Rogers Knight maintains a blog at http://www.bibliobabe.com/journals When Knight self-published this title initially in 2007, she earned the Bronze Medal for "Independent Publisher of the Year." Now with Sourcebooks, Inc. releasing this new and improved edition, I anticipate their marketing department will have this title everywhere for you to view. Already you can catch a glimpse inside on the Amazon.com site. Don’t miss out on this title. It will not solve all of your problems or provide enough space for those of us who read prodigiously, yet it will be loved, used, read, written upon, and referenced again and again.