Middle Grade Monday – Have I told you lately that I love you? (A collaborative book list, eventually.)
Middle grade students are a special breed. The people I know who work with them are a dedicated bunch, full of a deep affection for this age and all of it’s attendant terrors and triumphs. Students need to see this affection in the books they read and in the teachers they know. I do sometimes wonder how there are enough professional educators who enjoy working with them to staff the schools. Which is not to say that I don’t enjoy them. As I recently tweeted to our newest blogger, Amanda,
For those of you from other areas of the country, ‘pinch their heads off’ is a southern expression of exasperated affection. I’m sure any of you who work with (or have your own) tweens know what I’m talking about, but I thought I’d give you my favorite example from today.
At the beginning of each school year, I cover basic library procedures with all of my students. We discuss where everything is located, how to find what you’re looking for, and how to treat it. As a part of this, I explain how to find and use the most magical of library equipment – the bookmark. I send out for free bookmarks from companies and the federal government. I create bookmarks highlighting lists of books, library programs, school wide reading initiatives, etc. I encourage the students to take as many as they need – they’re free, I’ll get more!
So when I see this:
I feel justified in my exasperated affection. To make lemonade out of lemons, I made this:
That was a long explanation for a book list. Sorry. Here are all the titles I can remember which illustrate the genuine affection middle grade teachers have for their students:
- Frindle by Andrew Clements
- Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
Please chime in through the comments section to add your favorites.
Filed under: Middle Grade Monday
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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