List of Books I Have Reading During My Time as a Graduate Student at Pine Manor College
McCormick, Patricia. Cut. New York: Push, 2002. A young adult novel which focuses on the self-destructive behavior of a 15-year-old girl. The interesting thing about this book is that it focuses on a teenage habit which is not normally discussed, cutting. This book follows the path of why this young girl wants to damage her outer appearance and how she goes on to deal with it.
McCormick, Patricia. Sold. New York: Hyperion Book, 2008. A young adult novel which focuses on the sale of a 13-year-old girl by her family into prostitution. The story beautifully takes the perspective of a young girl as she loses her innocence and is thrown into a world of sex, lies and betrayal. Truly eye-opening.
Myers, Dean Walter. Harlem. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997. A vividly illustrated book which focuses on a family which moves to Harlem looking for a new begging and new success. However, they are greeted by a type of racism which they believed not to exist anymore. A great poem/song narrative which tackles difficult subject matter in a elegant way.
Myers, Dean Walter. Monster. New York: Amistad, 2001. A very interesting book which focuses on a 16-yeard-old boy who is accused of playing a role in a murder. A heart breaking which takes you inside a courtroom as both a witness and a juror and let’s the young readers see where certain decisions can take you, even if you are not totally involved in them.
Myers, Dean Walter. Crystal. New York: Amistad, 2002. A modern day book about a young girl who is looking to make it in the cut-throat world of modeling and fashion. This book asks the reader to notice what is more important in life, fame and fortune or self-respect?
Hughes, Langston. Poetry for Young People. New York: Sterling, 2006. One of my favorite books on the list. An innovative poetry book designed for young people which contains great illustrations, biographies and bullet points which explains the content and origins of poems to young readers beautifully.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion. New York: Puffin, 2004. After losing his parents in a fire, this book is written from the perspective of a young man who is all of a sudden left alone and separated from his sister. The poetic style narrative of this book is something which is very unique and catchy, Tough to put down once you get into it.
Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac and D Foster. New York: Putnam, 2008. Awesome concept for a book! Three girls living in Queens are searching for meaning in their lives, all of which are huge fans of Tupac Shakur. After he his shot and killed, they explore his lyrics more deeply and find how much they all have in common with him. A great tribute to the late, great and misunderstood life of Tupac Shakur.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Hush. New York: Puffin, 2006. Woodson delivers on another unique and thought provoking book which explores moral conflict and allegiances to friends and family and deals with the subject of “Snitching,” in the inner city.
Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. A bold book that deals with decision making and young people and shows how one poor choice can change the rest of your life. Teenager Bobby Morris gets a reality check when his girlfriend becomes pregnant after their first sexual experience.
Shakur, Tupac. The Rose That Grew Form Concrete. New York: MTV, 1999. The first collection of poetry from Tupac Shakur. Written a young age, this book chronicles the mind of a young thinker who is trying to figure out the world around him. Some of the realest and readable poetry you will find on the market which is themed around beauty being present inside of ugliness.
Hughes, Langston. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. New York: Vintage, 1995. Totaling 860 poems, this book spans the entire life of Hughes. The cool thing about this book is that the poems are placed in chronological order to when they were written which allows the reader to see Hughes’ growth as a writer and a thinker.
Angelou. Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Bantam, 1983. The first volume in a series, Angelou takes us from her childhood into the process of being a young woman. One of the main themes this book tackles is segregation and how Angelou experienced and dealt with it in her life.
Giovanni, Nikki. Ego-Tripping and other Poems for Young People. New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1993. A worth while collection of poems for any young reader. These poems often celebrate the life of your every day ordinary people and show they are just as important and relevant to the world as anyone else.
Hill, Carrick Laban. Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance. New York: Little Brown, 2004. Go on a visual journey through Harlem through the period of the Harlem Renaissance. A great way for young people to learn about the art, music and thought which came out of this period amongst the brutal racism which was present.
Williams, Saul. The Dead Emcee Scrolls. New York: MTV, 2006. One of the most original books I have ever read. A young man in New York finds a spray paint can full of lost writings. He decodes them and they end up being the lost teaching of hip-hop. This book contains poems of his decoding and what he believes the message to be.
Williams, Saul. Said, The Shotgun to the Head. New York: MTV, 2006. An 180 page poem which contains some of the best internal rhyme you have ever seen! Hip-hop inspired, this book is blast to read and is one of loudest pieces of writing someone can sit down and read.
Good, Kay. In Good Company: The Escorts Guide. New York: Vision, 2006. Everything you need to know about living a life as a call girl. A great book on the every day dealings of a cal girl and what they have to cope with being involved in this line of work.
Wolf, Naomi. The Secret Struggle for Womanhood. New York: Random House, 1997. A book which doesn’t hold back at all about female sexuality. A very interesting read on how pop-culture has brainwashed young woman and how images in the media make young girls view themselves differently they how they normally would.
Merullo, Roland. Revere Beach Boulevard. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000. A great book from an author who really knows the subject matter he is speaking on. The characters and situations are so real and intimate that you feel like you are watching these scenes happen right inside of his own living room.
Woodson, Jacqueline. From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks, 1997. A young adult novel which focuses on a thirteen-year-old girl who has a very close relationship with her mom who raised her as a single parent. Melanin finds out that her mother is a lesbian and the story is told through her diary entries, trying to figure out why her mom is gay and wondering if she will turn our gay now also.
Giovanni, Nikki. Rosa. New York: Square Fish, 2007. A great story for younger children which tells the story of Rosa Parks. Sometimes the story of Rosa parks can be difficult for younger children to understand when it comes to race relations and segregation, but this book does a great job of a providing information about the famous bus incident, as well as providing spectacular illustrations to help the story flow.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. New York: Jump at the Sun, 2006. A beautifully illustrated story which retells the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The cool thing about this book is the way faith is incorporated into the story to show how it had an influence on Tubman.
Holm, Jennifer . Penny from Heaven. New York: Yearling, 2007. A very interesting book about large families and support. Penny’s father is dead, but she is raised and adored by an extremely large Italian family. Not a book with many thrill rides, but a book which tackles an extremely hard subject, family.
Beah, Ishmael. A long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008. The language of this book is very real, feels as though the boy is sitting next to you telling the story. The memoirs in this book are very well written and show how something positive can come from brutal tragedy.
Dul Dau, John, Sweeney, Michael. God Grew Tired of Us. New York: National Geographic, 2008. A memoir from the war-torn land of the Sudan, John Dul Dau gives his story of how he started first grade when he was eighteen-years-old and then how he came to write this memoir shortly after. This book is a story of hope and encouragement and of the most powerful books I ever read.
Werlin, Nancy. The Rules of Survival. New York: Puffin, 2008. Narrated by a seventeen-year-old character in a letter to his sister trying to explain the abuse he has experienced in his life. A good read for both teens and adults, plus it takes place in Boston!
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life As We Knew It. New York: Harcourt Paperbacks, 2008. A really innovative and imaginative book about a young girl who must survive after an asteroid hits the planet. A light read, but something to think about on how young people would react during and after an apocalyptic event.
Galloway, Adam. These Thoughts of a Young Adult. New York: PublishAmerica, 2005. I found an author who is into what I am! Adam Galloway specializes in writing poetry for young adults in urban settings. I was grateful to come across this book and hope to establish a relationship with Adam in the future.
Mora, Pat. My Own True Name: Poems for Young Adults. New York: Arte Publico Press, 2000. A greatly diverse book of poems written for a young adult audience. These poems deal with the author’s experience as a Latina growing up in the South Western part of the Untied States.
Ortiz, Simon J. From Sand Creek. Arizona: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2000. A great collection of poems from a Native American poet who wants to share the history of his people with those who might nor be familiar with it.
Myers, Walter Dean.Harlem Summer. New York: Scholastic Press, 2007. A real cool story about an aspiring teenage musician who ends up getting stuck in the middle of a bootlegging scheme with Fats Walker.
Alexie, Sherman. The Absoluety True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York:
Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007. An interesting story about a teenage Native American who leaves his reservation to attend an all white school. A true reality check, and a good read for those who are not familiar with Native American Culture in the present time.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Elijah of Buxton. New York: Scholastic Press, 2007. This book is about an 11-year-old boy who is the first freeborn black in Buxton, Canada. A comedic and thought provoking story about race, freedom and fear.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Feathers. New York: Putnam Juvenile, 2007. Another great book from Woodson which tells the story of a young girl who lives on the wrong side of tracks. A really enjoyed the character of the “Jesus Boy” who appears in the mostly black and brown community.
Hopkins, Ellen. Crank. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. A very good book about a young girls battle with crystal method. The first book I read this month, and one a kept finding myself going back to and studying it. Almost, wrote my annotation on this book.
Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse. New York: Simon Pulse, 2008. A compelling story about three teens who just can’t seem to do anything right, not even their own deaths. Three teens and their tales of failed suicides.
Hopkins, Ellen. Burned. New York: Simon Pulse, 2007. Another great book in verse by Hopkins which covers the moments of a young girl and how she deals with her abusive father.
Godfrey, Rebecca. The Torn Skirt. New York: Harper Perennial, 2008. A personal story about a young girl who is caught by her father masturbating and how she can’t deal to even be seen by him now.
Alphin, Elaine. The Perfect Shot. New York: Carolrhoda Books, 2005. A thriller which starts off by the main character’s sister, mother and girlfriend all getting shot in his garage. A thought provoking tale which tackles tough issues like prejudice and racial profiling.
Pena, Matt. Ball Don’t Lie. New York: Delacorte Books, 2007. Since basketball is my favorite sport, I couldn’t resist this title. An accurate depiction of a white teen trying to find acceptance among a group of black b-ball players.
Joravsky, Ben. Hoop Dreams. New York: Harper Paperbakcs, 1996. One of my favorite documentaries of all time is also one of my favorite books. A heartbreaking story about two different young basketball players from the inner city who dream to make it to the NBA.
Paschen, Elise. Poetry Speaks to Children. New York: Sourcebooks, 2005. I was interested in checking this book out because it came packaged with an audio CD of the poems. A very cool concept which most certainly will get young readers interested in words and sounds.
Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston: Back Bay Books, 1976. One of my favorite poets and someone I look to when I need inspiration. This book is nice because it collects most of her poems and puts them in order from when they written.
Whitcomb, Laura. A Certain Slant of Light. New York: Graphia, 2005. Since Hallowween is approaching, I wanted to check out some young adult horror books and see how they are put together. Pretty cool story about a girl who is trapped as a ghost on Earth for 130 years.
Pepper, Dennis. The Young Oxford Book of Ghost Stories. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. A mix of very scary, very funny and very boring ghost stories. Wouldn’t really recommend this book to anyone. Maybe had one good story out of the 15 or so in the collection.
Vecchiona, Susan Beth. The Body Eclectic: A Collection of Poems . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002. A whacky book of poetry that explores the human body. Written by a doctor who takes the reader on a poetic journey that covers every body part imaginable.
Merrell, Bill. Talking in the Dark. New York: Push, 2003. A memoir written in verse. Wanted to explore it to see how it might help me. Pretty interesting story, but the characters were not well developed.
Taylor, Clark. The House That Crack Built. New York: Chronicle Books, 1992. A very interesting book that I stumbled upon. Somewhat of a spoof on, “The House That Jack Built,” this hip modern day nursery rhyme depicts the pitfalls of crack cocaine and what it can do to a household. A realization of his homosexuality and parent’s divorce highlight the lyrics.
Black, Claudia. My Daddy Has a Disease. New York: Mac Publishing, 1997. A very helpful book from the perspective of a child who tries to understand her fathers drinking problem. Nice artwork included, a unique reading experience.
Holmes, Margaret. A Terrible Thing Happened. New York: Magination Press, 2000. An awesome book for young people who have witnessed traumatic things in their life. One of the things I liked about this book is that is covered all sorts of topics from gang violence to accidents while camping.
Engle, Marqarita. The Poet Slave of Cuba. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006. Another book I have come across which is written in poetic free verse and tells the story of an inspiring young man with superhuman intellectual powers.
Various Authors. The Freedom Writers Diary. New York: Broadway, 2006. One of my favorite books ever. Stories from young people in California who are involved in a lot of street stuff. I like the fact how most of these young people found writing and made it an empowering tool.
Filipovic, Zlata. Zlata’s Diary. New York: Penguin, 1995. A book I discovered from “The Freedom Writers Diary,” Zlata is known as the modern day Ann Frank. Her diary is about her experiences is the former Yugoslavia.
Strasser, Todd. The Wave. New York: Laurel Leaf, 1981. I first seen the film in my Social Science class and was drawn in ever since. I wanted to check out the book to see what it was like. Crazy experiment, crazy truth.
Johnson, Alexander. The Hidden Writer. New York: Anchor, 1998. A very interesting and helpful book on the art of writing. Covers a lot of diary writing and memoir. Also, it touches on public and private writing which was interesting as I consider myself a public writer who composes a lot of stuff around large crowds and noise.
Gruwell, Erin. Teach With Your Heart: Lessons I Learned From the Freedom Writers. New York: Broadway, 2008. Because I have such a liking for who she is, I decided to check out her book on her style of teaching. Very real, and teaches her kids with a type of compassion and understanding that is not usually seen in the classroom.
Bucher, Katherine. Young Adult Literature: Exploration, Evaluation, and Appreciation. New York: Prentice Hall, 2005. Was really interested when I came across this book. It’s entire book composed of ideas on how teachers and older people can relate better to teens.
Hart, Christine. Watching July. New York: Sumach Press, 2008. With a setting that takes place in British Columbia, it was nice to get a fresh perceptive from a teen struggling to grow up in another area. It was interesting to see what things were different and what were the same when it came to challenges she faced.
Gastman, Roger. Street World: Urban Art from Five Continents. New York: Abrams Books, 2007. An awesome book which uses mostly photography to capture the essence of urban culture all across the world. Totally enjoyed this book as it was a feast for the eyes.
Sanada, Ryo. Rackgaki: Japanese Graffiti. New York: Laurence King, 2007. Really cool book about Japanese Graffiti. It was fascinating to see how American and Japanese influences combined into this truly unique style of urban art.
Ouan, Tracy. Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003. Pretty interesting book about a New York call girl. One of the best things I enjoyed about this book was the attention to human observations. Prostitutes see the world from a every unique set of eyes, one readers don’t get to witness too often.
Plath, Sylvia. The Colossus and Other Poems. New York: Vintage, 1998. One of Sylvia Plath’s earliest collection of poems, this book is great for a number of reasons, but I choose to pick it up to study the style of brilliant poet.
Hanah, Sarah. Inflorescence. Boston: Tupelo Press, 2008. A former teacher of mine and a very brilliant woman. It makes me sad to think she’s not around anymore, but I greatly enjoyed reading her poems and trying to remember everything she taught in her classes.
Flores, Theresa. The Sacred Bath: An American Teen’s Story of Modern Day Slavery. New York: IUniverse, 2007. An inspiring true story about a young girl who was held as a sexual slave in Detroit. The cool things about this book is that it ends on a positive note as she escaped and became a social worker.
Salant, James. Leaving Jersey Dirty. New York: Simon Spotlight, 2008. A very interesting story about what can go wrong when trying to do something right. A young teen’s parents send him cross country to a rehab center to battle his heroine addiction. He ends up escaping and getting hooked on Crystal Meth.
Ogbar, Jeffery. Hip Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap Music. New York: University Press of Kansas, 2007. The main discussion with this book and how rappers feel the need to be authentic which sometimes leads to bad outcomes.
Eric Dyson, Michael. Know What I Mean?. New York: Perseus Book Group, 2007. Another book which focuses on the political issues of Hip Hop, Dyson is someone I am familiar with from watching Tupac documentaries. I like his work and can appreciate his outlook on life.
Dash, Leon. When Children Want Children. New York: University of Illinois Press, 2003. An awesome research book which chronicles the work of a man who moves into a underprivileged community in Washington and sees and epidemic of teenage pregnancy.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed. New York: Holt Paperbacks, 2002. One of my favorite books I have ever read. A woman leaves her career as a journalist and documents the experience of trying to make it in the world as a low class worker. Fascinating Stuff.
Shipler, David. The Working Poor. New York: Vintage, 2005. Again, a book that touches on working people that have a hard time trying to survive in America. A study I can relate too big time and a reality that is becoming too common here in America.
Drooker, Eric. Flood. New York: Dark Horse, 2005. A pretty enjoyable book which is entirely narrated by pictures and not text. An interesting concept and something I would like to explore some day.
Liebegott, Ali. The Beautiful Worthless. New York: Suspect Thought Press, 2005. An awesome book which is a novel written in verse. Something I am trying to do and something which I think this book does very successfully.
Tea, Michelle. The Chelsea Whistle. New York: Seal Press, 2008. A cool book about a girl who plays dead a lot as a teen. Death and the gothic lifestyle are two subjects heavily tackled in this book.
Obama, Barak. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004. Just wanted to learn more about the life of Barack Obama. Pretty informative book that tells about his early years as a child.
Tzu, Sun. The Art of War. New York: Filiquarian, 2007. Since I feel like I am been living through a personal war lately, I figured I would reread and inspirational classic to see if I could pick up any pointers.
Levin, Gail. Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography. New York: Rizzoli, 2007. Because I feel my poems look a lot like his paintings, I decided to check out a book about his life. Pretty interesting dude.
Boyd, Valerie. Wrapped In Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. New York: Scribner, 2004. I really admire this ladies life and her writing. I first found out about her in a UMass summer class about woman’s writers. She stuck out to me and I have been reading about her ever since.
Thomas, Roy. The Marvel Vault. Running Press, 2007. I draw a lot of my inspiration from comic books and found this book on the Marvel Universe to be totally fascinating. Really cool to see how they started their company and grew their characters.
Ottavani, Jim. Two Fisted Science:Stories about Scientists. G.T. Labs, 2001. Just a cool book I found that was written to get young people interested in science. Nice illustrations and funny stories.
Fleischman, Sid. The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer’s Life. Greenwillow, 1996. A book about magic and writing, what could be better right? A young kid wants to be a writers and has magical experiences in order to achieve his goal. Based on the life of Sid Fleischman.
Ford, Amanda. Be True to Yourself: A Daily Guide for Teenage Girls. Conari Press, 2000. A very real book written by an author who has been through her share of trails and tribulations in her life, the voice of the author in this book is very genuine and something I think young girls could relate very much.
Dee, Catherine. The Girls Book of WIsdom. Little Brown Young Readers, 1999. I really creative book of inspirational quotes that I think would be beneficial to any young reader. A cool concept for a book and something everyone should keep on their nightstand.
Winick, Judd. Pedro and Me. Henry Holt and Company, 2000. Pedro was first learned about after appearing on MTV’s The Real World. This story is told in a comic book format and is a very educational book reading HIV and Aids.
Kerr, M.E. Night Kites. Harper Teen, 1987. A very dramatic and sad teen book that deals with sexual orientation and Aids. Never really heard of this book while growing up, but man, very powerful and well done.
Griffith, Gail. Will’s Choice. HarperCollins, 2005. A newer story about teen depression and what effects medication can have on someone. I related to this book a lot because I worked with a lot of young people at one point in my life who were on Meds that effected their behavior.
Jamison, Kay Redfield. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. Vintage, 1997. The downs of the illness to the redemption of the highs. An introspective look at depression and medicine and why some people did not want to take it.
Fuller, Doris A. Promise You Won’t Freak Out. Berkley Trade, 2004. A pretty funny book about a teenage girl talking to her mom about tattoos, body piercing and other crazy forms of teenage behavior.
Tolman, Debra. Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality. Harvard University Press, 2002. A pretty interesting study about girls and their sexual desires. A good study for my character.
Chunichi. A Gangster’s Girl. New York: Urban Books, 2007. A pretty gritty urban story written from the perspective of a young girl who is the girlfriend of a dope dealer. I really enjoy reading about stories that I can relate to that often go untold.
Miller, Jody. Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality and Gendered Violence. New York: New York University Press, 2008. An awesome, awesome book about an amazing sociologist who studies the lives of urban girls, not from afar, but right in the thick of things inside of the inner city. I need to get a job like this!!!
Knight, K. Teenage Bluez. New York: Life Changing Books, 2005. A great collection of short stories that feature troubled youth who have made mistakes and are now trying to mentor young people in their neighborhood not to fall into the same traps.
Chatterton, Paul. Urban Nightscapes. New York: Routledge, 2003. A really interesting book that focuses on young people and their relationship with the urban nightlife experience and how it is continually changing.
Hayes, Terrance. Hip Logic. New York: Penguin, 2002. Wanted to read more of Terrance Hayes’ poetry after hearing him read at Pine Manor. I really enjoyed his poems and tributes to people such as Mr. T.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. I have always enjoyed the poetry of Sylvia Plath and thought this book would be great to help me better understand the young mind of the main character in my story who also experiences many emotional traumas.
Plath, Sylvia. Ariel. New York: Faber and Faber, 2007. Again, just another great collection of poems to read and study from a poet who wrote these during the ending moments of her life.
Taylor, Debbie. Sweet Music In Harlem. New York: Lee and Low Books, 2004. A real interesting story that follows a young boy on a search for a missing hat and discovers the power of music and family along the way.
Hughes, Langston. I Wonder As I Wander. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993. An inspirational story about the struggles Langton Hughes had to endure during his writing and personal career. Great read.
Pollack, Frederick. Happiness. New York: Story Line Press, 1998. One of the first novel in verse books set after apocalyptic conditions. Really hard to get into, but interesting to see in respect to how I want to set my own story up.
Herrick, Steven. The Simple Gift. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. An interesting free verse novel about a young boy who hops on a freight train to escape his abusive father. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is that it is told through three different perspectives, and it works.
Herrera, Juan Felipe. CrashBoomLove. New York: University of New Mexico Press, 1999. I really wanted to check out this book which is written in the form of a narrative poem. One of the main things I liked about this book is how it incorporated native slang of young Chicanos, but didn’t overdo it, something to examine in my own projects.
Kinney, Jeff. The Diary of A Wimpy Kid. New York: Recorded Books, 2008. I checked out this book because of Krystal’s book which might take the form of a web blog. Kinney’s book was originally published on the web and built up a base of 20 million readers.
Atkinson, Jay. Legends of Winter Hill. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006. Not a real fan of Boston mobster stuff, but since a lot of it takes place in the same area where I am basing my story, I wanted to check it out.
Lispector, Clarice. SoulStorm. New York: New Directions, 1074. A great collection of short stories by a very unique Latin American female writer. I did my annotation on one of her stories and really learned a lot from it.
Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Vintage, 2007. A favorite story of mine that I went back to re-read to study how Morrison addressed issues such as rape and incest in her novel. This book is really great in the way that it studies female beauty and what it means to different people.
Nunez, Sigrid, Toni. For Rouenna. New York: Picador, 2002. I truly enjoyed reading this book. A think it is beautifully written and a great story to study if you are writing about the past as well as the future and making them connect in some way.
Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees. New York: Penguin, 2008. I wanted to check out this book after really enjoying the movie. One of the great things about this book is the depiction of the characters which are extremely well done. To have so many characters in the plot and to have them all be so uniquely different is quite an accomplishment. Great book. Great movie.
Pannell, Lynn. Real: Scenes and Monologues from Urban Youth. New York: Limelight, 2004. This book has been criticized because of it’s lack of character development and other craft aspects, but this is a truly powerful book that young readers from urban environments could relate to. Young readers need a place to start reading and I think this book could be a great starting point.
Mahiri, Jabari. What They Don’t Learn In School. New York: Peter Lang, 2004. A real interesting social look at how literacy effects urban environments. It looks at why kids hate to read and how it is to get started once you fall so far behind.
Dobyns, Stephen. Boy in the Water. New York: St. Martins, 2000. I discovered Dobyns while I was at Emerson College and have been aware of his work ever since. This particular story deals with troubled teens in the mountains of New Hampshire. His great depiction of real believable characters is something I truly enjoy.
Skoyles, John. The Situation. New York: Carnegie University Press, 2007. John was my poetry teacher at Emerson College and I really appreciate his work. He really taught me about unnecessary words in poetry and I always like to read his work because it’s so tight and clean.
Madison, Monica. The Girl From The Gutter. New York: Wing Span Press, 2007. A really cool story about a young girl who is forced to take care of her terminally ill brother. This is another one of those inner city stories which I don’t think there are enough of in literature.
Hatsumi, Massuki. The Way of the Ninja. New York: Kondasha International, 2004. I am a big fan of martial arts and wanted to check this book out. Really well put together and a great teaching tool for those who want to learn martial arts.
Holliday, Sean. Unfinished Poetry. New York: Createspace, 2007. A book of poetry for people who don’t like poetry. Yes, the idea behind this book is to go against every traditional aspect of poetry and come up with totally unique poems. I understand why so many people hate poetry and I applaud this other for trying to go after another audience.
Lobel, Arnold. The Random House Book of Poetry for Kids. New York: Random House, 1983. I’m always interested to see how poetry books are presented for young people. This book consisted more of nursery rhymes than poems, but still pretty well done.
Dakos, Kalli. If You’re Not Here Please Raise Your Hand. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1995. Again, more poems for a younger audience. I really liked the way this book was presented and I think the poems were relevant and interesting for young people to read. Great artwork and an overall pleasure to read.
Various. The Best American Short Stories 2008. New York: Mariner Books, 2008. Short stories are such hard things to write and I like to study other stories to get ideas for my own work. Some very good stuff in here.
Kidd, Sue Monk. The Mermaid Chair. New York: Penguin Group, 2006. I really enjoyed her other books, so I wanted to check this one out. One thing that Monk does very well is creating relationships within her characters, something I try to learn from for my own work.
Wolverton, Terry. Embers: A Novel in Poems. New York: Red Hen Press, 2003. I feel that any novel in poems I read greatly helps my own mission, Wolverton’s is no exception. The cool thing about this is how she uses different character perspectives to tell her story, something I would like to experiment with in the future.
Thayer, Ernest. Casey at the Bat. New York: Kid Can Press, 2006. I’m always on the hunt for books that appeal to a young audience. This particular hardcore book illustrated and geared towards young adults is something I was happy to stumble upon. This classic story about a big time player who strikes out during a big time game is something kids should be familiar with.
Noyes, Alfred. The Highway Man. New York: Kid Can Press, 2005. Another young adult poetry book from the same people as those who did Casey at the Bat. I really like the concept of these books, the illustrations are wonderful and the way they merge with the overall theme of the book is spectacular.
Espada, Martin. Poetry Like Bread. New York: Curbstone Press, 2000. A pretty cool collections of poetry featuring the work of 33 different poets. A very political book from writers who have lived through many of these circumstances it touches upon like poverty and political turmoil.
Stavans, Ilan. Wachale!. New York: Cricket Books, 2001. A collection of poems from 29 Latino writers all reflecting on growing up as a Latino in America. Really good stuff here, a very colorful and well book.
Franco, Betsy. You Hear Me?. New York: Candlewick, 2001. A collection of poetry written by teenagers. Kids from grade 7 and up in this no holds barred collection that focuses on issues of urban youth.
Cirelli, Michael. Hip-Hop Poetry and the Classics. New York: Milk Mug, 2004. An awesome book that compares great poets of the past to great poets of the future. How cool was it to see Robert Frost compared to Public Enemy?
Collins, Brandilyn. Getting Into Character. New York: Wiley, 2002. A pretty insightful book on how authors and novelists can learn a lot from actors and use these traits in dialog and scenes.
Kress, Nancy. Characters, Emotion and Viewpoint. New York: Writers Digest Books, 2005. An awesome book that helped me a lot with my own creation of characters. A difficult and thick read at times, I was not able to get through the whole thing, but the chapters I looked through were helpful.
Scott, Daniel. Some of Us Have to Get Up In the Morning. New York: Turtle Point Press, 2001. Getting into short stories lately, I have been looking up some new authors. I liked Scott’s collection because of the diversity of the stories and their range of emotions.
Perabo, Susan. Who I was supposed to Be. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006. I simple read, but one of those books that gets you from one subway stop to another.
Perdomo, Willie. Smoking Lovely. New York: Rattapallax Press, 2004. An author that was recommended to me by Pine Manor classmate Maryann Jacob. A really cool collection of poetry about growing up on the streets of NYC. A poet I will keep my on in the future.
Perdomo, Willie. Where A Nickel Costs A Dime. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1996. Wanting to check out some more of his poetry, I came across this book. His poetry reminds me a lot of my own as it is influenced more by rap than it is by traditional poets like Whitman and Auden.
Wolf, Virginia. Make Lemonade. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2006. You mentioned in my last packet, so I wanted to give it a read and see what I could learn from it. Very powerful story and one I think will end up helping me out a lot.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Puffin, 2006. A good portrayal of a teenage outcast who becomes isolated for being a snitch. Anderson does a great job of creating a vivid and believable world, one that is authentic to the teenage voice.
Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2004. Because so many young adult books are supposed to end with happy endings, I wanted to check out a book that I heard had depressing ending.
Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. A cool reversal of roles as the story focuses on a young single father struggling to try and raise his young child.
De Andrade, Eugenio. Forbidden Words. New York: New Directions Publishing, 2003. I want to become more familiar with Portuguese writers and ended up coming across De Andrade. His poems speak of his culture this edition was bilingual.
Asher, Jay. 13 Reasons Why. New York: Razorbill, 2007. An interesting book that confronts the issue of suicide in a totally different way. I found Asher last term and he’s got some good young adult material.
Allosso, Dan. Outside the Box. New York: IUniverse, 2007. A young adult fantasy book that focuses on a monster coming out of a video game to terrorize a young boy. Good concept, but this book is not put together too well.
Strasser, Todd. Boot Camp. New York: Simon Pulse, 2007. Kids with issues are sent to boot camp to straighten out their lives. In my opinion, the accounts of what they go through are not that accurate.
Oritiz, Simon. From Sand Creek. Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 2000. The book I did my annotation on. Great poems and a unique way of telling a history that is not widely known.
Hanley, Victoria. Wild Ink. New York: Cottonwood Press, 2008. A pretty informative book about the world of young adult writing. Good concepts about finding your voice and what to do once you’re finished.
Young, Robyn. The Fall of the Templars. New York: Dutton Adult, 2009. A young adult historical fiction book that tells a gripping story of a Templar Knight and their journey for peace.
Davidson, Ellen Dee. Stolen Voices. New York: Lobster Press, 2005. The good thing about this book is how it addresses issues that young adults face in a new and exciting way. Not much of a fan of the overall story, but overall, a good read.
Hamilton, Jane. When Madeline Was Young. New York: Anchor, 2007. A real tragedy about a girl who falls of a bike and gets brain damage. A good story to study about how to bring hope into a hopeless story.
Ada, Alma Flor. My name is Maria Isabel. New York: Anchor, 2001. A great book for an inspiring teacher who must be aware and sensitive to the issue of having students with the same names in her class room.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. The intriguing thing I hope I learned from this book is to how to tell about a people’s culture. In this particular book it focused on a tribe, while I might focus on a culture of a certain group of youth in an urban environment.
Tatchell, Jo. The Poet of Baghdad. New York: Broadway, 2008. A true story about a young boy from Iraq who loved and wrote through some of Baghdad’s most turbulent times. A good book, one I’m surprised I didn’t hear of sooner.
Bishop, Elizabeth. Poems, Prose and Letters. New York: Library of America, 2008. A poet I have not read much of in the past, liked her stuff.
Lewis, Shawan. Help Wanted. New York: Urban Soul, 2007. A pretty cool book about what happens to teens when they have no options.
Colman, Elizabeth. Urban Babies Wear Black. New York: Tricycle Press, 2005. A great book about child rearing in the city.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper, 2006. One of my favorites reads. After closely examining this book, you come to realize how special it is.
Cather, Willa. My Antonia. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. Not a book a greatly enjoyed at the time of reading it, but the characters and the female story in this book are great.
Sapphire. Push. New York: Vintage, 1997. Read this book with the youth from the Books of Hope Program. The language in which the main character speaks through is something the youth directly gravitated to.
Shakur, Tupac. The Rose That Grew From Concrete. New York: MTV Books, 1999. One of the first poetry books that I bought to put in my bookcase. This collection features a teenage Tupac trying to make sense of his surroundings.
Bradley, Adam. The Book of Rhymes. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2009. A great read which examines the relationships between poetry, and Hip-Hop, as it explores great poets, and great rappers, and similar techniques found inside of their work.
Chang, Jeff. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York : Picador, 2005. A unique book that helped me gain of better understanding of the neighborhood where Hip-Hop first began.
Payne, Ruby. A Framework for Understanding Poverty. New York: AHA Process, 2005. A scholarly book which tries to decode the reasons behind extreme poverty in America. The author brings up valid reasons why poverty begins, and why it continues.
Olivares, Jose. Bring Them Back Alive. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2004. Interesting tales from teens who have been runways, but have managed to turn their lives around.
Morrish, William. Growing Urban Habitats. New York: William Stout, 2009. A book that examines projects here in America, and tries to propose a new design that is better suited for large numbers of people to occupy.
Assante Jr. M.K. It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop: The Rise of the Post Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009. A good head that touches upon the birth of Hip-Hop, and the different cultures, and trends that have spun off of it over time.