After trawling the lists of best books at the YALSA website, I collected a pile of teen fiction at my library on monday. Last night I started reading Christina Meldrum's Madapple, and it's thoroughly fascinating.
It's a terribly strange premise: girl raised by brilliant but wacky mother, kept isolated from modern life, essentially: no electricity, no running water, no mirrors, no television, no contact with other humans. Homeschooling - heavy on the science and botany/herbalism, other books with many passages redacted. Girl beaten for reading a hidden copy of The Scarlet Letter. Mother dies, girl has to cope.
Meldrum's got BIG themes and issues going on - metaphysics, theology, mysticism, along with all the other good stuff about family and identity and being that one finds in a really good YA novel.
I stayed up far too late last night reading, and I'm a little sulky now because I have to go to school, where I'll be busy all day and unable to read more.
In other news, I think I've decided on a general "theme" for my adolescence class in the spring, a theme so broad it's practically no theme at all. But the organizing principle is going to be .... difference.
I think I am going to put I was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader on the booklist. *cackle* *cackle* *cackle*
now, off to teach grammar, and then day one of discussing K.L. Going's King of the Screw-Ups.