VOYA Review

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This review of our book, Using Literature in the Middle School Curriculum, appeared in the October 1999 issue of VOYA.

Here are two texts [The other is Hot Links by Cora Wright (Libraries Unlimited)] that present literature titles for the middle school curriculum.

[Review of Hot Links]

Using Literature in the Middle School Curriculum is much more accessible and offers teachers a lot of solid information about YA literature, particularly in the "Focus Books" section. It consumes one third of the entire text, listing twenty-nine current and frequently-used titles with brief plot summaries, suggested questions, ideas for class discussion, and related books, including a picture book. This section is extremely helpful to interdisciplinary teachers or teacher teams because the focus books are cross-referenced for disciplines such as science, history, art, music, physical education, and mathematics.

The book opens with a review of classroom techniques for discussion, minilessons, and literature groups, as well as read-alouds. The next section lists themes and topics, including comments about the theme, a picture starter and a hefty list of fiction and non-fiction titles, along with ratings. Brief mention is made of literary devices such as foreshadowing, symbolism, allegory, and flashbacks -- but the section is only six pages, and needs more in-depth connections to focus titles. The authors have included a wide range of works, with some Web sites, for middle school reders and their language arts and social studies teachers and librarians, who will find the valuable reference tool for grades six through eight. Both texts omit short stories and there is no mention of paperback publishers to help teachers find titles available for classroom sets.
Reprinted with permission. VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES, October 1999, p. 291.

Hurst, Carol Otis and Rebecca Otis. Using Literature in the Middle School Curriculum (Linsworth, 1999. 231 p. $36.95 Paperback)
Oversize pb 0938865730 Index Charts Biblio

You can order this book by calling Linworth at 1-800-786-5017 or by following this link to Amazon.com Bookstore.

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