Summer is here…and how about a reading list for teachers? Whet your summer reading appetite with some YA and Ag Books!
Take some YA and Agriculture to the Beach!
A recent survey found that over half of the audience for Young Adult Literature (YA) are adults! Why not join the ranks and take some YA with you this summer, to the beach, the ballfield or just out to the back yard!
Young Adult Literature, includes pieces you probably remember. Huckleberry Finn, The Outsiders, and even Harry Potter are considered YA, and while you might feel guilty or embarrassed about reading books designed for a younger audience, I think the summer is the perfect time to branch out! I believe you’ll find these books entertaining and fast paced. Remember the audience they are geared toward has many more options for spare time entertainment. The books are also well written and tackle touch issues but in a hopeful way. They are typically relatable and many are being made into films or television shows and most are typically shorter.
My choices for YA books with an ag flair for you to use this summer?? Take a gander!
- A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck or anything by Richard Peck!
- ….and now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold 1950’s Newberry Medalist with a sheep theme
- War Horse by Michael Morpugo…great movie, even better book
- Kristina Srpinger’s Just Your Average Princess…. Illinois Author, set in central IL, can’t miss book.
- Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck…life beyond the show ring.
- Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen It is YA….so for the HS crowd and up!
- Crosswire by Dotti Enderle…I read it and saw it as a Walker Texas Ranger Flashback!
- Chigger by Raymond Bial another Illinois Author, I am positive those 40 and 50 somethings will see your childhood!
- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. A very popular YA author and a Yellow Fever outbreak in colonial times.
- Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee. Nutrition, friendship, a quick read
- Peeled and Squashed by Joan Bauer. Simply great books!
- Seedfolks by Newberry Winner Paul Fleishman. Urban gardening at its finest.
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Certainly some coming of age and civil rights era mixed in with pollinators
- The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins. In the 1980s it was hard work, now it is STEM Careers!
- My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt. Nationa Book Award Winning Author. GREAT Book!
- Taylor Honor Award Winner Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer. Food, Hunger and WWII France.
- Pura Belpre Award Winner Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez. A look at immigrant labor in agriculture.
- National Book Winner The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. Wheat and Wheat Harvest. You’re going to hear more about this!
15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you’ve got 18 books with an ag message that will help you pass the time in the dog days of summer! Check your local library or book store for these items!
JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING!
Check out the Book Review–A video and hard copy!
YOU TUBE VIDEO
In time for Small Business Saturday….or a visit to you other local favorite book store, it is time to take another look at a couple of good books with an agriculture message. This year it seems that my common theme is ‘causes’. It is ironic how many causes you can make with an agriculture link.
The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson (ISBN:978 1-62370-636-4). In Illinois, roughly 53% of all students are eligible for free and reduced lunches. This 4th-8th grade book explores friendship and economic hard times, including hunger. What is it like to be hungry and help a friend? Hunger might be next door and a bountiful food supply is the answer
Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle (ISBN 978-1-4521-2901) My cause here is that farming is hard work! This Pre-K to 2 picture book showcases a small farm getting ready for winter. Nothing is typical about any farm, but the hard work that goes into all aspects of farms is apparent in this book!
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson (ISBN 978-0-06-229889-8) Have you seen any unkind acts or words in the last week or so? This Pre-K to 2 picture book that shows there is a little more than planting and harvesting in every seed! A little kindness goes a long way in this beautifully illustrated book.
The Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber (ISBN 978-0-7636-7648-3). Pollinators and agriculture are a cause you’ll continue to see in the coming year. Pollinators are an agriculture priority, and this K-2 Read and Wonder book is complete with excellent vocabulary is part of our IAITC Book Grant Pollinator Bundle. The message is in harmony with the message of farmers!
Water is Water by Miranda Paul (ISBM 978-1-59643-984-9 The water cycle told through beautiful illustrations and delightful poetic text. Although this looks like a Pre-K to 2 book, but we consider it a big part of our IAITC Environmental Stewardship Book Grant Bundle.
And the list of causes goes on. Looking for a book on labor and agriculture? Check out Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (ISBN 978-030705851230). The history of genetics, biotechnology and plant science can be discovered in Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by Cheryl Bardoe (ISBN 978-0810954755). Students with unique needs and STEM can both be found in Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery (ISBN 978-0-547-44315). And of course if you are looking for an Illinois book about what it is really like to farm check out Heartland by Diane Siebert (ISBN 978-0064432870). This classic has recently been re-released and the combination of lyrical writing and outstanding illustrations by Aurora native Wendell Minor.
Kevin Daugherty is the Illinois Farm Bureau Education Director for the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program and an avid reader. He is currently reading That Hidden Road (ISBN 978-1627201339) by Illinois native Rocco Versaci. It is the memoir of a bike ride across America. This book has great descriptions of the rolling fields of all sort of agriculture, as well as a reminder of the IAA Foundation Bike Ride for Agriculture!