For Contemporary Children's Literature, I had to read Abel's Island by William Steig. It is a fun little story about a mouse who gets marooned on an island and is trapped there for over a year, trying to survive and escape.
Looking at it from the perspective of the class, I can see how Abel's Island would be attractive to children. It is a chapter book, but definitely not a difficult read. It has lots of adventure, and a fun character. But I have to say it wasn't my favouritest book. I didn't like the way it felt like the author was talking down to me the whole way through the book (I am more of a fan of The Wind in the Willows style writing, where the book is written in a more mature fashion). The back of the book compares Abel's Island to Charlotte's Web, which I also don't agree with (and I think that children agree with me on this one, as Charlotte's Web is still widely read while I have never heard of Abel's Island before this class. But I could definitely be wrong on this point).
All in all, this was an okay read. Not the best book in the world, but definitely not the worst.