black eyed susan

Maryland’s Black Eyed Susan Reading Program 2014-2015: Part II

Maryland’s Black Eyed Susan Reading Program 2014-2015: Part II Written by Grant Goodman, 11/16/2014

Part I of this article series is available here.

Today I’d like to focus on one of the ten chosen Black Eyed Susan novels for this school year.

The book in the spotlight is POISON by Bridget Zinn.

This review is going to be different from most reviews I write…mainly because I haven’t read this book yet. That being said, this book did something amazing this year, which makes it easy for me to recommend.

In order to fairly distribute my BES books, I raffle off my classroom library copies, since I only have one copy of each novel. When the winner of the POISON raffle finished reading the novel, he told me, “Mr. Goodman, I sat down on Saturday and read about 100 pages of the book without stopping…I haven’t done that in a long time.”

Isn't that the best praise a YA novel can get?

Maryland’s Black Eyed Susan Reading Program: Part I

Maryland’s Black Eyed Susan Reading Program: Part I Written by Grant Goodman, 11/16/2014

I’m lucky enough to work in a school where our reading programs are unbelievably successful. Our Media Center (the new term for libraries, for those who aren’t in the education world) participates in the state-wide Black Eyed Susan reading program.

Maryland has a committee of readers from around the state who spend time picking out 10 featured books for students to read. (There are 10 books for elementary school, 10 for middle, 10 for high school, and 10 graphic novels)

What I love is that there is a mix of genres every year, including supernatural, science-fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as prose.

They are all entertaining reads (though I will admit that some do skew younger than others) and if you’re looking for new reads, you’re bound to find a new author or two who will really impress you.

This year’s middle school list is as follows:

After Iris by Natasha Farrant

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming

The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Eddie’s War by Carol Fisher Saller

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Girl from Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson

Four Secrets by Margaret Willey

Poison by Bridget Zinn