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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Launching Into the New Year With an All-New English Elective

Opening up class to more student-led book discussion, the Young Adult Literature class follows student interest through worlds of imagination.
Bella Gerardi
The Young Adult Literature Class targets students who love reading but don’t want to have some of the heavier English assignments attached to the coursework. Students are meant to have fun and enjoy the discussions and books they are working to read.

New year, new course. Next year, the English department is adding to their cozy family with a new elective, Young Adult Literature. The class, taught by English teacher Shelby Whittington, focuses on how Young Adult Literature reflects real-world experiences. The class will read and discuss self-selected books, compare them with their movie counterparts, contact authors, and volunteer with the reading specialists and Rosa Lee Carter Elementary.

The idea initially came from English teacher Tyler Anderson. “I first heard about this class in August,” Anderson said. “The department chair at Briar [Woods High School] said she was running this class as a pilot.”  Bringing the idea back home to his own English department, Anderson shared the idea with his co-workers. Whittington expressed interest in the class and stepped up to the plate to take on the job of teaching it.

While there are some logistics regarding which books will be allowed, and how to engage students, the class is meant to be fun-filled and open up more discussion where students can relate better to the books they are reading. 

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Units might not be broken up into specific books, but be more broad and take on several different genres, with a book picked from each genre. Most work will be completed in groups, as students are granted the freedom to select books that follow their interests. “The focus really is reading and talking about the books,” Whittington said. The discussions will focus on the themes, and aim to draw connections between the book and the real world.

Making the class more fun-filled, Whittington plans to follow student interest across as many genres as she can in the course. Another goal of hers is to find a way to incorporate films into the class. “We can read the book and watch the movie version and compare and contrast,” Whittington said.

Students were made aware of the class through teacher recommendations. Those whose English teacher thought they might be a good fit sent their names to Whittington and she reached out. After speaking with Whittington about the class, sophomore Mimtaaha Kader expressed interest in taking the elective. “It’s not like regular literature,” Kader said. “We can choose our own books, you’re not stressed out, it’s more relaxed.”

Creating a whole new world for students to discover, the Young Adult Literature elective is open for any rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors to take.

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About the Contributors
Rachel Adams
Rachel Adams, Website Coordinator
Rachel Adams is a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is one of the Website Coordinators. She is part of the girls tennis team and the theater program. Her favorite hobbies include baking, hiking, crocheting, and reading. Her favorite books are murder mysteries, but she loves all genres. When she graduates high school, she hopes to get into aviation, specifically piloting commercial planes. She has only been on a plane twice, but she knew this was something she wanted to do for a career almost right away. Rachel is excited to see what the future holds, in both college and beyond.
Bella Gerardi
Bella Gerardi, Staff Writer
Bella Gerardi is a junior and this is her third year on staff. She has always enjoyed writing and found a passion in it specifically in middle school.  In the future, she plans to go to George Mason and major in Journalism and Communications to continue her passion for writing. Bella plays lacrosse for the school as a defender. Her favorite hobbies include drawing, playing music, reading, cooking with friends, and watching movies

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