In Radical Reads, published in 2002, Joni Richards Bodart identified 101 YA novels of the type generally described as "edgy" and "gritty." In Radical Reads 2, she lists more than 100 new onesalmost all of them award winners. What sets this bibliographic guide apart is the amount of detail provided for each title, including a sample booktalk, a list of major themes, book report ideas, review excerpts, and a useful rundown of what makes the book a risky choice, as well as what makes it good. An essential tool for librarians serving young adults.
March 2010 American Libraries
Bodart, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, has produced a sequel to Radical Reads: 101 YA Novels on the Edge (2002). The new work includes 101 books published between the years 2000 and 2009. Like its predecessor, Radical Reads 2 is designed for librarians, teachers, and teen readers. The book’s format remains the same, beginning with tips on book reports for students, tips on booktalks for librarians and teachers, a guide to abbreviations for reading and grade levels, and an introduction, “The Value of Controversial YA Literature.” This material is followed by entries for novels. Each entry contains bibliographic information, lists of subject areas and characters, a sample booktalk, major themes and ideas, book report ideas, booktalk ideas, risks (that is, controversial themes), strengths, awards (if any), and review excerpts. Following the entries are four appendixes and five indexes that are designed to support using radical reads in the classroom and finding the right book to meet reader and curriculum needs. A valuable resource for all middle-school and high-school libraries as well as academic libraries serving teacher-training programs.
Of the many bibliographic resource tools that anyone can have, this work is a must for librarians, teachers, and the general public who wish to promote the best in young adult literature.
American Reference Books Annual
Dedicated to ‘teens whose souls are already scarred’, Radical Reads 2 provides a list of over 100 young adult books that have been published between the years 2000 and 2009....Joni Bodart is internationally known as a leading expert on book talking. She is on the faculty of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University and the coordinator of the youth librarianship specialisation. The book has been designed for librarians, teachers and young adult readers with a clear and concise format, making it easy to navigate to the information or title needed. Beginning with tips for students about writing effective book reports, tips on book talks for librarians and teachers, and a guide to abbreviations for reading and grade levels, Bodart then provides an introduction, Value of Controversial YA Literature. This introduction highlights why the titles chosen are controversial – they reflect reality; they are incredibly well written; they make adults uncomfortable; they change lives and empower teens....It is this detailed information that sets Radical Reads apart from other recommended reading texts for teens. Not only does Bodart provide in-depth information, she also has structured it to allow for easy, practical application. Radical Reads is a valuable resource for all school and public libraries, as well as for student teacher librarians and English teachers.
Australian Library Journal
Picking up where her previous book,
Radical Reads: 101 YA Novels on the Edge, left off, the author chooses a new group of over a hundred books that have been published since 2002. Following the title and bibliographic information on each book, the author provides subject areas that the book addresses, lists the most important main and secondary characters, provides a booktalk that teachers can use in their classrooms, lists the major themes and ideas, offers book report and booktalk ideas, highlights the risk the young adult faces in the book, shares her perceived strengths of the book, and then notes if the book has won any awards. Two to four reviews of the book are also offered. The author also includes a strong rationale on the importance of hard-hitting books for teens as well as appendices that can help all teachers with everything from writing their own rationales to finding organizations that resist censorship to identifying the books through a subject index. This compilation is well done and will be of use in college young adult lit courses or with teachers looking for ways to stir the interest of their students. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
In this update to Radical Reads (Scarecrow, 2002), Bodart gives an in-depth look at the latest controversial literature for teens. More than 100 new titles are profiled, offering detailed information, including sections on risks and strengths, major themes and ideas, brief character descriptions, booktalks and book-report ideas, reviews, awards, and more. The index consists of a comprehensive list of titles, broken down by reading/interest levels, genre, subject, and curriculum areas. Along with an updated bibliography, Bodart's original appendixes on censorship issues, including Web sites and other sources for resisting censorship, and the importance of writing defense rationales are also included. The clear and concise format makes it easy to navigate quickly to the information or title needed. The most valuable section in this update, however, is the new introduction that explains the importance of controversial YA literature to teens and why they must have access to it. This is a must-read for anyone serving teens, including teachers.—Kelley Siegrist, Farmington Community Library, MI
Bodart, a highly respected youth literature professional, provides an updated resource for both the youth-serving professional and the teen. She offers insight into writing book reports and booktalks that secondary school English teachers and library media specialists can share with students. The table of contents alone is a collection-development tool that helps libraries meet the needs of teens looking for themselves in books as well as reading beyond their own life experiences. The introduction on the value of controversial YA literature should be shared with those who seek to repress edgy teen titles as Bodart lays it on the line with statements such as, "It's controversial because it makes adults uncomfortable." The author index is a Who's Who of notable YA authors. The detailed book entries include citations with suggested reading and interest levels designated by middle school, younger high school, and older high school. Also included are subject areas, character descriptions, a booktalk and booktalk ideas, a list of major themes and ideas, book report ideas, risks, strengths, awards, and full-text reviews. The entries' detail will be an asset in readers' advisory and a quick resource to check the content and reviews for a title that is being questioned. Appendixes include information on how to write a rationale and a list of organizations that assist in resisting censorship. Bodart's new book is a must-have professional tool in public libraries, secondary school libraries, and secondary school English classrooms. An examination of the subjects and themes also suggests that it is a useful resource for secondary school counselors. Bodart again demonstrates why young adultlibrarians turn to her for booktalking resources. Reviewer: Ruth Cox Clark
Veteran author Bodart continues the work she began with Radical Reads: 101 YA Novels on the Edge (2002), this time featuring titles that have been published since then. After discussing the value of "edgy" books—those that reflect the sometimes harsh realities of life for teens—Bodart provides entries for over 100 titles, each including bibliographic information, subject areas, a list of characters, a book talk, a list of major themes and ideas, and suggestions to students for writing a book report and book talk of their own about the given title. Each entry also includes information that will be helpful to teachers and librarians in anticipating and handling challenges, including lists of the strengths and potential "risks" (controversial content) of the book, awards, and quotes from published reviews. The book's appendixes provide information on understanding and dealing with censorship, a discussion of why and how to write a rationale for a book before teaching it, and a list of resources for resisting censorship. VERDICT Recommended for YA librarians in schools, as well as for teachers; public librarians serving teens will find this to be an excellent reader's advisory tool as well as a professional resource on handling challenges and preparing book talks.—Rachel Q. Davis, Thomas Memorial Lib., Cape Elizabeth, ME