One of my classes this semester is focused solely on how to teach young adult literature in a classroom setting. This means that we’ve been reading a lot of young adult books in order to be able to talk about specific genres and the best way to teach each.
So far all of the books have been pretty wonderful to read. They’ve been well written as well as still interesting to read in college. They’ve also served as a breath of fresh air in comparison to the reading that is typical of college courses. Because of this I’ve really been enjoying reading for this class because it is simple but still interesting.
But this past week something was different. The book we read wasn’t actually all that great… It was a decent book. Fairly well-written with a story that could be easily followed but it just lacked something.
We focused on the genre of historical fiction for this week and therefore read a book that fit into that category. As far as I am aware the book was fairly accurate to the event that it was set within. But then again I’m not very familiar with the epidemic of yellow fever that hit Philadelphia in 1793 so I may not be the best judge of accuracy.
On that same line of thought there were some parts that just didn’t seem real. They felt forced. Almost like the author had been doing research and found some information about the event and made up a scenario to make it fit into the book, even if it didn’t help the story at all. Yes, I agree that the information I am referring to could have helped the story. If it had been presented in a different way that didn’t feel so forced and artificial.
When I started reading this book I wanted it to be great, simply because everything else we had read for this class had been good. Once I finished the book it turned out to not actually be so good. As we were talking in class the professor told us that she had high hopes for the book because of the author and reviews she had read but that she had also been disappointed by the book.
It just goes to show that sometimes as a teacher you might choose a book that doesn’t turn out to be what you wanted it to be. And that’s ok. Learn from that moment and move on.