I started reading the book that stood out to me the most, with the idea of sharing it with my seniors, so I began with Wes Moore. The idea of resilience in a stifling environment intrigues me; the theme of striving to make different choices without actually changing environments compelled me to want to read more books about struggle and what facilitates strength and resilience in the face of struggle. If the environment does not change in some way then the choices do not matter as much; Wes Moore expresses this idea from his prison cell and I cannot get the thought out of my head. How does resilience lead to coping? When does resilience lead to a changed environment? What is our role in all of this?


Bibliography Information
Genre
Description
Thoughts/ Connections/Questions
Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It by Kelly Gallagher ISBN 978-1-57110-780-0
Nonfiction – Professional & Educational
Gallagher asserts the importance of redefining the way teachers approach reading with adolescents. He addresses student attitude, use of journaling and reading responses, and high interest titles. He also suggests ways top engage struggling readers without “killing” the reading experience with assignments and assessments.
This book inspired and excited me as I approached my students. I have already used several things he suggests, including the responses and the reading lists. It is a reminder to me of connecting with the recreational aspect of reading.
The Other Wes Moore One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore ISBN 978-0-385-52820-7
Memoir
Two young men grow up in similar situations in Baltimore, MD: fatherless households, government housing, and exposure to violence, exposure to gangs and drugs. One Wes makes it out of his environment, learning the impact of choices; the other Wes learns the impact of choices as he finds himself serving time for murder.
Choices can change, but if the environment does not change then the new choices do not matter very much—paraphrase of comment by Wes who is serving time; the book left me thinking about choices the boys made, choices others made for them, resilience, and the impact of environment in shaping vision, self concept, identity, esp. of minorities, also left me thinking of research of gifted African-American males
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott ISBN 978-1-4169-6060-7
YA Fiction
Alice disappears from the aquarium as Ray, under the guise of helping her, captures her. Her life with Ray is one of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; however, Ray often leaves her alone, with the freedom to leave. She chooses to stay. As she matures, Ray wants another little girl. He sends Alice to find him one.
Disturbing depiction of abuser-abused relationship and Stockholm Syndrome, How does one break the cycle? What makes Alice stay? Links to Jaycee Dugard story and other stories of abuse, How does one survive abuse like this? To what extent is resilience an issue? How does one heal from it? How do we help people in our lives that are abused?
Snitch by Allison Van Diepen ISBN 978-1-4169-5030-1
YA Fiction
Julia Divino struggles to navigate the two worlds of Bloods and Crips in South Bay High School. She and her girlfriends try to remain gang-free, while also surviving with alliances. When she meets Eric her struggle becomes more difficult, and she begins to encounter difficult choices.
Candid, raw depiction of struggles; How will students feel about the idea of loyalty as it emerges in the book? How do they label snitches? How powerful is the idea of not snitching? Coping with decisions related to survival and loyalty—why do we make decisions that seem “morally wrong” but right in some ways?
Crank by Ellen Hopkins ISBN 13: 9780689865190
YA Fiction
Kristina Snow becomes addicted to crystal meth; she tells the disturbing, candid, violent, and vivid account of her addiction.
Intriguing, powerful, gritty narration the gripped me; depicts the descent of teen drug abuse; ripple effects of choices and the ability to come back from poor choices
Identical by Ellen Hopkins ISBN 13: 9781416950066
YA Fiction
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year old twins living in a dysfunctional family that is struggling with addiction, loss, and abuse. The disturbing account uses the voices of the twins to relate their reckless choices, self-destructive behaviors, and struggles for survival. The girls must deal with neglect and abuse from their parents.
Extreme dysfunction—window into the lives of students; What coping skills needed to be in place? Analysis of the effects of abuse and tragedy—impact on already fragile adolescents; choices we are conscious of v/s choices that are below the surface of our awareness
Looking for Alaska by John Green ISBN 13: 9780142402511
YA Fiction
Miles Halter’s life is seemingly uneventful until he begins attending a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. He becomes close friends with his roommate Chip, and another student, Alaska Young. His relationships with his new friends facilitate his growth in numerous ways as he struggles to face challenges of his changed environment. Alaska has a significant impact on Miles.
Amazing—one of my favorites on this list; Could this be therapy for students dealing with unexpected loss and blame that goes with it? Explores the issues of blame and guilt that come with loss; powerful, real characters

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson ISBN 978-0-14-241184-1
YA Fiction
Tyler Miller enjoys a new reputation after he serves community service time for a prank. His changed reputation impacts his social life, and his crush on Bethany Milbury becomes a significant factor in choices he makes. He struggles to understand his place in his family and his place in his school.
The repercussions of decisions—split second choices and the delicate balance of reputation; his character can provide ample discussion on reputation choices v/s “the right thing”

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
13: 9780439023528
YA Fiction
The society of Panem, with its 12 districts and capital, enjoys a yearly event, The Hunger Games, in which one boy and one girl from each district compete in a survival game. Only one person can survive and “win” the game. The event is televised and the society enjoys it with revelry.
Satire of society—reality shows, superficiality, capacity for violence, voyeurism; amazing connections to dystopian fiction; What is human capacity for violence? Analysis of what humans, in this case adolescents, will do to survive. How does society foster resilience? Can it be taught?
Unwind by Neal Shusterman ISBN
13: 9781416912057
YA Fiction
After the Second Civil War parents can choose to have their children “unwound” if they found them undesirable; the children go to harvest camp and their “parts” become donations to others worldwide. This can only happen between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.
Connor, Risa, and Lev are on the way to harvest camp when their situations collide. They maneuver the world of AWOL unwinds.
Amazing—once the choice is made it is irreversible; analysis of issues related to abortion and human rights; How should a society deal with the unwanted? How do we “unwind” without actually “unwinding”?
Tyrell by Coe Booth ISBN 13: 978-0-439-83880-1, 10: 0-439-83880-0
YA Fiction
Tyrell struggles to make choices as he navigates an environment that includes an addicted mother, a homeless shelter, a father in jail, opportunities for scoring by breaking the law, and swirling adolescent emotions and sexuality.
I really pulled for Tyrell; his voice is real. He is aware of his choices. How aware are teens of choices and perceptions of choices?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie ISBN 978-0-316-01369-7
YA Fiction
Junior grows up on the Spokane Indian Reservation; he calls is “the rez.” He makes a choice to leave the reservation high school and attend an all white neighboring school because he decided his people do not offer him “hope” or “dreams” that go beyond the reservation. He makes personal and social sacrifices to attend the school, but learns immense truths about his identity and what it means to be Native American.
Great voice—it made me laugh and sigh; Hope and resilience—the ability to dream, even when the fodder for dreams is not in one’s environment; appreciation across cultures as teens search for identity; great work for examining development of identity—owning it
I Am Nujood Age 10 and Divorced – Nujood Ali ISBN 978-0-307-58967-5
Memoir
Nujood Ali lives in Yemen where it is a cultural practice for families to marry off their daughters. Nujood is 10 years old when she is married off to her 30 year old husband. The abuse becomes overwhelming; Nujood runs away from home to the capitol to get a divorce.
A difficult concept for students to imagine; therefore, a great choice to put them out of their comfort zone.
Limitations imposed by cultures where choices are nonexistent; maturity required to approach situation
Reading Reconsidered: Literature and Literacy in High School by Dennie Palmer Wolf ISBN 0-87447-538-4-005384
Professional
Wolf explores use of journaling and careful reading of texts. He examines helping students have a conversation with the text as they journal their reactions to what they read.
2-column journals; criss-crossing the landscape of texts
“Young Adult Literature in the English Curriculum Today: Classroom Teachers Speak Out” Louel C. Gibbons, Jennifer Dail, Joyce B. Stallworth ALAN Review 7/1/2006
Professional
The authors examine experiences of teachers using YA literature with high school students. They use evidence from actual classroom situations.
Asserts benefits of building literacy skills, helping struggling readers, and starting conversations. This will be helpful in presenting a course for approval, which I will be doing this month.
“Young Adult: A Book by Any Other Name…Defining the Genre” by Jonathan Stephens ALAN Review 10/1/2007
Professional
The author examines features of YA writing and what distinguishes it as a genre worthy of consideration—different from labels of Children’s or Grownup. He discusses several noteworthy titles, including The Book Thief, as he examines the style of the authors (tone, voice, etc.).
Makes the case for YA writing as writing worthy of analysis; all YA writing is not the same; considers the style of the writing and takes on the criticisms of the genre in an effort to argue for its use in more classrooms
The Other Wes Moore: The Official Webpage of Westley Moore, http://theotherwesmoore.com
Internet
Author’s page: provides more information on writing of the book, as well as a brief video about his work.
Good source for encouraging student interest in the book

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