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AdLit News Headlines

Each weekday, AdLit gathers interesting news headlines about literacy, middle grade and YA books, best practices in instruction, and other key topics related to middle school and high school teaching and learning.

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Is YA Leading Diversity in Publishing? (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

December 03, 2021

A glance at recent YA literature seems to show a more diverse cast of characters, with POC, disabled and LGBTQ+ protagonists and secondary characters. While diversity initiatives and individual authors’ successes are highly significant, it seems that YA still has a way to go in order to be truly diverse. Meanwhile, other areas of literature, such as adult fiction, may not be as far behind YA as one might initially think. 

Teens, Isolation and COVID (opens in a new window)

UDaily

December 02, 2021

The teenage years can be a challenging time for people under normal circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic added a layer to the challenge, but for some, being able to avoid difficult peer-to-peer interactions was a silver lining, according to University of Delaware researchers.

A Federal College Access Program, Available at Five Philly Schools, to Expand to Frankford High with $5 Million (opens in a new window)

Philadelphia Inquirer

December 02, 2021

A college access program will now serve almost 2,000 students at seven Philly high schools. The Philadelphia Education Fund will expand a college-access program that provides full-time, in-school guidance, one-on-one advising, and campus visits, as well as other offerings over the course of students’ high school careers. 

Here’s How to Make Science More Relevant for Students of Color (opens in a new window)

Education Week

November 24, 2021

Making science class more culturally relevant is just one of the strategies K-12 science teachers are using to better engage students of color at a time when Black and Hispanic people remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math careers and national discussions continue on how to make education overall more equitable.

What Do L.A. Students Want Most? Mental Health Help, an Adult to Listen, Reliable Tech (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

November 23, 2021

Students in Los Angeles public schools said they have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed a “non-negotiable” need for academic success: mental wellness. Yet one in three students of color say they don’t have an adult at school with whom they feel comfortable enough to talk about how they are feeling, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Q & A with Ernesto Cisneros (opens in a new window)

Publishers Weekly

November 23, 2021

You could say Ernesto Cisneros is in the middle of everything. He is an award-winning middle grade author and a middle school language arts teacher in California. Cisneros spoke with PW to share how his early life experiences, teaching, and writing intersect, and why he places students and readers smack dab in the middle of his life.

20 Must Read Middle Grade Fairytale Retellings (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

November 18, 2021

The great thing about fairytale retellings is there are so very many of them. These middle grade fairytale retellings take those classic tales and spin them into wonderful new stories for a generation of young readers. You’ll see tales here you recognize and some you may not, but all of them are fairytales in the making.

Are We Reading Enough? (opens in a new window)

The Observer

November 11, 2021

It is no surprise that more time at home led many to enjoy such fruitful activities. Last year also featured a sales increase in all literary categories. Young adult fiction and nonfiction experienced the largest change, amounting to respective increases of 21.4% and 38.3%. Were there other positive impacts on adolescents’ reading habits? Read to find out more.

3 New YA Books About Cheerleading (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

November 11, 2021

There have been a handful of great YA books in recent years that depict cheerleaders and what it takes to be good at the sport, but I’ve also enjoyed reading some 2021 YA novels that also look at the social aspects of being on the cheer squad, from toxic friendship to performative allyship to the political stances that athletes take. Let’s dive in!

School Board Book Bans on LGBTQ Issues and Race are Hurting, Not Helping, Students (opens in a new window)

MSNBC

November 11, 2021

Kids can handle books on race and sex. It’s their parents who can’t. The most fear is directed at challenging, complicated books that deal with the exact sort of struggles and themes that many parents would prefer their children never face in real life. But the students who most need to read many of these books are the ones who are struggling with these issues in real life.

How Does Homeschooling Affect Adolescents’ Character, Health and Well-being? (opens in a new window)

Phys.org

November 11, 2021

School experiences are crucial for shaping individuals’ developmental and well-being trajectories later in life. Past studies have explored associations between types of primary and secondary schools and academic achievement, but outcomes beyond academic performance remain less well understood. According to a new study published this week by Tyler VanderWeele of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, US, and colleagues, adolescents who are homeschooled are more likely to report greater character strengths and fewer risky health behaviors later in life, compared to peers at public schools, but are less likely to attain a college degree.

Three Y.A. Novels About the Challenges and Charms of Growing Up (opens in a new window)

NY Times

November 10, 2021

There is no better time for reading than the fall. As temperatures drop and the leaves change, the autumn air creates a perfect atmosphere for settling into a comfy chair, under a blanket, with a good book. And fortunately, a spate of highly anticipated young adult releases, each showcasing a unique coming-of-age tale, are here to keep you company throughout the cozy season.

What’s the Matter with Kids Today? (opens in a new window)

Harvard Gazette

November 10, 2021

Education scholars debunk myth that young people today are lazier, more immature than prior generations. “What has changed is that youth are reaching the markers of adulthood later,” says Nancy Hill, Charles Bigelow Professor of Education.

Faced with Soaring Ds and Fs, Schools are Ditching the Old Way of Grading (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

November 09, 2021

A few years ago, high school teacher Joshua Moreno got fed up with his grading system, which had become a points game .Some students accumulated so many points early on that by the end of the term they knew they didn’t need to do more work and could still get an A. Others — often those who had to work or care for family members after school — would fail to turn in their homework and fall so far behind that they would just stop trying. Moreno decided to change his grading system as part of a growing trend in which educators are moving away from traditional point-driven grading systems, aiming to close large academic gaps among racial, ethnic and economic groups.

‘Not a Pipe Dream’: New Report Offers Roadmap to Eliminate Internet Affordability Gap for Students (opens in a new window)

The 74

November 05, 2021

Almost two years into the pandemic, over 18 million households lack high-speed internet access. Even if it’s available, they can’t afford it, according to a new report  released Thursday entitled “No Home Left Offline.” In 43 states, the inability to pay for internet service accounts for more than half of the digital divide; even in those with large rural populations. How can we bridge the digital divide? Read to find out more.

12 Inclusive YA Books Your Middle Schooler Won’t Be Able to Put Down (opens in a new window)

SheKnows

November 05, 2021

During the middle school years, our children are discovering who they are as individuals, but also forming opinions about the world around them. It’s a lot to digest. Your child may already have an array of classic books to consult as they’re growing up, but if you’re looking to offer some diversity to their at-home library and their world view, we have the perfect list of inclusive young adult books they won’t want to put down.

East Hall High School Tailors College Resource Fair for Latino Students, Families (opens in a new window)

Gainesville Times

November 01, 2021

Exploring prospective majors and deciding between campuses is a significant part of the student experience; one that can be quite daunting for families who deal with language barriers. This past week East Hall High School hosted its first-ever Latino College Night to provide information on college admissions and campus life to Spanish-speaking and bilingual families. 

Using Hexagons to Build Critical Thinking Skills (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

October 29, 2021

Watch as curriculum designer Betsy Potash explains hexagonal thinking, an activity designed to get kids thinking critically, making novel connections, debating, and providing evidence to support their reasoning—by visually connecting a series of ideas written on paper or digital hexagons around a theme. This simple, flexible activity gets students collaborating to make connections between key themes—in any unit you are teaching.

13 Biographies and Memoirs for Older Readers That Amplify Unheard Voices (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

October 29, 2021

Biographies and memoirs get to the heart of subjects’ lives and are often a gateway for readers who aren’t naturally drawn to nonfiction. They offer windows into others’ experiences and mirrors of one’s own experiences, and as Dr. Rudine Sim Bishop posits, these titles provide sliding doors that teens can step through—entryways into lives that have often gone unsung and untold.

Darcie Little Badger Turns Our Darkest Realities Into Hopeful Fantasies (opens in a new window)

Time

October 29, 2021

Exploring the mysteries of the planet and the beings that may exist beyond our comprehension is what anchors Darcie Little Badger’s acclaimed young-adult fiction. Her new YA book, ‘A Snake Falls to Earth’, to be published Nov. 23, was long-listed for this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. And like her debut, Elatsoe, which was published to fanfare in 2020, Little Badger’s new genre-bending narrative draws on her heritage and the tradition of story-telling that has informed her worldview.

The Most Underrated YA Books of the Pandemic (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

October 26, 2021

A lot of conversations on social media about underrated YA books are packed with title recommendations that have either hit the bestseller list — sometimes numerous times — or have been on major award lists — sometimes multiple lists. It’s hard to truly find gems that are underrated when what constitutes that qualifier isn’t quantified. 

Choose Your Own Adventure: A Memphis High School Starts Unique English Program (opens in a new window)

Choose 901

October 26, 2021

High school English has a heavy emphasis on reading classic literature but as Dumbledore reminds us in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” So much of what makes reading for fun fun is getting to choose what to read. Innovative Memphis educators are using that idea to inspire a new generation of literary scholars.

Why Friendship is Hard for Many Teens Right Now (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

October 26, 2021

High school counselor Dylan Ohara has watched a troubling pattern emerge as students settle into the school year. After spending most of their time at home for a year and a half, many kids simply don’t know how to act around their peers. “The social drama is just so incredibly amplified beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

New Study Shows Reading Remediation in Middle School Led More Students to Attend College and Earn Degrees (opens in a new window)

The 74

October 21, 2021

Research examining the effects of a 2004 Florida law requiring middle school students scoring below proficiency levels on a state exam in either math or English to complete two courses the next year — one grade-level class and one remedial class — in the same subject, suggests adolescents who take remedial classes are better prepared for academic success in high school and college.