YA Readers at St. Matthew School

Barbara Vey -- October 30th, 2009

I spent Thursday morning at St. Matthew school in Oak Creek, WI visiting with the 7th grade class.  Since I started the Saturday morning Young Adult program, I’m always looking to recruit readers and when I was invited to speak I thought it was a great opportunity to try to start a YA book club.  Ms. McDonald, the teacher agreed.  We even did a Drive By Video™.

But, back to the visit.  I was welcomed with cheers and awe that I actually knew authors (I personally think the kids were just happy to have something different happen in their school day, but I’m not complaining).   I talked about my love of books and how they led me to all the wonderful things I now get to do.

When I asked the class if anyone read Twilight, 3/4 of the class raised their hands (almost all the girls and a half the boys).  They all wanted to know if I met Stephenie Meyer (I haven’t).  Their second choice of author to meet was Stephen King (sorry, don’t know him either).  But I did impress them with a story about Dean Koontz and the ginormous line at Comic Con to see Stephanie and the cast of Twilight.

I gave away free books and the kids were especially thrilled with those autographed by authors.  One boy even asked for a note written by the author about her book.  Then I asked if anyone was interested in blurbing for the blog.  All the rest of the books were passed out to enthusiastic readers.

So now we’re on the lookout for a book to start the book club with that will appeal to both boys and girls in the seventh grade.  The teacher would like to steer away from the paranormal for now, so I’m looking for suggestions.  After we all read the book, I’d like to set up a video chat with the author to discuss their book with the kids.  I need help here.  Any suggestions?  Read any good YA books lately that would appeal to this group?  Want to be the author of choice?  Please post your ideas and email me with the specifics to barbaravey@gmail.com.  Let’s start something special here.

Oh, and don’t forget that it’s Your Turn Friday, so please comment on the book you’ve been reading lately.

Bottom Line:  Seventh graders…check.  Now on to the eight graders.  I know no fear.

18 thoughts on “YA Readers at St. Matthew School

  1. Edie Ramer

    Love your sweatshirt, Barbara! Sounds like you and the kids had a blast. I’m sure you’ve encouraged some kids who haven’t read a book for fun lately to open one and start reading.

  2. sue corbett

    How about The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks — that ought to spark some discussion across the gender lines! Other books that have been enormously popular with my teen boys that I think girls would enjoy: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Peak by Roland Smith Epic by Conor Kostic (could be spelling his last name wrong) hth, sue

  3. Liz Kreger

    I believe Carrie Vaughn has a YA coming out in March of 2010 called “Voice of Dragons” but its probably a paranormal. Great that you were able to reach those kids, Barb. I’m sure they were absolutely thrilled to meet someone who actually met authors.

  4. Kelly Peterson

    I can third the recommendations for Hunger Games…that was terrific, and I enjoyed the second book even more. I can also heartily recommend Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. It is very much in the same vein as Twilight, but I enjoyed the writing even more, and the heroine is feistier.

  5. Barbara Monajem

    Haven’t read Hunger Games, but I can definitely second Ender’s Game. It’s an astonishing book. Right now I’m reading Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious by Christie Craig — enormously entertaining, but definitely not YA.

  6. Jenni

    Be Confident in Who You Are and Real Friends vs. the Other Kind by Annie Fox are the first two books in the Middle School Confidential series. A combination of fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novel. We’ve gotten some nice feedback from classes that have read these books.

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