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Our semester-long collaborative critical inquiry . . .


Theme song for The Change Project: "The world is your chance to create . . .
It's possible to educate; the next generation will rule the world some day."
The Change Project, 2012, focused on speculative fiction. 2013 project, coming soon, will focus on nonfiction.

Speculative fiction is preparation for all futures. -- Andy McCann, Editor, Planet Magazine
It asks the questions that need to be asked, 'What is it to be human? Why does that even matter? -- Steve Tully, AnotherRealm
Speculative fiction is the fiction of unlimited possibilities. -- Raymond Coulombe, Quantum Muse

Do you know why our race is doomed, Pellinore? Because it has fallen in love with the pleasant fiction that we are somehow above the very rules that we have determined govern everything else” (p. 391). -- Rick Yancey, The Monstrumologist, 2009

Speculative defined:
1. Thoughtful -- contemplative, meditative, pensive; see thoughtful 2. Involving risk, unsafe, insecure, risky; see dangerous -- Your Dictionary

Between the canonical classics and the "safe" YA novels (and few of these), there's little room in the English classroom for any titles that might fit into the category of speculative fiction. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, even steampunk . . . speculative fiction includes those alternative forms of fiction that teens are particularly drawn to.

Speculative? Yes, as in definition 1: thoughtful and 2. risk. For young people surveying a world where the elders have acted on the belief that "we are somehow above the very rules that we have determined govern everything else" (Yancey, 2009, p 391), there is much to learn from stories that are thoughtful and risky.

This project is dedicated to giving teachers and librarians of young adults the nudge they may need to experience speculative fiction. Yet, at the same time, we'll also explore creative nonfiction because therein lie the true stories that help us learn about the "real" world through another lens. Both speculative fiction and nonfiction draw teen readers, and it may be time, just in time, that we encourage them to read so they can satisfy the need that Marc Aronson describes as "acting upon the world."

We'll all read Rot and Ruin, Jonathan Maberry's zombie apocalyptic tale (component of The Printz of YAL Project), and we will "book club" a creative nonfiction and a sequential art (graphica/graphic novel) title plus everyone will select one additional Speculative Fiction title from this list (with additional titles possible if you have one to suggest that fits well). All are dystopian and inspire questions about what it means to be human and how that might be changing. To claim your title and/or add others to this text set, apply to join this wiki.

The Giver by Lois Lowry to be read by Ian Torr
Unwind by Neal Shusterman to be read by
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson to be read by Megan Hall
Genesis by Bernard Beckett to be read by Michele DeCamp
Feed by MT Anderson to be read by Ashley Burns
Human.4 by Mike A. Lancaster to be read by Bradley
The Last Book in the Universe to be read by
House of Scorpion to by read by
Ender's Gamee to be read by ___ (updated 04/15/12. Cris has read the book and will create a page).

UPDATE Nov. 12: This just in! Awesome list of scifi for adolescents blogged by David Brin! You may also choose from this list . . .

UPDATE Aug. 16th!!! We're going to interview Maberry on Dec. 5th so we'll read his only other YA novel, Dust and Decay, the sequel to Rot and Ruin. It's set to be published Aug. 31.

See Projects for book club CCIs.

Links:
  1. Jonathan Maberry's Wall
  2. Nonfiction
  3. Real-World Connections
  4. Sequential Art
  5. Speculative Fiction
  6. Speculative Fiction-Unwind