On Monday I started my work day by reading The Essentials of Plot by Cheryl Klein. Today I started by reading Mitali Perkins' article for School Library Journal, No Place Like Home.
Mitali's essay begins with the premise that teenagers who are moving between cultures like to read books with a strong sense of place. Any place. It's an interesting point, but now that she's brought it up, I wonder if it isn't true of all kinds of teenagers. They're all in transition, anyway, moving from childhood to adulthood.
At any rate, as I was reading along, I thought, Gee, Kiki Strike, which I just finished reading, had a strong sense of place. Lo and behold, Mitali used that very book as an example while explaining techniques used to describe a setting.
What's more, she also provides an excellent theory for Harry Potter's popularity. Those are not my favorite books, but, yeah, I think she makes a good point regarding them.
No Place Like Home doesn't just have a lot of interesting content. It's also very well-written in a traditional essay format. I think it might be an excellent example for teachers teaching essay writing skills to middle and high school students, since you'd think they'd be interested in the subject.