Costa Reading came about because of the Young Adult Literature class I’m taking at MSU Denver this semester. The final assignment is to create a portfolio of what I’ve learned over the last few months. I mainly decided to do this in a blog format so I can continue adding to it during the rest of my Book Life. I currently work as a librarian and will be able to use this blog to refine and share my opinions on books, first in Young Adult Lit and then in other genres. I’ll also be able to reach out to other librarians, teachers, parents, teens, and children; spreading the knowledge that I’ve acquired (and will still acquire) over the years. I also hope this will be a way for me to learn from others. Hopefully, people will comment on my posts and let me know their opinions on my opinion.
In the past, I’ve mainly read for pleasure, moving quickly from one book to the next without truly soaking any of them in. I tend to love or hate a book in the moment and then can’t articulate why even a couple of months later. This class has taught me to pause and truly think about what I’ve been reading. I now ask myself why a teen (or anyone for that matter) might like a book, what made the characters likeable, and what about the book would resonate with a reader. Writing out my thoughts on the books we read as a class has also helped me formulate more concrete opinions in a way that makes them easier to discuss.
The discussions I’ve had with fellow classmates has shown me multiple points of view as readers and educators. More than anything, these discussions have shown me that it’s not important to recommend my favorite books to people; rather my goal should be to try to connect readers to the books that will become their favorites.
The reading list for this class was very diverse with a lot of options for us to choose from. This format allowed for us students to choose books to read that we’d enjoy. I could see this type of teaching style would resonate with students who would normally set aside their assigned reading because they were being told what to read. I personally found this reading list as a challenge. I found books in most categories that I hadn’t read yet and chose them for my reading assignments. It would have been easier to read books I’d already read to cut down on the homework but it was too tempting to discover new favorites.
So far, I’d have to say that this has been the most enjoyable class I’ve taken at MSU Denver. I’ve learned so much from the books I’ve read, the class discussions, the online discussions, and the teens I’ve come into contact with. And (I’m not just saying this because I know she’s reading this) Dr. Adams has taught me so much in a field that I thought I was pretty well versed in. I learned how to think differently about young adult literature through her lectures and the format of the class.
And so, happy reading and please let me know what you think!