Our books teach literary analysis and essay writing using books teens already love to read, think, and talk about. Every title uses smart, engaging essays written by other YA writers to open up popular book series to new interpretations, modeling the analytical and rhetorical skills students need to excel in the classroom and engage more fully with the world around them.
Click on the boxes below for excerpts, lesson plans, discussion questions, and other free supplementary material for your classroom!
With essays by Diane Duane, Brent Hartinger, Lisa Papademetriou, and more
Everyone knows that the Chronicles of Narnia are based on author C.S. Lewis' religious beliefs, and reading for religious themes can lead to some great classroom discussions. Teaching these books based on religion alone, however, leaves so much rich material untouched! Through the Wardrobe explores those untapped veins of meaning.
With an introduction by Percey Jackson author Rick Riordan and a glossary of ancient Greek myth
Written by a former middle school English and history teacher, the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series is a clever modern-day update of ancient Greek myth, and Demigods and Monsters is the perfect handbook for exploring it and the stories it's based on.
With essays by Megan McCafferty, Cassandra Clare, Rachel Caine, and others
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight seriesfeaturing starcrossed lovers Bella, a normal girl, and Edward, a vampireis a bestseller for a reason. The story is engaging, the characters are captivating and the pages are full of allusions and homage to Shakespeare, Bronte, and other beloved literary classics. A New Dawn is your students' guide to seeing their favorite books in a whole new light.
With essays by J. Fitzgerald McCurdy, Nancy Yi Fan, Carol PlumUcci, and others
Eragon and the rest of the epic fantasy series, the Inheritance Cycle, are famous not only for their popularity but for the age of their author, who wrote the first draft of Eragon at only 15 years old. Secrets of the Dragon Riders discusses the story itself, but also delves into broader themes around whether an author's biography matters in discussing their work.
With an introduction by Uglies author Scott Westerfeld
Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series is a thrilling combination of catchy slang, breathtaking adventure, and issues of true cultural relevance, and Mind-Rain is the perfect jumping off point for studying all three. Its essays address many of the books' biggest themesthe dangers of complacency, the value of conformity versus rebellion, the definition of "natural," our society's obsession with beautyin addition to providing surprising, challenging insights sure to spark student debate.
With an introduction by Crank and Glass author Ellen Hopkins, and pieces by the reallife family of main character Kristina
Ellen Hopkins' book Crank and its sequel Glass, both loosely based on her teenage daughter's struggle with meth addiction ("the Monster") and written in verse, have touched hundreds of thousands of readers deeply. But beyond their gripping stories, Crank and Glass are masterful pieces of writing that bring up fascinating questions about the line between truth and fiction. Flirtin' with the Monster is your partner as you explore that line with your students.