{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What novels are you teaching that students actually want to read?", "post_id": "5e3de1949f7dd3002bdba6c7", "reply_count": 6, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5c903bae0f1c59001d6565b1", "bowl_name": "English & Language Arts Teachers", "feed_type": "bowl" }

What novels are you teaching that students actually want to read?

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I have a class of struggling ninth-grade readers. They are all boys. I taught Ghost by Jason Reynolds for the first time this school year. The kids loved that book. They identified with the protagonist’s humor, self- esteem, and culture. The book also promotes a dialogue about feelings of vulnerability and shame, and these are essential conversations/lessons to have with young men.
I also taught the boys how to annotate, respond to questions citing evidence, and to read deeply.

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Everything by Jason Reynolds is a hit. Try Long Way Down, American Boys or his new one Look Both Ways

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Native Son by Richard Wright. Not a hard read but full of social discussion elements.

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Every year I do 1984 with my seniors. They find it difficult, but end up really loving it or hating it. Either way, they say it’s one of the few books they actually read in school.

I also love A Separate Peace. If I sell my emotions and facial expressions just right, they really respond to it.
I’ve never done novels with the common themes. I like to find a different hook. TKAM was about education and the cruelty we do to those we feel inferior to us (not the overt racism - I tell them if they can’t see that, they need to have something examined). A Separate Peace is about the jealousies we hide from ourselves and the damage it can do. Fahrenheit is about the need to belong and have a purpose in life.

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the outsiders is a huge hit for me!

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Me too!

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