I am writing this having just attended my first YA Lit class of the semester. One of our assignments throughout the course will be weekly responses to one or both of the books we choose to read in that particular week. I will be adding these responses to my posts for those books, possibly replacing the "My Review" section with a "My Response" section. Though I would still like to give a brief review on what I did or didn't find appealing about each book. Maybe the Responses should be a separate post, since they may often talk about multiple books and their similarities/differences? I will try to figure this out. For now, here is a summary of what we discussed in class in relation to The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders:
Most of the people in my discussion group didn't like The Catcher in the Rye. I was sort of the minority voice sticking up for Holden, trying to explain that he just wanted to talk to someone, and that he was depressed, and that it probably isn't good to assume that that he is just a whiny rich kid, because there are plenty of people in the world feeling as hopeless and sad as Holden did. Also, he makes a lot of good points about how the world could or should be, and that it is pretty darn depressing the world isn't as "good" as he wants it to be.
Most everyone seemed to really like The Outsiders. I was glad to have similar opinions on this book. One person in our group brought up the point that the language doesn't seem very well written, and that it sounds very young, possibly because Hinton was young when she wrote it. However, I think that the whole point of the book is that it sounds young, because it's a high school kid's point of view, and because of where and how Ponyboy grew up, he has that view point and that language.
Other people in the group read The Pigman by Paul Zindell, and seemed to enjoy it. They talked about the similarities between The Pigman and The Outsiders. Since I guess both books show these groups of people that become family, but weren't born that way. That is a major theme in The Outsiders, that needing to belong and to not only care about others, but to have other people care about you.
All in all, I really enjoyed the first class of this course and I am looking forward to next week's class.
To Buy: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Pigman by Paul Zindell
Reading for Next Week's Class: Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, Forever by Judy Blume
Other Reading: XVI by Julia Karr