Category: Young Adult

  • Young Adult And Middle Grade Books With Trans Feminine Characters

    Young adult readers can now find better queer diversity scattered across young adult literature. Many of these new stories feature trans masculine characters. Here are some young adult stories featuring trans feminine characters.

  • Books About Non-binary Genders For Readers Of All Ages

    Gender is in Western culture a relational concept. And “masculinity” relies on a binary relationship with femininity. Non-binary people have existed since the dawn of humankind, and are now cracking open proscribed Western gender expectations for everyone.

  • Of Mice and Men: Classroom Alternatives

    Of Mice and Men is a 1937 novella by John Steinbeck. Two migrant ranch workers move from place to place in California looking for work during America’s Great Depression. This social protest novel is widely studied with high school English literature students. But, where funding allows, English teachers are starting to replace class sets Of […]

  • Children’s Fiction Based On The Odyssey

    Ther are three main types of modern myth, and by ‘modern’ I mean ‘3000 years old’. In one type the main character hangs around home base (e.g. an island). This type of myth is known as a Robinsonnade. Another much newer type is the so-called Female Myth, in which the main character (of any gender)…

  • Action Adventure Novels For Year 8s

    Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks, good for older, struggling readers The Fall by Tristan Bancks Detention by Tristan Bancks, lots to discuss Hatchet by Gary Paulsen Jack Heath’s Minutes series e.g. 300 Minutes Of Danger The Explorer by Katherine Rundell Pax by Sara Pennypacker Bear Grylls: Spirit of the Jungle, harder to get now SEE…

  • The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

    The Tricksters Margaret Mahy dark cover

    The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of the new female mythic form, in which a main character (often femme, sometimes not) thinks and feels their way through a problem rather than leaving home to go on a journey and fight a bunch of opponents.

  • Tomorrow When The War Began Questions

    Tomorrow When The War Began

    The following are some resources I used with New Zealand high school English students some years ago during a novel study of Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden. Posted here in case anyone still finds this useful. How many wars has New Zealand been involved in during the last 50 years? The Cold…

  • American Honey Film Study

    American Honey, directed by Andrea Arnold, is the granddaughter of Thelma and Louise — a road journey with classic mythic structure which follows the coming-of-age (or not) of an 18-year-old named Star.

  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier Novel Study

    The Chocolate War cover

    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier was not written with a young adult audience in mind, but class sets of the book found their way into English departments all over the world. Though this is not my favourite Cormier novel, it remains his best known. Heavy in symbolism and discussable themes, The Chocolate War also makes for…

  • Illness and Disability in Children’s Literature

    The Doctor exhibited 1891 Sir Luke Fildes 1843-1927 Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894

    Illness, disability and disfigurement has a problematic history in children’s literature. What are the main problems, today and in the past, and how might writers aspire to do better? A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND ILLNESS When you think of classic children’s literature and illness, you’re likely to come up with The Secret Garden.…

  • The End Of The Fxxxing World Storytelling

    The End Of The Fucking World

    Listed on IMDb as a comedy drama, The End Of The Fxxxing World is a darkly comic coming-of-age tale with a major crime at the centre of the plot. It is also a twisted and cynical romance. The script is written by Charlie Covell, based on the graphic novel by Charles Forsman. Forsman is an American…

  • Lady Bird Film Study

    Lady Bird film poster

    Lady Bird is an American coming-of-age film written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who won a bunch of awards for it. I can see why.