The third edition of my co-authored textbook Q:Skills for Success, Reading/Writing 5 has just been published by Oxford University Press. The new edition is a welcome refresh for the series, which I started writing in 2007 (I know exactly how old it is because I was remember working on the first edition at my computer in Michigan with my newborn son napping in my arms!).
The third edition adds several new readings, including a chapter on the value (or not) of learning foreign languages and another on the gig economy. There are also a ton of videos on the companion website — you’ll even hear Scott Douglass and myself narrative the “Critical Thinking Skills” presentations. So as a bonus, you’ll get British, Canadian, and American accents throughout the book. We’ve also updated the vocabulary lists to align with the Oxford 5000 and Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon, which was a really interesting process.
You can get exam copies of any level of Q from your friendly OUP sales rep. It will be available for sale from Amazon and other fine retailers — it’s very new, so it’s not yet appearing everywhere. There is also a “split” edition in two halves, A and B.
What do you think of the new edition? Do let us know!
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=banned+books&iid=3111873″ src=”b/4/1/1/Coo_c082.jpg?adImageId=12600765&imageId=3111873″ width=”234″ height=”161″ /]The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has just released it’s top 10 list of the most “challenged” books of 2009.
“Challenged” is the charming euphemism that the ALA uses for books that are basically censored from schools and libraries in the U.S.:
A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. (source)
Since I usually find that challenged books are well-written, thought-provoking, relevant, and engaging, I like to read as many of them as possible as my own challenge to this form of censorship.
On this year’s list are some perennial favorites (Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, which everyone should read at least once; Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War, which is gritty, disturbing, and brilliant; Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, an important American classic; Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, still one of the great coming-of-age novels, if a little dated now) and some recent books I don’t know (“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler has to be good with a title like that).
I’m all in favor of age-appropriate literature, but I dispute anyone’s right to tell me what is or is not age appropriate. And if you really can’t stand a book, for goodness’ sake, just put it down and let someone else try it! My two-year-old has already developed a great strategy for dealing with books that are too old for him: he stops paying attention.