The nominees for 2017 Teens' Top Ten are out, and we have a few books on the list but not all of them.
View an annotated list of the nominees here (pdf).
If you want to read anything particular, ask!
More About the Teens' Top Ten #yalsaTTT
2017 Teens' Top Ten Nominees announced!
The Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online between August 15 and Teen Read Week™ (October 8-14, 2017) here on the Teens' Top Ten site. The winners will be announced the week after Teen Read Week.
What Kaplan and Princeton Review Don’t Want You to Know About the SAT
APRIL 19, 2017
A recent article in the New York Times advocated that students from low-income backgrounds should prepare for the SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test) “like a rich kid” by spending hundreds of hours studying test prep books, visiting tutors, and taking online cram courses.
This is very poor advice, whether you are rich or not.
Most studies find that test preparation for the SAT produces verysmall effects on average – a few dozen points, at best. Claims that you can boost your score by hundreds of points have never been confirmed in experimental studies.
Becker (1990), for example, analyzed several dozen studies and found that the average point gain in carefully controlled studies was somewhere between nine and 20 points. These are tiny gains that are of no practical importance in college admission decisions. Other reviews have come to similar conclusions (see a brief summary in Liu (2014)).
In addition to being useless, SAT test prep can also be very expensive. The prices for two well-known test prep courses as of April, 2017, were $1,599 (Kaplan) and $1,099 (Princeton Review). Private tutoring would easily cost much more.
A much better strategy for students, one that costs $0.00, is the following:
Go to the public or school library.
Check out books on topics you are interested in and enjoy.
Read those books for as many hours a day as you can.
Unlike test prep courses, extensive self-selected (pleasure) reading is associated with higher literacy levels and higher test scores (Acheson, Wells, & MacDonald, 2008). Both correlational and experimental studies have found that reading improves not only vocabulary and reading comprehension, but also writing, spelling, grammar, and knowledge of the world (Krashen, 2004) – all things that will have a significant impact on SAT scores.
What’s more, the newly revised SAT is even more “reading-dependent” than the previous versions, making a strategy of voluminous reading a better option than ever.
Instead of spending four hours a day, five days a week in a 10-week summer test prep program, high school students would be better advised to dedicate that time to reading.* Such a plan would allow students to read about 2.5 million words, which is probably enough to raise even a good high school reader’s vocabulary by a 1,000 words or more (Nation, 2014; McQuillan, 2016).
For struggling adolescent readers, including those from low-income families without the benefits typically provided “rich kids,” the impact would likely be even more dramatic.
Our advice to students should be simple: Read more, prep less.
Autodraw appeared on the web not too long ago. Just doodle something and the program will convert your scribbles to a nice, clean graphic. For something quick to snaz up a post, it works very well. It works particularly well on a phone, but the browser version is pretty slick as well. Play around with it.