I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this a few times on this blog, but I’m currently a college student majoring in AYA Language Arts – which is a fancy way of saying I’m learning how to be a high school English teacher. This week is my first week back at school for my junior year, and one of my new classes is all about young adult literature, which makes me laugh a bit.
Yesterday was my first class, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had seen some older students who took the class and apparently had to read many different YA books, but I didn’t know much else. The class was a bit up and down for me, so I thought it would be interesting to look at it in a discussion (and I don’t feel like writing a review right now)!
I was initially really excited because one of the things we have to do for this class is read different kinds of YA books. Our first assignment is to pick a YA romance book. We don’t have a set list to choose from and there are only a few requirements (like nothing older than 5 years old or anything really big right now, like The Fault in Our Stars – not that I was planning on reading it anyway), so I’m excited by the fact that I can read (or reread – I think, that’s actually something I need to double check) books I love and just talk about them for homework.
But a class like this also means discussion, and it’s discussions run by people who are not YA book bloggers. There are some students who said they read YA a lot as well, but the more vocal ones seemed a little dismissive of the whole category, like the deep and important and moving books were the exception and quite rare. The professor loved talking about how much people look down on and underestimate YA, but it sounded like she could sometimes do the same.
Book reviews even got brought up briefly, although not book blogging – unfortunately, it wasn’t a positive mention. My professor told us to stay away from social media sites like Goodreads when trying to decide what to read because there are some reviewers who get paid to write gushing reviews. Sure, there really are people like that, but I just wanted to get up and shout something like “there are so many amazing book reviewers – just check out the blogosphere!”
So, I’m a little unsure how this class is going to go. It’s early yet, and I might be pleasantly surprised and find plenty of other YA lovers who I can bond with in real life. While I try to find a YA romance book for my class, though, I want to know what you think about a YA literature class – have you ever taken one? And what should I do if YA continuously seems to be underestimated by the future high school and middle school teachers in my class?