Sunday, May 17, 2009

Teachable Stuff (For Such a "Bad" Writer)

I'm not sure if it's because she is insanely rich, or if it's because she came from a less than stellar writing background, but Stephenie Meyer is often raked over the coals for her work. Many critics have called her writing "shoddy", "juvenile", and "incoherent". As a Reading and English teacher, I'm wondering if I'm lacking some sort of basic structure in my education, since I find her work to be up to par. Trust me when I say that there are very few contemporary authors (especially in the teen fiction genre) that are as great and verbose as Stephenie. It is part of my job to read teen fiction and I might have a handful of titles that I think are well-written. I've read well over a hundred teen fiction books in the last couple of years, and I am shocked by how bad some of the published (and popular) novels are, and the Twilight Saga is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
Why Twilight and the rest of the saga are under the gun, I'll never begin to understand. I've broken down mulitiple chapters of Twilight and used it for teaching purposes in my classroom, and it is rich in vocabulary and has awesome examples of literary elements, such as personification, simile, metaphor, and repitition. Luckily, I'm not the first to notice the teaching potential of Twilight. Author Brian Leaf has created SAT vocabulary workbooks using TWILIGHT and NEW MOON to provide examples. Click on the pictures below for links to purchase at

I'm not sure about you, but if I were a high school kid, I would much rather study using examples from books I love than some stale workbook. This publication notes SAT words used in each chapter, sites the page number, then has activities that requires the reader to exercise use of the SAT verbage. Maybe I should be writing a workbook that uses the literary terminology I've found in the Twilight Saga?????

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