"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Completed the YA Decade Challenge Today!

Original Challenge

Back in January I embarked on a reading challenge, to read one YA book for each decade from 1930 (or before) forward.  Today I conquered this challenge by finishing my last book.  It was a wonderful experience reading all these books written several decades ago and I would highly recommend it.  I know I will try to do this challenge again next year and I encourage all my readers to try it.  You don't have to do it with YA titles.  Just think back over all the books you've always wanted to read but never took the time.  Here's your chance!  This is a list of the books I read:

1930s or before: The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain (1885)
I listened to this in audio format with the family.  I realized after about chapter one that I had never read it before.  (Can you believe that?) No wonder it is called the Great American Novel!

1940s: Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman (1947)
This novel was based on the true love story of Catherine Mary and Mike Flanigan who lived in the far north of Canada in the early 1900s.  This book has been touted as a romance novel but I feel it is better categorized as historical fiction.

1950s: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (1952)
The third book in the wonderful Chronicles of Narnia series. Dawn Treader is coming to the big screen this December so my daughters and I read this aloud together while we vacationed in preparation for the movie. We are all huge Narnia fans. 
 
1960s: Camilla by Madeline L'Engle (1964) (Originally: Camilla Dickinson in 1951)
This book seemed so dated that I was distracted the whole time I was reading it thinking there is no way that this story is set in the 1960s.  I was right.  It was originally written in the early 1950s.

1970s: The Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (1973)
    Read my review here.

1980s: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)
    Classic YA Sci-Fi.

1990s: Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes by Chris Crutcher (1993)
I’m turning into a huge Chris Crutcher fan.  He grapples with difficult topics that teens confront in their lives. Even though this book is nearly twenty years old it is still relevant today.

2000s: What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (2009)
    See my review here.

2010s: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (2010)
    This book will be one of my Mock Printz book this January.  See my review.

7 comments:

  1. Way to go!! It must have been tricky to pick just one book from each decade.

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  2. Thank you. I am feeling quite accomplished. The 1940s was the most difficult. I don't think that many people were writing for young adults at that time, or as I looked through lists trying to locate a book, I couldn't find one that had ever "called my name" except Mrs. Mike. When I do the challenge next year I will have to work at finding something from that decade. Here are some books/authors I want to read for next year's challenge: Lord of the Flies (Golding); Forever (Blume); Wizard of Oz (Baum); Little Women (Alcott; Weetzie Bat (Block); Fade (Cormier); Blood and Chocolate (Klause); something by Ursala LeGuin; Giver (Lowry); something by Saul Bellow; reread A Twinkle in Time (L'Engle). I think I can keep this up for several years before the bottom end books start to drop off or I lose interest in the middle range books. What was fun about this challenge is that I read books that I have known about for a long time but never took the time to read (even Huck Finn) and now I feel like I have a bunch of new books I can recommend to my high school readers.

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  3. Hi Anne! Thanks for your comment on my marketing post. As far as post frequency goes here are my thoughts: Post at least one quality piece per week (a great review or a thought out piece). Posting two-three times is preferable but obviously life can get in the way.

    Many like to participate in Memes such as Library Loot, Teaser Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday...one for every day of the week... in order to keep their blogs from falling dormant when they have no reviews to post. In my opinion, too many memes become pointless and are "frivolous" posts that many people won't read, especially if you do them regularly. That doesn't mean you should not do any. They can be fun afterall. I participate in the Book Blogger Hop on Fridays and I highly recommend that you give it a try. It takes a little time to answer each week's question and visit other blogs but you will gain followers as well as find some new blogging friends (I have a link for Crazy-for-Books on my sidebar. She hosts the Hop).

    It's up to you if you want to keep your blog strictly for reviews. In addition to memes, you could post about your job as a librarian, responses to articles or other posts you read that are book related. I enjoy reading non-review/non-meme book posts. They tend to be creative and generate discussion. For instance, I posted about what I thought made for a great dystopian society. A hot topic right now is what makes a classic a classic. Posting options are endless. =)

    I hope this helps in some way. I think your blog is great. I like your style of reviewing and am sure you'll start generating the readership you'd like.

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  4. Congrats on finishing, and interesting choices! I've read your 1930s-1950s picks. Mrs. Mike is great because I live in Alberta, and there are all kinds of references to places I've been to.

    Regarding your next year's picks, I didn't like Wizard of Oz when I read it as a kid, but Blood and Chocolate and The Giver are both fantastic. When you finish Blood and Chocolate, check out the movie, too. They changed the story enough that you can consider it unrelated to the book (but just as good). And the werewolf special effects are much better than the ones in Eclipse!

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  5. Congrats on finishing! 1940s is going to be my difficult decade, too. I read Seventeenth Summer for a Young Adult Literature class a couple of years ago, but didn't want to reread if I could help it. I might steal your choice. :)

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  6. Great job, Anne.

    My suggestion for next year's decade of the fifties is Robert Heinlein's Have Spacesuit Will Travel. I loved that one.

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  7. What a great list! I recently listened to the re-released audio version of Camilla. It was dated but I enjoyed it.

    Ender's Game is one of my all-time favorites, and I really loved What I Saw and How I Lied, too.

    Sue

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