I'm so happy that this resource is here! One of my blind spots is YA Literature. I psyched that I can come here to get advice on newer or trending novels.
I love using YA literature in the classroom! I really enjoy letting students select the class novel and they often pick YA, so I get to learn what's currently popular and they get to learn to use a critical lens on texts they're already reading for fun!
Alex, what is your favorite YA novel to teach? I always let my students pick a novel for their independent unit and through their work, I became familiar with several YA novels. But I never taught a YA novel to an entire class, so I'm curious what has been your favorite YA novel unit?
My students are loving the Harry Potter novels this year, though to be honest, I don't enjoy teaching them, because students tend to have a hard time separating the novels from the movies. It is definitely a student favorite though!
My personal favorites (I can't pick just 1) are The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, both by Brian Selznick and Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby. I love the illustrations in the Selznick books, particularly Wonderstuck because it's a great way to teach perspective and point of view and can introduce personal bias. Hurt Go Happy lends itself to some great argumentative writing on a wide variety of topics, so there's something for all the students to get invested in.
I agree it would be difficult to teach Harry Potter with the popularity of the movies. John Green's books were popular with my students, but I sometimes wondered how much they got from the movie and how much they read the book, the perennial ELA teacher dilemma!
I'm not familiar with the three you listed above (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck, and Hurt Go Happy), but I love how you are using the novels to reach perspective, point of view, personal bias, and argumentative writing.
Thanks for the ideas and giving me some more titles to add to my ever-growing TBR list :)