Making Curriculum Pop

RU READ 339/439 Fall 2010


RU READ 339/439 Fall 2010

This group is for Roosevelt University's Young Adult Literature Class to have open discuss ion about YALIT.

Members: 25
Latest Activity: Aug 4, 2012

Discussion Forum

11/29 Teens Top Ten Best Books Discussion for Read 339/439 109 Replies

PART 3 - PARTICIPATION CRITERIA FOR THE NING.1. Since all of you are reading different books, the idea is to share the many reads students can experience from reading YA literature. For each list…Continue

Started by Pam Goble. Last reply by Rosalind Engerman Dec 18, 2010.

11/8 Best Books for Young Adults 2011 Discussion 103 Replies

PART 3 - PARTICIPATION CRITERIA FOR THE NING.1. Since all of you are reading different books, the idea is to share the many reads students can experience from reading YA literature. For each list…Continue

Started by Pam Goble. Last reply by Pam Goble Dec 15, 2010.

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Comment by Alexander Wm. Evers on December 19, 2010 at 3:43pm

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” is a novel by David Levathin and John Green. I must admit, I was hoping for “Looking for Alaska 2: Bloody Ice”, nonetheless, I was pleased by this text.


My classmate Heather Olson already provided an excellent description of the plot. I found the idea that catalyzes and propels the plot, two individuals with the same name living in different places sharing similar experiences, to be riveting. Moreover, I think that this is something students will grapple onto, I can picture a student excitedly reflecting on, “if there’s another Johnny/Jane Doe, somewhere far away, [and] what their life is like; who are they; etc.”. As the novel unfolds, we learn more about each Will Grayson, one whose friend Tiny is a subject in his own right, and another who is exploring the dangerous world of online relationships. As these two experience a complicated modern world, and find themselves in relation to their and others understanding of sexuality, we watch as these two draw closer—emotionally, psychologically, metaphorically, and geographically.

The text meets most of the criteria. The YA viewpoint(s) is preserved throughout and paramount to the novel. Moreover, the YA’s are themselves the focus of the novel, parents and adults are predominantly absent. The pacing, themes, mise-en-scène, and vernacular are all indicative of and authentic to a YA audience. While the use of vulgarity may attract students, at first for the wring reasons, it often succeeds both in showing them the ridiculousness of YA’s overabundant swearing, and provide a sense of authenticity and believability to the characters’ dialogue.

The novel takes the reader into the mind and/or world of the LGBTQ young adult. While I have read texts with similar themes, few succeed in illustrating the relationship between our ever-advancing society and the LGBTQ community. Specifically, the novels use of Internet communication to elaborate on and, at times, emphasize how the Internet serves to offer both a place of solace for these individuals and an opportunity for deceit, manipulation, and tragedy.

The novel does, however, present the usual problems. Not all parents may want their child reading this novel for a variety of reasons. The themes of homosexuality, sexual practice and curiosity, vulgarity, etc. are each a point of contention in their own right. However, I will only say that without education about diversity, individuals become bigoted and biased toward anything different. Ignorance is the father of prejudice.

The character “Tiny” does, as my classmate noted, present the personification of the archetypal homosexual-male stereotype. In many ways, I saw “Tiny” as an adaptation and/or repackaging of the gay, male character Damien from Tina Fey’s film “Mean Girls”. While this individual does reflect the usual stereotypes, these stereotypes are based on tropes and commonalities that do exist in said community; that is, most stereotypes have at least a minimal degree of truthful basis. Not all, or most, Gay men are effeminate, or musical lovers. However, I have met multiple Gay men who are effeminate and many of my school’s Drama department staff and students are openly homosexual—does this make them any less individualistic; does this mean stereotypes should be accepted; are they merely casting themselves as stereotypes? I’m not sure. However, the novel presents an opportunity to explore the issue of stereotypes, prejudice, etc. in the best possible environment—a classroom


Here is a website of individuals responses to the novel, especially the character Tiny--


An interesting interview with the authors--


Comment by Ryan Goble on November 22, 2010 at 8:43pm
Hi Everyone,

I hope you're all having a groovy week. You've really been tearing this Ning thing up - every time I look there are roughly a bazillion posts by y'all. My mom has been raving about how excellent your YA reviews are.

Here is what I'd like to suggest (and maybe if you're cool my mom will give you extra credit or something for doing this) but the Adolescent Lit group here has over 200 people but not a lot of activity.

If you did a review of a YA book consider COPYING and PASTING your review into the ALit discussion forum - you could even add a book image like Sterg does over the the GN group:


When you do that all the members of that group will get an e-mail about your review/writing. Then at some point in the future I can hype the posts to the entire ning.

A lit group:

Discussion forum (can also be seen on main group page)

Same goes for the graphic novel reviews - just add to those discussion forums as I'm sure the larger Ning membership would love to read your reviews/ideas!



Thanks for joining the fun here at MC POP and be sure to share resources here with all your friends!

Good Vibes,

Comment by Monika Andes on November 6, 2010 at 1:26pm
P.S.- Here is a link to the book info.

Also, I think that the book is classroom appropriate, because the students would really be able to get into the vampire storyline, and it isn't Twilight.
Comment by Monika Andes on November 6, 2010 at 1:22pm
Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer

First off- I loved this book! It was pretty amazing. It's all about Pinnochio as... well, a vampire slayer. His father is killed by a vampire, and Pinnochio wants revenge. Whenever a vampire comes near, his nose grows a stake, and he is able to kill them. One of the things that makes this book so great is the sarcastic nature of the characters. It really is a fast read.

While Pinnochio is not a real boy, he fits the age requirements of YAL. He is relatable to a variety of age groups. The ambiguity makes him a stronger character. His father is dead, which allows him to take the credit for all of his accomplishments. I'm not so sure about the issues that relate to YA's, but he does deal with emotional stress. The town does not believe him when he warns them about the vampires, so I guess that is something that YA's worry about. Aside from his Cricket (which is a ghost), the Blue Fairy (she's old now), and Mr. Cherry (a carpenter), Pinnochio is really alone. Therefore, he relates to YA's, because he has to be independent.

Overall, this book is really amazing. Although I am not a real graphic novel fan, it really was a great book. It's perfect for YA's, because the book is entertaining and fun to talk about. I suppose vampires can be a symbol for the teenage years, but I would be stretching it. Therefore, I can just say that it was a great book that I think everyone should read.
Comment by Zia Jusufi on November 4, 2010 at 1:19pm
it took me awhile, but I am here:)
Comment by Pam Goble on November 1, 2010 at 10:06pm
I think so!!!
Comment by Meghann Lothson on November 1, 2010 at 5:24pm
I think I'm properly signed up...

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