1. Books with "wimp appeal" aka, notebook format books. Even though I don't particularly like Greg as a character, I absolutely love what the Wimpy Kid books have done for reluctant readers. So I'm always on the lookout for more to beef up the collection.
2. Novel-length fairy tales. This one's for me, as no matter how much I booktalk my favorites, there's rarely interest on my student's part in reading them. I must admit that I've fallen a bit behind in keeping up with them though.
3. GLBTQ novels, especially those suitable for middle school readers like So Hard to Say by Alex Sanchez and Absolutely, Positively Not...(Gay) by David LaRochelle. Also looking for novels in which a character is gay but it's no biggie, as in Drama or The Popularity Papers or the like.
4. Dual/ multiple narrator. Gold standard: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Legend by Marie Lu, Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones.
5. Middle grade science fiction. There isn't much out there currently that is readable, honestly. This is why Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass got me so excited. Solidly middle grade, containing action and humor but also depth.
6. Middle grade fantasy. See #4.
7. Middle grade fiction, period. It is so hard to write good middle grade fiction! I've been reading some clunkers lately. Hm-m, that's a bit harsh. Um, I haven't been excited about what I've read lately.
8. Books in which the author nails the voice of a main character of the opposite sex. Think: Laurie Halse Anderson in Twisted or E.M. Kokie in Personal Effects or Erin Jade Lange in Butter. Hm-m, having trouble coming up with a male author, but I know I've read some. Will ETA if I come up with them.
9. Books in which the kid sounds like a kid and not some precocious, adult-sounding kid. Well now, perhaps this post is veering off from the topic. I mean, could you see a marketing dept. using that as a hook? But #8 got me thinking about voice, and I recently read, but did not yet review Navigating Early. As much I as thought this was a lovely and layered story, I kept thinking that Jack sounded wise way beyond his years and that took me out of the story a bit.
Leaving 10 blank for now as I'm running out of morning and must walk the dogs again, put the garbage out and get ready for work. It's day 2 of state testing, so I will chew on an entry for #10 while I walk around the room proctoring and add it after school.