We’ve seen the books my first hour students awarded. We’ve seen the book my second and fourth hour students awarded. Today, we have really the first normal-style post, in that my seventh hour has a honor book as well as an award-winner.
The seventh hour is quite a fun bunch. It’s another freshman class. It’s the end of the day, and they’re ready for an enjoyable English class. They like to read, and they like to talk about their reading. When it came time to vote, they discussed and debated for over 20 minutes. Considering I gave them only 5, I think you could safely say that they were making good claims one way or another.
And so, given the lively discussion, I’m not surprised that this is the first group to have a “runner-up” so to speak, and an award winner.
That said, being honored by this group is a pretty big deal. They have been voracious readers, and come from a variety of different viewpoints. Some students love to read realistic fiction, especially romance. Some love action-packed fantasy. Some love books that speak out against the evils of the world, but in subtle ways. Others prefer nonfiction tomes about the 19th century. So when they come together in defense of some books, you know that they’re going to be good choices.
First, the honor book:
The Young Elites by Marie Lu!
My students in many of my classes have been passing this one back and forth between them. I don’t think it was on my shelves for more than 5 minutes at any given moment first semester. I am not at all surprised to see this honored by my seventh hour students.
So what could my students have been debating about for 20 minutes? What could have bested such a powerful fantasy novel from one of their favorite authors?
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony!
Once again, my high schoolers have shown that picture books are for them just as much as they are for any other age! According to one of my seventh hour students, “Please Mr. Panda is the funniest book of 2014.”
I don’t know what more needs to be said.
Congratulations to Marie Lu and Steve Antony!