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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Student Annotations: Special Reading Interests

Today's class is a catch all that we call Special Reading Interests. These are books that fall into any genre but fit the following reading interests: African-American, Latino/a, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Inspirational.

These are the four most common special interest in the area around Dominican University, as a result, these are the ones we focus on. If you were near a reservation, I could see why you might focus on Native American Literature, or if you were in CA, you might need to add Asian-American Literature to the list.

The key to this day is to show the students that you sometimes need to think about issues beyond just genre when giving reading suggestions. And, a great way to do this is by picking the most popular reading interests in your area.

Also, we use this class to stress how important it is to not think of, for example, "African-American" books as a genre. This is a big mistake. Within each of these special reading interests, there is a book in every genre, with appeal factors specific to that genre. For example, just because a reader likes "gay authors" does not mean they will like the literary fiction of David Leavitt the same as the mysteries of Mark Zubro. You need to further understand within the confines of "gay authors" what type of book that reader wants.

Enough explaining, here is the link to Joyce's students' annotations for today.

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