Remember the days when your high school English teacher would select a fiction title for the entire class and everyone read the same book? Well, things have changed. Now students studying for NCEA English have a wide range of reading options available and are able to choose books that interest them – within reason.
It is the ‘within reason’ proviso that can cause confusion for students, parents and librarians. However, don’t despair. There’s plenty of help available to ensure students find a book they will enjoy while also meeting NZQA criteria.
Christchurch City Libraries’ Pulse website contains up-to-date information about studying for NCEA English, including booklists. Here you’ll find links to quality on-line dictionaries and databases, study guides, information about authors and eBook and audio book sites.
- The Golden Bay High School Wiki lists titles within Level 1-3 categories, Year 11-13 groups, Short Stories and Themes.
- The School Library Association of New Zealand (SLANZA) has an extensive page of booklists divided by wide reading themes.
- Dunedin Public Libraries’ Independent Reading pages lists titles under headings such as Cultural Perspectives, Biographies, and Dysfunctional Families. So, there’s no need to panic next time a student asks for an award winning book.
These sites list recommended titles only and students should always check with their teachers before making a final selection, but it’s great to know there is somewhere to start when opening a window into a world of reading possibilities for teen readers. When I look at some of the titles I almost wish I could head back to school again!