Those of you who have visited the Lexicon for awhile might remember how the website Novel Novice started. Tiffany Truitt, the site’s founder, was a new teacher in a school district where the students had been labeled as difficult and behind in academics. She started a Twilight blog and had her students contribute to it in the hopes of encouraging them to read and write, and to share their thoughts and experiences with others. We caught wind of what the site had to offer (to be completely honest, we don’t remember how we discovered the site) and posted about it in our news round-up on May 23, 2008. It resulted in their site going from relative obscurity to getting practically 10,000 hits overnight. Eventually Novel Novice was so popular it got it’s own URL, added more staff (today under the leadership of Sara), and today they don’t just cover Twilight, but a wide range of YA Novels. Over the years the site has done any number of fantastic things from encouraging voter registration of young people, reading and literacy awareness campaigns, fabulous Twilight desktop wallpapers, etc.
Reflecting back on the experience, Tiffani wrote in to tell us, “I started a blog with my students called Twilight Novel Novice. I worked at a low-income school, and used the novels to encourage my struggling readers to delve into books. We did all sorts of things to get them interested: comics, commercials, soundtracks…all using Twilight. Your website was gracious enough to feature us. I can’t tell you how excited the kids were when I walked in and pulled up your website on the projector. Seriously one of the best moments I ever had teaching.”
There are a million Twilight sites out there. We get tons of requests asking us to feature a particular site. If we did, we’d probably close down for all other business. So, why did we feature Novel Novice that day? it was a site that was different, it hooked kids (boys and girls) on reading and discussing their ideas. At the time we had roughly three teachers on the admin staff and we loved the innovation, and how engaging kids who others had written off, in the world of YA lit opened them up to reading Twilight and then reading other things.
So on behalf of the entire staff of the Twilight Lexicon, congrats to Tiffani!