One of the bloggers I read recently posted questions she has been pondering as of late. I thought I would respond with my own musings. Two of the things Healigan is pondering: "the move to retreat to young adult fiction for high school students that our student teacher is researching in her classes (not very happily either)" and "the negative judgment of the classics as worthwhile."
I actually am quite passionate about using young adult literature in the classroom. I do not push the classics aside to read only YA novels, however. I usually use them as bridges to the classics. I have always been convinced that young adult literature is a valuable tool to use in the classroom. A book that gave me ideas for its use was From Hinton to Hamlet: Building Bridges Between Young Adult Literature and the Classics by Sarah K. Herz and Donald R. Gallo. I believe that common themes, archetypal characters, and symbols can be found in YA novels and the classics. YA novels have allowed me to have discussions in the classrooms that I never had previously. Young Adult literature is a topic that I will explore when we are finally finished for the summer!
Sneak Peak: One book that I feel that I have been successful with using is Chris Crutcher's Whale Talk. I have used it with Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. I will post my lesson plans for these novels at a later date.