A Year(ish) in Review

Seeing all those Spotify year end posts got me thinking about what my stats for the Literacy In Place and Reading Rural YAL would be. I was curious to see how many rural books I’ve read, how many videos I’ve made, and how many blog posts I’ve done.

A disclaimer: Technically this isn’t a whole year because I didn’t even start this whole enterprise until June. I’m so excited by and proud of the work that I’ve done so far and looking forward to all the awesome things 2022 has in store!

Rural Books I’ve Read

I think this is actually missing a few, but these are some of the rural books I’ve read. It’ll be interesting to see what next year’s list looks like. I enjoyed every single one of them. You can find reviews for a good portion on my Goodreads and look for more as I work to catch up. Be sure to follow me to never miss an update.

Reading Rural YAL Videos

I’ve done a total of 31 (!) videos about 8 books. I’ve settled into a rhythm of four to five videos per book: (1) Summary and reading of first pages; (2) Analysis of how rurality and place function in the text; (3) My reactions to the book as a rural (out-migrant) reader; (4) Teaching ideas for the book; and (5) Where possible – interviews with the author of the book featured in the series.

I LOVE getting to talk and think about young adult books, dreaming up teaching ideas for them. It has also been such a joy to get to talk with authors; pick their brains about how their place-connected backgrounds have influenced their writing; and hear them give advice to aspiring writers. Subscribe to the channel to never miss a beat in 2022.

Blogs Written

I’ve written a total of eight blog posts since June. All of them consider what it means and looks like to be rural; how that impacts and shapes identity formation; and invite other rural and rural out-migrated folks to think alongside me. (See a few of the most recent pieces below.)

I’m hoping that maybe you or your students or someone you know will contribute to the blog and help us grow our online rural community in the coming year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to collaborate with me!

Author Talk – Drs. Rob Petrone & Allison Wynhoff Olsen

In this episode, Petrone and Wynhoff Olsen talk about their connections to rural places and the inspiration for their book. We discuss the affordances and challenges of living and teaching in rural places, work to outline what a critical rural English Pedagogy is, and how teachers and teachers educators can use critical rural pedagogy inContinue reading “Author Talk – Drs. Rob Petrone & Allison Wynhoff Olsen”

Trade Book Talks – Teaching English in Rural Communities Episode 2

In this episode of Reading Rural YAL, I discuss each chapter of Teaching English in Rural Communities in more detail to show you all the theoretical and practical awesomeness contained in this book. Here’s a link to more resources on using a critical rural lens in teaching reading and writing: Buy the book here.

Here’s to an exciting new year!

The last few years have been tough. And they only seem to get tougher as the pandemic rages on and social issues needing fixed go ignored. But in spaces like this, we can come together and build communities of support and encouragement and joy. So, as this new year begins, I wish you sunshine and just enough rain to help you grow. Thanks for being here – for walking this road with me – and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things 2022 will bring!

We can break the cycle – We can break the chain
We can start all over – In the new beginning
We can learn, we can teach
We can share the myths the dream the prayer
The notion that we can do better
Change our lives and paths
Create a new world 

And start all over

Tracy Chapman – New Beginning

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